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‘Grimm’ 100 Review: ‘Into the Schwarzwald’

GRIMM -- "Into The Schwarzwald" Episode 512 -- Pictured: (l-r) Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt -- (Photo by: Scott Green/NBC)

Grimm’s latest offering is a landmark I get to enjoy with far too few of my favorite television shows: the 100th episode. “Into the Schwarzwald,” that episode, brings everything the show does best to the forefront. However, if you expected straight forward answers to your questions, your frustrations will have to linger a little bit. Fortunately, we can answer one question from go: Nick and Monroe are safe. I mean, sure, they’re in the forest unaware that an angry Wesen mob are after them and just fell through the ground into a catacomb, but it’s not that far of a fall. Unfortunately, not everyone is okay. While Nick’s treasure hunting is making me crave an Indiana Jones reboot starring David Giuntoli, things aren’t all lollipops and rainbows in Portland. Andrew Dixon, the man Renard was backing for mayor, is busy dying in Renard’s arms while Hank and Wu try, and fail, to catch the shooter. The cops might not catch Marwan, but Eve is there too and spots him climbing down the wall like some kind of birdfaced Spider-Man.

Eve does incognito very well, but she’s not the only one good at keeping things hidden. Those crusaders really know how to hide a mysterious treasure. Nick and Monroe, having found the church on the map, still have no clue where to look or what to look for. Monroe’s first idea involves digging around the bones of those buried there, but before we can see what kind of bad juju unsettling the resting place of the dead can evoke, we’re back in Portland with Rosalee and Adalind. The pair are anxious about the whereabouts of their significant others. If only we could tell them that they fell down a hole in the woods into a catacomb filled with dead bodies. I’m sure they’d feel better. I’m sure Nick and Monroe would appreciate their concern, but they’re rather occupied with a shelf full of bones collapsing on top of them.

To get themselves out of their frustrated headspace, Nick and Monroe decide to think like crusaders. Nick realizes that the superstitious folk of the time wouldn’t dream of going into the darkness without a torch to light their way and suggests that darkness might be their way forward. Monroe agrees, so they   turn off their fancy electric lights and start looking around in the dark while surrounded by the bits and pieces of the long deceased.  Now, I’m not saying I’m scared of the dark, but that’s certainly an unsettling premise even by today’s standards. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for Nick to spot the mark. It’s not an “X,” but a “G” made out of seven inward facing skulls. Part of me really hopes the writers were going for a really subtle g-spot joke here, but even if they weren’t, Nick and Hank have found the next thing they’re looking for and that has to feel good regardless.

In Portland, Marwan is a comfortable distance from the scene of his crime, but not a comfortable distance away from Eve. While he calls Lucien demanding to get picked up, she walks by and uses her Hexenbiest powers to take control of a guy riding his bike and sends the poor guy on a collision course with her bleach blond prey. The cyclist, shocked more than hurt, gets up and she tells him to call 911 while she “checks on him.” In this situation, checking on him means delivering another magical whammy to knock him out while stealing his phone. While I’m still adjusting to Bitsie Tulloch in this reimagined role, I love how badass the Eve character gets to be. If you said to me that the clueless human love interest of season one would be replaced by a stone cold Hexenbiest secret agent in season five, you would have gotten laughed out of the room. Yet here she is, kicking ass and taking names (off of phones.)

While Eve is getting things done, Nick and Monroe are still messing around with the treasure in the catacombs. Removing a shield, they find a spot in the wall with a bronze chest that’s been hiding away there for centuries. Monroe, being the huge nerd that he is, is understandably thrilled, while Nick is typically restrained. While their keys fit the locks, they don’t have all of them and Monroe didn’t bring his lock picks, so the next course of action is hauling ass out of the creepy catacomb and getting on a plane back to Portland with the chest. Sounds simple, right? First they have to find a way out though. Monroe shuffles past some bedazzled corpses before Nick calls him in the direction of the actual exit.

Back at the spice shop, Rosalee is sharing the news about the assassination at the rally with Adalind when a ring of the bell reveals a man from her past. It’s Tony, the creepy guy who’s been sending letters and making calls at stalkerly levels. Things, as one would expect when a horrible reminder of your troubled past resurfaces, don’t go smoothly between Rosalee and Tony. He harasses her for money. He vandalizes her store. He hits her across the face. He makes everyone who watches the show hate him within moments of his first onscreen appearance. When Adalind shows up to intervene, he woges and threatens to attack her when she doubles over in pain. He tries to smack Adalind across the face, but suddenly his hand freezes in midair and every finger bends back and breaks, one by one. As a viewer, it’s an awesome moment, but Adalind’s horrified reaction suggests something else. Her powers are resurfacing and the life she’s enjoying with Nick and Kelly could come crashing down with their return. Claire Coffee plays the reaction beautifully. It is panic and terror and nothing you would have expected from the woman who lost her powers and worked so hard to regain them in seasons past. Rosalee recognizes the change and provides a source of support her, but is not fully behind Adalind’s desire to keep things hidden from Nick. A consensus of whether or not they actually will isn’t quite reached, but Rosalee heads off to find a way to enhance the Hexenbiest suppressant. While looking, she spills the beans about Tony to Adalind. The friendship the two women have been developing is pretty great, but less great are the results for finding a way to increase the power of the suppressant.

While things were hitting the fan in Portland, Monroe and Nick manage to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve been stuck in for the episode so far. Unfortunately, the Wesen mob is still out there and eager to back a Grimm.  Nick and Monroe try to slip away, but unfortunately bump into a particularly bite happy Wesen who chomps on Monroe’s arm before escaping to warn his fellow lunatics. Part of me is annoyed that Monroe doesn’t get to enact some wolfy vengeance, but it isn’t really the time. Nick and Monroe make a desperation play to get the Wesen guarding their car to leave. Essentially, Monroe has to woge and shout in German about a Grimm slaughtering their friends. Unsurprisingly, it’s very effective. Just to make sure there are no problems though, Nick and Monroe use their shovels to take out the tires of the other cars. When the mob realizes they’ve been fooled, it’s too late and our heroes are heading back to the airport with treasure in tow. Unfortunately, Monroe also brings a really nasty wound in addition to that ancient historical artifact they yanked from the forest.

After all that, Eve finally shows up at Hadrian’s Wall base with Marwan’s phone. Meisner explains how they need to copy the SIM card and return the phone as if it was never taken. They are super-spies after all. It apparently takes no time to do all that, as moments later, Eve’s slipping the phone back into Marwan’s belongings at the hospital and freeing him from whatever weird mojo she worked on him earlier. When he wakes up, he’s confused and ready to go. He calls Lucien and is rather snippy while doing so. Back at Hadrian’s Wall, Meisner and Eve track the call and then his moves with the phone. Unexpectedly, however, Renard gets a call from Lucien about Marwan. Renard heads to the hospital with Hank and Wu. They get there rather quickly and pretty soon a skittish Marwan is running away from Hank while Meisner and Eve watch him from afar as a blip on their screen. Marwan ends up cornered and proceeds to woge and attack Renard while Hank and Wu watch. Meanwhile, Meisner complains from a distance about how their plans are being ruined. The fight is rough and it ends with Renard breaking his neck after falling down the concrete steps. Hank, concerned about how everything fell into place, urges Renard to think about it. It has to be a setup; he’s not wrong. Later, Meisner berates Renard about it being a setup too. To be honest, I have very little sympathy for Meisner in this scenario.  He comes across as incompetent rather than badass. All of that cool stuff Eve did earlier went to waste and that’s a bummer.

In between his conversation with Hank and encounter with Meisner, Renard rewatched the footage of the shooting and noticed something unnerving: Rachel looked up at the window before the shots were fired. Conveniently, she ends up at his door “mourning” poor dead Dixon, but then seem to get sexual, before Renard woges and she does too, revealing she’s not just shady, but that she’s also a Löwen. It isn’t long after the uncomfortable reveal that Lucien shows up. No, we aren’t about to be confronted with the first Wesen threesome on television. It’s something even more offensive: a political proposition. Black Claw wants Renard to run for mayor of Portland. While I saw this coming, I honestly cannot anticipate Renard’s reaction. He’s seemed like one of the good guys for so long that it’s easy to forget he was pretty damn shady early on and has been a questionable character from time to time. I’m excited to see where this will go.

For answers to more immediate questions, we have an appointment at the spice shop. Nick and Monroe show up the next morning and Rosalee, Hank, and Wu are waiting. They pick the locks and turn the keys and… the chest doesn’t open. I guess it was all for nothing, folks. There’s nothing more to see here.

Oh wait, there’s actually some kind of goop sealing it shut and it might be coagulated Grimm’s blood. Nick cuts his hand and smears his own blood over it and boom. It’s unsealed. Before we can dwell on how gross this actually is and how Nick will probably die of the plague or something, we have a treasure to be excited over. When they open the chest, a package is inside. Nick unwraps the package, but all they find inside is a stick. Yeah. It’s a stick. Jokes about dog Wesen are thrown around along with the idea that it came from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

After what feels rather anticlimactic, they all agree to take Monroe to the hospital to deal with the nasty bite on his arm, but Wu stops them when he notices writing on the fabric that was wrapped around the stick. Unfortunately, Monroe is suffering from letting that bite linger untreated. He collapses and things get really scary, before the wound spontaneously starts to heal. However, it’s not so spontaneous. Nick was holding the stick next to Monroe’s arm. At the end of the episode, Monroe is fine and we’re left wondering what the hell is going on. Answers, on TV as in life, often just invite more questions. Here we are, 100 episodes in, and we have three big questions to guide us towards what’s next. I, for one, cannot 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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