‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Eye of the Beholder’

Scott Green/NBC

Last night, Grimm followed up on some of the subplots of last week’s episode with “Eye of the Beholder.” In case you didn’t watch last week, Juliette and Nick took in Juliette’s friend Alicia, who’s trying to escape an abusive relationship with her partner Joe. Unbeknownst to Juliette, Alicia is a Wesen. In fact, like Rosalee, she’s a Fuchsbau. Nick discloses this information to Juliette in the opening scenes of “Eye,” which makes things super awkward for her. Also super awkward? Joe is across the street staring at the three of them as they enjoy a meal together. Is it lunch? Is it dinner? Not sure, but I do know Nick turns down wine because he’s on duty. Psshh. “On duty.”

Later that night at a diner in town, a teenager named Jared is drawing on a paper place mat and flirting with his girlfriend, Joy, who happens to be his waitress. You know, the usual stuff boring stuff before we get to the meaty case of the week. The kid catches a gang beating a man and a woman in the parking lot—the man woges right before he’s clubbed over the back of the head. The teenager gets the gangs attention and hauls ass, while a bystander hears the woman’s screaming. The episode goes to its first commercial break with her anguished screams as she rolls around on the ground. It’s kind of a jarring image.

Wu! Back from the break and we’re graced with the traditional “scene of the crime” info dump.  Nick and Hank interview witnesses, including Joy. She explains that the victim was probably involved with a gang, but that she avoids knowing too much.  Once Hank finishes talking to Joy, she gets a call from Jared who says he witnessed the murder. She encourages him to keep quiet. As some say, “snitches get stitches.” However, I found that whole premise incredibly annoying. The bad guys saw him. It doesn’t matter if they think he’s a tattletale or not. They’ll come after him. As evidenced by the three gang members talking about what they’re going to do to him.

Back at Nick and Juliette’s, Alicia is on her laptop looking for more permanent places to stay. Juliette, after Nick’s Wesen revelation, awkwardly offers Alicia some coffee. This whole scene is incredibly uncomfortable; Bitsie Tulloch and Alicia Lagano both do a fantastic acting job. Juliette explains that she is a human who knows about Wesen. Alicia is thrown and angry; Juliette is supportive. The two women fight. Way to stick your foot in your mouth, Juliette.

Back at the precinct, Nick, Hank, and Renard talk about the dead man’s background. Wu comes in with a red light photo of Jared leaving the scene of the murder the night before. Nick and Hank arrive at the home of the car’s owner, only to find out that the car belongs to Zuri, Hank’s physical therapist. Yup! That’s another thread from last week being followed up on.  When Jared shows up, he does the typical stupid kid move—he runs. Of course, chasing a kid down isn’t a problem for Nick, but Zuri gets pissed.

After a little research into Jared and Zuri’s background, Nick and Hank interrogate Jared. While you feel a little bit for the kid, I also find myself irritated with him. He lets it slip that multiple people were guilty of the murder, but won’t give Nick and Hank any information. When the interrogation is through, Zuri shows up wanting to see her brother and announcing she won’t let him be a witness, because she knows how gang cases go. Again, I understand, but considering the fact the killers saw Jared, I have a hard time supporting their stance. He’s screwed either way.

At the hospital, the murder victim’s girlfriend Mercedes has woken up. Nick and Hank are there to question her, but she asserts that she doesn’t talk to cops. Nick plays bad cop—he goes into pretty gory detail about how badly Alonzo was beaten. Mercedes woges and gets a good look at Nick the Grimm, which terrifies her just as much as the attack earlier in the episode. Nick then goes from bad cop to even worse cop when he threatens to come back later as a Grimm. Mercedes, once again worried for her life, rats out the gang responsible – the Seventh Street Savages.

Once they have something of a lead, Nick and Hank head to Rosalee’s spice shop. Monroe has some pretty blunt words for Wesen street gangs, but doesn’t have any direct knowledge of them himself. When Hank asks Rosalee about the North Hen Crew though, we get a surprising wealth of information—on both the gang and her background. The gang is made up entirely of the jaguar-like Wesen known as the Yaguaraté; during a rough time in her life, Rosalee used to buy drugs from the gang. Rosalee also knows all about the Seventh Street Savages too. As I’ve said in previous reviews, information dumps like these are important to move the show along, but it’s nice when they actually add complexity to the characters too. Although the episode isn’t about her, Rosalee definitely benefited from it. Also, Monrosalee fans get some cute moments after Nick and Hank leave.

Once they stop with the cute, it’s back onto the case. Jared is on the phone with his girlfriend Joy, telling her all about what’s gone down with the cops. She’s walking alone in the dark. Zuri interrupts with a dinner announcement, which Jared brushes off; he’s grounded. I can tell I’m getting old here, because when he gets off the fun and still rebuffs his sister’s offer of food, I have no sympathy. Meanwhile, Joy gets kidnapped by one of the Savages. This is what happens when you walk alone in the dark on a genre show.

Zuri finishes dinner and proceeds to take the garbage out, but gets a call from Hank on her way out. Which is fortunate for her, cause two-thirds of the Savages are there and coming after her. Hank gets the cops together and Zuri manages to slip out the back with Jared. They hide from the gang, who are scared away by the cops. Safe and sound for the moment, Zuri and Jared identify the gang members at the precinct. Renard arranges for the two to find a safe house.

Monrosalee are having some quality cello time, when Juliette comes knocking on the door. Juliette is there to get some advice in dealing with Alicia. The whole situation is clearly setting up a corollary with coming out that I never would have made with Wesen before. Rosalee explains that Wesen aren’t always comfortable being who they are and that Alicia couldn’t explain herself before Juliette even knew they existed. It’s a cool moment, and I sort of dig what they’re doing here, but I’m also a little iffy with the metaphor.

Elsewhere, Zuri and Jared are settling in at the safe house. Hank shoos away Wu—he doesn’t want to leave Zuri alone because he feels responsible—and things seem calm. Little do they know Joy’s in the trunk of the gang’s car.  She might as well have “bait” stamped on her forehead.

The next morning, Zuri is shocked away by Hank and Jared playing video games. Jared asks if he can get some food, which allows Zuri and Hank to have some awkward small talk about his exercises, her father and brother, and why exactly he shooed Wu. Jared comes back with an order ready for Hank. I really enjoyed this scene—I found myself warming to Zuri and Jared—and it was nice for Hank to have some screen time of his very own.

At Casa Grimm, Juliette and Nick are having breakfast. She explains to Nick that she told Alicia she knew about Wesen; you can tell Nick thinks this was a bad idea, but he’s really soft about it. David Giuntoli does a great job with subtle facial expressions and situational reactions, and this is no different. Nick is also skeptical about that whole “coming out” framework too, which felt like the show being conscious of how that might be problematic.

Alicia comes downstairs to join them and shares that she’s found an apartment. Juliette, who has seemingly doused her scrambled eggs with awkward sauce, lets it go that Nick is a Grimm. Alicia freaks out, as any uninitiated Fuchsbau might, and almost runs out of the house. Nick tries to explain everything away, but Joe comes in the open door and sucker punches Nick.

He goes after Alicia, but fortunately, Juliette is there. In a surprising development—surprising since Juliette’s fights with Wesen (or zombies) have been somewhat limited and never as intense as this fight—she beats the living crap out of the guy. He flings her around a bit, but she climbs on his back, boxes his ears, slams him across the face with a frying pan, and kicks him repeatedly.  Joe woges, but it does him no good. It’s one of the most bad ass fight sequences any character has had on this show.

When Nick pops back up, Joe might as well crap his pants when he realizes he’s messed with a Grimm. After, Alicia reveals her Fuchsbau form to Juliette and they hug. The whole sequence goes from awkward to incredibly satisfying.  Bitsie Tulloch delivered one of her best performances of the series for me in this episode.

While the Alicia plot is mostly wrapped up, there’s still that whole street gang who murdered a guy and kidnapped a girl thing going on. While Hank and Zuri are busy being cute, Jared steals Hank’s phone and calls Joy. While she has a prepared script to get him to come to her, she breaks and reveals they’re holding her hostage. Either way is effective though, because the kid sneaks out while Hank shares his mostly ideal childhood with Zuri.

It doesn’t take long for Hank and Zuri to realize this though. Jared gets to his girlfriend’s place, where the gang overtakes him—and his eyes glow yellow. Surprise Wesen! Jared, like the North Hen Crew, is a Yaguaraté! He briefly takes out one of the gang members, while the other two go outside to deal with Nick and Hank. Said gang members are quickly dispatched.

The third goes after Jared and Joy; he nearly shoots Jared, but Zuri saves him and mauls the guy to death. Zuri’s shocked that Nick is a Grimm, but Nick and Hank aren’t shocked by Zuri’s Wesen nature. In fact, Hank wants to pursue a relationship with her, but she’s not comfortable with it. It’s unfortunate, as they had some nice chemistry. Maybe Zuri will be back later on?

In my review for last week’s episode, “Red Menace,” I mentioned that I was hoping for a big pay off on the storylines planted for this week’s episode. I was more than happy with “Eye of the Beholder.”

Nick’s supporting crew got some development and character moments, which I appreciate. Of course, he kind of took a backseat this week in some respects, but he was still ever present and pushed the story forward. They really work to make the ensemble work and David’s acting is a key component.

It would have been nice to see a little more Renard—and Adalind, of course, was nowhere to be seen—but I needed a break from Austria and the Royals, so this episode worked for me in that regard too. I do hope that storyline picks up soon though, along with the Zombie Nick stuff, which was also absent from this episode. While I need a break from the teasing, absence makes me want resolution even more.  Here’s to next week and more Grimm!

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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