Reviews

‘Grimm’ Review: ‘You Don’t Know Jack’

GRIMM -- "You Don't Know Jack" Episode 420 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert, Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin, Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe -- (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

Just in case you needed confirmation of how far down the evil rabbit hole Juliette has fallen, watching Nick and company arrive at Aunt Marie’s burnt out trailer in the woods at the start of “You Don’t Know Jack” will give you all that you need. If there was a location that had an emotional attachment for both the characters and the fans, it’s the trailer. The devastation in Nick’s eyes when he steps inside is accompanied by some heartstring plucking music and a “first time” flashback. These reactions are echoes by Monroe, Hank, and Wu. It’s genuinely devastating to watch. Fortunately, as bleak as the situation is, not everything was destroyed. Weapons, and even some books, weathered the fire surprisingly well. Me though? I’m struggling. The juxtaposition of flashbacks with the fallout of the trailer hits hard. However, I have to praise the writers for this. The fact a location—not a character—can evoke such feeling means they’re doing a damn good job. The scene cuts away to Juliette, who I’m feeling unprepared to see at this point. It’s like salting a wound, you know? It gets worse though, when she slips into her former home with Nick and proceeds to fire off an email to Nick’s mom Kelly telling him how he’s in life threatening danger. It’s certainly not a lie. Back at the remains of the trailer, Hank and Wu question what’s going to happen and Nick essentially confirms they have to go after Juliette. Meanwhile, she’s throwing back a stiff drink while deleting her email trail. Kelly’s on her way.

Now that we’re all in our feelings, it’s time for something completely different. Two women, one of them a Fuchsbau, are working a corner in Portland waiting for their next “date.” They appear to be close friends. When a potential client drives up, the Fuchsbau stays behind. Perspective soon shifts so that instead of seeing the streets of Portland objectively, we are now subject to what a disembodied accent is seeing. This means we’ve slipped behind the eyes of this episode’s Wesen of the Week. The perspective shifts back after she agrees to accompany the mysterious man with the bad accent. It shifts again when the pair reaches their location. The shuffling killer pulls out a knife and slices the woman’s throat. Looks like Portland has its own Jack the Ripper copycat on the loose.

While one woman is dead, another is working overtime to prevent her own demise and that of her unborn child. Yup, I’m talking about Adalind. She is having the most awkward bonding session with Rosalee over a mortar and pestle at the spice shop. The dynamic here is uneasy. The two women have plenty of reason not to trust each other. Adalind has a long list of offenses, while Rosalee was part of the conspiracy to spirit Diana away with Kelly. Whatever they have going on is soon interrupted when the guys start hauling in what remains from the fire. They drop the “Juliette set it on fire” bombshell on Rosalee and Adalind, before things quickly shift to “Where is Adalind going to stay because she’s probably next?” Everyone in the room passes on housing her, for both her safety and their general disdain of her. Enter Nick’s secret weapon: Bud.

Nick and Hank arrive at Bud’s with Adalind in tow and it’s as awkward as you can imagine. Our favorite Eisbiber brings the awkward like no other, so he proceeds to ramble about Adalind’s pregnancy and her baby’s father. When Bud offers pie to Adalind’s “significant other,” she sarcastically asks Nick how he feels about pie. Pretty soon Bud picks up on just how messed up the situation is. Nick doesn’t really elaborate on Juliette’s current status quo, which, one would think, is kind of important. It’s probably a good idea just the same. Wouldn’t want to scare Bud too much, right?

At the DeLuxe, Juliette returns to Kenneth’s room to brag about tricking Kelly to come to Portland. Could these two be any more insufferable if they tried? Kenneth persuades Juliette to stay with him in what used to be Adalind’s room and there’s this gross moment of sexual tension when he spots the ashes on her hands. I’ve never had what one would call an “anti-ship” before, but I’m pretty sure these two are it. Nick, none the wiser to his ex’s shenanigans with the worst Royal, arrives home, gun in hand. It’s empty, but when he gets to the computer desk, he notices ashes on the mouse. Before we can really find out what’s running through Nick’s mind though, we’re with Renard, who is floating face down in a suit. Who hasn’t been there, am I right? Renard wakes up in the pool and freaks out. Fair enough, Renard.

The next morning, Nick and Hank meet Wu at the scene of the murder the night before. We find out that the murdered Fuchsbau was named Mary Ann Casey and that her friend Heidi McDunnah found her body. We also find out that Heidi is a Klaustreich when she woges during a breakdown over her friend’s murder. Heidi offers all the info she can and gets escorted home, while Nick and company head over to the victim’s body. It’s pretty gruesome.  While the murder case is unraveling, Adalind is having her mother’s body exhumed with Monrosalee and Renard as company. Rosalee asks if Renard knew Adalind’s mom, so now is the time to make an “in the biblical sense” joke. Adalind monologues over the casket in one of the episode’s shining moments. She drags everybody, including her dead mom, through the dirt before closing with “thank you for being dead when I needed you.” Claire Coffee’s performance is stellar. Adalind has done some truly horrible things on the show, but the way Coffee delivers every time makes it easy to understand why the writers keep her around.

Settled in at the precinct, Nick, Hank, and Wu comb through the details of the case, realizing it has a very “Jack the Ripper” vibe. Yeah. I said that several paragraphs ago, guys. Keep up! Pretty soon they’re reading up on the history of the original killer and bringing their findings to Renard. Wu posits that the original Jack’s victims could have been Wesen too, which leads our detectives down a Grimm spiral that requires a visit to the spice shop basement. That just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “a visit to the trailer,” but times change. There’s a murder to solve.

At the spice shop, Adalind and Rosalee are still trying to put together the Hexenbiest suppression potion.  Adalind can’t cut up her own mom and Monroe pronounces his veganism, so it’s up to Rosalee to carve up this turkey. The whole sequence is simultaneously horrifying, disgusting, and hilarious. Rosalee proves she’s a bad ass and Monroe gets to ask “How long does mom have to cook?” Good times. Monroe uses Nick and Hank’s arrival as excuse to escape the potion making business and help look for a Jack the Ripper-like person in what remains of the Grimm diaries. Sadly, that’s going to take a while, which is bad for Heidi. She encounters the killer and he offs her like he did her friend. Here’s where I put forward my own theory: the killer is Renard. The horrible accent kind of sounds like Renard and his blackouts escalating in this fashion makes unfortunate sense. Yep, our killer has to be Jack the Renard. Of course, this sequence doesn’t prove it, but I just have that sinking feeling that I’m right.

Although Heidi’s dead, the research session turns out to be surprisingly fruitful. Monroe finds a story that sounds like Jack the Ripper in one of the damaged books. The story suggests some sort of demonic possession causing the spree of murders. While Monroe is dismissive, it does bring to mind those devil hands grasping at Renard a few episodes back. It’s definitely something to think about. Meanwhile, Adalind and Rosalee continue preparing the potion. What’s grinding down some rib bones, right? Adalind nearly faints, but Nick catches her and they make sure she gets some rest. Liquefying your dead mom has to take a lot out of a pregnant woman. The potion emits a green cloud and unpleasant stench, but after a while, a skull appears as if some sort of Hexenbiest timer. While they go to strain the potion, Wu calls with news of Heidi’s murder. Nick and Hank leave, but we stay for a moment to hear them agreeing that they need to contact Trubel. Anyone else really excited by the thought of having her back? C’mon, I know you are!

After arriving at the scene, Nick informs Renard of their Jack the Ripper possession theory. They all agree it’s not something they can take to the press, but hey, what can you do? Hopefully stop the flesh and blood murderer, that’s what. Nick returns to the spice shop while they strain the potion through the witch’s hat. It’s amazing all of the things that hat can do. The resulting potion looks almost like water, but when Adalind takes a whiff, you can tell it won’t taste like it. It’s ready for Juliette, but after some snark about the last potion they gave her and some legit doubts being shared, Adalind offers to drink it. Of course, I’m left asking “What pod person replaced Adalind?” The character, if anything, is driven by her own survival, and that of her unborn baby, so her agreeing to suppress her inner Hexenbiest isn’t so crazy. Adalind slurps down half a glass of her mother and then begs everyone to hold her down. Next we get a scene from The Exorcist’s cutting room floor. She transforms and starts shaking. Fortunately, there is no projectile pea soup, but we do get this Hexenbiest spirit battle over her body and a broken skylight. Oh, and the potion nearly shatters on the floor. Monroe saves it though and Adalind soon finds that her powers are well and truly suppressed.

Meanwhile, Juliette is plotting some sort of evil with Kenneth. He’s got a diagram of the neighborhood where she lived with Nick and she’s rattling off all kinds of details about the houses surrounding them. One of the homes has three renters that Juliette is unacquainted with. From the way Kenneth talks, it’s going to suck to be those three. As Juliette just gets worse and worse, Adalind is almost repentant. Adalind asks Nick what will happen to their baby once Juliette is suppressed, and he says no one will take him from her. It’s a weird scene. Nick departs and tells Bud that she’s going to stay there a little while longer. When he gets home, he calls Juliette to inform her about a way to help her, but she doesn’t answer. Kenneth wants her to let Nick twist in the wind some more, so she lets it go to voice mail. Drop dead, Kenneth.

The next morning, Renard is wigging out again at a press conference covering the murders. It’s rather unseemly, but what can you do when you’re a phantom bleeder? He tears his shirt open in the locker room mirror and calls Henrietta in a panic before rushing out when some other cops arrive. A little while later, a terrified Renard arrives at Henrietta’s.  He tells her everything; he explains the dreams, the blackouts, the phantom bleeding, and everything else. She’s worried for him, but Renard freaks out and rushes away. Sasha Roiz does a really great job of conveying the Captain’s anguish and terror here. Sadly, my theory about Jack the Renard gets further reinforcement when the killer enters into Henrietta’s home and slashes her throat. It sucks to see such a powerful Hexenbiest go out that way. I’ll miss you, Henrietta.

At the precinct, Nick expresses to Hank his distress over Juliette ignoring his calls about the cure. He finally gets a call back on the precinct’s landline and she agrees to meet at the spice shop. Juliette arrives to Nick, Monroe, Rosalee, and Hank waiting for her. She makes a not so subtle dig about the absent Adalind and snarks over their friendship and burning the trailer. Bitsie Tulloch does a great “bitchy and evil,” but I’d be lying if that version of Juliette isn’t wearing out her welcome. They stupidly hand the cure over to her and she shatters the glass while flinging Monrosalee around and knocking Hanks’ gun out of his hand. The episode closes with her using her telekinetic powers to force Nick to hold onto his gun and aim at his friends. The scene fades to black and shots are fired. At least there’s no taunting text like the show used to do, right?

About the author

Kenneth Lane

An occasionally ridiculous human being who will talk your ear off if you let him, recently earned his Master of Arts in English. While figuring out what he’s doing next, he’s dealing with his self diagnosed pop culture hoarding problem.