NBC’s Grimm explores what happens when a person grows up in the world of Wesen without the requisite background knowledge. Unsurprisingly, it’s not good.
Let’s bitch it out…There’s a great concept at the heart of this episode, but because of NBC’s far-too-spoilery promos, the early part is robbed of its effectiveness. Knowing the truth about Teresa Rubel (Jacqueline Toboni) doesn’t ruin the episode – not by a long shot – but it definitely makes the first half a bit of a slog. It’s only when Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) catch up with the young Grimm and realize that she doesn’t have any idea about the world she’s living in that things become more interesting. We’re back into the realm of mental illness that we briefly visited when Wu (Reggie Lee) went off the deep end a few episodes back, which is interesting since Grimm seemed content to dip into the idea before hastily retreating.
There are some really well-drawn parallels between Nick and Trubel. Nick was raised by his aunt, away from the world of Wesen, so it was a rude awakening and steep learning curve when he learned the truth back in S1. Trubel’s had a harder go of it: she’s been in and out of psychiatric facilities because she thinks she’s going crazy, which makes sense since she is seeing monsters who constantly try to attack and kill her. The truth about her situation really sinks in when she states “That’s something they say before they try to kill you” after Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) desperately tells Nick that she’s a Grimm. To Trubel Grimm and Wesen are just words, things that don’t have any bearing on her except that they keep her in danger and on the run.
This plays really well with the other major storyline in ‘Nobody Knows The Trubel I’ve Seen’ as the show explores the fall-out from Adalind’s (Claire Coffee) loss of baby Diana. When Mama Grimm took off with Diana, it seemed like a temporary end to that storyline, but Trubel’s appearance reopens the debate about parenting. Adalind spends the episode in a desperate panic, looking for help from everyone to get her daughter back and finding none. Of course Adalind doesn’t know what we know, which is that everyone not only already knows what happened, but was directly involved in making it happen. Her rising anxiety is surprising since we’ve never seen Adalind give a shit about anyone other than herself, but it seems that only Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) sees this a suggestion of how deeply Adadlind connects to her child. Nick meanly suggests that he doesn’t think she’d be a good mother, while Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe are just desperate to get rid of her for fear that she’ll discover their role in Diana’s abduction and use her newly restored powers on them. On the whole, our gang is a little less than sympathetic.
Perhaps Adalind deserves this considering how much of a pain in the ass she’s been (and will apparently be again soon), but it’s not difficult to see this storyline as a conversation with Trubel’s. At one point Juliette wonders what Diana will grow up to be like and Nick suggests that she won’t be like anyone else, but that her upbringing will likely involve a lot of moving around. It doesn’t exactly sound like a great childhood, even with Kelly presumably around to help guide her. It all adds up to a not-so-subtle suggestion that this supernatural world produces terrible childhoods and messed up adults. Nick is our gold standard, in that he’s the best case scenario. Trubel is the worst. Both were raised without an awareness of what they were getting into and it’s only because Nick inherited a trailer full of books and formed a friendship with Monroe that he’s been able to acclimatize and adapt appropriately. The suggestion is that Trubel, despite a rocky start, may be able to do the same now that Nick has taken her under his wing. But what of Diana? Grimm seems distinctively less certain about what kind of future she’ll have. It’s a fascinating angle to examine, so I hope that Grimm sticks to its guns and continue to explore it.
- Back in Austria, Prince Viktor (Alexis Denisof) receives an unexpected guest: Renard’s father. He doesn’t exactly cut an imposing figure – he looks more like a kindly librarian – but he’s obviously intimidating since Viktor jumps to answer him.
- Viktor learns relatively early on that Adalind is unaware that he doesn’t have Diana and finds a way to leverage it for his own purposes: attacking Nick. It seems that with Nick’s blood in her system, Adalind has some kind of power over him, which is something (correct me if I’m wrong) that we didn’t know before.
- Meanwhile Renard has his own problems. Adalind is lashing out and he’s being stalked by FBI Agent Steward (C. Thomas Howell). The opening assassination attempt is the closest thing to film noir this series has done in quite some time, especially the close-ups of Renard drinking and the shot from under the bar of the cocktail napkin bearing Diana’s name.
- Finally, let us never speak again about french fry forensics because that was completely ridiculous.
- Teresa (to Juliette, upon meeting her): “They call me Trubel” Woh woh
What are your thoughts on the introduction of a new Grimm? Were you frustrated that NBC’s marketing department ruined the surprise? Are you interested in exploring how parenting affects the characters of this world? Will Adalind return to her vengeful ways and attack Nick? Sound off below.
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC. Please note that due to travel there will be no review next week. We’ll pick this conversation back up in a few weeks!