A series of violent gang attacks in 5×06 ‘Wesen Nacht’ drives Grimm to embrace its mythology. Plus: a surprise guest stops by! Let’s bitch it out…
What in the whaaa?! The final moments of the Grimm mid-season finale are chock filled with unexpected developments. The fact that our main characters have walked into a trap isn’t one of them – we’ve known that the Wesen Uprising has been hunting for Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) since the the opening credits and the lay-out that captured rebel Billie (Madeline Brewer) provides of “the factory” is overly simple. Too simple to be true. The result is disaster: the number of the attackers is overwhelming and our heroes are easily outgunned. They seek refuge in tight quarters and someone comes to their aid. Considering that we’ve already seen Meisner (Damien Puckler) and the fact that he’s been mentioned by Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni), it seems like a safe bet to assume that he’s there to rescue them.
Then Nick (David Giuntoli) sees a man lifted off the ground seemingly by himself. Ahhh, revise hypothesis: they’ve been rescued by Diana.
Then Nick sees a figure in the dark, an outline of a young, skinny woman with a bob. Yup, Diana. Grimm has adopted the sci-fi convention of aging up its supernatural children in short order for the sake of the story.
Then the light shifts and the outline forms a familiar face: the telekinetic woman with the white bob is…Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch)?
It bears repeating, so I’ll say it again: what in the whaaa?!
In hindsight, the Juliette reference from earlier in the episode is a dead-given. Adalind (Claire Coffee) – ever the gossip – learns that Hadrian’s Wall, the mysterious organization that Meunier works for, tasked Trubel with killing Juliette last year. The absence of a body never troubled me much, but now it makes sense that Juliette’s body was collected when Trubel was “abducted” – this was a retrieval that allowed them to revive Juliette (or we’ve taken a left turn into Orphan Black territory). Either way, things just got a whole lot more interesting.
Aside from Juliette’s surprise return, ‘Wesen Nacht’ features one other major development, which is the unexpected doubling-down on the series’ mythology. Long have I bemoaned the series’ seeming lack of interest in exploring its Royal hierarchy and its Keys, but if this episode is to be believed (and the preview embedded below certainly supports this) that’s exactly where we’re heading.
It all begins with what initially appears to be a case of the week, but is revealed to be something substantially more. The cold open follows a a group of black clad Wesen – the Occultatum Libera – as they go on a vandalism spree around Portland, destroying property and even committing murder. So far, so standard. One of their victims, a local shopkeep named Xavier Arivaca (Robert Clendenin), is abducted and tortured for information about Monroe. The tie-in with Monroe is the first major clue that this is something more than a regular case, though last season’s Wesenrein arc proved that the series can do more than ago beyond the case of the week without delving into its larger mythology. This isn’t the case, though; the Libera attacks are part of a larger movement, as Monroe and Rosalee (Bree Turner) clarify with the series’ latest revisionist history about Wesen involvement in uprisings and riots over time. In short: the Occultatum Libera is after something bigger and HW is out to stop them.
The fact that Trubel’s allegiance to HW ties into this secret battle means that this is the rare Grimm outing that ties nearly every story line together (the one exception is below). That makes for a strong, memorable episode. Throw in the surprise Juliette (or whomever) cameo and ‘Wesen Nacht’ sends Grimm out on a holiday hiatus high. I want the next episode now.
- Watching Rosalee lay the smackdown on Xavier for lying – punching him, then smashing his head into the dashboard – is highly enjoyable. I love Rosalee.
- This is the first appearance by Bud (Danny Bruno) this season. Naturally he arrives spouting classic Bud lines and generally stirring people into a panic. Classic Bud.
- Adalind’s long-winded, sputtering response when Trubel asks if she’s in love with Nick is priceless
- Finally, Renard (Sasha Roiz) continues to shill for political candidate Andrew Dixon and even gets a meet-cute with advisor Rachel Wood (Anne Leighton). I saved this story line for last because it sticks out like a sore thumb. Everything else connects…and then there’s Renard’s bit. <sigh>
- Bud (to Rosalee and Monroe, about the attacks): “I got a bad feeling about this. A really bad feeling. So it’s gotta be bad.”
- Monroe (as the others each take points to cover in the factory): “I’ll take whoever you guys miss.”
Your turn: what did you think of Juliette’s return? Is Renard’s story line the worst? Is Rosalee the best? Are you excited to see more mythology coming into play? Sound off below.
Grimm has finished airing new episodes. It will return Friday, Jan 22. Here’s your spoilery preview: