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‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Once We Were Gods’

Scott Green/NBC)

Here we are once again, talking about a brand new episode of Grimm. Unlike last week’s episode, where the drama almost entirely revolved around the Wesen of the week, “Once We Were Gods” uses Grimm’s episodic procedural tendencies to tug at preexisting plot threads. That’s not to say the Anubis case isn’t engaging, but it’s the way that it pushes the story forward that makes this episode work.

The episode opens with a shocking archeological discovery, but quickly shifts to Wu in the sanitarium, sketching out a headshot of the Aswang that wouldn’t be out of place in Nick’s collection back at the trailer. Just as quickly, the scene shifts to the gang talking about Wu’s condition.  Hank still really wants to tell Wu the truth about Wesen, but everyone else—Nick, Monroe, Rosalee, and Juliette—are hesitant to let him in on such life changing information.

While everybody seemed just shy of being a full on ass last week when Wu was admitted, one must admit that the majority has a point here. Monroe admits Aswang are even terrifying to other Wesen; Juliette counters Hank’s insistence that her life is better because she knows by asserting it’s only because she already loved Nick. Otherwise, it would just be too much.  What I appreciate here, is that all the characters clearly care—they just aren’t sure how to go about doing so. Wu’s condition is one of the key plot points of the episode.

The episode shifts gears to the Wesen of the Week story that drives the procedural action this week. A couple of good looking dudes are in a hotel room watching Professor Vera Gates talking about the mummy she discovered in the opening scene on the news. They’re outraged about the situation, which clearly suggests some Wesen shenanigans are afoot.

The two guys break into the university where the sarcophagus is being held, but one of them wants to leave a message and gets his vandalism on with a can of spray paint. Things go downhill from there, when the other guy makes a noise and campus police show up. The tagger woges into his true form—he’s an Anubis—and tackles the officer, but the gun goes off and kills his friend. Another officer shows up on the scene, and he, in turn, gets blown away by the Anubis with the same gun that killed his friend. Yup—Wesen shenanigans are indeed afoot.

After a therapy session with Wu concludes, Nick and Hank show back up at the sanitarium to check in on him. The detectives provide the usual pleasantries—we miss you and you’re looking better than when we saw you last. However, Wu wasn’t even lucid when they last saw him so he doesn’t even remember their previous visit. Wu is delightfully snarky here; “God, I miss the sound of a homicide in the morning,” he says.

As you might have picked up, the Anubis case calls Nick and Hank away. Sans Wu’s snark, crime scenes are pretty dull, but we do get to the point quicker. After the cops scan the scene, Professor Gates shows up. They check on the mummy together, which reveals a mummified Anubis in full woge.

Meanwhile, in Austria, we can all prepare our “Poor Sebastien!”s, because he’s been caught out by Viktor. Sebastien spends the episode missing Renard’s calls and being waterboarded for information about the Resistance. He eventually gives in, which leads Viktor and a pack of his Verrat soldiers close to Adalind and Meisner. Fortunately for them, they’re already on the run with demon baby in tow.

Speaking of the demon baby, in between Sebastien’s capture and torture is an intensely creepy sequence with Meisner; he finds the baby out in the woods and then comes back to find she’s been with Adalind the whole time.  Meisner claims he could even hear the baby’s heartbeat, which jogs Adalind’s memory to her original ultrasound detecting two heartbeats. I find this whole thing puzzling and creepy. I definitely need more information about what’s going on with that baby. Adalind and Meisner continue to bond over the course of the episode. Not going to lie, I ship it.

Back at the precinct, Hank fills Renard in on the details of the failed break in. The guy who got away from the scene is identified as Karl Herman—a wanted terrorist and now a wanted murderer. The scene jumps to Karl, frantic and on the phone. While the person on the other side remains a mystery, we later learn that he was trying to plot with the Wesen Council to retrieve the Anubis mummy.

At the spice shop, Nick and the gang are piecing things together about how a Wesen could be mummified in their woged state and how the Egyptian gods were all actually Wesen. Monrosalee share the role of Wesen Wikipedia again, ultimately identifying Karl as a member of the Beati Paoli, an organization that tries to preserve Wesen heritage through violent action. Before everyone can depart for further research, Rosalee snags Monroe for wedding planning, leaving Nick, Juliette, and Hank to learn whatever they can at the trailer.

Before following everybody to the trailer, we get a brief check in on Wu at the hospital. He’s having Aswang-inspired nightmares, which is pretty fair; I’m surprised I’m not having the same nightmares myself. Reggie Lee knocks it out of the park here, continuing his impressive showing from last week. Once our all too brief visiting hours with Wu are up, it’s to the trailer, where the gang has found a film recording of one of Nick’s ancestors’ encounter with an Anubis. The footage manages to be both cheesy and disturbing.

Juliette makes a comment about Nick never having a full beard like the guy on film, which is an outrage. David Giuntoli looks damn good with a beard. Anyway, the more important thing here is that Nick can even see Wesen woge on film, when other people can’t. It’s an interesting look into both how Grimm and Wesen abilities work.

There’s some more info about the Beati Paoli and the recorded Wesen encounter in the books; Juliette finds that the ancient Egyptian pharaohs assumed that being buried with a mummified-in-woge Anubis would bring them back as gods after death. It’s a pretty gruesome ritual. While Nick and company are figuring things out, Alexander, the representative of the Wesen Council, shows up at Monrosalee’s for a commercial break cliffhanger. Dun, dun, dun!!

At the university, Nick and Hank try and warn Professor Gates about further attempts to acquire the mummy. Gates is not especially likable; she actually says “This is science!” While dealing with one unpleasant person, Nick gets the call about Alexander. As they head back to Monrosalee’s, Juliette shows up to visit Wu. Bitsie Tulloch and Lee play the hell out of this stuff.

Their heart to heart over very similar Wesen-induced traumas is easily the best scene of the entire episode and gives Wu something to reflect on. It’s also very brief, as we follow Nick to Monrosalee’s for his meeting with Alexander. As mentioned earlier, Karl was trying to get the Council to help him out, but instead they want Nick to get rid of Karl. It’s quite a strange arrangement; it leaves Monroe and Rosalee feeling unsettled, to say the least. Nick begrudgingly agrees to work with them. Elsewhere, Karl kidnaps Professor Gates. Looks like Alexander should have gotten in touch with Nick sooner. Gates calls off the extra security at the lab, while Nick and Hank head to her place, only to find her gone.

At the university, Karl holds the professor at knifepoint while Nick and Hank arrive to handle the situation. Having put an APB out on Alexander’s rental car, Hank finds out he’s also in the area. Nick gives Monroe a call and he and Rosalee also head that way. Clearly things are about to go down. While Gates goes on about science and the mummy, Karl talks about how it’s sacrilegious; he then woges and attacks her. Nick arrives just in time and Karl throws her at him.

The professor doesn’t do much damage though and Nick beats the crap out of Karl. The young Anubis resists, but he’s carted off and Nick has to explain away his woged form to Gates. Why can’t she end up in the sanitarium with Wu? During the kerfuffle, Alexander slips away with the Anubis mummy. However, he’s spotted by Monrosalee and Nick catches up with him. They have an intense exchange, but mutually agree to take the mummy and give it a ritualistic send-off. I have to say, I don’t particularly care for Alexander; if Nick eventually dispatches him, I will not be sad. Not at all.

At the tail end of the episode, Wu is rocking a mean sweater while Nick and Hank pick him up from the sanitarium. Wu no longer believes what he saw was real, which is a relief to the two detectives, but will certainly come back to haunt everyone when he has his next Wesen encounter. I predict Wu being in the know by the end of the season.Though, who knows?Nick’s zombie powers haven’t been touched on since Krampus way back in December and Adalind only just had her powers restored courtesy of her mysterious demon baby.

I love Grimm, but the show still struggles with the appropriate pacing. Also, I know Nick is the main character, but I actually miss seeing him at the heart of an episode. Maybe they can do something different—have him get hit on by an obsessive gay Wesen, reconnect with someone from his past who turns out to be unexpectedly involved in the mythology, or have him be the target of a Wesen return offender. At this point, I think Nick needs something more. Maybe his mother coming back with Adalind will be that something? Here’s hoping!

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.