A new Prince arrives in town and he is decidedly more hands on than Viktor. Portland may never be the same again.
Let’s bitch it out…
Case of the Week: This is a pretty simple case, with none of the usual twists of Grimm‘s best cases or even a moral dilemma like last week’s case. Bella Turner (Leah Renee) is seemingly the most popular lady cyclist in Portland – she the subject of regular sexual harassment and men chasing her down to declare their love. Unfortunately she’s a tragic Wesen, a frog whose woge fatally poisons anyone who touches her as a sexual defence mechanism. This is problematic since she’s completely irresistible, which means she’s begun to leave a trail of bodies in her wake.
That’s basically it – the case is a woman who repeatedly commits manslaughter because she can’t control her ability and all of the men around her act like rapey rapists. Aside from being fairly cut and dry, the more significant problem with the case is that it’s half-baked, as though the writers thought of a novel twist on the Frog Prince tale and then went for drinks rather than fleshing it out. For example, it’s unclear why Bella is suddenly fending off all of these suitors (mentioning a factoid like the female of the species comes into sexual maturity at Bella’s age would have gone a long way to explaining this). This case is also the second Wesen in as many weeks that, when confronted, causes death by touch, which doesn’t serve to make this case distinctive; in fact, it actually feels repetitive.
It’s too bad because the generational branding to disfigure the younger woman in order to ward off suitors echoes the plight of the water Wesen from 3×04 ‘One Night Stand’ who were sexually confined by their species and age. It would have been more interesting to examine the story from another angle; focusing on the three generations of women and how history repeats itself due to the curse of their Wesen “gift” could have been far more engaging than “girl who accidentally kills men who get too close”.
Royal Flavour: The real fun of the episode is the result of the arrival of a new Royal in town. With barely any advance notice, Prince Kenneth (Nico Evers-Swindell) descends on Portland, upsetting the balance almost immediately. His candour is frank and to the point and he doesn’t mince words or suffer fools, which is refreshing. Here is someone on a mission: recover the Royal baby at all costs and prevent the Royal family from any further embarassment. The result is a hell of a lot of fun.
That fun begins with Adalind (Claire Coffee), whose plan is to sleep her way into an alibi for her secret pregnancy. Adalind fancies herself a seductress and a talented liar, but Kenneth figures her out almost immediately. It barely takes him a minute to expose her pregnant form underneath the robes and heels (seriously, how obvious could she have been with that seduction get-up?) and there’s a pleasurable satisfaction watching Kenneth reveal Viktor’s impotency after stringing Adalind along for half the episode.
Of course, it can’t all be fun and games. If the audience is going to sit up and take this new Royal seriously, he has to be imposing. Kenneth accomplishes that in two ways: 1) his look & demeanour and 2) his lethal abilities. Evers-Swindell is well cast as the new Royal on the block: he’s tall, pretty and well-spoken. More than that, though, the writers craft an exciting first episode for Portland’s new threat. Not only does he decipher Adalind’s intentions easily, he also manages to identify that Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) informant Sam is not entirely loyal to the Family. Just in case we doubt Kenneth’s lethal prowess, Sam only lasts long enough to lure Renard to a meeting at an abandoned factory because he’s knocked off. As humans Renard and Kenneth are fairly well matched, but Renard gains the upper hand as soon as he woges (love the shot of Renard’s upper cut sending Kenneth flying into an overhead beam – it’s a nice reminder of how powerful the police captain is).
Alas, Renard’s debilitating injuries return at the worst possible time (Don’t you just hate it when your phantom gun shot wounds flare up in the middle of a fight?). Kenneth easily finishes Renard off with the threat to fall in line or suffer the consequences. The result is a character who, after only a few scenes, quickly establishes his credentials as someone who is not to be messed with. I can’t wait to see what Prince Kenneth gets up to next.
- Nothing much happens on the Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) front: she basically just stops by the house to collect some clothes and laugh in Nick’s face when he suggests that he still sees a future for them. It’s a bit disappointing considering how big of a deal their split was last week. Guess the writers are hanging onto the drama for next week.
- Nick’s latest phone message to Juliette is pretty pathetic. “Call me. I don’t really know what else to say.” Umm…how about anything else?
- I don’t know why I would have thought this, but I assumed that Nick told the other members of Team Grimm about Juliette off-screen last week. It’s kind of shocking to realize that Nick has just been sitting on such a huge development (Russell Hornsby does a great job conveying Hank’s shock when Nick tells him over breakfast). Part of me can’t believe that Nick is keeping this to himself, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see how Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) react
- Nick receives a quick / perfunctory update email from Trubel asking if everything is alright. It’s nice to see that Grimm hasn’t forgotten about one of its more memorable guest stars in recent years.
- Finally: So that concoction that Bella drinks was totally strawberry milk, right? Or watered down Pepto?
- Juliette (threatening Renard): “I was normal before I met all of you. I want my life back!”
- Reggie Lee’s Wu (detailing the toxin found in Zach’s system): “Basically this guy’s heart broke.” Ugh
- Prince Kenneth (seeing Adalind’s pregnant figure): “Oh, you’re full of surprises.”
- Bicycle shop owner (gesturing to Ricky’s body): “Is that guy really dead?” Seriously? A prone body surrounded by police and you have to ask?!
- Sam (to Renard on the phone): “Meet me at the abandoned paper mill” – said no one who wasn’t planning an ambush or under duress ever
Your turn: did you find the case of the week too straight forward? Are you excited by the dynamic new Prince? Are you getting tired of Renard’s mysterious illness? Disappointed at the lack of Juliette/Nick drama? Surprised that Nick is keeping things so close to the vest? Sound off below.
Grimm airs Fridays at 8pm EST on NBC. Next week things with Juliette really heat up. Here’s your preview