A spirit quest turns into a possession storyline as Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) continues to flirt with darkness.
Let’s bitch it out…
Case of the Week: Although the case of the week is relatively divorced from the ongoing mythology plot, I’m willing to give it a shout out for providing a much needed role for Hank (Russell Hornsby). One of the narrative disadvantages of bringing more people into Nick’s (David Giuntoli) inner circle is that it has frequently reduced the importance – and therefore screen time – of his former confidant. Hank frequently reminds me of Diggle from Arrow, in that he’s a great character played by a versatile and likeable actor who is nonetheless short changed over the series’ long run.
Hank isn’t personally invested in the unfortunate circumstances that prompt Simon George’s possession by the titular Mishipeshu. The vengeful horned water spirit comes alive to seek retribution on the three white men who killed his father when Simon was a young boy, and Hank is possessed when Simon is injured in a daring night time attack. It’s a nice change of pace for Hornsby, who is first allowed to channel Simon as a frightened five year old in the sweat lodge, and then adopt superpowers when Mishipeshu takes him over. And despite the fact that this tale of racist revenge isn’t directly connected to the other events in the episode, it does have a tangential link to Juliette’s frank admission that there is something enjoyable about being powerful and the feelings that accompany strength.
My single other comment of note about the case is the reappearance of Deputy Sheriff Janelle Farris (Toni Trucks), who we first met earlier this season in ‘Highway of Tears’. Trucks is an interesting supporting character who I’m happy to see make the occasional guest appearance should cases fall outside of the city limits and it’s nice to see her work with our guys again. What I found unusual was the creative decision to make her married. Although the back story is commendable (the husband is revealed to be partially Indian and therefore has value for advancing the case), it seems strange to put a pin in a potential love interest for Hank since the pair have obvious chemistry when they interact. Considering the derth of story lines Grimm has dedicated to Hank in the last few years, it’s mildly disappointing that the door on a potential romance appears to be shut.
Hexenbitch: In other news, the Juliette storyline continues to pay dividends. One of the most memorable scenes of the episode is her brief foray as “Jacquie” in the bar. When an unfortunate man catches her attention, she toys with his affectation before ultimately revealing herself in woged form, exploding the lights and getting herself arrested in the process. When a concerned Nick visits her in jail, she reveals that the behaviour was a test to determine if he would come to “save her”. It’s then that she delivers her bold statement about finally understanding his reticence to relinquish his Grimm powers when he had the chance and, in a bit of an about face from her statement to Renard (Sasha Roiz) last week, declares that she is happy to finally have real power. It’s another bold step by the Grimm writers in the character’s evolution and one that I hope is not eased up on. Not only has Juliette suddenly become one of the most interesting characters on the series, this story line has huge potential to alter and keep the series creatively fresh. Next up: getting the Royals and Adalind (an unseen Claire Coffee involved)!
- Gotta love Rosalee (Bree Turner). After Nick abruptly bails on a Team Grimm dinner intended to help ease his troubled mind, the Spice Shop owner takes matters into her own hands, gathering the book of spells and hat from Renard in order to search for a cure herself. She doesn’t discover a perfect solution, but a “numbing spell” might be the next best thing.
- Renard’s help is a welcome behavioural correction from the last few weeks when he kept things from Nick and generally operated on his own. Sean’s declaration that they need to hold off on attempting the numbing spell until they have a powerful Hexenbiest makes sense, but is also confusing. If Renard can’t reach his mother, who is he referring to?
- Also on the Renard front, the evolution of his ongoing malady occurs while he’s in line getting coffee. After spotting a man with way too many large bills in his wallet, Renard enters a fugue state, attacks and robs the stranger. Later he discovers the wallet and asks Wu’s (Reggie Lee) help in returning the item anonymously. I honestly have no idea what to make of this – is it mind control or simply dark impulses in his psyche? Admittedly this remains my least favourite ongoing storyline if only because it feels like an unnecessary complication considering everything that is going on.
- I love that Wu asks the question I’ve been asking for nearly five years: what percentage of Portland’s crime is Wesen-related? It has always seemed unnaturally high. Renard’s response clarifies that nearly all crime is Wesen-related. That small detail explains so much!
- Finally, leave it to Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) to try and joke his way out of an awkward situation. When Nick leaves in a huff before dinner, Monroe retreats into cliché territory to ask who is hungry. I kinda prefer it when he’s more emotionally tuned in like last week to an oblivious joke machine.
- Renard (to Rosalee, after reminiscing about sleeping with Juliette): “Yeah she’s…not the same” No shit, Sean.
Your turn: are you happy to see Hank have more to do than provide back up for Nick? Would you like to see Janelle again? Is the Juliette story line working for you? What about Renard’s? Did Wu’s question provide greater insight into the world of the show? Sound off below.
Grimm airs Fridays at 8pm EST on NBC. Next week we’re turning up the dial on the crazy baby mama drama as the Hexenbiest tension continues to escalate. Here’s your preview