TV Recaps

‘Grimm’ Review: Zombie Arc Ends With ‘PTZD’

GRIMM -- "PTZD" Episode 302 -- Pictured: David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt -- (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

Can I just say again how excited I am to have Grimm back? That summer hiatus was a killer. You know who’s also possibly a killer? Zombie Nick.

“PTZD” picks up right where we left him last week—poised to assault an innocent family of four in a fit of zombie rage. The show is channeling some serious horror movie mojo here. You can feel the fear of the family as they try to make it inside their home in time. Of course, Zombie Nick isn’t going to be bothered by some pesky door. His fist smashes through the door and the family tears up the stairs like, well, they’re running from a zombie. Dad is looking for a gun and mom is telling her two squealing daughters to be quiet. I’m pretty sure Zombie Nick could handle that for you, mom.

You might ask, “Where is everyone else?” Well, Monroe and Hank are traipsing through the woods trying to find their zombified mutual bestie. Monroe, of course, is using his enhanced Blutbad senses to track his former roommate. Back at the scene of last episode’s bar fight, Captain Renard and the Daphne and Velma of the show’s Scooby Gang, Juliette and Rosalee, are heading out to meet with the other two and find Nick.

Before Zombie Nick can (seriously) injure or kill anyone, Monroe and Hank make the scene. Zombie Nick promptly tosses them around like rag dolls. He also makes time to fling the nameless dad across the room. In an effort to draw Zombie Nick away from the day players, Hank flings a miniature bust at their zombified friend. Zombie Nick, whose head is turned, uses his enhanced hearing and proceeds to catch it in midair without even turning around to see it. Not going to lie, but that has to be one of the coolest feats he’s pulled off on the show, zombie infection or not.

Not long after, Renard and the ladies show up; this means this zombie thing is converging on a resolution. Well, some resolution anyway. I felt relieved when the episode reached this point. As much as I enjoyed David Giuntoli milking his character’s zombie role—with the grunts and the intense stares—I was ready for my favorite Grimm to be back to normal. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Zombie Nick still has to throw his friends around some more.

While the gang has regrouped and prepares to cure Zombie Nick, the angry gun-toting dad storms outside ready for a piece of the action—or at least ready to rant about it. While his delivery leaves quite a bit to be desired, it does afford Renard the opportunity to throw out the name Thomas Schirach. Schirach, if you recall, is the name on the fake passport Renard’s brother planned to use to smuggle “dead” Nick out of the country. Clever move there, Renard. Once Zombie Nick starts causing a ruckus in the barn in which he’s being momentarily contained, angry gun-toting dad runs back inside. It’s time for some friend on friend violence.

Monroe and Renard woge out, much to Hank’s jealousy, and the three men make every effort to subdue Zombie Nick so that the ladies can implement the cure. This means lots of Zombie Nick beating the ever loving crap out of his friends. This includes his girlfriend, Juliette, who injects him with the cure before she promptly receives a heavy duty backhand. Rosalee slips in and pushes the painful looking delivery device all the way in, finishing the job. Zombie Nick is no more. Though as the gang escape the scene, it appears that Nick might be lost altogether.

GRIMM -- "PTZD" Episode 302 -- Pictured: (l-r) Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Stefania -- (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

GRIMM — “PTZD” Episode 302 — Pictured: (l-r) Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Stefania — (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

With the zombie threat dealt with, the episode shifts once again to the misadventures of Adalind and Stefania in Austria. Frau Pech’s still there too. She’s dead and dismembered, but she’s there. Adalind, having collected the dead flowers that resulted from the success of the first parts of the repowering ritual last episode, has to place said flowers inside the gaping space in Frau Pech’s chest where her heart used to be. Oh, and she has to sew the corpse shut after. This stuff is appropriately bonkers, but again, it feels rather disconnected from the larger part of the story. Claire Coffee is fantastic as Adalind, but it’s easy to forget she’s on the show at all when her story is buried so deep in the episode. Later returns to this side story make it rather hard to forget though—especially the scene where Adalind has to cut the thread she sewed Frau Pech up with using her teeth. Yup. It’s totally gross, but it shows just how desperate Adalind is for her powers to return. I also think Stefania might have been messing with the former Hexenbiest just a bit. But hey, a gypsy queen has to get her jollies where she can. Later, the gaping wound is opened yet again and Adalind harvests some magical red goop from it. In Adalind’s last scene of the episode, she’s shown smearing it on her stomach; a skull appears, leaving viewers to wonder what is exactly going on. Adalind though? She just offers a knowing evil smirk.

Back in Portland, with Nick seemingly out of the woods, the group begins to disperse. Renard, who set in motion the demise of his scheming brother last episode, returns to the precinct to the news Eric’s car was blown up. I’m a little skeptical here. As a fan of soap operas and comic books, I’m all too familiar with the idea of “no body, no death.” That said, I’m also familiar with “there’s the body, no death.” Either way, I’m a little disappointed with how this was handled. You couldn’t blow him up on screen, Grimm? Despite this disappointment, I enjoy the political intrigue that follows regarding the royals and Renard’s mysterious Hexenbiest mother.

With the rest of his friends still around, Nick finally comes to, though he’s suffering from a little zombie induced amnesia. Hey, when someone wakes up feeling sore, handcuffed to a bed, and surrounded by people, “I was a zombie last night” might not be the first thing you think of. The gang talks over each other, before letting Juliette take the floor to explain exactly what happened. Nick, hero that he is, is concerned that he let the zombie making Baron Samedi escape, but Juliette explains the situation is much more than that. Her methods, though, almost amount to “Hey Nick, flash your abs. Look, totally cool zombie cure scares!” Off screen, the gang fill Nick in on all of his bad behavior while under the influence of Samedi’s zombie goop—namely the bar fight and terrorizing the family of bad actors. They assure Nick that no one was killed, but he displays that frustrating sense of guilt and responsibility that grips so many heroes. He even says how glad he is he didn’t kill anyone.

Unfortunately, just moments before these scenes of reassurance, Sergeant Wu had walked in to tell Renard that one of the men that fought Zombie Nick at the bar had died. You’re cruel, Grimm writers.  Fortunately—or maybe, yet again, unfortunately—Renard trashed the bar’s security camera set up and stole the footage of the fight for his own purposes. Thomas Schirach, the imaginary gentleman from the passport who shares the same handsome face as our hero, is blamed for the death.  The insufferable and inept pairing of Holtby and Bauer is put on the case, which allows the gang to close ranks and develop a cover story for Nick.

Besides the murder case, Nick apparently has some further complications from his night as the living dead; Juliette wakes up in the middle of the night and sees him lying there, cold to the touch and white as a sheet. She tries to shake him awake and even slaps him across the face, but he doesn’t wake up until she’s on the line with 911. I’m certainly curious as to what’s going on with this part of the story, but it definitely plays secondary concern to the Thomas Schirach case. Over the remainder of the episode, Holtby and Bauer make the rounds interviewing Renard and Rosalee, before showing up at Nick and Juliette’s. Of course, the insufferable duo let it slip that someone died during the bar fight; Nick uses the same enhanced hearing to listen in on Juliette’s statement.

This is when I say, “I love you, Nick, but shut up.” Nick, angry that no one told him about the death, plans on turning himself in—despite his lost of faculties and his friends putting themselves on the line with the Thomas Schirach lie. Juliette and Hank fail to convince him, but Renard shows Nick the bar fight footage—the man who died had actually pulled a knife—and manages to persuade him against making a confession.  While I found Nick’s eagerness to take the blame irritating, I was still thrown when he lets Holtby and Bauer walk on by.  I’m anxious to see how this story will play out, because clearly there’s a lot left to tell.

Although I found myself occasionally frustrated with Nick, I found “PTZD” to be a rewarding conclusion to the show’s zombie arc. I also want to note how much I loved the teamwork displayed by Nick’s friends.  That said, I’m looking forward to Nick being awesome again soon. I hope the show can balance both at the same time. Oh, and although I don’t mention them in the body of my recap/review, the Monrosalee moments this episode are pretty fun.  This is a controversial statement among some Grimmsters, but I’m definitely enjoying the two of them together.

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.

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