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‘Grimm’ Season 3 Finale Review: ‘Blond Ambition’

Scott Green/NBC

With “Blond Ambition,” we conclude the third season of Grimm. Before I go into the emotional wrecking ball that was the season finale, I want to give some props to the cast, writers, and everyone else involved with the show. When NBC launched the show on a Friday night in 2011, who would have guessed it would have stuck? I’m so used to the shows I love dropping like flies, but Grimm has gone from strength to strength. That said, the finale had some weak spots that were hard for me to ignore (I’ll get into that momentarily).

As we know, there are a few major stories coming to a head with this episode. The official hashtag was #GrimmWedding because Monrosalee are finally tying the knot. The episode itself is titled “Blond Ambition” because Adalind’s scheming causes some majorly bad stuff to go down. There’s also that feud between Renard and Weston to worry about, plus Wu’s still traumatized from his encounter with the Aswang. Oh yeah, and Nick and Trubel are still big brother, little sister-ing it as Grimms. All of that stuff was rolled up into a great big ball and used to demolish me and a host of other Grimmsters last night.

Things start off pleasantly enough. There’s a little bait-and-switch that briefly makes you think the wedding rehearsal is the real deal. The woman marrying Monrosalee questions Nick about his Wesen-proof sunglasses, which causes an absolutely hilarious string of justifications from the usual gang, Monrosalee’s respective families, and Bud. Yes, you read that right! Bud’s back in time for the finale. Who hasn’t missed that guy? Unfortunately, things don’t stay light hearted for very long. At the precinct, Renard and Wu are still trying to find Adalind. Where is our devious blonde Hexenbeist? She’s at her dead mom’s storage unit inhaling magical smoke from her freaky witch hat bong to turn into Juliette, that’s where she’s at. That jerk Weston is also getting his stuff together in his effort to destroy Renard. Yeah, our beloved captain has a lot to deal with this episode.

At the rehearsal dinner, Bart, Monroe’s dad, delivers a fantastic speech about his acceptance of his son marrying a Fuchsbau and befriending a Grimm. Although the guy irritated the hell out of me earlier this season, his transformation makes me so happy, because I love Monrosalee and am relieved such a nasty conflict won’t be part of their relationship. Juliette delivers a speech about getting to know Monroe and Rosalee that’s very sweet, but she also shows up at Renard’s door in a slinky blue dress. Yup, we’ve got two Juliettes in action here right now. I imagine Bitsie Tulloch had a lot of fun playing fake Juliette, because she gets to be so over the top and manipulative. Adalind’s acting skills are pretty poor, but as Juliette she still manages to pull one over on Renard and confesses she still has feelings for him. For those of you who remember the horrors of last year’s amnesia/obsession storyline, I’m betting you cringed and felt a little nauseated. The illusion only holds up for so long, so when it starts to break down, Adalind rushes back to her storage unit.

The families arrive back at Monrosalee’s place and DeEtta, Rosalee’s sister, wants more wine.  Hey, maybe she isn’t so bad after all? Rosalee drags her off to open up a bottle of red, while Monroe has a heart to heart with Bart that continues from the earlier speech. These scenes with Monrosalee’s extended family are really great; they make a solid pay off for the episodes featuring these characters earlier this season. Meanwhile, at Nick and Juliette’s place, Trubel nearly burns the house down and while cooking a practice run of bacon and eggs. Nick consoles her while Juliette proclaims her love for bacon. Said bacon love will prove to be a surprisingly important detail later. I love the way Trubel fits in with the other characters. I’m also impressed with how Jacquelin Toboni has slipped in with an established cast and really made her own place in these past few episodes.  The two Grimms make plans to finally move the Grimm trailer elsewhere, which provides some really great bonding moments for the characters. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the sibling-esque chemistry between these two? If Toboni gets picked up as a regular for season four, I’ll be very happy, as long as Trubel doesn’t take too much of Nick’s shine.

While the Grimms bond, Adalind gives Juliette a call to talk about Renard still being obsessed with her. At this point, Juliette gets clobbered with some unadulterated second season stupidity that leaves her hobbling all the way to the end of the third season finale. Juliette has developed so much this season, so when she slips backwards, I find it incredibly frustrating. Why the hell would you believe anything Adalind says? She’s tried to kill you! While I was becoming angry with Juliette, DeEtta was putting on way Rosalee’s wedding dress and drinking way too much wine. The result? The dress is torn and covered in wine.

A wasted DeEtta explains why she did what she did and then falls over. All I can say after this is that I hope DeEtta continues to pop up next season. I never knew I needed a wine guzzling Fuchsbau in my life until I did. The next morning,  Rosalee runs out to the bridal shop with the parents in tow; Bart and Alice offer to buy a really expensive dress, which further shows how invested they are in Monrosalee now too. Meanwhile, in one of the funnier moments of the episode, Monroe tells a hungover DeEtta that they hated the dress. You guys and everyone who watches this show, Monroe.

While the wedding dress shenanigans are out of the way, we still have to deal with a storyline that’s funny in all the wrong ways. Renard calls Juliette, which sets off a ridiculous back and forth between the two. A volley of “you did this” and “I didn’t do that” goes back and forth. Why aren’t they realizing how fishy this is? In fact, Adalind calls just after to check in on Juliette. For some reason, Juliette only finds that a little weird and gives her way too much information. Almost immediately, Adalind inhales more weird smoke from the hat bong so she can put on her Juliette drag to stir up more trouble. Fortunately, Nick and Trubel stuff is intermixed with these frustrating Juliette scenes and help wash away the bad taste in my mouth from her irritating regression. The two Grimms move the trailer and haul the new trunk inside, all the while discussing Nick’s past and whether or not they would really WANT to be Grimms. There is some pretty anxiety inducing foreshadowing going on here.

Renard, informed of Adalind’s possible whereabouts by Wu, heads to the storage unit where he finds her hat and the green goop that’s causing all this trouble. Nick and Trubel arrive at home not long after. They talk some more and then head to their respective bedrooms. I can’t help but laugh when Trubel lays on the bed and then realizes she’s on top of her machete. I mean, sure, Angelina Jolie supposedly slept with knives, but a full on machete? Things turn from goofy to sexy at record speed when Fake Juliette walks out in her negligee and commences with seducing Nick. As appalled as I am, this scene is also really hot. It’s a shame Nick and real Juliette are never written quite this way. I’m pretty sure Nick would appreciate it. Also, I must say David Giuntoli is giving Sasha Roiz a run for his money with this whole half naked fan service thing. Fan girls (and boys) have to appreciate how good the man looks, even if the storyline is veering into troubling territory, right? While Nick takes a shower, Fake Juliette slips away, but not before bumping into Trubel and making a shocking confession: “I hate bacon.” Trubel, justifiably suspicious, follows her out and sees that she’s really Adalind.

Meanwhile, the real deal has returned from getting her hair done to commence what will be the most frustrating series of scenes in the whole episode. Juliette thinks Nick slept with another woman and basically accuses him of cheating on her. As we know, Nick didn’t sleep with just any other woman, but another Juliette. This whole sequence is so frustrating, because I feel like the show had to make Juliette completely oblivious to the world she’s become a part of for it to work. Fortunately, she gets her act together and realizes that it was Adalind. Okay, maybe not “fortunately,” but still, she pieces it together. The couple is on their way to Monrosalee’s wedding, so Adalind’s witchery has to wait. Renard shows up at Nick’s place with green goop for his favorite Grimm to drink. However, he just misses him and instead meets Trubel.  They fill each other in on what’s going on and just as Renard heads out the door so he can head to the wedding and give Nick the green goop, he gets shot.

Yup, Renard’s been shot by that creep Weston.  Weston shoots at Trubel and misses; she manages to head upstairs, where he follows. This is when he pulls the super creepy move of putting his gun away, because he wants to handle her physically. He woges and she doesn’t even flinch, which provides a satisfying “Oh damn, I’m fighting a Grimm” moment.  It’s even more satisfying when she pulls out her machete, chops his head off, and it bounces down the stairs. Is it wrong that I laughed a little at seeing C. Thomas Howell’s head just sitting there at the foot of the stairs? Probably, but I still did.  Trubel calls the cops, because Renard is dying, grabs the green goop, and proceeds to drive like a mad woman to Monrosalee’s wedding. I’m still laughing about the severed head. Am I a horrible person?

When Nick and Juliette arrive at the wedding, he confronts her about what happened and she says something about what he is ruining their lives. While I kind of get it, I also find it absolutely infuriating. Nick’s a detective. It’s not like horrible stuff didn’t always have the potential of happening. If he wasn’t a Grimm, would he even be who he is? This question is important, but must wait because, in the kerfuffle, Nick forgot the sunglasses he needs to hide who he is from everyone at the wedding. Monroe freaks out, but his dad offers a pair of prescription sunglasses that work well enough. A little awkward, but this doesn’t stop the ceremony from going beautifully, even as Trubel is driving to save the day. Monroe and Rosalee exchange their vows and it warms my heart. I love these characters and for all the chaos that’s around them, they’re coming together for good.

It’s a little unsettling how Nick and Juliette don’t even know what’s going on back at their place though. The police arrive and find Renard riddled with bullets and Weston’s headless body. Wu snoops around in Trubel’s bedroom where he finds one of the Grimm books. Cue Aswang induced PTSD.  Renard, hanging on to life, is taken away in an ambulance, while Adalind is on a plane back to Austria. I can’t wait to see her disappointment when she finds out Viktor doesn’t have her baby; next season better see Juliette beating the crap out of her.

And then Trubel arrives at the wedding. Things seriously go south, because all of the wedding guests can see she is a Grimm and come after her. Nick tries to calm things down, but the sunglasses fall off and get stepped on. The bottle of green goop also breaks, leaving it smeared on the floor.  As the gang manages to get away, Nick questions how everyone knew she was a Grimm. Monroe and Rosalee don’t get how they couldn’t know, when the bomb drops. Nick’s powers are gone. He’s no longer a Grimm. When they make their escape, Nick is noticeably devastated. Giuntoli’s expression here is heartbreaking and reinforces to me what an unsung talent he is. Nick Burkhardt isn’t even himself anymore and that’s the last scene we get. We don’t even get a screen taunting us that we have to wait until the fall.

We don’t need one though. Nick’s devastation is shared. This finale hits hard and I’m already so anxious for season four to begin. That said, I’m also a little frustrated. I know Nick won’t remain powerless, though the possibility that he will takes the show down an avenue that I’m not sure I could happily follow. There’s clearly a dilemma being set before him regarding leading a normal human life and being a Grimm. However, there’s stuff they never fully explored regarding his enhanced powers after he became a zombie. That plot thread is just dangling there and has been since he zombied out on Krampus during this season’s Christmas episode.

Also, I’m not a happy camper as a Juliette fan.  She is a very divisive character among Grimmsters, and this episode did her no favors. I must give props to Bitsie Tulloch for delivery a quality performance, even with material that makes me so angry. Adalind, another divisive character, also leaves me feeling frustrated. My well of sympathy for her has officially dried up. I think Claire Coffee does a fantastic job with the character, but where can she go from here? She’s burnt her bridges and will need an almost seismic shift to go back to “I love to hate her” from “I just hate her.”

I can’t even go into the cliffhangers with Renard and Wu. I’m hopeful and anxious to see where they go, just as I am with the newly married Monrosalee. Despite my frustrations, the finale was absolutely fantastic.  I cannot wait to see how things develop in season four!

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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  1. Check out my video review of this episode of Grimm:

  2. I loved the finale and look forward to how things will play out in season four. With all your frustrations, it’s hard to believe you think that season four even has any hope. Good recap. Poor review.

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