We learn more about the Wesen community as Grimm‘s second season continues. And while this episode doesn’t really do much beyond a case of the week format, it does provide some interesting insight into the structure and hierarchy of this world.
Let’s bitch it out…The string of bank robberies executed by Cole (Dallas‘s Callard Harris), Krystal (Lili Mirojinick) and Gus are little more than a case for Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) to solve. The fact that Cole, Krystal and Gus show their true faces during the robbery is the only real distinguishing characteristic that makes this case stand out. It’s nice that Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) gets a role to play – first as a bystander in the robbery and later at the Junkyard Bar – while Rosalee (Bree Turner) reveals a hidden connection to Wesen society. In general everyone has a role to play, but in the long run this isn’t the most memorable of episodes.
It’s this final element that makes ‘Natural Born Wesen’ worth watching. Like most supernatural shows, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a “code” that these creatures abide by, but it’s nice to have a point of reference. In this case, the code has been in place for four hundred years and there’s a Council that is willing to use lethal force to uphold it for the safety of everyone. It’s not revolutionary, but it does help to explain why the Wesen don’t use their significant natural advantage to make their lives easier.
The issue is that the trio of robbers are dishwasher dull; they’re completely unmemorable. Each fits into a familiar archetype: the hothead, the flighty girlfriend, and the cautionary third wheel. Everything about these folks is boring and expected, up to and including the moment that Cole and Krystal kill Gus <yawn>. In general, every moment spent with these idiots is painful and detracts from the more interesting aspect of the episode.
The other strange element is that there’s a hint that Grimm will use this case as an opportunity to revisit one of the series’ thematic undercurrents: the duality of Nick’s role as a cop and the grimm. At one point Monroe eve tells Nick that he may have to put aside the badge and deal with the robbers for the safety of the community. Instead of following through on this suggestion, though, the criminals are apprehended and the “duality” angle is more or less dropped. Following Rosalee’s call (and Sasha Roiz’s Captain Renard’s email) to council member De Groot, an assassin puts a few slugs into Cole and Krystal, which effectively ends Nick’s dramatic conflict. Aside from an accusatory glance at Renard, Nick closes the case and the peace is maintained.
The other, more WTF, portion of the episode is the corner-cutting resolution to the Renard/Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) affair. After last week’s non-cliffhanger, the two drink a cocktail (flavoured with blood de Nick) and call it a day. Well, Renard does (perhaps because he’s Wesen?) while Juliette spends the rest of the episode living in fear of a pit in her house. It’s a completely bizarre B-story filled with surrealism (the stairs that go on forever), sci-fi (electric sperm-like lights) and just a touch of insanity (it’s Repulsion-lite!). Has Juliette gone crazy? The initial suggestion is yes, especially when she discovers the living room floor has been there the whole time, but the bizarre phone call that ends the episode suggests she’s being contacted by something, something that wants to tell her “the truth.” Colour me intrigued.
- I have a love/hate relationship with the show’s special effects, but the flying floorboards that lock back into place is realistic-looking and very effective. Well done Grimm
- I had no idea that the Portland police took such glossy, photoshopped mugshots! If you’re going to get arrested and you’re looking for a solid pic, now you know where to go
- Just in case you were worried that Nick hasn’t learned anything from his recent adventures with Captain Renard, he’s now wearing the key around his neck. We’ll have to wait and see if this proves problematic
- Finally, the quick shot of the worried Wesen crowding into the spice shop is a nice reminder that the store is an integral part of the community. Simultaneously, Rosalee’s ties to the council hint at a greater role for her that I hope Grimm will explore in future episodes
Did you enjoy learning about the Wesen code? Do you wish the episode had explored more of Nick’s grimm vs cop dilemma? What the hell is going on with Juliette? And are you hoping that Rosalee gets more involved now that she’s back from visiting her “aunt”? Comment away below
Grimm airs Friday at 9pm EST on NBC