Sunday, March 23, 2014

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 16: The Show Must Go On

“Under such conditions,
Whatever is evil in man’s natures
Comes to the front.”

I’m assuming the quote references either a) being drunk or b) queues in our local newsagents.

Or maybe a travelling fair – where part of the act appears to be a “wolfman” who, when tormented, turns into a wolfman in front of the audience before being shot by the ring master. Or only apparently – since we see him later in human form clearing up, having removed his bloodstained shirt?

A Wesen wogeing for entertainment?

The man is Max and a woman tries to talk him out of doing it any more – and drinking. Though he thinks they need the money and he can’t stop. He walks away, drinking heavily – so heavily it’s more a stagger and he starts to lose control of his claws. Which is just the worst time for 2 over-eager fans to rush up and take him for a drink.

They take him home and try to get the very drunk Max to show them how he turns into a wolfman. They keep pushing and one woman who seems to have an agenda slaps him – and he woges into a Blutbad.

Remember how I complained a few episodes ago that Nick needs to spend more social time with Monroe? Well here they are with Rosalie and Juliette having dinner and discussing Rosalie and Monroe’s upcoming wedding –and Monroe asks Nick to be his best man and Juliette to be the Maid of Honour. Awwwwww…. Nick needs to look more happy in this scene.

That night Nick has a dream about Monroe’s wedding cake, blood and screaming. He explains to Juliette he had a huge nightmare of slaughtering all of the wedding guests when they attacked him when they realised he was a Grimm. He’s worried this could be a premonition and everyone will die if he’s best man.

Time for the crime – first Wu is back so either some time has passed or he got a clean bill of health awfully quickly – and it turns out that those 2 women slapping the Blutbad have been horribly murdered. Natural selection at work! On the bodies they find tickets to the circus.

To the circus to find the boss, Hedig, but they arrive just in time for a show – and Hedig has a whole stable of Wesen to woge for his show culminating in Max the Blutbad who dramatically bends bars and has to be “killed”.

After the show Max argues for a change in the show and Hedig makes it clear he’s the boss, so there. Hank and Nick arrive to ask questions and get very little (obviously Hedig passes off the woge as masks). But as they leave Genevieve, one of the performers, asks Max about the girls – but he only remembers drinking with them. She wants them to leave, he’s working too hard and it’s hurting him. She tries to stop him drinking and he woges and hits her, knocking her into the broken glass on the floor.

Hank and Nick check in with Rosalie and Monroe who have heard of the carnivals, but find them offensive and distasteful – forcing the full woge for entertainment. The Council allows it simply because it’s presented as a trick so isn’t exposing them – it’s a loophole. The problem is the “Umkippen”. If a wesen forces a woge over and over again they lose themselves to their wesen side. Hank and Nick go to check if Max has a violent history that would indicate he is suffering from the Umkippen, while Rosalie convinces Monroe they should check out the carnival and check if there are any Umkippen about. Without Nick because, as we’ve seen before, introducing a Grimm to Wesen can be… awkward.

Looking into the backgrounds, Hank and Nick find that all the performers have been in trouble of some kind, that there’s a high performer turnover – and that there have been other violent murders that happened in the same time and place as the carnival.

Rosalie and Monroe arrive and try to talk to the performers - and Hedig’s assistant notices Rosalie woge and takes her for a performer; since Genevieve is injured (and a fuchsbau) he takes Rosalie to fill in. Rosalie tries to talk to Genevieve - she advises her to get out of the Carnival asap. She confesses her worries about Max. Monroe is even more freaked at the idea that it’s a Blutbad falling to the Umkippen

But Hank and Nick have found more deaths going back 10 years – to before Max joined, or any of the performers joined. Only Hedig has been with them that long.

Hedig who is intimidating Max using his Lowen form (lion wesen seems to be slightly more intimidating than a Blutbad) and letting Max think Hedig cleared up his messes – Max knows Hedig is the murderer but Max is quite happy to pin the blame on him.

Monroe calls and warns Nick as the performance begins – and goes wrong. Rosalie doesn’t woge and Max loses control and when Hedig fires his fake gun, he just throws Hedig aside and advances on Rosalie since he sees her replacing Genevieve. Monroe woges and steps in, Blutbad v Blutbad. Then Hank and Nick arrives and Hedig runs when he realises Nick is a Grimm

Lots of chaos!

Monroe pins Max down and Rosalie has to talk Monroe down before he really hurts him – or possibly eats him. They calm down a panicking Max.

Hedig runs to a creepy funhouse (of course) where he’s confronted in his hall of mirrors by the other performers who are very tired of him – and his willingness to use Max as a scapegoat. Maybe Lowen beats Blutbad (maybe) but it doesn’t beat a Damonfeuer’s fire.

In the aftermath, Renard’s quite happy to call that a win, close the case and call it good. Genevieve gets Max to a place where he can get help. And Rosalie tries out her performance costume for Monroe.

Meanwhile, in Austria, Adalind and Meisner are still avoiding Prince Viktor and his hunters. They steal one of Viktor’s cars (Adalind forcing the guard to shoot himself with her Hexenbiest powers – I never remember the Hexenbiest being that dangerous!) They find the very injured and in pain Sebastien who decides to stay behind to sacrifice himself to give Meisner and Adalind time to escape. When Viktor and crew return, Sebastien manages to kill several of his guards before running out of bullets and Viktor kills him.

Renard arranges a flight for Adalind and the baby (not Meisner, which kind of ruins the growing flirtation between them).

Whenever I see an actor I know more in another role I don’t know whether to have a gleeful recognition moment or to try and prise the old role out of my head. I kept seeing vampire, instead of wolfman.

So…. This episode actually had a few plot holes in it. The first two women… make no sense at all. Yes they wanted to know how the trick worked – but one of them hit Sam over it? Over a trick? Is there a reason for such extreme actions? Does she regularly assault magicians?

I also aren’t sure why the Wesen Council allows these carnivals (or why the wesen submit to them). Even if the “trick” is sufficient to prevent exposure, the inevitable uncontrolled insanity of the performers is an exposure risk in and of itself – and reason enough to shut it down. Given attitudes we saw last week about Wesen Woges being on display, as well as Rosalie and Monroe’s reaction, it’s clear that such displays are, at very least, in extreme bad taste. So… why? Especially since travelling carnivals are hardly influential or powerful people who can force the Council to tolerate them – and it’s not like the Council has shown itself tolerant of threats in the past (they kill children over the Grausen).

I also can’t understand why the fire breathing dragon is less impressive than a Blutbad.

I’m not sure why leaving Sebastien was in any way helpful – it feels like a pretty silly noble gesture. Sure he kills some red shirts, but he doesn’t kill Viktor and I can’t imagine he delays them longer than disabling the car did.