Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grimm 1.15: "Island of Dreams"

Last week's episode of Grimm is one of the best things ever! Seriously! Heading into the home stretch of season one, this episode revisits Renard's (Sasha Roiz) connection to the hexenbiest Adalind (Claire Coffee), who hasn't been seen since "Danse Macabre" (episode five). The episode opens with a fascinating scene between Adalind and Renard discussing the merits of a classic painting -- Renard lets drop the tantalizing clue that he, or his family, used to own the piece, leaving his statement just vague enough that it's unclear if he's referring to himself or his family in the general, historical sense. Between this conversation and the exchange between Renard and the parole officer in "Last Grimm Standing," it's clear, I think, that the Captain hails from some group that is considered royalty in the Wesen community -- perhaps they still are. I'm dying for some specifics, though -- I need the who, what, when, where and why of everything involving Renard, but at the same time gah!! -- the mystery is part of his appeal. Thoughts on Renard? Is he some sort of immortal, just long-lived, and what kind of royalty? Because this guy's got class, even if he is morally ambiguous... :)

So anyways, Adalind's back and she's still supposed to make Hank (Russell Hornsby) fall in love with her, because according to Renard, HANK is the key to neutralizing Nick, who is the THREAT. Go figure. (I thought the way to a man's heart was through his stomach? Apparently in Grimm it's through his friends... *wink*) So she goes off with a vial of Hank's blood, and cut to the crime of the week -- two junkies (who turn out to be Skalengeck, which are freaky lizard people) are inhaling their current drug of choice which sends them into an absolute frenzy. High on whatever it is lizard people get high on, they head to the Wesen spice shop to raid the owner's supplies. The smash and grab robbery does not go well as the owner, Freddy (Randy Schulman) fights back, morphing into a fox and taking a piece out of one thief's leg before getting shot. When Hank and Nick (David Giuntoli) show up to investigate (because at this point I think they are the only detectives in Portland), the violence of the robbery and murder suggest more than just a theft gone awry -- perhaps the owner was dealing in black market goods (of course I think Hank would be pretty horrified to discover the shop owner used to deal in human gallbladder, etc.!).

The shop owner's next of kin turns out to be a woman named Rosalee (Bree Turner). She claims to know nothing about any illegal substances her brother may have been selling on the side, but agrees to examine the inventory and let Nick know if she finds anything suspicious. When Nick escorts her back to the shop he discovers she's a Fuchsbau (fox) like her brother, and she realizes that he's a Grimm, and is completely taken aback by the idea that he'd want to help a Wesen get justice. I love how overall she's so unfazed by the reveal of Nick's identity -- cautious, to be sure, but more curious than freaked out. It's about time Nick started building some useful bridges in the Wesen community (don't get me wrong, having the refrigerator guy & his ilk falling all over themselves to stay on Nick's good side is a humorous development, but I seriously doubt the skittish, rodent-type Wesens would be useful allies in a fight). *wink* 

Apparently the Adalind/Hank portion of this episode is loosely based on the fairy tale "Donkey Cabbages" (yes, really). This is the riveting tale of some guy who falls in love with a young witch who emotionally manipulates him in order to steal his fortune (and then he ends up getting turned into a donkey). In this incarnation of the story, Adalind bakes Hank some very special cookies, cookies that only HE can eat. Hank is of course flattered by Adalind's apparent interest, and gigantic cookies are always a win, right? The more he eats them, the more he becomes obsessed with Adalind, seeing her everywhere, to the point that it impacts his work. It seems that in short order she'll be able to get him to do anything she wants -- the only question being, what exactly is Renard's end game here in wanting to control Hank?

So the Hank plot is all well and good but frankly, the least interesting aspect of this episode -- I'm all about Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) meeting Rosalee. :) Nick recruits Monroe to help identify any substances in the spice shop that a Wesen would consider worth killing for -- this of course necessitates meeting the dead shop owner's sister, and Monroe is positively GOOGLY-EYED over Rosalee because he thinks she's so pretty. Excuse me while I SWOON. She of course is a little more reticent seeing as she's not used to the idea of Wesens pal-ing around with Grimms. But forget about the meet cute for a second -- there IS a drug in the shop, something Wesens like to smoke called "J" (???) that's highly addictive. So Nick and Monroe leave, the latter all "nice to meet you" and she's all "whatevs I'm GRIEVING and STRESSED," but she's about to get more stressed because the lizardy robbers return to the shop and she barely escapes with her life!! This results in a call to Nick requesting police protection -- he offers to send an officer to her house, she REQUESTS Monroe (since he gets the whole Wesen-hidden-identities thing). Monroe is ADORABLY eager to help and she's all about his nose (since Blutbads have renowned super-smellers) -- AND I LOVE THAT SHE ISN'T FALLING ALL OVER HIM. I gotta give the girl props for self-control.

At this point the Adalind's EVIL PLOT to ruin Hank collides with the spice shop murder, as Sergeant Wu (Reggie Lee) has stolen one of the magic cookies! I don't talk about Wu a lot because, let's face it, I'm distracted by MONROE, but he's always been a reliable supporting player. Anyways, since the cookies are magical HANK food, when Wu eats one he falls deathly ill with something disgusting that looks like the PLAGUE! Thankfully he was already headed to the spice shop where he meets Rosalee and Monroe, and she KNOWS AN HERBAL REMEDY. WIN!! She is one smart fox lady. :) So once Wu recovers enough to be left at his apartment, Nick and Monroe get some of Rosalee's backstory -- apparently she used to be addicted to "J," but has since resolved to stay clean (considering how wild Monroe used to be he should empathize, hmm?). She offers to help with the investigation because she wants justice for her brother (and, I think, because she's generally a good egg like Monroe!!), and leads Monroe and Nick to the Wesen equivalent of a crack house, called the Island of Dreams.

Now I completely didn't expect to be thinking of Sherlock Holmes while watching Grimm, but sometimes that's just how my mind works. The "den" is a collection of red tents -- private chambers where Wesens are all strung out on their favorite recreational drug. The atmosphere, the set-up, it all reminded me of opium dens in the Holmes stories and their film adaptations. Now Nick is no Sherlock (sorry Nick!), but I don't think it's out of line to liken Monroe to the very best kind of Watson, hmm? *wink* Anyways, Nick and Monroe find the crazy lizard people and there's all sorts of insanity and gunfire and MONROE GETS A GUN IN HIS FACE...but this is the best part, Rosalee saves him by clocking the EVIL PERP on the back of the head with a brick! And the look on Monroe's face is just PRICELESS, seriously I wouldn't put it past him to be all "marry me NOW you are AWESOME" -- but I'll take his look of shocked adoration. :)

So all's well that ends well, or is it -- Wu has apparently recovered, but after Nick leaves he starts eating sofa stuffing. I'm thinking that little twist is a nod to the whole "Donkey Cabbages" thing. But who the heck cares about magic cookies and poor Hank getting poisoned by that shrew Adalind, when you have awesome things happening like Monroe BRINGING ROSALEE FLOWERS TO THANK HER FOR SAVING HIS LIFE. And he's all adorable and slightly dorky and sweet AND DID I MENTION ADORABLE?! *happy sigh* She's decided to stay in Portland for a bit and give running her brother's shop a go -- which of course makes Monroe very happy. All I've got to say is, Grimm writers, play this one RIGHT. If she breaks Monroe's heart I don't know if I'll be able to take it. That said, I love the possibility of Monroe in love :) and of Nick gaining a second sensible ally in the Wesen world. Here's hoping this is a storyline/idea that gets more play in Season 2! :)


Heidenkind said...

I seriously watched this episode three times, haha. :) It was pretty good. I loved the scene where Adalind gave Hank the cookies and said, "You might not even like chocolate chip cookies!" And Hank replies, "But I do." I swear I laughed at that every. single. time. I'm too easily amused. ;)

Unknown said...

@Tasha - I don't blame you. ;) This is seriously one of the best things ever. EVER. And you're right, Hank's response to the cookies thing was pretty hilarious. :)