After fifteen weeks off the air, Grimm returns with an episode that lays all of its cards on the table as Nick (David Giuntoli) and Renard (Sasha Roiz) find out the truth about one another and it finally come to blows. However, the not-so-epic battle is little more than a prelude as it’s practically over after it begins. Regardless of whether or not the pay-off has been worth the build-up, it’s clear that the series is moving into a new direction now that Nick knows Renard’s secret.
Let’s bitch it out…In the final episode of the fall, a ton of things happened: Renard discovered the trailer thanks to Adalind (Claire Coffee), who sequestered herself in jail. Nick also found out about Renard and Juliette’s (Bitsie Tulloch) affair and moved out of the house and in with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell).
‘Face Off’ succeeds as a re-introduction to the series because it addresses a lot of this exposition in mostly natural ways – Monroe fills in Rosalee (Bree Turner), who then helpfully clarifies things with Nick about elements the audience has long since known. One of Grimm‘s challenges is that we are often more in the know than the characters, who seem to constantly be playing catch-up. It’s not problematic so long as it’s not too redundant. ‘Face Off’ manages to entertain because it’s following through on promises made in the first half of the season, even if it not-so-subtly takes us by the hand to ensure we always know what’s happening.
The most entertaining part of the episode is not the big brawl between Nick and Renard – that’s far too short and there’s been too much build-up for it to satisfy our expectations. No, the scene that delivers a gonzo-like thrill is the wackadoodle make-out/break sh*t scene with Juliette and Renard. TVAngie suggests that it’s like a Wessen 50 Shades of Grey as they bite and hit each other in between passionate kisses and shirt ripping. And breaking lamps. Break more lamps, damn you! It’s hot, it’s bizarre and it’s far more entertaining than it has any right to be.
- It’s still not clear what Adalind’s plan is, other than secure the key for Renard’s brother. At this point she seems to operating solely in survival mode: trying not to piss anyone off and get herself killed. The sexytime with Renard in the field in the headlights is unusual because she’s clearly using him to a) get the key and b) protect her from Nick until she can high-tail it out of town, but the way she plays it makes me wonder if she intentionally meant to turn Renard into a baby-daddy. I guess we’re meant to believe that Wessen have ultra-powerful sperm or something because I’m relatively certain a 1 day turnaround on a pregnancy test is pretty unusual!
- Has Bitsie Tulloch ever acted worse? Every one of her scenes are painfully stiff and awkward. Remember how great she was at being in a coma?
- Is it dumb of Nick to leave his Aunt’s key in his desk at work? Yes and no. Obviously this is a very accessible location, but considering he’s constantly getting into fights and that trailer is just begging to be stolen one of these days, he doesn’t really have a lot of options. Still, it sure did make it easy for Renard to find it
- Is the episode enjoyable because there wasn’t a lot of Hank (Russell Hornsby)? While I enjoy Hank now that he’s moved into the inner circle, I still mostly find him a drag – or at least a drag on the narrative
- I loved the flashback to the escape and ultimate death of Adalind’s cat. It’s such a delightfully cheesy moment, it automatically brings a smile to my face
- Finally, Rosalee is back! Squee!
- Monroe (trying – and failing – to describe the love triangle to Rosalee): “Not Nick and another man…”
- Monroe (trying to calm Nick down): “Why don’t I make us some warm milk?”
- Nick (when Rosalee indicates Juliette and Renard will kill each other): “Does anything not end in death?” Monroe: “No, not that I don’t know”
- Rosalee (trying – and failing – to describe the effects of the shake): “I dunno. You’re just going to have to drink it and then we’ll see.” Not reassuring, Rosalee!
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC