‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Octopus Head’


So, remember how Renard was pronounced dead at the end of “Thanks for the Memories” last week? Well, he’s still dead! Well, for the first couple of minutes of “Octopus Head” anyway. Fortunately, that mysterious blonde they probably wanted us to think was Adalind for a minute before pondering “Who is that?” stops time in the hospital room and pulls out a magical two-headed snake that attaches to both of them. She faints, the snake crumbles into dust, and Renard woges. Our shirtless raging Captain lives again! And who saved him, you might ask? Why it’s none other than Mama Renard herself, Elizabeth Lascelles! Elizabeth doesn’t look much older than her son. Must be good to be magical, eh? Once he awakens, he fills her in on the recent goings on with Nick, Adalind, the Royals, and her granddaughter.

While Renard makes his return to the living, Adalind returns to Austria. In fact, she’s at Viktor’s doorstep seeking her baby, Diana. Of course, she doesn’t know that Nick’s mom Kelly took little Diana while the Portland Scooby Gang faked a Royal kidnapping of the child to keep her safe. This ignorance set in motion her shapeshifting seduction and depowering of the show’s hero, so while I love Claire Coffee, I’m really looking forward to Adalind getting her comeuppance. And thanks to Viktor, she gets her first taste of it when he reveals he’s been lying about having the baby. However, before he spills the beans, the villain asks Adalind one important question: How was sleeping with Nick? I’ve got to say, that wasn’t a question I expected and I find myself feeling even more creeped out by the villain than usual. Sure, killing people is fine, but asking a woman how the guy she magically raped was in bed? Gross. Adalind doesn’t have an answer. She gets tossed into a rat infested prison cell in the castle moments later. Excuse me while I point and laugh. Adalind’s prison cell comes complete with a serving of traditional gruel and creepy security camera ogling from Viktor. Why am I getting a sexual predator vibe from him now? Between the questions about sex with Nick and further comments talking about how attractive Adalind still is, I’m more than a little skeeved out. Adalind’s prison cell also includes a peep hole with a cackling weirdo on the other side. As much as they’re working to cultivate concern, I’m still happy she’s locked up.

While all of these shenanigans are going down with Royals and Hexenbeists, we have a Wesen of the Week case to deal with too. It can’t all be Renard coming back to life and Adalind getting chewed on by rats, because that tentacle headed Gedächtnis Esser. Trubel continues to tail him, while Nick and Hank talk about the continuing drama over Nick’s loss of powers. Trubel makes a pretty good spy, though she can’t follow him into his hotel room. She meets up with Nick and Hank and puts them in the loop, but she’s eager to handle it Grimm-style while they want to go and be detectives about it and find evidence of his crimes. It’s an interesting dynamic. When they agree to take a step back, Trubel asks for some money to buy lunch and the episode reaches strange My Two Dads territory. Once she’s grabbed a bite, Trubel returns to the hotel, sandwich in hand, hoping to figure out what’s going on with the Gedächtnis Esser. Octopussy takes a seat and does a flashback through the memories of his victim from last week’s episode. He prepares to leave, but before he can catch Trubel watching, she runs and hides in a hotel stairwell and follows the newly made over creep.

Added to the mix is a fourth plot strand: Monroe and Rosalee working to remove the effects of the entwining twin curse from Nick’s system at the spice shop. I love Monrosalee and their brainstorming session is fun to watch, though I do hope we get a sense of newlywed Wesen life soon. When too many characters are doing too many big things, some of them suffer and I don’t want them to be swallowed whole by bigger storylines. Later, a similarly sidelined Juliette shows up to talk to our favorite Wesen couple. In fact, she tries to discourage them from finding a cure for the curse. I understand Juliette’s feelings, but something about her intrusion makes me uncomfortable. On top of that, her own interference could come back to bite her. I’m hoping as the season progresses we’ll get a more fleshed out look at her perspective. Although the two consider her input, they don’t take it to heart, which is probably going to better for everyone in the long run.

Back at the station, Nick and Hank are digging up information about Gedächtnis Esser Lawrence Anderson. They quickly find out Anderson, whose defense contracting job is similar to last week’s victim, is actually another victim of what they soon realize is a Wesen spy. Before they can delve further though, Agent Chavez, the shady Steinadler pops in to question Nick further about Steward’s beheading. Trubel contacts Hank to keep him in the loop on Octopussy and continues to trail him, while Nick handles his own Wesen troublemaker. The back-and-forth between Nick and Chavez is like a game of ping pong with tight close-ups. Nick. Chavez. Nick. Chavez. This comes to an end when she woges and Nick makes no acknowledgment of her bird face. After Nick leaves, Chavez calls a mysterious person and talks about how he isn’t a Grimm, but she thinks she knows who is. Yep. Chavez is shady as all hell.

While Nick is clueless, Wu is working to become less so. We get some interesting cross referenced flashbacks about Trubel, which means he’s putting more and more of the puzzle together about her identity. He even asks Hank about her being a criminology student, but Nick appears and they leave quickly. They catch each other up on their respective questioning, before Hank explains how both of the Gedächtnis Esser’s victims have similar high level security clearances. The two continue their concerned dads routine—which I kind of love—and contact Trubel, who brushes them off and continues following Octopus Head. Unfortunately, she loses him and he makes it to Kent Vickers’s home in hopes of turning him into his third victim. This also gives him the opportunity to see Trubel approaching outside, so when she approaches the home, she gets clobbered from behind with a fairly heavy log. Not her finest hour, by any means. Nick and Hank arrive, but by this time, Trubel is tied up and unconscious inside. With no sign of the young Grimm, the two freak out and head back to the spy’s hotel room. Meanwhile, I’m screaming “No! No! Don’t leave!” at the TV screen. This isn’t horror movie scary, but the fear for Trubel’s safety feels real.

In Vickers’s home, our tentacle headed villain of the week gets too close for comfort with Trubel. Jacqueline Toboni delivers some serious stink eye in this scene. Her talent for delivering the perfect facial expression could give David Giuntoli a run for his money in the future. While the Gedächtnis Esser goes to mess with Vickers, Nick and Hank have arrived at the hotel and find an address for Vickers’s home, so end up returning from where they came. It feels a bit like their chasing their own tail here, which I’m not feeling, but it does give us the chance to get a pretty cool fight scene with Trubel. Although the Gedächtnis Esser gets the upperhand, she literally kicks his ass around first. What really gets him in the end is the fact he gets his tentacles into her skull, not expecting the terrifying Grimm memories inside her brain. Nick and Hank arrive shortly after he starts sucking her brain dry. He tears away from her, all the while freaking out in the most ridiculously over the top way. Neither Trubel nor Vickers seem to have any lingering effects, but Timothy Perkal—as Nick and Hank identify him at the precinct—is now totally nutter butters.

After the case is wrapped up, Nick and Hank check in on Renard at the hospital. Nick and Renard’s mutual concern for each other—after seasons of manipulation and distrust—is awesome here. A moment later, Renard introduces them to his mom. We don’t get to see what else goes down here, because we flash forward to the next day. Trubel, stealing all the bacon in the house, much to surrogate mom Juliette’s dismay, I might add, heads to do Grimm stuff on Juliette’s bike. Wu shows up to talk about her just as she leaves. These two events lead to three massive bomb shells in a row. First, Wu asks Nick why a homicide suspect criminology student is staying with him. Second, before Nick can answer, he and Adalind go Freaky Friday, swapping perspectives in an extremely painful way. Third, Trubel gets kidnapped by Chavez and a gang of men and dragged into a windowless van.

While Renard’s “death” at the end of last week’s episode hit with a punch, I had a sinking feeling he would make it out like he did this week. The stuff ending this episode, however, hits like a wrecking ball. What the hell is happening with Nick and Adalind? Which one is the Lindsay Lohan and which one is the Jamie Lee Curtis? Where did Chavez take poor Trubel in her creeper van? Is Wu going to get blown off again? What will happen when things are finally explained? That said, while I’m looking forward to this whole powerless thing being explored more, I’m not sure the Wesen of the Week stuff will hold up like it needs to if they want to maintain the procedural drama.

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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