Grimm delves into the world of online gaming as a killer operating under the nom de plume ‘Nameless’ begins taking out the design team.
Let’s bitch it out…
Although I’m often not a fan of the stand-alone episodes, I have to admit that I really enjoyed ‘Nameless.’ It’s possible that my enjoyment is linked to my involvement in online games, as well as an appreciation for the nuances of online identities. ‘Nameless’ is more than that, though: the murder plot feels more like a mystery than many of Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank’s (Russell Hornsby) cases. Traditionally Grimm suffers from what I call “The Colombo Effect”, in which the killer/villain is known to viewers long before the cops figure it out. For some that may not be an issue, but it’s rarely as exciting to watch as when we are uncertain who (or in Grimm‘s case, what) is committing the crime.
Here, the killer, Trinket Lipslums, is an integral part of the mystery as Nick, Hank and Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) are tasked with solving a series of games and puzzles to uncover his identity. There are book references to be made, Soduku puzzles to be solved and online games to be played before Lipslums is discovered, cornered and driven off the roof of a building.
In reality the details of the case (Lipslums is peeved because he didn’t receive credit from the game designers for solving the code that is making them big $) are a little mundane. It’s really the execution that allows the episode to stand out: Reggie Lee’s Wu is finally given something to do (he’s been rather peripheral since his My Strange Addiction story arc in S1) and although his puzzle-solving abilities trade on the strange pity we have for single people with cats and too much time on their hands, it’s nice that he’s given more than his traditional cameo with a quip appearance.
In addition to this, ‘Nameless’ evokes more of a horror/slasher vibe. Grimm traditionally aims for a dark fantasy/fairytale feel with the generic trappings of a police procedural. Although the episode doesn’t introduce a bevy of new visuals, there are several conventions that will feel very familiar to horror aficionados, including threatening calls from “inside the house”, bloody discoveries with messages on the walls, players are killed in the game before they are killed in real life. These elements all help make ‘Nameless’ a rare case-of-the-week that’s memorable.
- Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) meeting with his Vienna informant is a deluge of exposition that will play an integral part in the remaining S2 episodes. There’s talk of appeasing a rebel faction to ensure that Renard’s brother and the six Royal families cannot attempt to dissolve the union. It’s a lot to take in, so I’m just going to say that we should all remember the name “Meisner” (the rebel leader?) since he seems most likely to appear in the remaining six episodes
- Oh, and just in case we’ve forgotten that Renard is badass, he not only spots and eliminates a suitcase bomb, he shoots down the assassin in cold blood in the middle of the street. It’s all just another day kicking ass for this police captain
- Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), meanwhile, remains in her own B-story that is starting to feel increasingly like a weird situation comedy. All we need is a laugh track to go along with her conversations with the ghostly visions she’s having and we have a great new show to replace Whitney or Guys With Kids
- Pro or con: Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe (Silas Weird Mitchell) are dragged into Juliette’s memory drama. It’s a little weird that Rosalee is so adamant that they help Juliette since she must know that things like the trailer will only lead Juliette to the truth about the Wesen. Unless Monroe hasn’t told her a thing about any of Nick’s tricks and trades
- Side Note: how romantic is Monroe’s clock gift for Rosalee’s shop. The way he lovingly describes the gorgeous time piece and her adorable look of admiration is swoon-worthy. I love these two together SO MUCH!
- Finally, despite the success with its horror tropes, it sure is hard not to laugh at the scream game designer Jenna lets out in the cold-open. It’s a bit much
- Monroe (discussing the perp with Nick): “You mean he was on acid?”
Your turn: did you dig the horror/slasher vibe of the episode? Are you totally in love with Rosalee and Monroe? Are you excited that Juliette has nearly regained her memories? And what was your take on Renard’s meeting – anything else we need to take away from all that exposition? Comment away below!
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC