Saturday, September 29, 2012
Grimm 2.5: "The Good Shepherd"
Grimm finally returned after a short hiatus last night with a brand-new episode, and it was a doozy! Seriously, I didn't think "Quill" could be topped, but it seems like this show is intent on proving that there is no limit to its awesomeness this season. :) The episode opens with Nick (David Giuntoli) meeting Bud (Danny Bruno), the show's resident Eisbiber refrigerator repairman and a Grimm's unlikeliest ally. Bud is understandably uneasy that he nearly let slip Nick's "Grimm" status to Juliette. Nick takes the slip fairly well -- he's distracted by the feeling that someone is watching him. It's the Nucklavee (Jessen Noviello), the horselike-Wesen Renard received a warning phone call about but until this point has been unable to track down. I had a thought at this scene -- could Nick's Grimm "senses" have been warning him of potential danger? I keep thinking that there has to be more to being a Grimm than "just" the ability to see Wesen transformations and fighting skills.
Meanwhile, across town an accountant named Norm is working late at his job, a mulch plant. After he finishes entering data in his laptop, he leaves for his car where he encounters something that terrifies him into transforming into his Wesen self, a Seelengut or sheep-like creature (I actually thought these guys were kinda cute). Norm is knocked out , strong up by one leg from a back hoe, and dropped in a friggin' WOOD CHIPPER. This murderer clearly means business. Also, how random is death-by-wood chipper?? Not to mention gross.
The next day a Reverend Calvin (Jonathan Scarfe) shows up at the precinct to report the theft of all of his church's money -- transfers made online that his bank traced to a laptop owned by poor Norm. Calvin is seriously every bad television preacher caricature rolled into one package, from his hair to his suits to the way he reports the theft to Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby). Norm is missing, which of course makes him suspect number one -- at least until Nick and Hank talk to his boss at the mulch plant and, conveniently enough, poor Norm's remains are discovered in the chipper during their visit. (Side note: supposedly Norm's metal hip stopped the chipper from crushing him. Wouldn't a machine of that size have been able to crush a little ol' human hip, no matter what it was made of? Just thinking out loud here...) Of course Norm's body casts the case in a different light, and in doing some research Nick and Hank discover that the Reverend Calvin's previous church also had an accountant go missing...a disturbing precedent to say the least.
With Renard's blessing Nick and Hank head to Calvin's church to share the news of Norm's murder and the fact that their missing money is now wrapped up in a homicide investigation. And this is where things get interesting -- if the opening quote to this episode wasn't a big enough clue, Nick and Hank discover that the good reverend is a Blutbad shepherding a flock made up entirely of SHEEP. The episode opens with the quote "Dressed in the skin, the Wolf strolled into the pasture with the Sheep. Soon a little Lamb was following him about and quickly led away to slaughter." It is a nice touch, having an episode involving a Wesen church take its cue quite literally from the famous "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing" idiom. The only question at this point is, given this show's propensity for turning traditional stories on its head is the reverend the wolf of legend, or a true believer, a reformed Blutbad with extraordinary bad luck in accountants?
This question sends Hank and Nick to Monroe's house for information. Now, I'm not sure how much time is supposed to have passed since Hank was "inducted" into the Wesen world, but if this episode is any indication he's coping extraordinarily well. Hilariously so, as he repeated just STARES at Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), hoping to see him transform (which just creeps Monroe out). *wink* The whole idea of a Blutbad associating with Seelengut strikes Monroe as a bit preposterous, but when Hank and Nick suggest he goes undercover at the church, in a strictly off the books investigation, he is THRILLED (the "mano-a-mano" comment cracked me up!). I love the idea of Hank, Nick, and Monroe working together as some sort of crime fighting trio. :)
When Monroe shows up at the church, giving his best performance as a conflicted Blutbad (probably not that far from the truth of his past), he completely freaks out the entire congregation (I'm with Monroe, the herd mentality is a bit freaky lol!). Calvin offers Monroe a spare bed at the church which Monroe accepts. From his room he sees Calvin kissing his assistant, Megan (Kristina Anapau), which leads to a hilarious conversation when he calls Nick to report in and launches into an explanation about how he's not prejudiced, but a Blutbad dating a Seelengut is too twisty for him to comprehend.
At this point I want to back-pedal a bit and discuss Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and Nick. This episode sees them confront the issue her memory loss has been causing, and the uneasy dance their lives have become, of trying to give her time to recover while at the same time continuing to live their lives, which are in danger of becoming increasingly separate. The latter issue comes into play when earlier in the episode, Nick arrives home to an empty house and discovers that Juliette has gone out with friends for drinks without leaving word. (Given Nick's life I can't say I blame him for being worried.) When one of her friends make a comment to the affect of not understanding why Juliette refused Nick's proposal, she's understandably shocked -- but it gets her to thinking. This leads to an adorable conversation with Nick later in their kitchen where there is much cute awkwardness and they both agree that neither wants to call it quits on what they had by moving out. When Juliette shyly suggest that Nick might join her for dinner, Nick's bemused smile just KILLED me...they are so adorable together. And I love how this episode illustrated their chemistry even in the midst of Juliette's amnesia. (If the preview for the next episode didn't reveal that Juliette apparently remembers Nick, I would love to see them try to rebuild their relationship from this point on -- there is something undeniably romantic about the idea of watching Juliette fall in love with Nick all over again.)
I also want to touch on the Nucklavee's presence in Portland. The horse assassin tails Nick to Aunt Marie's trailer, where he's been updating the Grimm notebooks with his own sketches. I just have to say, something about seeing Nick add to the record is just awesome. It makes you realize just how far he's come -- he's no longer a reluctant Grimm, he's actively participating in learning, researching, and adding to his family's records. Also, seeing as an assassin trailed you to the trailer, do we think it MIGHT BE TIME TO MOVE IT??? That park wasn't secure to begin with, yeesh. :P Anyways, to make a long story short, the horse guy attacks Nick, and I thought it was pretty cool to see that the Wesen version of the horse actually had hooves, and swung his "arms" and kicked his legs much like an actual horse would. Nicely done, special effects people. :) So after beating the horse guy off with a giant hammer, Nick discovers a sketch of Marie's key on his person. I can't wait until the show gets back to THAT. Also, what is this, like the fourth or fifth Wesen whose body Nick has dumped somewhere (again, talk about coming a long way as a Grimm, HA!!).
Back to the current investigation. :) Nick and Hank discover that Calvin's assistant, Megan, was the wife of the missing accountant at the pastor's previous church. They bring her in for questioning and she seems the innocent, potential victim -- even freaking out when she realizes Nick is a Grimm, leaving Hank in the interesting position of reassuring her that his partner is a dedicated cop. But Megan is in on the plot to steal the money -- she wants to leave Portland immediately, but Calvin insists that Monroe is the perfect scapegoat for Norman's murder, and once the police investigate the (apparently) homeless Blutbad, they'll be in the clear. LITTLE DO YOU KNOW, CALVIN, NO ONE MESSES WITH MONROE. :P
Megan agrees to Calvin's plot until she discovers that he's impregnated another woman in the congregation and then she's just MAD. A woman scorned and all that. (Side note: would the kid be a blutbad or a sheep? can you even HAVE a wolf/sheep hybrid?) All right then -- so just when Calvin thinks he's setting Monroe up to take the fall for Norm's death (and planning to kill him with a friggin' letter opener in the process), Megan tells her fellow congregants that their pastor has been pulling the proverbial wool over all their eyes (sorry, I couldn't resist), conveniently leaving out her complicity in his crimes. They interrupt Calvin's attack on Monroe, and the sheep go all lemming-like and attack him en masse (we've seen a lot on this show, but I have to say death by sheep ranks up there as the most surprising, ha!!). The "herd" then turns on Monroe, which leads to a rather humorous chase through the church with Monroe getting increasingly stressed (he's so cute when he's stressed!), only to be rescued by the timely arrival of Nick and Hank.
Explaining that 25 members of the congregation have taken the blame for Calvin's death to Renard (Sasha Roiz) without explaining their herd mentality is probably one of the funniest case wrap-ups that's ever been featured on this show. Renard does bemused so well. *wink* Speaking of my favorite police captain, earlier in the episode he has a flashback to the moment he kissed Juliette -- and yes, I squealed. As I'd hoped, he's still dealing with the effects of the pure heart potion that he had to drink in order to awaken Juliette from her coma -- now, when will they come face-to-face? I'm thinking there HAS to be some reaction...and that is something I'm dying to see!! This show is SO strong this season...what did you think of this week's installment?