Juliette’s (Bitsie Tulloch) reign of terror continues, but first we have to deal with Renard (Sasha Roiz) and his mysterious blackouts.
Let’s bitch it out…
So last week was certainly an eventful episode wasn’t it? Renard’s “Jack the Ripper” persona revealed itself by taking out a few of Portland’s ladies of the night (and Henrietta – RIP), while #TeamGrimm spent the episode concocting a potion that we all knew Juliette wasn’t going to take. Despite the fact that I was fairly certain no one was going to die, the climactic showdown in the Spice Shop was chock full of tension, particularly in such an overstuffed episode that felt like Grimm was taking off the training wheels and barreling full steam ahead.
‘Headache’ acts as a continuation of sorts, but the Juliette story line get downgraded so that the team can prioritize healing Sean. We learn details from Adalind (Claire Coffee) early on about his affliction and, as most viewers anticipated, his possession is the result from his brush with death in last year’s finale. Turns out that Jack the Ripper hitched a ride back with Sean after his mother revived him and it is slowly taking him over. ‘Headache’ represents a full break as Jack takes over Renard, kidnaps Wu (Reggie Lee) – for no apparent reason – and tries to murder another prostitute.
I won’t lie: the Sean storyline has been my least favourite development in a relatively overstuffed fourth season, so while I’m glad that Grimm gives the story line a proper send-off instead of brushing it aside, it’s hard to muster a great deal of excitement for much of the A-plot. Roiz does his best with the material, acting appropriately confused and anxious as the blackouts increase in frequency and he’s fares reasonably well channeling an alter-ego (not sure about the pageboy cap, though).
The biggest issue with Renard’s story line is that it’s not Juliette’s. If this were playing out at some other point, it would probably play a little better, but because it’s a delay of sorts that prevents Nick (David Giuntoli) from dealing with his crazy demon ex-girlfriend, every scene with Renard means that we’re not watching the more interesting plot. Especially when things are getting really heating up on that front!
Last episode Juliette told Prince Kenneth (Nico Evers-Swindell) about the layout of the neighbourhood as part of an assault plan that sees the Royals lay a trap for Kelly Burkhardt and baby Diana. The wrinkle that no one anticipates is the return of Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni), though she’s held in reserve this week, likely to hold off the big showdown until next week’s finale.
The other interesting development is that Juliette is appears to be having second thoughts about her evil escapades. There’s no hesitation in the Spice Shop and she claims she’s pleased that Nick has seemingly taken out Adalind for her, but as the episode progresses, she seems less certain. When Juliette leads Kenneth on a walk-through of her former house and she discovers that Nick has taken down their pictures, we see her flash back to happier times. This happens again Juliette sits waiting for Kelly to arrive and there’s a kind of torn ambivalence on her face as she watches Kelly’s assault. It’s most evident, however, when she discovers Diana playing by herself downstairs in the living room. Kenneth appears to confirm that Kelly has been handled, but Juliette only looks protective of the child, cradling her in her arms silently.
Regardless of what happens with Juliette in next week’s finale, however, the final reveal – Kelly’s decapitated head in a box a la S7ven – has to be the final straw. I might have believed it possible that the team could forgive Juliette after she burned down the trailer, but not after the Spice Shop shoot-out that nearly killed Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and certainly not after her role in Kelly’s murder. At this point, regardless of what kind of amends she makes, I would be surprised to see Juliette survive beyond next week’s episode unless she remains a villain.
- Just in case we needed another reason to hiss at her newfound evilness, Juliette totally sexes up Kenneth on Nick’s bed. That’s cold (and a little petty)!
- Side Bar: why hasn’t Nick changed the locks? I doubt it would have prevented her from entering, but still…your crazy ex is snooping around and she’s gunning for you, so you take down your pictures but you don’t change the locks?!
- I’ll be interested to see the online reaction to Kelly’s return. Clearly Grimm was unable to secure Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and had to make do with a body double and a prosthetic head. I actually really liked that the deadly assault takes place just off camera, focusing instead on Juliette’s face. Not only does it allow us to use our imagination about what is happening, it keeps the attention firmly on Juliette’s internal conflict. All in all it’s a creative solution to a tricky casting issue.
- I love that Trubel gets her own hard rock anthem introduction. After brutally dispatching the Royal henchman following her down the street, the camera slowly pans up to reveal her face in the moonlight and the guitars sing. It’s highly entertaining and a “hell yeah” moment for the character.
- The resolution of Renard’s possession feels a little anticlimactic, but I did like Rosalee’s (Bree Turner) angry refusal to be Jack’s victim (she bit; I cheered). Also: I cannot imagine how much it would hurt to be shot twenty times at close range in the chest with rubber bullets. That’s gonna leave a bruise.
- Bud (Danny Bruno) doesn’t know how Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) deal with the stress. Hank’s response: they have guns. Yup, that helps.
- Adalind (stating the obvious after Nick reveals the potion didn’t work because Juliette didn’t take it): “No wonder it didn’t work. You gotta get her to drink it!”
Your turn: are you happy that Sean’s possession has been resolved? Glad to see Trubel return? Can Juliette be saved? Are you disappointed in how Kelly was dispatched? Will Diana play a role in her own rescue? Sound off below.
Grimm airs its season finale next Friday at 8pm EST on NBC. Here’s your preview on the final showdown: