We have quite a bit to catch up on, don’t we? After weeks of lake monsters and ritual human sacrifice, Grimm offered us something rather different in the shape of “Map of the Seven Knights” a couple weeks ago. The episode introduced us to Monroe’s book selling uncle and just as quickly tore him away from us and his Blutbaden kinfolk. Not to be callous, but the situation that cost Monroe his uncle also helped replenish Nick’s Grimm library and, more importantly, put more of those mysterious keys in his possession. That’s a huge development heading into the show’s 99th episode “Key Move.”
That development is right where we pick up the episode too. For those who need a refresher, the mysterious keys have pieces of a map imprinted on them, so Nick and company are doing their best to figure out where in the Black Forest the long missing treasure of seven Grimm Crusaders might be. When Rosalee offers to make coffee, you can tell they’re settling in for the long haul. Considering this whole key thing is a mystery rooted in the show’s very beginnings, I don’t blame them. We need some answers, people! The group struggles to make sense of the map, but while their banter is entertaining at first, it begins to wear on me as much as I imagine it does on the characters. Fortunately, a well placed flashback to Nick’s mom explaining the keys and their purpose helps Nick refocus and, upon a little more discussion, Trubel suggests looking at churches as a location for the buried treasure. Considering we were talking knights on a Crusade, I’m surprised no one else thought of it. Except, according to Monroe, they have been looking at those kinds of locations. Nonetheless, the Scoobies refocus and a second look at the churches on the map reveals an outlier. There’s a church that looks like it has a cross on top, but upon closer inspection, it’s the “x” that any good treasure hunter is looking for.
While most of the gang is preparing to play Indiana Jones, Renard is doing his best Deep Throat instead. Get your heads out of the gutter people; you know I’m talking whistle blowing. He’s got some evidence for his lady friend Rachel regarding a rival mayoral candidate trying to buy an eight-ball at a sketchy motel. There’s a lot of sexy political intrigue in this scene, which quickly gives way to the implications of sexy sex. Renard’s history with women isn’t great, so I don’t entirely trust Rachel, but I’m still enjoying their dynamic.
Back at the spice shop, the gang is absolutely thrilled to have even the vaguest idea of what’s going on. While Nick tries to keep level, Monroe and Rosalee are both very excited. Monroe is so excited that he immediately invites himself on a trip to Germany with Nick. Bromantic road trip aside, it just makes good sense for Nick to bring Monroe. Someone has to speak the language of the locals. Trubel, however, tries to bring everyone back down to earth by asking about Black Claw. It’s a fair question, since we don’t know what the Wesen terrorists might know. They agree Nick and Monroe should travel using fake passports, but interestingly, it’s Rosalee who provides the contact, not Trubel. Hadrian’s Wall gets no mention here, but that lack of inclusion is pretty interesting. The guys get ready to go and Nick leaves to tell Adalind the truth.
Of course, Adalind isn’t thrilled. She says something about the keys bringing death, which isn’t exactly wrong. A very interesting back and forth takes place between Nick and Adalind here; he says he owes it to his aunt, but Adalind says the keys nearly got her killed. Cue a flashback to the pilot episode of the show. You know the one where Adalind nearly murders Marie for the first key? It’s interesting to see how far our erstwhile Hexenbiest has come isn’t it? Adalind acquiesces a little bit, agreeing she probably owes it to his aunt too. While Nick’s plans to go with Monroe are solidified, Adalind hasn’t gotten her last word in. She wants to make sure Nick knows how she really feels. Cue the excited shrieks and squeals of Nadalind shippers. Adalind tells Nick she loves him and pretty soon he’s shirtless and they’re making out. Before things can get too TV-MA though, the scene cuts to Hadrian’s Wall. Eve and Meisner are talking shop about Black Claw agent Marwan Hanano when Trubel arrives. It’s an abrupt shift, going from pleasure to business, but I appreciate the jarring effect. Trubel suggests that Marwan might be after Eve, but she’s stone cold and ready to find him. Have I mentioned what a bad ass Eve is lately? I really should get on that.
Elsewhere in Portland, Marwan is on his way to meet Lucien, the Black Claw leader, and a gun supplier for the hit he’s contracted to pull off while in town. The guy supplying the gun is really antsy and wants to leave, but Marwan arrives and seems to have no patience for him either. Marwan puts the gun together and looks outside as if he’s going to shoot one of the guys on the basketball court he walked past on his way. He woges into his falcon-like Uhranuti and fires a flawless shot right through the basketball. It’s an odd moment. None of the players seem to react beyond a “What the heck?” Their non-reaction is good for Black Claw though, even if it’s bewildering for me as a person in the real world.
I’m not the only one in a state of bewilderment, because Shirtless Nick is basking in the afterglow of having being with the real Adalind on purpose for the first time. You know, not counting the time she was in disguise as Juliette or when Juliette was in disguise as her. Nick puts his brooding handsomeness to go use with another flashback. This time, he’s recalling the moment he took Adalind’s original Hexenbiest powers when she nearly killed Hank. I find the usage of this scene, and the one with a hospitalized Marie earlier, very interesting. I want to see this sort of ambivalence from Nick regarding this Nadalind relationship. It shouldn’t be an easy relationship and I think the fact the writers are acknowledging that makes me secure in the fact that Nadalind are, I guess, an official item. Even Adalind is concerned about their history, which I appreciate.
Neither has much time to bask in the afterglow before a call from Trubel disrupts the moment. She’s there, in what seems like seconds, to explain what’s going on with Marwan and Black Claw. Nick can’t do a thing about it though, because he and Monroe have a flight booked to Germany. Fortunately, he can pass the details about Marwan to Hank, Wu, and Renard. Nick asks for a brief leave and he’s pretty much out the door. He doesn’t even tell Renard what’s going on. I feel like the continued separation between their spheres will play an important role going forward, but that’s just a guess. What isn’t a guess, however, is the fact that Nick is leaving the Marwan stuff in the capable hands of Hank and Wu. He heads home one last time to see Kelly. Nick and Adalind have another moment together here. David Giuntoli and Claire Coffee are playing the hell out of their characters in their scenes this week. The depth of Adalind’s investment in her life with Nick and Kelly feels so real and his struggles are played perfectly. They’re definitely some of the episode’s best moments.
It’s not long before Nick is picking up Monroe for their trip. They talk about the importance of searching for Catholic churches, since the treasure would predate the Protestant Reformation. They also get some brand spanking new fake passports under the names of Monroe’s recently deceased as of last episode uncle and Rosalee’s been dead since the first season brother. I like those callbacks. I also love the sweet moments between Monrosalee. They are emotionally fraught in a different way than the stuff with Nadalind, but you can definitely feel the sting of their momentary separation.
While Nick and Monroe are prepping to depart, Marwan is prepping to kill someone. He’s scouting out a location, where he gets spotted by a couple of bicycle cops. They report him, but one of them follows after and it’s not long before he’s attacked by a terrifying birdman. Meanwhile, Nick and Monroe are enjoying a delightfully bromantic trip in Germany, where Monroe fills Nick in on his family’s history of hunting in the Black Forest. That stands juxtaposed to Hadrian’s Wall finding about Marwan being spotted and Hank and Wu on the scene of the bicycle officer’s attack. Sure, we don’t know what the trip to Germany has in store for our heroes, but it seems they got a pretty sweet end of the deal this week, right?
Meanwhile, Renard and Rachel are preparing the Dixon rally and talking about how the goods they leaked on Dixon’s mayoral rival are wrecking his public image. Rachel claims Dixon is up four points because of Renard, but he just plays it off. Modesty? C’mon now, Sean. We know better. She tells him to stay on stage with Dixon after introducing him, which seems a bit odd, but he agrees. When Rachel heads off to do more campaign work, Renard gets a call from Hank about Marwan. There isn’t much to report, but hey, it keeps the Captain in the loop. Elsewhere, Lucien is greeted with angry Marwan, who wants to postpone his job and even threatens to kill the Black Claw leader. An aggressive woge off takes place and Marwan backs down. I’m sorry Marwan, but I’m pretty sure cats kill birds. A moment later, Lucien hands the assassin a picture of Renard. Didn’t Renard barely survive getting shot to death a couple season ago? Poor guy has it rough.
While pictures of Renard are getting passed around like trading cards, Nick and Monroe are still roadtripping in Germany. When they discuss what the treasure might be, Monroe delivers a magnificent rant about how eye glasses were invented in the 13th Century. Monroe continues to make travel based small talk, when Nick lets “I slept with Adalind” fly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh. The writing in this particular scene nails just why fans love the Nick and Monroe friendship. They’re such different characters, but they complement each other’s quirks. Silly talk about treasures that would be useless today gives way to a deep discussion of the Nick and Adalind relationship. It’s good stuff. However, once they spot the church they’re looking for, there’s no more time for chit chat.
The church is quite a bit newer than either man expects, but they go inside anyway. Monroe is appropriately creeped out—give or take God, the church is seemingly empty—but they push on. They encounter a man cleaning the pews. Unfortunately, they startle him and he reveals himself to be an Ungeziefer Greifer, which in turn reveals Nick as a Grimm. The priest comes out to great them both, but I can’t help but find this man of the cloth shady. When Nick and Monroe leave, my intuition is proven right. The priest is a Blutbad and neither he nor his little weasel Wesen friend is pleased by having a Grimm in their presence. I’m pretty sure it says “Suffer Not a Grimm to Live” in their version of the Bible. Nick and Monroe, however, realize that they need to take the map more literally. The pair figure out their destination and it’s into the woods they head.
Back in Portland, Marwan is bleaching his hair and shaving his beard. I’m not sure it’ll be a good look, but hey, you do what you gotta do to kill a guy, right? Dixon’s rally is ramping up in Portland too. Clearly a lot is converging here. A creepy bleached out Marwan shows up at the apartment buildings near the rally and kills the resident living in the apartment he was casing earlier. Meanwhile, Rachel is on stage at the rally getting the ball rolling. Hank and Wu, at the precinct, manage to put the pieces together regarding the mayoral rally and the political assassin. They try to call Renard, but it goes straight to voicemail, so they head out immediately. Meanwhile, Marwan is assembling the gun just as Dixon arrived. At the Hadrian’s Wall base, Eve spots Marwan on surveillance, which brings them into the mix. Renard introduces Dixon and it looks as if Marwan is set to take out our beloved Captain. Meanwhile, Hadrian’s Wall finds out about the rally and Eve heads that way, while Trubel is sent to… Santiago? Way to take an important player off the field, Meisner. Wu and Hank arrive and check the crowd for Marwan. Dixon finishes his speech and is shot by Marwan. Renard and Rachel run to his side. Are you as confused as I am here?
In Germany, the priest has assembled a mob of Wesen to go after our heroes, while Nick and Monroe are in the woods preparing their big dig. Monroe has more historical stories to tell. This time it’s about peasants being murdered in the forest and their ghosts haunting the woods. It’s bright and shiny stuff, right? Monroe finds a bizarre arrangement of stones and he and Nick start digging there, just as the horde of German Wesen arrive. The priest starts sniffing and points in their direction, but Nick and Monroe are digging, none the wiser. They stop for a moment, and in grand cliffhanger tradition, our two heroes fall down into a dark cave and we’re presented with “To be continued… in episode 100.” Not the show’s snarkiest cliffhanger, but we “only” have to wait a week for this one. Two big stories have cracked wide open and I get the feeling we’re in for a wild ride ahead.