Sunday, March 16, 2014

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 15: Once We Were Gods

“You shall not become corrupt,
You shall not become putrid,
You shall not become worms.”

Well that sounds faintly ominous.

Some builders excavate a hidden room that wasn’t supposed to be there and call in a university person to have a look at the large box they’ve found. Inside is a sarcophagus with an Anubis head. She seems very very happy about this. And the mummy inside.

The discovery is reported on the news and 2 men watching are really angry by the grave robbery. They break into the university, leaving graffiti – and making a noise. A guard arrives and shoots one of them when he woges (jackal wesen?) and leaps on them. He dies and his friend shoots the other guard.

Wu is still in the mental hospital. A meeting of the Grimm scoobie gang has Hank trying to convince everyone that it really is time they tell Wu the truth – especially since he’s been there and was rather unstable when he first caught of a glimpse of Wesen without knowing the truth. But no-one else is convinced – they think Hank has the reassurance of trusting Nick, Juliette can also rely on Nick. Especially since the Aswang is apparently much much scarier than most: Rosalie and Monroe want to see how Wu responds to treatment. For the mental illness he doesn’t actually have. If he doesn’t “get better” they will have to tell him.

To drive home how wrong they are, Wu is in therapy describing what he saw and the nice therapy lady asks how it could have been real if Nick and Hank were there and didn’t see it? Nick and Hank visit him – he seems well but mentions he’s on meds. Reunion is interrupted by a call for the murder at the university

There they look at everything notice the sarcophagus was open, here clear signs of wesen-ness and meet the professor – Vera Gates. She examines the mummy and they see its head is shaped like Anubis’s jackal head under the bandages. The graffiti the men left is hieroglyphs that say “I protect the dead.”

At the police station they tell Renard about the men who broke into the museum, one Canadian and the living man, Karl, Swiss/US citizen who has a record for breaking into museums protesting the “desecration of the dead.” They also tell him about the Anubis mummy – and that Karl may be wesen. Cutting to Karl it’s clear he has someone pulling his strings.

Time to gather the gang and speak to Rosalie and Monroe who agree that you could mummify a Wesen in full woge, though it’s not easy or pleasant. And apparently Egyptian gods often were Wesen, so Anubis as a Wesen doesn’t surprise them. A living Anubis trying to grab the sarcophagus is also not unknown – there’s an organisation called the Beati Paoli that seeks to preserve and protect Wesen culture. They’re extreme and neither Monroe nor Rosalie likes them – but equally they both find the idea of displaying a mummified Anubis in full Woge to be grotesque, sacrilegious and immoral. Yes they feel quite strongly about it.

While Hank, Juliette and Nick hit the Grimm Trailer, Rosalie and Monroe wait for their wedding planner – Rosalie opts against informing the Wesen Council because they don’t want to get involved and it was on the news anyway. In the Trailer they find this ancestor actually left a film (Juliette, seeing the Grimm, vetoes Nick growing a beard) and Wesen on camera who woge are visible to Nick but not Hank and Juliette (nifty bit of world building). Reading they find the pharaohs mummified Anubis with them because they believed it ensured full godhood – but the difficulty of mummifying a wesen in woge meant thousands were killed rather horribly to make it happen. Which is all the more reason why modern Anubis are not amused by these bodies being put on display – and want to give the mummies a proper burial.

In the Spice Shop, Monroe and Juliette get a visitor – Alexander, the Pflichttreue representative of the Wesen Council who wants to talk to Nick. Alexander describes the Wesen Council as not much liking the Beati Paoli, but not really stopping them either – like Rosalie and Monroe they find the display of Wesen remains to be highly distasteful to say the least.

But Karl has committed murder which makes him a naughty boy who has to be stopped and since Nick won’t let them kill him, it’s much easier to let Nick stop him. He warns Nick that Karl will try again and that he intends to kidnap prof. Vera. Alexander leaves, leaving it all in Nick’s hand. Rosalie and Juliette aren’t entirely comfy with the whole Council using Grimm to execute Wesen thing – or that they’re the Council’s middlemen for the Grimm

Wu continues to have terrible nightmares about the Aswang. Juliette visits him to draw comparisons to her own experiences, only without the whole “oh yeah it’s actually real” part.

To the university – where Vera has been kidnapped and is now being used to dismiss the security. Nick and Hank head off, also learning that Alexander has actually been in town far longer than expected – and is at the university as well. They find Vera and Karl (he woges at her). Nick and Karl fight – Anubis seem to be pretty good fighters, but not Grimm standard. He is subdued and arrested.

At Nick’s call, Rosalie and Nick follow Alexander – who has collected the Anubis mummy. Nick drops in to basically make it clear that while he’s letting Alexander escape with the mummy he could totally have stopped him and next time he better be honest. The whole gang has a ritual cremation for the mummy. Hank does remark on the fact they’ve helped Wesen steal and burn a 3,000 year old mummy.

Wu is released from hospital – apparently willing to keep everything in his head and pretend it wasn’t real.

In Austria, poor Sebastien has been rumbled. Viktor and Gregory (head of the Verrat) question him about the Resistance, with waterboarding.

In Switzerland, Meisener, collecting wood, sees the baby on the ground, hears her heartbeat. He picks her up and hurries to Adalind – to find the baby in her arms and he’s holding a pile of wood. He tells Adalind and she remembers that when she was pregnant the doctor heard 2 heartbeats – but saw only one baby. As if this baby weren’t creepy enough! Then the fire bursts alight without anyone touching it – extra extra creepy baby.

Working on the information forced out of Sebastien, Viktor and the Hunjager Verrat drive to where he dropped off Meisner and Adalind, who are in the cabin being all domestic. Renard rings with a warning – Sebastien hasn’t answered his calls for some time and he warns them to run to Zurich where he can get them out of the country.

Viktor and the Verrat track Adalind and Meisner through the woods…

Wu doesn’t get in on the secret, they let him languish in hospital on who knows how many drugs until he repressed sufficiently to go into denial? Because that is waaaaay better for him than telling him the truth, right?

Needless to say, I am not impressed. Especially since it means this character is likely to continue being underdeveloped. I can cling to the idea that maybe he won’t be able to deny the weird in the future so it’s just a delay. Maybe until the season finale – Grimm loves its cliff hangers and revelations in the last episodes.

I think this episode touched on issues of the problematic elements of archaeology – at what point does grave robbery become archaeology? At what point do we decide that a culture’s funeral rites are sufficiently ignorable that it’s acceptable to root around in their cemeteries to satisfy our curiosity? But only lightly – it was a shallow reading at best. It is interesting to see the Wesen Council poke up again and get a sense of things that are culturally important to the Wesen that Nick and Hank may not understand – but realise it’s important and make allowances for.

In all, the episode was kind of middle of the road, decent, Wesen of the week-  but it's past time that the storylines merged again; because everything in Austria just feels so... separate.