Although I somehow survived the past month or so mostly intact, I wasn’t sure I was going to hold out much longer without Grimm. Fortunately, the series has finally resumed its fifth season with “Eve of Destruction.” The episode picks up right where the previous one left off, with Nick and company rescued from a Wesen ambush by a woman who looks remarkably like Juliette. After a brief pause, Nick chases after her, but she’s gone. As can be expected, confusion reigns with our cast of characters. Monroe, Renard, Wu, and Hank all barrage Nick with questions about Juliette’s death and what they just saw, but sadly Nick is even more confused than they are. He heads off to find out if Trubel knows anything since she was there. The others plan to leave too, but a call from a worried Rosalee disrupts their departure. Monroe’s safety announced, Rosalee explains how she still has Xavier with her and they all agree to take him down to the spice shop for some off the books interrogation.
Back at the compound, Nick confronts Trubel about Juliette being alive. At first she plays clueless, but Nick pushes further and Trubel reveals she knew Juliette was alive when Chavez took them both. She didn’t think she’d still be alive though, because they were going to “break her.” This is when an understandably concerned Adalind appears having heard the news. Nick pushes Trubel further and she explains that Chavez wanted to turn Juliette into a weapon, she saw them put Juliette into a van, and she was immediately sent to Bangkok for a mission where she heard rumors about a weaponized Hexenbiest. She couldn’t be sure if it was Juliette or not, because her former friend was so close to death at that point. Nick, however, confirms that rumor as reality. Juliette saved Nick’s life and killed twenty angry Wesen to do it. Adalind and Trubel both agree Meisner likely knows something, so Nick heads off to get Chavez’s fancy phone. His call with Meisner isn’t so pleasant. Nick is told he can’t see Juliette because she doesn’t exist anymore. Adalind, in her best “voice of the audience,” questions what that even means. I guess we’ll be finding out soon, huh?
Meanwhile, Monroe arrives at the spice shop with his fellow ambush survivors. Rosalee has Xavier tied up and the sniveling Hasenfussige Schnecke gets a punch across the face courtesy of one very angry Blutbad. Renard has to pull Monroe off, but threatens to leave the two of them alone if he doesn’t spill the beans. So, of course, he does. Xavier rants about an unstoppable Wesen revolution. Xavier further explains that he wasn’t killed like the other shop owner because he knew Monroe. It was all to get at Nick and those around him. Xavier acts like he had no other choice and then proceeds to go all fugly fish face, much to the chagrin of everyone in the room. I kind of want Monroe to hit him again, but instead they just calm him down. Monroe wants to let the bad guys have him, but cooler heads prevail and Xavier gets taken into custody by the cop contingent. Monrosalee then decide their best course of action is to call the Wesen Council. I have a feeling that won’t be as helpful as they hope.
Back at the precinct, Xavier is processed and Wu shows Hank and Renard the records of most of the recently deceased Wesen horde. Billie Trump, the Skalengeck who lead them into the ambush, was not among the bodies. Hank calls Nick and the two swap information about Juliette’s apparent resurrection and Billie’s escape. Seemingly moments later, Nick and Hank are leading a bunch of Portland’s finest to Billie’s last known address. They find a cache of explosives and a picture of Billie with her parents. Unfortunately, she’s not there. Instead, she’s back at the scene of the failed ambush, mourning the dead with a mysterious and handsome gentleman named Lucien. This show seriously traffics in “mysterious and handsome.” Billie explains the appearance of the powerful Hexenbiest and Lucien pledges to kill her. Somehow, I don’t see that actually happening, Lucien, but we’ll see.
After Rosalee finally makes the call to the Wesen Council, Monroe drops a blonde wigged bomb on her. He and the rest of the gang were saved by Juliette. It’s an intense moment, but Rosalee diffuses the tension with a mention of their last encounter with an escapee from the other side. I mean, it’s still tense, but it’s also just a little funny. At the Council, Alexander explains to De Groot that Rosalee has called. De Groot seems less than interested, but he agrees to let Alexander return the call. Rosalee explains everything that’s happened and we get some important new information about that slash mark that’s been showing up everywhere. It’s the symbol of a Wesen organization known as the Black Claw. It’s nice to finally have a name to go along with things, isn’t it?
Following the failed attempted to apprehend Billie, Nick returns home to his compound, where he and Trubel talk a little more. She offers to leave, but he tells her she’s not going anywhere. It’s a really great exploration of the two characters’ almost brother-and-sister dynamic. I’m not sure I can think of a more sympathetic and understanding protagonist on a show like this than Nick Burkhardt and David Giuntoli plays him beautifully. Likewise, Jacqueline Toboni gives Trubel the right mix of detachment and concern. A brief call from Monrosalee later, Nick and Trubel are talking about Black Claw. Trubel knows what the organization is about and has fought them internationally. It’s scary to think of their scope, so I’m trying not to. It’s hard though, when a trip to the Wesen Council shows the kind of international strife taking place because of this organization. It’s even scarier when a Black Claw agent has infiltrated the council and proceeds to murder De Groot and everyone else. Only Alexander manages to get the slip.
At the same time, Adalind has much more personal concerns than Black Claw. She feels threatened by Juliette’s return and I don’t blame her. It’s a strange dynamic though. It’s not as if Adalind hasn’t earned every ounce of Juliette’s hatred. That said, her character has developed quite a bit since then and her concerns include Nick and Kelly too. Nick is protective of his strange family unit. When the pair tries to get some much needed sleep, they’re startled away by Trubel slipping out on her fancy Grimm-Cycle. After what looks like a nice little ride, she arrives at the Hadrian’s Wall base and confronts Meisner about Juliette. The two begin to fight, but a still wounded Trubel isn’t up to snuff here. When she asks what they did to Juliette, he simply shouts “what we had to!” While this may be the case, I’m becoming less and less assured in Meisner and his resistance group. I have an unnerving feeling that Hadrian’s Wall is no real friend to our heroes, especially Nick.
The next morning, Nick and Adalind, after wondering about Trubel, continue some pretty tense conversation about their relationship and the baby. Adalind thinks Nick might wish Kelly was Juliette’s, not hers, but he explains that he had the opportunity, because of Adalind, to have a normal life with Juliette. It just didn’t stick. I have mixed feelings about this, but it’s still true, according to Nick. Adalind is incredibly remorseful over everything she’s done in the past. You can tell that she’s truly at a different place in her life now. All of this talk leads into something that will make a certain cluster of Grimmsters very happy: Adalind kisses Nick. I’m not a shipper, but I enjoy the dynamic between the two characters. Nick doesn’t act disgusted by what just happened. He simply acknowledges how messy their lives are. Sometimes I worry that the show might take things too fast with their relationship, but honestly, I think it’s being presented with a remarkable amount of grace. Fortunately—or unfortunately—Trubel returns and the moment ends. Nick has a meeting with Juliette. Before Nick can jump around yet another emotional mine field, Hank calls and tells him they information on Billie’s parents.
While Nick is busy balancing every layer of his life, Black Claw is holding a memorial service for their fallen comrades. There’s a spiel about no longer hiding in shadows and getting revenge. Lucien is dressed entirely in black leather. There’s fire. It’s a pretty typical ceremony. Billie asks what will happen to Xavier and Lucien sends Jed, a Coyotl, to somehow infiltrate the jail and deal with him. We see later that he does so with relative ease. I’d argue Billie cause that ambush to fail just as much as Xavier, but it’s not like she’s going through herself on the funeral pyre. While the bodies are burning, Nick and Hank arrive at the Trump home. Billie’s parents are very well off. They’re also not particularly friendly. In fact, these upper middle class slices of white bread are Black Claw sympathizers. I’m debating whether or not the writers are making social commentary here, but in my heart of hearts, I know that they are.
Back at the spice shop, Rosalee receives a call from Alexander about the Wesen Council massacre. He’s scrambling to get things together and hangs up before he can finish the call. If he hadn’t, the Black Claw mole would have gotten him. I’m crossing my fingers for Alexander. I get the feeling we might see more of him sometime in the near future. Xavier, however, we won’t be seeing again. Jed, faking a suicide attempt, manages to grab Xavier and proceeds to slam him repeatedly into the bars of the cell. Wu notifies Nick and company that something is going down, but when they arrive, there’s more than just Xavier getting the crap beat out of him. There’s also a guard, waving his gun, and freaking out over the fully woged Coyotl committing the assault. The guard’s of no use, because Jed manages to slash Xavier’s throat before the guard finally shoots him. Jed’s last move before dying is to rub his fingers in his blood and make the claw symbol. No one is going to miss you, Jed. Not even Lucien. While all of this insanity is taking place, Rosalee calls Nick and tells him to come down to the spice shop to talk about Black Claw.
While we have another info swap ahead of us at the spice shop, we take a detour to the Hadrien’s Wall base, where Meisner is having some serious flashbacks about Adalind. We get the birth of Diana followed by Adalind kissing his cheek before escaping the Royals. It looks like our stone cold resistance leader has a crush. While I kind of dug what Meisner and Adalind had going before, I don’t fully trust him anymore. Meisner’s daydream is interrupted by a lesser agent who has info on a target in Portland. Before we find out much more, we’re back at the spice shop with news of death and destruction everywhere. It’s news that is interrupted by a text telling Nick to meet Juliette at a restaurant that evening. Anyone else get the feeling Nick has way too much on his plate right now? Maybe he can take a trip to Hawaii and fight some Black Claw there for an episode or two. That’s a horrible idea? Sure, but I stand by the fact he needs a break.
When Nick arrives at the restaurant, Juliette is there waiting for him. She’s rocking the hell out of that vaguely menacing blank stare and practically white blonde wig. Their encounter is tense. While Nick struggles for words, Juliette decidedly has none. Maybe that’s because her name isn’t Juliette. It’s Eve. Bitsie Tulloch captures Eve’s newfound aloofness and Giuntoli’s confusion as Nick is our confusion. They’re doing good work. Nick has pointed words for Eve about Juliette’s sitting up Nick and his mother, but while Eve has the memories, there’s clearly no attachment to them. When Nick asked what they did, she echoes that Hadrian’s Wall did what they had to. Cue a flashback with Meisner and a near-death Juliette before the Eve training began. She claims they saved her and she saved him because the group needs him. Before Nick can ask anymore question, Eve gets up, woges, and proceeds to kill a Schinderdiv with her immense powers. You guessed it. He was the target from earlier. Eve slips away, but Nick is left to clean up the mess that follows. Namely, two armed Schackal bodyguards who woge in public. He makes short work of them, but then he has to deal with the cops that follow too. Nick gets a call from Meisner about the whole thing being a test. Fortunately, Nick dealt with it more than capably and heads back home to tell Adalind and Trubel about Eve. Meanwhile, Eve strips off her Sia wig and heads to her cell for some much needed rest.
Anyone else fully agree that Nick needs a vacation now? I thought so. Unfortunately for him, too much is going on to slip away. Fortunately for us, it all looks pretty damn exciting. Although the writers crammed a lot into this installment, the show didn’t suffer. I’m excited to see what happens as we tug harder and harder at all of these brand new plot threads.