‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Tribunal’


Despite being totally ready for Nick and company to save Monroe’s Blutbad behind from the Wesenrein, I wasn’t sure I was fully prepared for this week’s episode of Grimm, “Tribunal.” However, the anxiousness and desperation that fueled last week, though still in play, has been supplanted by a harder edged determination here. Monroe is on trial and everyone else is further along the way to figuring out how to save him.

In the captain’s office at the precinct, Nick, Renard, and Hank are doing some of that figuring. They explain the situation with Acker and the prison go-between for Charlie Riker, the Wesenrein’s Grand Master. Because Wu has known Acker for quite some time, they plan on having him get the information out of the traitor. However, there’s a pesky little problem—Wu has never seen a Wesen woge in front of him before. Nick says he can handle that. Wu, almost too perfectly timed, pops into the office explaining the phone found at the house in last week’s episode was used in harassing calls to Monrosalee. Wu’s about to get roped into seeing his first woge. In the interrogation room, Hank prepares Wu for what’s to come. Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee share a really fantastic scene together here. Hank knows exactly where Wu is coming from and confronts him in a way that’s both blunt and supportive. It’s good stuff.

Meanwhile, Juliette and Rosalee are working their own angle on the situation, using the list of names Trubel had worked on with everyone’s favorite Eisbiber, Bud. Unfortunately, Rosalee doesn’t recognize all of the names on the list, but Juliette also has a copy of the wedding guest list handy, so their detective venture is on its way. It’s a rocky start though, because Rosalee still doesn’t know what connection they need to look for. Juliette takes the chance to run with a metaphor of people knowing each other and not realizing how other people they know are connected, using Nick’s mom and Adalind as her examples. This ends up being a pretty sneaky way for her to fish for Hexenbiest information from an overwhelmed Rosalee. Apparently, “made” Hexenbiests are even deadlier than “born” Hexenbiests, which is certainly intriguing for what’s coming down the line for Juliette. Rosalee quickly takes the subject back to the lists of names, which Juliette explains further. They agree they need to speak to Bud.

Just as the two women come to this agreement, we shift back to the precinct, where Bud is walking with Nick down the precinct hallway, nervous about showing himself to Wu. Meanwhile, Acker spots them and calls his Wesenrein superiors. Apparently everyone has plans for Bud this week. In the interrogation room, Bud introduces himself to Wu with his typically nervous flare. He sits down, rambles as he is want to do, and proceeds to suffer from some pretty awkward performance anxiety. This quickly changes to embarrassment, because his nervous excitement causes him to prematurely woge. Let me just say, if you’re not picking up on the innuendo they’re slinging on this one, you’re not paying attention. Wu is taken aback, but immediately fascinated and wants to see it again. C’mon now, Wu. Give the little guy a chance to regain his strength.

While everybody is doing their part, the creepy Wesen purity cult is splattering Monroe with blood in order to purify him for judgment.  He’s being charged with marrying outside his bloodline and befriending a Grimm. A masked Wesenrein member in a black robe proceeds to play lawyer and claims he will provide evidence of the crimes. Monroe replies with sass. Grand Master Riken replies with a declaration that he should be muzzled. This time Monroe replies with violence, woging and clobbering a couple of the bigots. He even manages to get away again, before Jonah Riken, the Grand Master’s annoying little brother from last week’s episode, tackles him. Another Wesenrein member grabs at Monroe too, which ends up being a big mistake. Huge even. Monroe mauls the guy and leaves the world with one less bigoted weirdo in a hood. Of course, this also adds murder to his list of crimes, but what’s another impaleable offense, am I right? Jonah and a bunch of the Wesenrein want to kill Monroe on the spot though, but the Grand Master likes to play by the rules while belittling his insufferable baby bro, so Wesenrein rules win out. Hurrah! Monroe isn’t dead yet!

At the precinct, Bud is still woging on demand for Wu, who seems to be totally into it. The fact he hasn’t run screaming out the front door essentially means he’s officially a Scooby now. Renard explains the situation with Acker a little further and Wu agrees to put pressure on him. Meanwhile, Acker is busy creeping on Bud, who is heading to Nick and Juliette’s to help the ladies with their own detective work. Oh, and there’s a vehicle tailing him. Damn Wesenrein. Back in the woods, Monroe’s been muzzled and his marriage to Rosalee is being thrown about as a reason for him to die. Some of Monrosalee’s wedding photos are even used as evidence. There’s mysterious talk of a further witness, but almost immediately we’re back at the precinct with Wu confronting Acker in the hallway. Moments later, Juliette is greeting Bud at the door. The frantic pacing and immediacy lends itself to that feeling of determination I explained earlier. So much is happening at once and it’s important that all the right things intersect or it could go horribly wrong.

Wu absolutely shreds Acker in the interrogation room, denigrating his performance as a cop and poking bigger holes in his messy cover story. When Wu drops the “I know you’re Wesenrein” bomb on him, Acker woges into a Bauerschwein and is greeted with a fist to the snout. I’ve got to say, I love the fact the dirty cop is a literal pig. Nick and Hank rush into the room moments later and Acker realizes our hero is a Grimm again. Acker plays dumb and Nick gets rough. It’s awesome when he plays bad cop, but it’s even more awesome when Renard comes in and plays also bad cop. Acker whines about being mistreated and Renard literally picks him up and flings the little piggy across the room.

While the cops are getting rough, Bud helps Juliette and Rosalee figure out a decent lead. He heads out to talk to his friend, but is greeted with a bearded Wesenrein member who punches him in the face and drives off in his truck with poor Bud inside. Fortunately, Rosalee isn’t content to wait for Bud, so she and Juliette head to meet a real estate agent who was at the wedding and might know something. They better hurry though, because Monroe is looking pretty rough with that muzzle and blood splatter. In mere moments, Bud has been dragged into the tribunal’s presence, meaning there’s even more at stake now than before. Two beloved Wesen potentially knocking on heaven’s door? Say it ain’t so! The tribunal grills Bud about his connection with Monroe in between physical violence and threats of death. Bud still manages to be Bud though. For all his nervousness, he’s a stand up guy. In fact, he proclaims his own support of the Grimm, all but sealing his own fate.

Unaware of what happened to their friend, Rosalee and Juliette confront Suzanne at her real estate office where we learn she’s actually Acker’s sister. Small Wesen world, huh? Juliette calls Nick, who, along with his fellow in the know cops, is incredibly frustrated with the Acker situation. The fact they can pick up his sister for questioning gives them an unexpected bargaining chip. While this turn of events gives them a fighting chance, Monroe’s still as close to being killed as ever. Silas Weir Mitchell gets to deliver a fantastically impassioned speech condemning his treatment and gives Monroe a brilliant character moment, but the Wesenrein aren’t as enthused about it as I am. They vote to kill.

Once again in the interrogation room, Rosalee is hammering into Suzanne, who is completely oblivious and refuses to believe her brother would be involved in the Wesenrein. Nick watches with Acker behind the one-way glass and things get pretty dark. So dark that Nick threatens to do to Suzanne what the Wesenrein will do to Monroe. While plenty of folks love barbecue pork, it’s still plenty unnerving. That said, it’s also being a welcome reminder of Nick’s ability to play on the edges. I mean, he’s not going to kill her. Acker just doesn’t know that and he folds like a house of cards under further pressure from Renard. What follows is the most bad ass Scooby Gang strut down the hall that this show has ever seen. It’s a bummer that Monroe isn’t there to bring his own swagger, but he’s understandably preoccupied.

When Nick and company arrive in the woods near the location of the Wesenrein tribunal, everyone grabs a weapon and discards any pretense of police activity with a toss of their badges to the side. It’s a cool moment, because it emphasizes a line between Grimm justice and police justice that requires quite the balancing act.  The group heads into the woods and they manage to arrive just on time—a moment later and Monroe would be doing his best toasted marshmallow impersonation and Bud wouldn’t have been far behind. What follows is one of the most intense action sequences the show has done, with every character playing a part. Wu blasts an attacking Wesenrein member with a rifle, while Hank corners another who runs straight into Renard and a death so grisly it happens off camera. Jonah, who has deserved a beat down for two episodes now, attacks Juliette. She misses with a gun, but when he tackles her in his Blutbad form, she woges and uses her newfound Hexenbiest powers to blow his brains out. Nick, watching over the Wesenrein smart enough to surrender, uses his enhanced hearing powers to catch one of the stupid ones and proceeds to beat the crap out of him. While everyone slowly returns to the central tribunal space, Monroe catches Grand Master Riken and they have an intense Blutbad-on-Blutbad battle. Things briefly favor Riken, but Rosalee pops out of the woods and goes full Fuchsbau on the unprepared cult leader. She and Monroe tear him apart.

The next morning, Renard has a press conference explaining what happened and pinning it all on Acker. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, right? Later, Monrosalee host a party of sorts for their friends. It’s great to see both Wu and Renard included here, along with Bud and the usual core Scooby Gang.  While the show certainly thrives on an intense mythology and often violent storylines, the way these characters connect provides its beating heart. After the party, Nick and Hank give Monrosalee a police escort to the Portland Airport so they can finally get the honeymoon they’ve so long deserved. Wu, however, is munching on French fries and reading away about Wesen in the trailer. He’s a very eager student. While he’s provided humor for a long time, it’ll be interesting to see how this newfound knowledge will shape his character. While things are starting to settle, the closing scene provides the ammunition for what should be an explosive episode next week. Juliette shows up at Renard’s door in need of advice, but unsure of how to even ask, she woges. I’m all anxious now just thinking about how this is going to play out.

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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