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‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Lycanthropia’

grimm-514-Lycanthropia

Following the show’s 100th episode a couple weeks ago, Grimm has put the procedural drama back at the show’s forefront. That’s not to say they’ve been giving us typical Wesen of the Week capers. Last week’s episode, “Silence of the Slams” gave us a luchador empowered by a mask made from a freshly skinned Wesen and this week’s episode, “Lycanthropia,” is just as unexpected. However, there are still important plot threads being pulled at this week too. For example, the episode opens a couple days ago, with Nick slipping out of bed next to Adalind. You’d think “No big deal,” right? Sure, if he didn’t immediately grab a backpack and open the door that leads to the mystery tunnel, where he buries the treasure of the Seven Knights, or “that stick in a box,” if you prefer. Nick hasn’t told Adalind about that magic stick yet and, so far, he and the gang haven’t done much research into it.

Of course, who has time for researching sticks when there are cases to be solved? In this case, we have Doyle Baske, who is driving to visit his mother’s secluded home in the woods. When you watch, you see a good looking poised professional, so you know something bad is going to happen. And something bad does happen. Namely, Doyle crashes his car into a tree. Fortunately, he’s nowhere near as banged up as his car. In fact, he’s more upset when he notices the sun going down and begins to run down the road. The frantic gentleman runs through the woods towards the sounds of voices, but next thing we see is a full moon and suddenly a Blutbad-esque creature fully woged. Those voices soon turn into screams and we’re left wondering what the hell is going on.

In an effort to distract us from what’s going on with Doyle, the writers present us with the most perfect convergence between gratuitous shirtlessness and pushing the plot forward that this show has ever seen. That’s really saying something considering how often Renard has shirtlessly raged through this and previous seasons. The culprit this time, however, is not Renard, but our beloved hero Nick, who is shirtless and swinging a hammer like he’s going to replace Thor in the Avengers. All that shirtless hammering isn’t for nothing though, as he finally gets that mysterious door inside the tunnel open. However, as he opens it and brushes away cobwebs, he’s presented with what looks like a bottomless pit. Sure, it’s another barrier to overcome in exploring the tunnels, but at least Nick made viewers a mix of envious and lustful while doing so.

While Nick is busy not wearing a shirt, Adalind gets a call from Renard. Last week, Rachel was pushing Renard to run for mayor on a family platform involving Adalind and their currently MIA daughter Diana. The call confirms he’s at least entertaining the idea, because he wants to meet Adalind for breakfast to talk about Diana the next morning. He also doesn’t want Adalind to tell Nick about it. I guess now that she’s a Hexenbiest, adding one more secret is no big thing, so she agrees. A few moments later, Nick emerges from the tunnels and announces he found more tunnels behind the door. Talk about timing, am I right?

The next morning, a truck driver finds a blood soaked and possibly deceased Doyle on the road. However, when he approaches him, Doyle pops up very much alive. A mere commercial break later and Wu is filling Nick and Hank in on what happened to Doyle. Wu also fills the detectives in on Doyle’s explanation for his predicament: he was attacked by a man and his dog and fell down the hill when he escaped. However, the only bite marks appear to be made with human teeth. Doyle is reluctant to cooperate with both the EMT and our favorite detectives, but when Hank offers to give him a ride back to his car at the cost of a few questions, there’s little he can do to refuse. At the car, Doyle continues his questionable story and remains combative when either Nick or Hank asks for more information. Nonetheless, he still accepts another ride to his mother’s house once he gets his briefcase out of his car.

While Doyle is dominating Nick and Hank’s morning, Adalind is waiting for Renard to show up for their meeting. When Renard sits down, he gets the most adorable little stink-eye from baby Kelly. It’s precious. When he compliments Adalind, she returns the compliment in kind before getting down to business. I really love how she’s not here for any of Renard’s crap. Once the pleasantries have passed, Renard drops the big news: Meisner was in the helicopter with Diana that night the king was murdered. While Adalind had been in touch with him, she had no clue of his involvement in the latest kidnapping of her child. Things get really tense, because Meisner no longer has her. Both of them want to see her, but Adalind’s anger takes up just a notch, causing her telekinetic powers to kick in and bring a glass to her hand when she says she wants Diana back. Of all the people for her powers to activate in front of, Renard might be the worst. The hint of emotional blackmail was already there, but now it’s a full on suggestion.  This scene is tense. Renard appears concerned for Adalind and throws out that she has a child with both him and Nick, but ultimately, when he says he doesn’t want anything to happen to her, she returns the same comment. However, instead of faux worry, it carries a tone of “I will murder you.” I really do love Adalind.

Who knew that much drama could be contained within the length of a brief car ride? Doyle arrives at his mother’s place with Nick and Hank, but begs them not to tell her about the attack. Hank agrees as long as Doyle gives them his shirt to be tested back at the precinct. This brings two of the episode’s biggest themes to the light: secrets and shirtlessness. Doyle agrees and rushes out to meet his mom at her door. He explains his version of events to his mother and passes his business card to Nick so they can contact him in the future. Once he gets his mom back inside the house, off goes the shirt, but in between, Hank questions Doyle’s odd reaction. There’s something funny to me about these guys finding anything odd at this point in their detective careers, but so it goes.

Back at the precinct, Nick and Hank are doing further research on the Baske family. They find out the family is old money by Portland standards, which could make this odd situation even more frustrating. Moments later, Wu has results on the shirt. As with the bite marks earlier, this stuff is all human; three different humans, at that. They decide to query the area hospitals about bite victims, while calling Monroe and Rosalee for some more Grimm oriented solutions back where Doyle was found. When the four get to the woods, Monroe uses his Blutbad sense of smell to get a good whiff of Doyle and off they go retracing his path the night before. Monroe leads them down a winding woodland path on a trail of body odor and blood. There’s no attacker or dog to be smelled. The fact that they’re going off road pokes another whole in Doyle’s story, because he claimed he was attacked on the road.

While Nick and company are in the woods, shenanigans are afoot in the city as well. Rachel receives a phone call about Renard telling her she needs to push harder. Looks like Ms. Wood needs to escalate her seduction offensive. Moments later, Renard gets a text from Rachel telling him they need to meet later. When Rachel leaves her place, we find out Eve is ready and waiting to break in and do some spying. With a telekinetic twist of the doorknob, Eve’s inside rifling through Rachel’s belongings. She doesn’t have much luck until she finds the cardboard tube containing the campaign poster for Renard’s potential mayoral run. She snaps a picture of the poster and the address on the tube and makes her exit.

Meanwhile, Nick and company are still in the woods, but Monroe’s picked up a different scent than “handsome real estate agent.” No, this fragrance is death and even Rosalee’s picking up on it. It only takes a few steps forward to find the dead bodies of a couple. An attack is certainly confirmed here, but it’s definitely not what our heroes were expecting. Monroe picks up the distinctive smell of a Blutbad around the couple, but something isn’t quite right. As he and Rosalee wander a bit, it hits him. If people are walking a trail during the full moon, it’s very likely not a Blutbad, but a Lycanthrope.  If you’re wondering what being a Lycanthrope means, so are Nick and Hank. Moments later, they’re back at the spice shop looking over some books. Lycanthropes are Blutbaden afflicted with a genetic mutation that causes temporary insanity under a full moon. Monroe explains that families would go as far as murdering their kids if they showed symptoms. Rosalee agrees to look up a cure and Nick and Hank decide they need to take Doyle in to make sure he isn’t the lycanthrope.

In Renard’s office, Nick fills the Captain in on what’s been going on, but Renard is somewhat reluctant. He knows the Baskes are connected, so if the diagnosis is wrong, there’s a lawsuit in the offing. If Doyle is a Lycanthrope, it means they’ll end up with a raging monster in one of their jail cells. They ultimately agree to bring him in for the night, especially since the blood on Doyle’s shirt is that of the dead couple in the woods. Nick then explains to Hank that they’ll knock him out if he transforms. Back at the spice shop, Rosalee has no luck finding a cure for Lycanthropia beyond Monroe’s old fashioned “bury the afflicted alive” cure. The couple gets a call from Nick and they exchange info. Rosalee agrees to whip up some sort of Wesen sedative.  The plan is full steam ahead.

Nick and Monroe arrive at the Baske home; they are greeted by Eliza, the mother. She gets Doyle and the detectives explain to him how they’ve got information on his potential attacker. He’ll have to come down to the precinct to look at pictures that evening. He explains he has dinner plans, but they push further and explain the situation with the double homicide. Both Doyle and Eliza are reluctant for him to leave and when he does agree, it’s a fake out. Doyle escapes out the back. Eliza goes on about lawyers and private property, but it doesn’t stop Nick and Hank from chasing after. When they catch Doyle, he’s understandably upset, but he goes on and on about not being able to leave his mother. It’s a strange relationship these two have, but it doesn’t stop him from being taken in.

While Doyle is being hauled in, Rachel shows up at the precinct for her meeting with Renard. She goes on about how the other candidate is down in the polls because of the information Renard leaked to her, but he’s surprisingly reluctant to take credit.  I guess he’s not fully on the Mayor Sean Renard train just yet. Rachel pushes further; seduction can be power as well as sex. Who knew? Renard still doesn’t have an answer, though apparently he needs one yesterday.  She departs his office just as Nick and Hank are dropping Doyle in the jail cells. Doyle’s confused, but really, he did run and the police do have the murder victims’ blood on his shirt. It’s not uncalled for, even if he’s innocent. Upstairs, Nick and Hank meet Monrosalee, who have a crossbow with tranquilizer darts ready and waiting. The complete inappropriateness of this Grimm business taking place within the precinct, just as Black Claw is trying to recruit Renard is both amusing and telling of how this whole “separate lives” thing just doesn’t quite work.

Speaking of Black Claw recruiting Renard, Nick gets a call from Eve about a meeting in the parking garage. She tells him to bring Hank. When they meet her, she drops the bombshell about Renard’s campaign poster and the fact it was shipped before the assassination of Andrew Dixon. Eve doesn’t know if Renard is really in on it, yet, but she does know Rachel was involved in the Dixon assassination. She asserts they need to find out what Renard knows. After Nick and Hank head back inside, Monroe and Rosalee get the abbreviated version of Eve’s info dump. The key word is “conspiracy.” Monroe’s comment about having more pressing matters at the moment feels delightfully meta; the big Black Claw arc playing second fiddle to a Wesen disease this week, after all.

After readying the tranquilizer and heading down to the cells, the Scooby Gang finds that the cell holding the potential werewolf is empty. Yikes, right? Moments later, Wu calls and says Doyle got out on bail but should still be in the building. Cue a frantic rush to find him. When they find him, Hank drags him into the interview room and Monroe pulls a crossbow on him. Doyle finally woges, but he’s just a basic Blutbad. When Rosalee announces to the room that Doyle’s not a Lycanthrope, he drops a “You know?” I think, at this point, we can put two and two together to make four. Mama Baske is the Lycanthrope. Back at the Baske home, she’s busy duct taping her wrists and ankles inside a special padded room. Rich people really do have everything, don’t they? The full moon hits her and her eyes go read. Meanwhile, Hank is drilling Doyle about his story. Mama Baske killed the couple and attacked Doyle, which left him in the predicament that he was found in earlier in the episode. He made up the dog story to protect his mother, though, really, a dog attack is more real world plausible than a werewolf on the prowl, right? Unfortunately, with Doyle at the precinct, all the duct tape in the world couldn’t keep his mom subdued. She breaks free.

Nick and company arrive at the Baske home as soon as possible, but unfortunately, she’s loose. Doyle doesn’t want them to hurt her, but hey, what’s a little tranquilizer dart from a crossbow. It’s rough going. Doyle only sees his mom, but everyone else see’s someone who could rip their throats out. They chase after her in the woods, but it seems like a wild goose chase. They can’t find her, she pops up, shots are fired, and Wu gets attacked. Doyle comes to his rescue, but ultimately, it doesn’t seem like Eliza the Lycanthrope will listen. When she lunges towards her defenseless son, Nick shoots her. It’s heartbreaking for Doyle, but in the moment before her death, she reverts to her human form. Doyle, in turn, woges and howls in mourning. It’s a shame we can’t see more of him after this, but sometimes one last howl is enough.

This brings us to our closing scene. We’re with Wu, which can’t be a good thing for the officer. When we see that he has a scratch from being attacked by the Lycanthrope, we know this to be true. He goes to bed and proceeds to get the shivers and shakes underneath the full moon. What does this mean? I don’t know, but I’ll be tuning in to find out. Meanwhile, let’s form a prayer circle for Drew Wu. He needs it. Actually, we all might need one. There’s a lot going down in Portland these days.

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.