Before we get to the very latest goings on with Nick and company in “Heartbreaker,” I feel like it’s my duty to catch you up a little bit, since I wasn’t able to cover last week’s episode “Double Date.” The episode pulled off all the things Grimm does well: developing its big mythological storylines, delivering great done-in-one procedural stories, and letting both develop its cast of characters. In this case, Juliette gives Nick the cold shoulder after revealing her transformation into a Hexenbiest, going as far as to seek shelter under Renard’s roof. Meanwhile, Renard is dealing with phantom bleeding connected to his near death experience. He brings the issue to Monroe and Rosalee, but they only offer the magical book that was used to remove and restore Nick’s powers. The book’s previous owner, Adalind, has to deal with her latest pregnancy and the news that Viktor is getting shipped off after his constant failures to reclaim Adalind’s baby. While all of this major story stuff is happening, Nick and Hank manage to solve a case involving a Huntha Lami Muuaji. These wormlike Wesen have both male and female forms with a nasty in-between form that secretes killer slime. Trust me; my brief coverage of the episode here is insufficient. Catching the episode on demand or online, even if you’ve already watched it, is well worth the effort.
Now that we’re caught up, we can get our hearts broken. The episode opens with an infuriated Juliette storming in with the magic book and slamming it down on a sleeping Renard’s bed. She rages about the fact there is no cure to be found for either her transformation or his bleeding in the book. She then rants about how normal her life was before and threatens to do very bad things if she isn’t eventually restored. While I get why she’s acting this way and I think Bitsie is doing a brilliant job playing out her character’s frustrations, I’m starting to feel a little aggravated with the writing. When Juliette is letting herself be immersed in the Wesen world, the character shines. When she’s resisting it, her character becomes much more abrasive, hence the fit of rage in Renard’s bedroom.
While Juliette is coming unhinged, the scene shifts to our Wesen of the Week. We’re introduced to the River City Riders as they wrap up their morning ride. The club’s members include Bella, a beautiful blonde woman, and Rick, a creep who keeps harassing her about going on a date. Zack, a guy who ranks moderately lower on the creep scale, comes to Bella’s defense and she cycles off. Unfortunately, she takes a nasty spill off her bike. She’s pretty banged up, but Zack, the guy who allowed her to slip away, followed after. He insists he can help her and things start getting really uncomfortable. Like confessions of secret love uncomfortable. While she tries to dismiss him and hurry away as soon as possible, Zack is insistent and when she turns around—reacting to the announcement of his affections—he touches her. She turns around and reveals herself as a frog-like Wesen that we will learn later is a Folterseele. The slimy residue left on his hands from the unwanted touch reacts quickly, and pretty soon Zack is covered in boils and falling down the hill. Don’t worry though; it’s not the fall that killed him. That frog poison will get you.
At a coffee shop, Nick calls Juliette again; he’s still hopeful he can repair things between them. When she sends him to voicemail yet again, you can tell he’s disheartened. Moments later, Hank arrives and can tell things aren’t quite right. It doesn’t take long for Nick to drop the bomb about Juliette being a Hexenbiest. I really enjoy David Giuntoli’s performance here. He’s got such a knack for bringing Nick’s feelings to the surface without saying very much at all and this is no different. It’s really great to see Nick and Hank having a moment together as friends too. However, it doesn’t last very long, because Nick gets a call about a dead body on the cycling trail. Isn’t it great to have a murder to distract you from your girlfriend’s transformation into a horrifying witch monster?
As per usual, Nick and Hank arrive to Wu’s narration of what’s happened at the scene of the crime so far. Zack, having been dead for a while now, looks expectedly rough. They find his I.D. in his wallet and pretty soon their off to scope out his apartment. You know, pick up some background info and whatnot. Inside, they find that he has drawings of shoes—indicating that he likely had a design career before he was crushing on a killer frog. Hank prods Nick a little more about the Juliette news, asking if Monrosalee know. Before the tension can get any thicker, Hank finds a picture of Bella posted on Zack’s fridge. In turn, Nick finds drawings of her. So… anybody else not feeling as bad about Zack dropping dead? Maybe that’s harsh, but the guy’s stalker-esque tendencies are hard to ignore. Nick and Hank agree that the woman in the picture is worth looking into. So what is that woman doing after accidentally killing a guy? Well Bella is crying on the phone to her mother, of course.
While the usual Wesen of the Week shenanigans ensue, Renard is still dealing with Adalind, his fellow Royals, and that weird phantom bleeding problem. At the precinct, double agent Sam shows up to tell Renard that Viktor is out of the picture now. Renard hands him a package of “information” regarding Kelly and the baby and send him off to the royal camp. While Renard handles his family drama, Bella has some of her own. Namely, her mom thinks she should keep the whole “I killed a guy” thing hush-hush. When we get close, she turns around revealing her face has been horribly scarred. One must assume it’s the result of her own run in with killing a dude or two.
Back at the precinct, Wu has even more information about Zack thanks to getting into the dead guy’s laptop. After briefly slipping into a tangent on gaming, Wu shows Nick and Hank the victim’s social media page, which includes pictures of Bella. A few clicks later and they find the page for the River City Riders, who happen to be meeting that day. They head to meet the cycling club, asking about both Zack and Bella. One guy is helpful but that dick Rick has to add in his own opinions. Yeah, I’m still not liking that guy. Wu soon calls with news about what killed Zack. It was an incredibly potent poison that he thinks has to be Wesen related. You’re not wrong, Wu. Nick and Hank head to the bike shop where Bella works. Once they find her, they ask her about Zack. She’s pretty cagey and Nick can’t get her to woge. They leave feeling suspicious.
In the hotel suite where the royals are lodged, Adalind wanders back and forth munching on asparagus and asking about Viktor. Marcus, the leader of the Verrat, doesn’t have much to say other than Prince Kenneth will soon be on his way. Adalind realizes once again that the Royals don’t care much about her. I know. Bummer, right? Unfortunately, Adalind has very little time to prepare herself, as Kenneth shows up and proceeds to be incredibly smug and good looking. Adalind explains both how Nick is repowered and Juliette is now a Hexenbiest. To nobody’s surprise, she wants Juliette dead. She doesn’t mention how she’s pregnant, but Kenneth figures it out rather quickly. She quickly claims it is Viktor’s, but we all know that didn’t happen. Kenneth asks her if Viktor knows, but Sam shows up and things change. After Sam hands over the info from Renard, Kenneth proceeds to beat the crap out of Sam and then, for an added punch, tells Adalind that Viktor is sterile. Whoops!
Nick and Hank haul their suspicions down to the spice shop, where Monrosalee help them play “Guess the Wesen.” Rosalee identifies her as a potential Folterseele, who are known to be “classically tragic.” Unlike every other Wesen, the Folterseele woges only as a defensive response to someone else’s sexual interest. Because she’s a special case, they can’t find evidence or get her to woge—unless Nick or Hank are into her, Monroe notes—which puts them in a weird position. Rosalee suggests something to neutralize the chemical reaction, much like how they’ve handled quite a few other Wesen. It isn’t long before we’re getting a reminder of how dangerous Bella can be when we find Rick the creeper dropping in on her at the bike shop. He soon accelerates beyond creeper to attempted rapist. Bella puts up a fight, but he reveals himself as a Klaustreich and gets her against the wall. She woges when he kisses her though and pretty soon he’s just as dead as his buddy. No one’s going to miss you, Rick. You were a dick. Still, Bella is nice enough to call 911 before getting out of there.
At home, Nick is still trying to get in touch with Juliette. She’s still incommunicado, but he does get a message from another lady in his life: Trubel. She’s got a nice update on how she and Josh are doing, but as Nick’s about to type his response, Juliette returns. He’s really trying, but Juliette dismisses him. When he says he loves her, she actually laughs in his face. When his phone rings, she gets nasty, telling him he’s good at handling “big scary Wesen.” Once again, Bitsie’s killing this dark turn, but I find myself feeling aggravated with Juliette on a level I haven’t since the painfully long amnesia arc of season two. I’m betting complicated feelings are what the writers are going for here and trust me, I’ve got them. A bewildered Nick answers the phone only to find out about Rick. He’s super dead and super gross looking. Nick and Hank talk to the owner of the bike shop and get Bella’s address. When they arrive at her apartment, they find it empty. They do, however, find a picture of her with her mother, which gives them a clue of where to look next.
While Nick and company are dealing with Bella, Renard gets a call from Sam. He’s being held by Kenneth’s people and looks much worse than he did earlier. Kenneth uses Sam to scam Renard into meeting them at an abandoned paper mill. After that, Kenneth shoots him. It’s rough out there for a double agent. It’s also rough for a Folterseele. Nick and Hank find out that Bella’s mom Cindy was assaulted by a man who died immediately after too. Bella seeks comfort with her mom, who is eager to help her daughter. Her grandmother Nancy is also eager to help, but her idea of help constitutes taking a red hot brand to her granddaughter’s face. I guess we know where the massive scar on her face came from now. She rushes inside, but the grandmother smashes her over the head with a poker and proceeds with her plan to burn her granddaughter’s face off. This is one of the many instances on this show where I want to acknowledge how profoundly messed up this show can get and also recognize that is at least part of why I love it. Nick and Hank arrive and revive Cindy, who warns them about Nancy. Nick shows up to stop Nancy and she comes rushing at him with the branding iron, but he disarms her and knocks her aside. Nick offers her another way and they take her to the spice shop. Rosalee gives Bella a Pepto-Bismol colored concoction and she chugs that sucker despite the warning of potential side effects. A little bit later, we find out that she survived the beverage, but now she has this sort of green scaly thing going on. Fortunately for her, Bella found a guy who digs her anyway. He’s also covered in tattoos and piercings, but she seems cool with it. Isn’t love grand?
Before I wrap this up, there’s still the matter of Renard and Kenneth. Renard arrives at the paper mill and finds Sam dead. He confronts Kenneth, who proceeds to beat the crap out of Renard. Renard woges, which gives him an advantage for a bit, but then the phantom bleeding comes back and Kenneth clobbers him before gloating about how important he is. I have to say, after these closing scenes, the novelty of new royalty wears off fast. Even though Viktor was a bastard, he had a certain mustache twirling charm that Kenneth lacks. I’m crossing my fingers that the newbie dies on screen before season’s end, hopefully at the hands of our dear captain.