Friday, April 3, 2015

Grimm, Season Four, Episode Fifteen: Double Date

"One could have called that
shape a woman or a boy:
for it seemed neither
and seemed both."

Renard has a nightmare about being shot and when he wakes, he finds that his chest is bleeding.  Thanks for the shirtless Renard Grimm.

Nick calls Juliet and is forced to leave a message when he gets no answer.

At a bar, Stacy enters and sits down next to Cody and cries, saying that her husband left her that night. The two strike up a conversation and end up back at Stacy's condo.  Stacy excuses herself to get into something more comfortable and Cody starts to undress.  Moments later, Linus enters the room claiming to be distraught that Cody is sleeping with his wife.  Clearly, Cody is in the middle of one of the oldest scams.  Cody of course denies sleeping with Stacy and in fear for his life because Linus is pointing a gun at him, Cody offers Linus the five hundred dollars in his wallet. Linus accepts the money and Cody grabs his things and leaves.  Cody doesn't get far however because he quickly notices that he left his phone behind.  When Stacy leaves the condo, Cody attacks, threatening to call the police.  Stacy woges and sprays Cody with some sort of acid in the face.

Juliet wakes up in her car alone.

Wu, Nick and Hank stand over Cody's dead body.  Wu wonders if it's a robbery gone bad but Nick points out that Cody's wallet was returned absent his money.  Back at the station, Nick and Hank update Renard on Cody's case.  They go over the acid used to kill Cody and Renard says that Cody's death must be Wesen related.  Wu enters and informs them that they have tracked Cody's cell.

The cops head to Stacy's condo and speak to the manager of the property.  The cops enter the condo and after a little searching, Wu finds the missing phone.  The condo has been completely cleared out of personal items.

Renard is at a doctor's office and learns that the scar tissue on his chest is fine and that everything looks normal.  The doctor offers an MRI and Renard says that he feels okay.  The doctor assures Renard that he shouldn't worry.

Back at the station, Wu tells Hank and Nick that the only fingerprint found in the condo belongs to Linus Balouzian - a known criminal.  Hmmm the plot thickens. The cops realise that a con was running out of the condo.

Linus has checked into a cheap motel and while looking into a mirror, informs Stacey that she is going out tonight to find them a new mark.  Linus looks into the mirror and woges, demanding to know if Stacy is listening to him.

Stacy gets dressed and is clearly frustrated that she is being sent out again.  Stacy reminds Linus that without her, this scam wouldn't even work.

Renard arrives at the spice shop and asks about the book Adalind used to cast the spell against Nick.  Renard believes that he is undergoing a residual effect from his death because he keeps reliving the moment he was shot.  Rosalie retrieves the book but informs Renard that his mother shut the book and she cannot open it.  Monroe explains that Elizabeth used her blood and Rosalie suggests that since Renard is Elizabeth's son, he might be able to open it with his blood. Renard however says that the lock can only be opened by a Hexenbiest.  It's Rosalie who asks if Renard knows any other Hexenbiests.

Juliet sits in her car and ignores Nick's phone call again.  Nick leaves a message begging her to call him back so that they can talk.

At the trailer, Nick tells Hank that he and Juliet are having problems but doesn't go into details.  The conversation then turns to Wesen, with Hank suggesting that the Wesen they are looking for is a Huntha Lami Muuaji (say that three times fast).  The Huntha Lami Muuaji secrets enzymes which feed on its victims skin.  The Huntha Lami Muuaji also always travels in pairs, one female and one male but no female has ever been captured or killed and the male is extremely dangerous.  Nick and Hank decide that they had better get in contact with Rosalie and Monroe.  Before they can leave however, Wu calls and informs them that the credit card Stacy used has been active again.  Nick instructs Wu to look up all the bars and restaurants within walking distance.

Renard is at home looking at the book when his doorbell rings.  At the door is Juliet, who reports that she slept in her car last night and is unwilling to do that again.  Juliet asks to stay with Renard because he understands her, adding that she cannot go home until she figures what she is.  Renard asks about Nick and Juliet says that Nick doesn't know where she is.  Renard responds that Juliet's request puts him in a very awkward situation; however, Juliet points out that he has lived as a Wesen all his life and she has no idea how to deal with what she is now.  Renard tells Juliet to be more careful because most people cannot accept who they are.  Renard warns that how Juliet learns to use her powers will determine who she will become and adds that Juliet is one of a kind.  Renard then asks Juliet to open the book.

At the spice shop, Nick shows Rosalie and Monroe the drawing of the Huntha Lami Muuaji from the Grimm book and reveals that he believes that Stacy will be at the Olive or Twist tonight. It seems that the plan is to have a man play bait for Stacy.  Nick asks Rosalie's permission to use Monroe and Hank promises to back up Monroe the whole way.

That night at the bar, Stacy walks in and the first man she focuses on leaves. Stacey then sits next to Monroe and goes into her spiel about her husband leaving her.  Monroe offers to buy Stacey a drink, causing Stacey to smile.  Later, Monroe calls Hank and Nick saying that he thinks he has found a woman who fits the description. 

Renard hands Juliet a knife and requests her blood.  Juliet is not the least bit impressed that Renard is asking her to bleed for him. Juliet suggests that since Renard is half Hexenbiest that he should be able to do this himself.  Renard however is irritated by the question and replies that he is a Half-Zauberbiest which is not the same thing as a Hexenbiest. Renard says that he only needs enough blood to open the book to which Juliet asks why she is doing this if Renard is the one who is supposed to be helping her.  Renard points out that Juliet has a place to stay, so Juliet opens the book.  Renard informs Juliet that the book contains the spell that Adalind used on Nick.

Stacy has taken Monroe back to the new condo she has rented, where she rips off his jacket and announces that she doesn't want to just talk.  Stacy takes off her coat, and then undresses as Monroe lies on the bed.  Stacy excuses herself and heads to the bathroom.  Outside, Wu hops into the car with Hank and Nick and says that there is only one entrance into the building and Linus has not shown up.  Inside the condo, Stacy calls out that she will be there in a second, as Monroe frantically looks out the window.

Linus bursts into the room brandishing a gun, demanding to know where his wife is.   Monroe says that he has never been here before and starts to beg.  Monroe backs up to the window and starts waving his hand as a signal to Nick, Wu and Hank before tossing his wallet to Linus.  Linus opens the wallet  to find twenty-two dollars and Monroe uses Linus's distraction to woge and attack. Nick, Hank and Wu burst in, so Linus jumps out the window with Nick following, after instructing Hank and Wu not to let Stacey out of the bathroom.  Linus takes off running and when he turns a corner, Linus changes into Stacey and puts a kerchief on her head.  Nick finds Linus's jacket but no sign of Linus.  Nick continues to run down the street asking strangers if they have seen a guy run by as Stacey escapes in a taxi.

Nick heads back to the condo to report that he has lost Linus.  Hank, Wu and Monroe report that Stacy is gone.  They have no idea how she managed to escape.  Nick pulls out the earing that he found in Linus's jacket and asks if Stacey was wearing them.  Monroe identifies the earrings and it's Nick who suggests that Linus and Stacy are actually the same person.  Nick says that this explains why the woman is never caught.

Stacey and Linus are now in a cheap motel and argue back and forth about the situation they are in and what they are going to do next. Stacey demands to take the lead on this con and adds that she is going to cut her hair again. Throughout this entire conversation, the Huntha Lami Muuaji changes back and forth between Stacy and Linus. 

Back at the spice shop, Rosalie declares that Stacey/Linus is the definition of an identity crises. Wu calls it complicated.  Nick is adamant that they need Linus because Linus is the one with the criminal record. Monroe points out that forcing someone to be one sex is ethically ambiguous and that the feminist inside him is cringing.  Nick however feels that they don't have any other choices.  Rosalie suggests injecting Stacy/ Linus with testosterone to stop the change. 

Adalind checks her pregnancy test and finds it positive.  This is the third test that she has taken.  A panicked Adalind says that she cannot have another baby and does not even know where the first one. is.  Talking to her unborn child, Adalind says that she has to find another father and needs to sleep with someone fast.  When Adalind hears voices in the next room, she settles upon Viktor.  Adalind heads into the next room, just as Viktor is leaving. Adalind finds King Frederic, who says that Adalind will be joined by another member of the family soon.  Frederic adds that he never approved of Viktor throwing Adalind in the dungeon. Adalind explains leaving Vienna by saying that she was confused.  Frederic tells Adalind that her child has an important role to play in their future adding that they will get her back where she belongs.

Stacey looks into a car window and tells Linus that he wishes he could be her.

Back at the spice shop, Monroe and Rosalie finish up the hormone shot and Nick arrives with the darts for injection.  Hank gets a report that Linus's car has been spotted.  The cops leave to capture Linus/ Stacey

Stacey is leaving the bar with a man when Wu stops them and asks to see the I.D. of the man with Stacey.  He is indignant and tries to defend himself and Stacey uses the opportunity to walk away.  Stacey does not get far before she is confronted by Nick.  Nick asks to talk to Linus and Stacey responds that she doesn't know anyone by that name.  Hank  appears to back up Nick and announces that they know what Stacey is and that Nick is a Grimm. Stacey takes off her jacket and starts to woge.  When s/he takes a menacing step towards Hank, Nick shoots hir with the two testosterone darts.

At the station, Linus reports that they were running a simple con and that no one was supposed to get hurt. Linus explains that Cody was waiting for Stacey outside and was hurting her and threatening her.  Linus adds that he had to protect Stacy.  When Nick tells Linus that he is going to jail. Linus tries to switch into Stacy but finds that he cannot.  Linus stands and tries again but is unable to change.  Linus demands to know what Nick did to Stacey.  Nick says that Linus gave them no choice because he couldn't arrest Stacy.  Linus begs for the return of Stacey, saying that they love each other and have been together all of their lives. Hank however is unsympathetic and demands that Linus sign the confession.  Linus asks if Stacy will return and starts to beg, adding that he will be all alone but Hank and Nick leave. Linus again calls out to Stacey but he cannot find her.

At home that night, Nick pours himself a drink, thinking about Juliet.  Nick remembers his reaction to seeing Juliet woge. 

No. No no no, hell no.

Ok, obviously this wesen isn’t trans or gender fluid or genderqueer in the way a person is – and the seems to be an element of multiple personalities in there as well. But this is still as close as Grimm has ever got to such a character (or any LGBTQ character) and it’s full of some highly dubious tropes

Firstly, the inherent deception/conman element is gross. The whole meme of trans women “deceiving” cis men to get them in bed is a toxic one that continually leads to not just endless mockery and vile “humour” but to a horrendous number of anti-trans murders and anti-trans violence. This is a terrible, appalling trope to invoke.

And the language use? The shuddering from Hank? Rosalie talking about an identity crisis? Even the Wesen being a multiple personality (with being trans or genderqueer frequently considered a mental illness) it’s toxic.

As to the fate – they decide to “lock” Linus in one gender against their will. Forcing one gender presentation is a constant threat used against trans and/or genderqueer people: demanding a gender presentation separate from what they identify with. It feels like this punishment has been expressly chosen to attack this wesen’s fluid gender in a manner that has deep and terrible parallels in the real world (even the tools Rosalie mentions – hormones, not magical potions – seem designed to invoke a trans experience).

Is it the only way to lock the wesen up? Uh… since when do they care? Wesen murderers rarely go to prison on this show, they rarely go to that much effort to make it so. Grimmy Nick kills them. And, no, I’m not exactly thrilled with this character being killed either but at least it would be on par with what they do to every other murderous wesen rather than expressly picking out a specific gender-identity fate. Especially one that will result in the Wesen being placed in a prison with inmates that do not necessarily match their gender-expression

But are there no other options? The Wesen council for example?

On top of this we have to remember that this show is now well into its fourth season, has had an enormous number of characters and not one single one of them have been LGBT. This character is the closest thing they have had to an LGBT character – a gender fluid character. This kind of horrendous collection of tropes is only made more revolting by the ongoing failure to present any LGBT characters –let alone a non-offensive one.

There are some things even a shirtless Renard can’t make right