Oh those sneaky, misleading Grimmepisode previews! The tease last week that Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) has finally started to remember Nick (David Giuntoli) turned out to be nothing more than a dream. POOR NICK. That momentary flash of happiness, only to have it completely, ruthlessly CRUSHED by the alarm on his cell phone? Heartbreaking. :P
Cut to Bill Granger (Josh Stewart), who appears to be a single father picking up his young daughter, April (Jade Pettyjohn) for visitation -- or is it? Granger is unaccountably nervous and edgy, and it only gets worse when at a gas station two of his credit cards are declined. The stress causes him to morph briefly into his Wesen identity, a Drang-Zorn (which is apparently a badger-like creature -- one of the oddest creatures I think we've ever seen -- I never realized badgers had such fangs). We see Granger enter the gas station, and shortly afterwards the gas station attendant is brutally attacked and murdered. When Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) arrive at the scene, Wu (Reggie Lee) fills them in on what they've discovered thus far -- Granger's car on a security camera. It turns out Granger and his wife are separated, and that his daughter's presence in the car, coupled with the murder, seem to suggest that this is a custody battle that has gone extremely wrong. This assumption is backed up by Nick and Hank's discovery of the badly beaten body of April's mother, Lilly (October Moore), at her home. When she briefly morphs into a creature as well, Nick realizes it's time for some research -- as a Drang-Zorn isn't a Wesen he's encountered before.
On a lighter note, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is watching the spice shop for Rosalee (Bree Turner), as she's still out of town attending her sick aunt. I loved this change of pace for Monroe and Rosalee's involvement in an episode -- instead of helping Nick, this was more a chance for us to see something approximating everyday activities for the pair. Well, to some extent -- nothing can be quite that straightforward. *wink* Monroe was so cute assuring Rosalee that he wasn't depressed over Angelina's death, and that he wasn't running her business into the ground...adorable. She gives him the heads up that Leroy, a patient with a severe inner ear problem, will be stopping by to pick up some medication (which requires seriously bizarre headgear to administer!). Unfortunately for Leroy, Monroe gets distracted when he arrives at the shop and mixes up the wrong ingredients -- something that is most definitely not supposed to be administered internally. Apparently this is what happens when you moonlight as a pharmacist for your girlfriend when you really should be fixing clocks...
Back to Granger, who is pretty upset after the bloodbath at the gas station. His daughter, however, is eerily calm, and when she started quoting Thomas Paine I started to think yeah...something not quite right with this kid. The pair manages to con a reluctant stranger into giving them a ride, but that goes all to heck when the recently-issued Amber alert for April is played over the radio -- and the good Samaritan has his car hijacked for his troubles. Meanwhile, Wu actually has something to do in this case, and gets the chance to show off his computer smarts by researching Granger's credit card statements, purchase history, and computer searches. Granger appears to have been really into the idea of living off the grid, and the GPS embedded in some digital photos gives the police a location to search for Granger's hideout. Knowing that the Grangers are badgers, I thought the set design for the underground hideout -- a veritable warren of underground passages, well-stocked with supplies -- was just fantastic. Once again the design of this show is extraordinarily detailed when it comes to reflecting the types of Wesen Nick -- and now Hank -- encounter.
Back-tracking for just a moment, I loved the scene where Nick takes Hank to Aunt Marie's trailer so they can learn the Wesen identity Mrs. Granger exhibited just prior to passing out. Hank is really acclimating to the idea of Wesen extraordinarily well, all things considered, and I like seeing him want to learn about that world and Nick's role in it (getting geeked out over the idea of Nick owning a crossbow was fun too). I didn't expect Hank to recognize a weapon in Nick's Grimm arsenal and start to connect the dots, realizing just how long Nick's been dealing with this double life. The elephant gun figured in the ogre-centered episode from early in season one, where when Nick is hospitalized Monroe actually steps up and saves Hank from the seemingly indestructible ogre. Love how sooner or later this show brings everything full circle, rarely -- if ever -- dropping a story beat.
So, back to the badger hideaway...Nick and Hank, along with a rather large SWAT team, find a frightened April in the bunker -- left there by her father, while he went to gather supplies. April gives Nick this tremendous hug (reminded me of Nick's first Grimm rescue in the series premiere), and while April still creeps me out I couldn't help but think AWWW...isn't Nick good with kids?! So cute. They take April back to the station and wait for social services to pick her up, and everyone is thinking "isn't this kid the cutest? POOR BABY!!" (Wu even gives her a lollipop, which cracked me up). Granger is tracked to the hospital where his estranged wife is attempting to recover from her wounds -- and until it is revealed that he's horrified by his wife's condition, I did have the thought that perhaps he was the perpetrator. But nooooo...the wife isn't terrified of her husband, both parents are terrified of their daughter...that's a change, isn't it? Apparently this is what happens when Wesen children start to experience "the change" to early -- they go bonkers.
Obviously this does not bode well for social services or April's temporary foster family. The dichotomy between the unhinged April and the Leave it to Beaver-style foster family was positively jarring. Yeah, the whole "we use our WORDS to work out conflict, April, not our fists" mantra is NOT gonna fly with this child. When April is put in "time out" she attacks the foster dad, and one has to think that a manic biter like that would be terrifying even if you couldn't see her badger alter-ego. It was really interesting to observe Nick and Hank's reaction to the realization that a nine-year-old girl was the perpetrator -- especially Nick's. It raised the question of exactly how culpable April is, given the fact that at nine she is captive to her out-of-control impulses. But having had a taste of blood is there any going back? And how the heck do you explain this to a Wesen-ignorant public? (If I was a Grimm I think I'd have constant migraines. :P) I loved the fact that Monroe hooks Nick up with an acquaintance who works as a guard in juvenile lock-up -- a guard who just happens to be a Lowen -- that's a handy connection, hmm? Oh, before I forget...the fairy tale inspiration for this story was the Grimm tale "The Spirit in the Bottle," opening the episode with the quote "'Let me out, let me out' the spirit cried. And the boy, thinking no evil, drew the cork out of the bottle." This episode has little to do with the original tale, but I thought the quote was a clever way of suggesting danger from the unlikeliest of sources -- namely, a young child of April's deceptively innocent looks.
Briefly wrapping up the Monroe/Rosalee storyline in this episode...she calls to check up on Leroy, and it is SO CUTE how Monroe is so proud of selling the heck out of her inventory and of mixing up Leroy's medication. When he starts to show off his new-found knowledge, the realization that he used a wrong ingredient is hilarious ("let me pose a hypothetical here..." *rollseyes*). So Monroe whips together an antidote and heads to Leroy's apartment, where apparently when you take something internally via the thingamajig that administers inner ear medicine, it acts as a psychotropic drug. Leroy has taken to abstractly painting his apartment walls and destroying his furnishings, but the thing that drives Monroe over the edge is when Leroy takes a chainsaw to a perfectly lovely grandfather clock -- never mind that you nearly killed the guy, Monroe, mood-altering drugs is apparently no excuse for wanton clock destruction. *wink*
Now, let's spend some time on what was probably my favorite aspect of this episode -- the long awaited post-kiss meeting between Renard (Sasha Roiz) and Juliette. She surprises Nick and work, and he's thrilled to see her -- but when Renard walks up to inquire after her health, she becomes positively flustered. Look, I've said it before -- I am committed to to Nick and Juliette, I think they are ADORABLE together...but (thus far anyway) seeing the connection between Juliette and Renard, a side effect of the pure heart potion, play out on-screen -- it is pretty much endlessly entertaining. Particularly when it leaves Renard rattled, as after an unexpected call from Adalind (Claire Coffee), wanting to know who killed her mother, he discovers that instead of entering budget numbers in his laptop he's been typing the name Juliette over and over again.
In last week's outtake, we got a glimpse of how Renard's subconscious has been consumed with images of Juliette, and this week we learn that she is equally susceptible. After the April craziness, Nick comes home to a romantic dinner, and once again I LOVE seeing these two sort of fall in love all over again. When he shyly brings up the fact that they used to dance (wasn't the look on his face TO DIE FOR), Juliette agrees and the two share a kiss -- but when she pulls back, it isn't Nick's face she sees, it's Renard's. Um, wow. Not to mention AWKWARD!! The teaser promises more Renard/Juliette tension and the return of James Frain as Renard's brother -- a sibling who probably doesn't have his best interests at heart, given that he's supposedly entertaining Adalind. Can. Not . WAIT.
And just for fun, here's a little Juliette/Renard bonus photo: