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‘Grimm’ Review: ‘Maiden Quest’

GRIMM -- "Maiden Quest" Episode 504 -- Pictured: (l-r) Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt -- (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

Although you might come to “Maiden Quest” for the usual Wesen of the Week shenanigans, you’ll be glad you stayed because of the episode’s brilliant character moments. I’m by no means suggesting the violent quest at the heart of this week’s episode is lackluster, but that our Grimm regulars are clearly enjoying working with each other and the writers are using that energy for our collective benefit. Case in point: the episode opens in Nick and Adalind’s brand new loft, where things are going off the rails. Baby Kelly is crying his little head off in Adalind’s arms while Nick frantically tries to fix dinner. The new parents swap duties, but that doesn’t seem to help, so they interrupt Monrosalee’s evening with a distress call. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, these parents who aren’t really a couple calling a married couple with no children for help. Rosalee gives her best advice, but ultimately Kelly’s cries are silenced when he catches sight of Nick’s phone. Kids start earlier and earlier with technology these days.

In contrast to the nontraditional setup we just witnessed, our case this week is weighed down in tradition. In this situation, an old guy has a vendetta and he’s using said vendetta to find the right man for his daughter. It’s a tale so well worn it’s a surprise Grimm hadn’t gotten to it yet. Of course, the show trades in satisfying its viewers by tweaking the classics, so the old guy is a mobster named Daniel Troyer, the vendetta is the murder of his son at the behest of a nightclub owner, and the daughter is none other than an all grown up Gracie Sheffield from The Nanny. Actually, her name is Emily, but you have no idea how proud of myself I was when it clicked who she was. The three young men completing the quest, like Daniel and Emily, are feline Wesen called Weten Ogen. Apparently these old school “women as prize” setups still float some Wesen boats. After pulling golden feathers from a griffin statue, Isaac, who pulled the longest feather, sets off to kill he club owner.

While a murder quest is taking place, Nick and Adalind are finally sitting down to eat.  After Nick compliments Adalind’s cooking, they pretty soon fall down a depressing rabbit hole comparing stories about their parents and food. Fortunately, Adalind turns the conversation with talk of returning to her old law firm. Nick is reluctant, but Adalind wants to bring more to the table. She quickly changes the subject again to sharing the bed in the bedroom again. It’s totally just a safety thing, folks. I totally believe her when she says that to Nick. What I can’t believe, however, is that Frankie Adkins, the guy with the hit on him, has a night club called the F Bomb. I can’t decide if that’s brilliant or awful. I’m leaning towards the latter. Frankie drags what I assume is his girlfriend out of the club and after he says she’s getting fat, Isaac attacks. Unfortunately, while most of us are on Team Kill the Club Guy, a ferocious Wesen intervenes and slaughters Isaac while Frankie watches.

If neither babies nor murder are your thing, Renard brings in a little political intrigue. Very little, but hey, it’s just a plot seed so far. What Renard endorsing a political campaign might mean, I don’t know, but my gut has me wondering if it won’t intersect somehow with all of this Wesen Uprising business. Before we can find out more, we have to address that whole violent murder thing though. Wu, as ever, is first on scene, but he’s got Nick and Hank in tow and he’s catching them up like only he can. It doesn’t take long for them to realize poor dead Isaac is Isaac Proctor, the son of powerful defense attorney Amanda Proctor. Wu notes that Frankie said the person who saved his life was in some kind of weird animal outfit. Cases like this one make me so glad Wu finally found out about Wesen, though part of me wonders how Wu would have reacted in earlier seasons.

Nick and Hank go to talk to Frankie about what happened, but we basically get what we saw happen, but translated into douchebag. Unsurprisingly, checking both Frankie and Isaac’s respective records back at the precinct yields results for both men, but no clear connections. A brief sit down with Renard doesn’t tell us much about his plotline, but it does give the Captain chance to play Wesen resource for a change: he identifies the murder victim as a Wesen of the aforementioned Weten Ogen variety. More importantly, Renard doesn’t care for them. I guess he’s not a cat person.

Back at the loft, Adalind is filling Kelly in on his big sister Diana. It’s a rough little moment, but Claire Coffee plays it beautifully. Fortunately, a call from Rosalee brightens the mood and gets Adalind out of the Fortress of Solitude and heading to the spice shop. Similarly, the cluster of Weten Ogens has some errands to run too. Namely, Eli, the next golden feather plucker in line, has to go try to kill Frankie. Surprisingly, Emily tries to talk Eli out of going. It’s almost like she doesn’t want to be the prize in some patriarchal quest. Eli says something about him killing Frankie and having a bunch of kids with Emily after. Although the moment almost seems sweet, Emily has a hint of murder in her eyes and it’s more than justified.

In the office of Amanda Proctor, Nick and Hank have brought along Renard in their effort to get information on the murder of her son. The defense attorney isn’t particularly pleasant when asked about her son’s past and becomes even less so when Nick drops the “Grimm” bomb on her. She woges and gets really snippy with Renard. Ultimately though, she explains that her son was called to Troyer’s home and that he’s also Weten Ogen. Once they leave, Hank and Nick pepper Renard with questions about Troyer. Other than mob connections, Renard doesn’t offer too much. Nick and Hank head to the Troyer home, where they meet Emily, who in turn introduces them to her father. Emily loses her composure a bit, because she knew Isaac growing up. The Troyers lie about knowing Frankie, who was with them the night before, and all of the other important details. Fortunately, Wu calls with a clue: the golden feather. The details are delivered with typical Wu sass, which is apparently contagious as Hank is fully armed with snark too.

While Nick and Hank are handling the case, Monroe and Rosalee are simply enjoying each other’s company at the spice shop. Rosalee finds a letter from someone in her past just as Monroe’s about to leave for a clock repair job. In the letter, a former friend of Rosalee’s explains how another mutual friend, Carlos, has passed. Based on the fact Carlos wrote her a song, there was probably a long dead romance involved. Monroe asks about the song, but Rosalee simply says it was terrible and wants to forget about that time in her life. Monroe echoes this by saying the same about his life before her. It’s a moment fraught with tension and sweetness.

While people we know and love are doing things, that schmuck Frankie is still in the picture. He’s becoming more and more unhinged, but he’s still in the picture. He’s interviewing for extra bodyguards, which just happens to be Eli’s way in. I mean, it’s a pretty good way in, all things considered. Of course, putting up with these goons can only last so long, so it’s back to Nick and Adalind.  Nick is visibly frustrated, more over Chavez’s phone than the current case he’s working. I mean, Frankie is busy sneaking out of F Bomb with a mole with murderous intentions right there, so I don’t blame Nick for being more interested in the big picture. To get his mind off it all, Nick decides to explore the old tunnels connected to his new home. It’s dark, he’s got a flashlight, and it’s dusty as all hell down there. Unfortunately, he can’t go any further than a door he estimates hasn’t been opened in at least a hundred years. To be honest, I can’t tell if he’s being hyperbolic or not. At this point, the main goal is to clean up, but when he heads to use the bathroom, Adalind is there covered in baby puke. While she cleans up, she realizes she doesn’t have any clothes to change into so Nick goes to look for something. She ends up wearing one of Nick’s shirts. The scene is awkward. There’s sexual tension to be sure, but it’s more complicated than just that. Later, Nick strips off his own clothes and while he stands in front of the mirror, he notices Adalind’s bra hanging behind him. Shirtless Nick almost isn’t enough to distract from the awkwardness of the scene. Part of me likes how awkward it is for them though. Hell, it might not be awkward enough, all things considered. The characters undeniably have chemistry. They always have, but it shouldn’t be easy for them to be around each other or to co-parent Kelly. It should be this uncomfortable.

Frankie and his crew of paid meatheads arrive at the Adkins residence, where they take their positions and make Frankie a sandwich. Yes, I said a sandwich. Eli uses this opportunity to make his way inside and bump off Frankie. Unfortunately for Eli, the same mysterious Wesen who slaughtered Isaac is there and pounces just as Eli’s axe was about to strike. I’m pretty sure Frankie wet his pants watching the whole thing go down. The next morning, Wu gives Nick and Hank his usual guided tour of the crime scene, emphasizing just how close to going over the edge Frankie is. As much as I hate Frankie, I have to admit he’s a pretty entertaining one off character. Nick and company find another golden feather on Eli’s corpse. Clue in hand, they get their Scooby Gang on by heading over to the spice shop for help from Monrosalee. Our resident Wesen super couple has answers quicker than Velma Dinkley can say “Jinkies!” Rosalee explains that the feathers and all the familial connections go back to an ancient Weten Ogen maiden quest. Monroe inserts a comparison to knights slaying dragons for good measure. With all the pieces in place, Nick and Hank headout while Monrosalee give us what might be one of my top five moments for the couple. Rosalee asks Monroe if he’d slay a dragon for her and he says he’d slay a whole flock “or whatever a great gathering of dragons is called.” Add in a bit about a nickel allergy meaning no shining armor, and it’s an adorably Monrosalee moment. It’s also a fantastic counterpoint to the stuff with Nick and Adalind earlier. Well played, writers.

At Troyer’s home, he is busy blessing the third and final competitor, Amos. While Troyer seems to think Amos killed his two rivals for Emily’s love, Amos has a pretty big confession: he’s not interested, because he’s gay. For both Troyer and Amos’s mother, that’s just a technicality. Troyer says he’ll kill Amos if he rejects the quest. Since we’ve never encountered a gay Wesen before, this is a pretty rough start. Considering how some Wesen treat mixed relationships though, it’s not entirely surprising. Amos doesn’t get very far though before Nick and Hank apprehend him with the tell tale golden feather in his pocket. Back at the precinct, they grill him until we get the standard “I’m a Grimm” reveal followed by the “Oh crap! I’m a Wesen!” reaction. While Nick and Hank hurl accusations, Amos doesn’t once mention he’s gay, the thing that would make an ancient maiden quest seem even more ludicrous. He directs them to go back to Troyer. However, he isn’t the only one ratting out the man in charge. Amanda reappears at Frankie’s to tell him all about who put the hit on him. It’s pretty much a revenge chain reaction.

Frankie arrives and threatens to shoot Troyer, but when Frankie mentions the guy in the animal costume, Troyer woges which in turn causes the club owner to pretty much lose it. Emily soon appears, fully woged, and attacks Frankie. However, the gun is fired and Troyer is hit. Before Emily can kill Frankie, apparently like she killed Isaac and Eli before, Nick and Hank arrive. It is one great big mess, made even messier when Troyer reveals he was testing his daughter, not the young men. He’s as interested in setting her up as she was in being set up. Because Emily killed the two men in the defense of another life, she can’t be arrested, but the wounded Troyer is arrested and Frankie has completely lost his mind. I don’t really feel a lot of sympathy for anyone involved in this story, but I do think we met some interesting characters along the way, though some could have been better developed.

Of course, just because the Wesen of the Week has been handled doesn’t mean the episode is over with. Back at the loft, Nick and Adalind share a sweet moment that ends with a hug. I’m here for the hugs and emotional support, people. I’m still reluctant on romance though. Fortunately for me and fans of our favorite recurring Grimm, some noises outside disrupt the tender moment. When Nick heads outside, Trubel falls right into his arms. That’s it. That’s the end of the episode. The show’s taking a break for Thanksgiving, so we’re two weeks away from knowing what’s up, but based on the previews, a gigantic rat monster is involved. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

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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