The Council returns to Portland when a renegade activist taking up their cause draws too much attention. Plus: the Royal baby storyline heats up…a little (not a lot).
Let’s bitch it out…‘Once We Were Gods’ is a particular episode in that I can’t say that I cared about any of the three storylines. That’s not to suggest that the episode isn’t good, however – it’s just more a sum of its parts than a satisfying whole.
The main part that works for me is the back story of the case of the week dealing with the discovery of an Annubis sarcophagus. While the reappearance of Alexander (Spencer Conway) – the face of the Council we previously met in 3×06 – is a bit of conflict, it fails to amount to anything because he and Nick (David Giuntoli) are working towards the same outcome. In truth I could have skipped the actual specifics of the case in favour of learning about the complicated mythology of the Wesen community. Obviously the case and the history are connected, but the kidnapping/shoot-outcould have been dropped in favour of more time with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) explaining more about the sacrilegious aspect of displaying their ancestors. Even Monroe’s aside to his future bride, a whimsical inquiry invoking the title of the episode, merits deeper examination. Hopefully this is Grimm laying the groundwork for future episodes that explore the religious and historical history of Wesen.
Meanwhile the events in Austria continue to play out at a snails pace. I had hoped that the arrival of Adalind’s (Claire Coffee) wonder child would expedite things, but apparently not. Oh sure, Viktor (Alexis Denisof) wastes no time torturing Sebastien (Christian Lagadec) to obtain the location of Adalind and Meisner (Damien Puckler – who needs to work on the consistency of his accent), but that’s hardly exciting. There’s no pay-off because Renard (Sasha Roix) warns them to get away and the episode ends on an ambivalent note instead of a climax. I kept waiting for Adalind and Meisner to be surrounded and the baby’s powers to rescue them. Perhaps that will still happen, but since NBC’s stupidest employees cut the previews, we already know what happens next so it’s just a matter of filling in the details. Le sigh…
- The wrap-up to Wu’s (Reggie Lee) big development last week is similarly underwhelming. I’m not sure what’s solved by returning to the status quo and simply having Wu accept that everything he saw was in his mind (which is not really what Bitsie Tulloch’s Juliette was trying to say when she visited). In any case, I can only assume this is temporary since Wu will eventually come across another Wesen case and the truth will come out. This feels like a wasted opportunity to tell him the truth and move forward.
- It’s strange to see a semi-prominent guest star like Anne Dudek (from House) used so poorly. That could have been any actress!
- The biggest mystery of this episode is what to make of Meisner’s hallucination when he sees Adalind’s baby out in the woods. How this relates to her sonogram back in 3×05, in which she heard two heartbeats, is unclear. Clearly this is another clue that her baby is magical…
- Finally, as much as I would have liked more time on the backstory, the slow pan across Alexander, Monroe and Rosalee’s faces as they worg in front of the burning Annubis is a nice, quiet moment (immediately undone by Russell Hornsby’s Hank joking).
- Rosalee (to Monroe, when Nick calls him for back-up with Alexander): “Oh god, what are we doing now?”
Your turn: would you have preferred fewer traditional police components in favourite of an expanded Wesen history lesson? Were you hoping for more from the Austria scenes? Disappointed that Wu is not in on the Wesen secret yet? Sound off below.
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC