This Week on TV, Apr. 3, 2015

Spoiler Alert!

No Gotham or Reign this week, but Nashville is back, and now I’ve added iZombie to the lineup!

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

“Best Laid Plans”

Well, now! That answers a few questions of mine!

From the moment we heard about Snow and Charming doing something less than heroic, to Snow’s admission that they cost Maleficent her child, to now… something has been bugging me, and I haven’t been able to figure out what. Now I know.

Snow and Charming were not acting like themselves.

That was best shown in this episode, where Snow and Charming were, among other things, perfectly irrational. I mean, Snow was so certain Maleficent’s child would grow to be no different from her, while filled with fear that Emma would not be like her parents. They took Maleficent’s egg from her far too easily, and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice was far more ruthless than I recall him being. When he sent the egg to our world, it was like Snow and Charming were coming out from under a spell, suddenly awakening to the horror of what they were doing.

Because no one truly chose what they did that night.

As August tells it, the Author is not just a person, but a job. The job is to witness and record the greatest stories, preserved for the future to look back on and learn from. But the last Author the one they’ve been searching for, was not content to witness. He influenced things, forced things to happen according to what he wanted, just to make a better story of it all in his own eyes. When Snow and Charming made their terrible choice, when Maleficent’s child was stolen from her, and when the Apprentice transferred Emma’s darkness into said egg and banished it, and Cruella and Ursula as they tried to reclaim the egg, that was all the Author’s doing.

The Blue Fairy seemed afraid of the Sorcerer, so it was easy to believe he was somehow nefarious, particularly after the still-unresolved debacle with the hat that eats people. But the Sorcerer and his Apprentice apparently choose the Author as well, from one generation to the next (August would be a good candidate to be the next Author, and Henry could be an even better one!), and when the Author abused his power and broke the rules, they took responsibility for their mistake. That is why the Author was trapped in his own book.

So the Author is now the worst of villains, and I look forward to seeing what Maleficent will do to him when she discovers the truth.

Speaking of, we have now confirmed that Emma’s childhood friend Lily, short for Lilith (oh, that’s not foreboding at all, now, is it?), is Maleficent’s daughter. It seems she was more right than she knew when she said, “I’m just like you!” And who do you think is going to go and find her?

I must compliment the people making this show. I’ve always enjoyed how they craft this imaginary world, complete with what they name their characters, and they manage to bring things “full circle” so many times without it feeling like we’re going in circles. Not only has Emma come a long way since the days when she didn’t believe in magic, but now she’s going back, yet again, to her origins, her childhood, to the wounds which scarred her for the whole of her life.

Yet, as the past returns, there seem to be some uncertain things in the future. Among them, if I read what happened with Rumple correctly… is Rumple dying?

Even if he is, he’s no idiot. He suspected Regina from the beginning, and now Regina, having tried to fool him with a copy of the page with the door, has confirmed all suspicions. But far from harming her, he has something in mind to truly convert her to their cause.

Yeah, that’s not foreboding either.

Oh, methinks we can theorize about Regina’s dream a little, the one where Robin returns to reunite with her, but then her evil queen persona walks up, hostile, but not intending to harm Robin, only to protect him. From what? Well, with the Author out and about, meddling again, as he may well have meddled with Regina’s refusal to talk to Robin the first time, it could be that she’s protecting Robin from an Author-influenced version of herself. Though how they separate, if such truly occurs, I have no idea, except that it would involve magic.

vlcsnap-00079Castle

“Habeas Corpse”

Ok, anyone who’s ever heard Stana Katic sing knows how hilarious it is for her character, Kate Beckett, to suffer from stage fright. Or “song fright,” as Beckett calls it. This comes to the fore as Castle’s competitive nature gets him into a talent show competition with Ryan and Esposito, dragging Beckett with him. If Ryan and Espo win, Castle must give them a most flattering dedication in his next novel, and if not, then they must call him “King Castle” for a month. But, then, as Castle overhears Beckett confessing her anxiety to Martha, he gracefully bows out of the competition and the bet.

Truly, they do love each other. 🙂

You gotta love how they give these characters actual lives, complete with cop community events, friendly competition, and conning their friends into silly bets.

This week’s murder mystery revolves around a lawyer who died doing the right thing, in atonement for doing the wrong thing several years ago. He worked for a car company who found a flaw in their airbags and, because money was tight at the time, covered it up, fully knowing people would be killed or at least seriously hurt. The guilt ate at this man, turning him to self-destruction until he started an independent practice helping out the little guy. Then he got the chance to expose his former employers, and he took it.

Ironically, he wasn’t killed by the car company. He was killed by a rival lawyer who saw the truth as his ticket to fortune. Truly, the love of money is the cause of much suffering.

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoAgents of Shield

“One Door Closes”

I almost called it, when I mentioned Gordon showing up to train Skye in secret. He does show up, but for so much more than just to train her. He gives her some answers and comfort, and an offer to take her away, to be among her own people and receive some proper help. While Skye has friends in Shield, none of them can give her the help she needs. None of them can help her truly understand herself and her new powers. But the Inhumans can.

It’s very good timing, because Coulson’s team is brought low by “the real Shield.” And the first thing they do is go after Skye. May only barely manages to warn Skye in time for her to run, but before she can get out, one of Morse’s colleague’s opens fire on her, trying to kill her in cold blood. She’s able to protect herself, but only out of reflex, and with no control. It’s a shock wave that blows a tree into splinters. If the rest of the agents pursuing her had arrived at that moment, they’d have taken her down, likely killed her. But when Skye had no one else, she had Gordon, who came and took her away, to safety.

As for the debacle of Shield vs Real Shield (they have to reveal another name for that group, and soon), well, things don’t go so well.

Mac and Morse are called out on their lies, and everyone justifiably fears that they’re Hydra, but they just mention being “the real Shield” before causing just enough chaos to slip away. Coulson locks everything down, to keep them from escaping, and the hunt is going fairly well at first. Simmons stuns Morse by tricking her into holding the stunner, while Fitz is cornered by Mac deep underground. Mac tries to talk to him, but Fitz is afraid. Finally, Mac only has enough time to run, grab Fitz, and go down, shielding him from the blast as “real Shield” busts through the wall. They take control of the base, having gassed everyone into unconsciousness, and take everyone into custody.

We see the origins of their group, on the Day Shield Fell. Morse and Hartley were ordered by Fury to save Commander Robert Gonzales, of The Iliad, then sink the ship so its cargo could never fall into Hydra’s hands. With Mac and a couple others, they deviated from the mission. They disagreed with Fury, though Gonzales was the last holdout, and chose instead to retake their ship. They risked everything, and they won. They also cast aside the military need for a single leader to call the shots, and found fault with Fury’s practice of keeping secrets.

It takes a special kind of person to see Shield brought down and blame Fury instead of Hydra. It was only Fury’s secrets which saved what’s left of Shield, but “real Shield” disagrees. And the worst part is that, for their raging stupidity, for taking the wrong lessons from their experiences, they’re still good people out to do their duty, to protect the world. Mac put himself between Fitz and danger, and Morse was adamant that Skye not be hurt, even screamed a warning to Skye at the last moment. Gonzales was even trying to bring Coulson into the fold instead of throwing him in a cell. That’s the tragedy of it all. Not only is this setting brother against brother, but “real Shield” intends to do good, to protect.

But look what they’ve already done in the name of that protection: they sent in three double-agents, forcibly invaded Coulson’s base, hurt their own comrades, and one even tried to gun Skye down in cold blood. That’s what they want to do: eliminate all the things that pose a danger to their world as they see it. They don’t even see that they’re making the same mistakes they accuse Fury of making. Fury ordered them to eliminate a danger, and they chose to fight for their lives instead. Now they’re trying to eliminate perceived threats, like Skye and everything – and they do call her and those like her “things” – else “dangerous.” I’m guessing they would have gunned down that crew of freaks that picked a fight with Coulson.

So, now they have the base, the team, and Fury’s toolbox, though they don’t know how to open it.

Fortunately, when they gassed the entire base, May had Morse’s gas mask, so she’s able to rescue Coulson. He’s able to hook up with Hunter, who officially signs up with Shield for real once he makes it back to dry land (dang, he was in that escape pod). That’s two men on the outside, several on the inside, and Skye safe with her people.

There is hope.

For more than just taking back the real real Shield, too. Fitz and Simmons argue a bit about Skye, but they’re both brave, selfless, and clever. And there’s just a moment they have together, with their base taken from them, they find silent comfort in each other. They may disagree, but they’re on the same side.

izombie-banneriZombie

“The Exterminator”

So, what happens when a cognizant zombie eats the brain of a sociopath, a killer for hire? Well, in Liv’s case, she brings the man who hired the killer to kill his business partner, and then killed the killer, to justice. Without any regard for her sister’s career as a prosecutor. Yeah, that’s awkward for a bit, but she manages a reconciliation by helping her sister serve up the proper perpetrator.

Liv’s experience as a temporary sociopath illustrates the danger Liv faces every time she eats a new brain. Not knowing a thing about whose brain it is, there is a very real danger of her becoming someone she isn’t. That might seem like a nice thing at times, but whether it’s the brain of an affectionate man driving her to hit on her ex-fiance or the brain of a sociopath keeping her from feeling anything as she contemplates cold-blooded murder, it’s all the same. And both of these brains were like drugs to her, one making her feel good, the other keeping her from feeling remorse.

The latter effect is not undesirable after Liv and Ravi find another zombie, a third “survivor” of the boat party massacre, and the friend who invited Liv to the party in the first place. Ravi gives the starving zombie some brains in hopes of rehabilitating her, but she’s too far gone, just a ravenous, mindless creature. Ravi doesn’t want to give up yet, but Liv the sociopath is ready to kill her immediately. When Ravi falls into the hole the zombie is trapped in, Liv almost lets him die before she’s able to feel the compassion she needs to save him. Even so, she kills what’s left of her old friend and burns the body.

In the face of that, feeling nothing would be pretty appealing, and Live is seriously tempted. But instead, she dumps her new drug down the sink, and allows herself to feel the pain that means she’s still alive, still Liv.

In direct contrast, Blaine comes prowling around for brains, but Liv refuses to help him. She has good reason not to trust him, but she still doesn’t comprehend the depths of his evil. When she finds out, it won’t be pleasant for her. Blaine hasn’t been grave-robbing for his brains. He’s been killing for them.

Liv meets a young man who is trying to get the police to look for his missing friend, a skate-boarding kid who just vanished one night. When the young man goes looking, guess who he meets? Blaine, smoothly lying through his teeth, saying the missing boy is just at a party a block or two away. And so the wolf lures the lamb away from the protection of the herd, and lamb walks off, unsuspecting, into the darkness.

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

“Tricksters”

Well, now the riddle of Harrison Wells is solved, at least for the audience: he’s dead.

The Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom) clashed with the Flash, going back in time to kill Barry before he became the Flash. He succeeded in killing Barry’s mother, but became trapped when his powers mysteriously vanished. Accessing them again involves using the Flash to do so, so he hunted down the two brilliant scientists whose particle accelerator created the Flash in the first place, Tess Morgan and Harrison Wells. He murdered the both of them, and used his future-tech to take Wells’ place, copying his DNA and using it like a mask over his own. Just so he could hasten the process of creating the Flash, so Barry can access the Speed Force and, I suspect, give him access to it as well.

That is sick, and heartbreaking to see two brilliant minds, who are in love, just be cut down like that. And to add insult to injury, he even steals their name, their reputation, their future accomplishments.

I think the name was Eobard(?) Thawne. Apparently a descendent of our own Eddie Thawne, thus taking care not to hurt Eddie in their theatrically-rigged “confrontation.” Still, with the hints we’ve had of Eddie supposedly “going bad,” I can’t help but wonder if the future Thawne will do to him what he did to Wells. As a general rule of thumb, when dealing with these shows, one can take your worst fears and turn them into predictions and be pretty close to the mark. Thus, I fear for Eddie.

Even knowing you have the Flash on speed dial, as Eddie now does, can only do so much when the enemy can kill you in the time between when you touch “send” and when the first number is dialed.

As for why Eddie now knows… well, Joe and Barry are now just starting to get a grasp on who their enemy is, but they already know he’s plenty dangerous. Knowing the danger of digging into the secrets “Wells” keeps, they also believe it’s safer for Iris if they keep her in the dark. Because, of course, the age-old adage, “Knowledge is power,” is complete rubbish. I think this is a serious mistake, but, then again, maybe they just know Iris has a lousy poker face. Certainly, Barry could use a few pointers in how to keep secrets from his wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing mentor. So they bring Eddie in, so he can deflect Iris from her search for her own mentor, lest she, too, dig into Wells and “mysteriously vanish.”

Not that there’s any shortage of danger anyway, what with people like the Trickster prowling around.

If I can just give shout outs for A) casting Mark Hamill, voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, as the Trickster and for B) giving the Trickster the chance to tell his young protege, “I am your father!” a’la Darth Vader to Hamill’s single most iconic character, Luke Skywalker. Oh, I geek out so much! 🙂

After causing a bit of terror with their lethal version of mischief, the Tricksters last trick of the show seems rather tame: poison a bunch of rich people and make them fork over all their money for the antidote. When the Flash shows up, they’re ready, with a bomb that will blow if he slows to under six hundred miles an hour. Fortunately, Barry has a coach to talk him through running through something solid, leaving the bomb behind. Thus, they are able to save Barry, and save the day.

Even more, that vivid description lets Barry know, for sure, that the future Thawne (I can’t really call him “Wells” right now) is the Reverse-Flash, the man who murdered his mother.

So now that we have an idea of the big picture, Barry, Joe, and Eddie are trying to figure out how the disparate pieces of an incomplete puzzle all fit together.

arrow-season-3-logo-0001Arrow

“Public Enemy”

Ray is shot with an arrow, taken in Felicity’s place. She stays by his side at the hospital, with her mother flying in to support her, and his life is momentarily saved in surgery, but then there’s a blood clot dangerously close to his brain. He has nanomachines which can shrink the blood clot, but the doctor won’t condone their use. So Felicity injects him herself, saving his life. The first he does is say, “I love you.”

And she doesn’t say it back. She panics and runs, leaving him… alone. And has to face the fact that she loves Olly. Olly chose to end things between them, but now Felicity has to choose too.

I’ve never been a fan of Olly and Felicity. In part, it just felt purely contrived to me, and any relationship Olly has with a non-Canary is just too much like the Clark-Lana emo-fest of Smallville, but there’s also how Arrow feels cheaper, to me, when you can say, “Season One was Laurel, Season Two was Sara, and Season Three is Felicity.” I mean, when you can divide it up that easily, where a character is defined by which girl he’s wanting at the time, I take issue with that. Particularly when you know it can’t and won’t be the last relationship he has. So let it die, already.

But, of course, there’s gonna be a scene where Olly and Felicity have mad, passionate sex, just like Laurel and Sara. Which is another thing: doesn’t it seem a bit like they’re cheapening these strong, capable women just a bit?

Ah, bit I digress, severely.

In the past, Olly and Akio are sheltered by a woman who turns out to be Shado’s twin sister. She’s suspicious of Olly, catching him in his lies, so she calls the cops… who turn out to not be the cops, but the people trying to kill Olly and the Yamashiros. Fortunately, Maseo and Tatsu show up in the nick of time, and everyone is saved, at least for now. Olly is able to give the sister only the closure of knowing that her family will never come back. That was where Olly learned the power of the truth, which he tries to use now.

In the present, Lance is out for the Arrow’s blood, and Ra’s al’Ghul points him in Olly’s direction. After Ra’s delivers his ultimatum, either be his successor or be in a cage forever, Ra’s keeps goosing things along. With nowhere left to run, after doing a lot of running, Olly turns himself in. Suffering Lance’s judgmental monologue, Olly is prepared to take the fall, so long as his friends are spared. But those friends do not accept this, because Olly would do anything for any one of them. So Roy crashes the party, or, rather, the police convoy, dressed in the green of the Arrow, and takes Roy’s place.

Roy has his demons too, having killed a cop in the midst of a drugged-up rage. He confesses to Thea that he actually believes he deserves prison, and just as Thea was thinking about running away together with him. After everything Olly has done for him, Roy can’t not take the fall. And prison is a very dangerous place for a vigilante.

Lance is not going to be happy with the smaller fish, though. He pointed a gun at his own surviving daughter, and was stopped only by Nyssa. No way he gives up until he has Olly’s head either metaphorically or literally mounted on his wall. He blames Olly for everything. Sara’s death, twice, for Laurel keeping Sara’s death a secret, for everything he sees as “wrong.” He outright accuses Olly of being a villain who thinks he’s a hero. In short: he’s pretty much gone rabid.

I have some suspicions about a certain crossover event coming up, but I can’t say whether or not Lance will heed the impending wake up call.

nashville-headerNashville

“I Can’t Keep Away From You”

Called it.

The thing about guns is that they are only a weapon, only a tool, and tools are not strong. It’s the person wielding it who is either strong or weak.

When a dog bares its fangs, that’s not all it does. There’s an entire posture they take, an expression they make, all to communicate, “You do not mess with me, because I will bite you, now back off!” It’s the same thing with using a gun. You can’t just have it, and carry it with you, not if you don’t want anyone to get hurt. You need to be at peace with it, to be confident with it, to be comfortable with it. You need to understand it. It’s not just something you have in your hands, it’s an outward, visible, threatening message of your own inner resolve. Pulling it out should be how you bare your fangs to an aggressor, not how you try to shield yourself. A gun is not a shield. A gun is a threat, and when you wield it, you need to be willing to back it up. You need to be willing to use it.

When Sadie pulled her gun out, she was not a fierce, growling beast, proudly standing her ground. She was a fearful, whimpering pup trying to pretend at being a threat. She used her gun as a shield, and it nearly got her killed. It’s a miracle that it was Pete who died instead, but that, too, could have been avoided. Not like I’m shedding tears for Pete, mind you, but the loss of any human life is a waste, and now Sadie has his blood literally on her hands. Even once the shock wears off, that is a terrible burden to bear for the rest of her life.

Even in the best-case scenario, if the whole world applauds her for defending herself (which it should), if she walks unpunished for the illegal gun (unlikely), and if her career does not suffer for it (also unlikely), she will relive that moment in her nightmares. Even without “consequences,” there are consequences.

And speaking of consequences, Teddy is having to deal with some of his own. And by “deal with,” I mean, in the fashion of politicians, “try to wriggle his way out of them.” He uses the services of a shady man named Albert to learn that Natasha is being monitored by the FBI in an attempt to bust a prostitution ring. Natasha warns Teddy that she’ll name names if she’s arrested, which is the wrong thing to say to someone who’s already scrambling with dishonest means to avoid the consequences of his actions, and actually suggests that Teddy should give her a couple hundred thousand dollars so she can leave town. Teddy doesn’t have that kind of money, so he tries to blackmail Jeff into helping him get it, which does not go so well. He gets in touch with the city’s finance director to try and gather funds “for a city development project,” but the older man can’t deliver very quickly, and senses that Teddy is not being honest with him. So Teddy goes back to Albert, wanting him to dig up a skeleton in the director’s closet.

So, Teddy takes just one crime, engaging a prostitute, and adds to it the crimes of blackmail and embezzlement of public funds. It’s amazing how trying to cover up one sin leads to so many more sins, greater than the first. Instead of confronting his mistake and facing the consequences, he’s trying to run from it, and making things worse and worse. If Natasha pushes Teddy in just the wrong way, I’m starting to think he could really murder her. Or someone else could and blame him, once the FBI makes it known that he used her services. Desperate, angry men make terrible mistakes.

Speaking of yet another mistake, Deacon pushes Rayna away again. Or, at least, he tries to push her away. He doesn’t want to make her suffer, and he doesn’t want to make his daughter suffer either, but his mistake is much more reasonable than Teddy’s. He simply doesn’t understand that the pain is inevitable. And Rayna is determined that they can all live happily, for as long as possible. ‘Till death do them part, even. So, after a long argument, they go to Rayna’s together, announcing that they are together… and telling Maddie and Daphne that he has cancer.

If we go one more episode without someone mentioning how Maddie could be a potential donor, I will go bonkers!

Something about Rayna hit home in this episode. Generally speaking, she is a wise, strong woman. I believe she made a truly terrible, colossal mistake in refusing Luke, but everyone makes mistakes, no matter how wise they are.

On the subject of Luke, he’s recording that song he wrote with Gunnar after their bad-boy night on the town, “Ghost of Us,” when he runs into Sadie. There was a certain connection between them back during the CMA’s, but that fortunately did not go anywhere. Now, however, it very well could. Sadie makes a suggestion about how to improve the song, even sings with him, which has a certain emotional effect on the both of them. As Rayna is Sadie’s friend and boss, Sadie politely refuses to have her voice on Luke’s next CD, but they have coffee together, talk about their respective exes, and Luke offers to walk her to her car. She refuses, not wanting things to go anywhere, but the moment she said that, you just knew Pete was going to be there waiting for her. Luke really should have insisted. Pete may have had the gall to confront Sadie when she was alone, but no way he’d have had the spine if Luke had been there as well. Instead, Luke is the one to discover Sadie standing over Pete’s body, blood-stained and in shock.

I’m sensing this will not go well!

On a much brighter note, Scarlett, Avery, and Gunnar go on tour with Rascal Flatts! Whoo!

The first stop is a loaded one for Scarlett, as it’s right back on that stage she was standing on when she had a nervous breakdown. It’s a big moment for her, returning the spotlight under that specific spotlight. It doesn’t help, at least not in the short term, when some haters get on twitter to spit on Scarlett from a nice, safe, distance. A bit naïve, Scarlett engages the haters and finds herself fighting a battle no one can win. Gunnar suggests a different, song-writing strategy, and Scarlett creates a beautiful song about being herself and being where she belongs, and don’t you try to change her or beat her down. She’s not so fragile anymore – her golden curls remind me of a lioness – and “My Song” has everyone cheering like mad!

Gunnar is having to face that he has feelings for Scarlett (again) and all Avery says is that if he wants to make a move, he’d best hurry. Gunnar tries to make a move, but a little too late. Scarlett goes to Caleb’s hotel room.

That’s one small thing which makes me a little wary. Caleb and Scarlett have had two dates thus far, and he’s sending her flowers and flying to Chicago to see her and all that. It could be romantic, but he seems to be coming on a bit too strong, even a little creepy when you think about it. I mean, he has a hectic schedule, right? So how’s he dropping everything to take off for a couple days? And for a girl he’s had two dates with? I dunno, something feels a bit off here. I could be wrong, and Gunnar could just be grasping at straws when he fears Caleb could be an axe murderer, but Scarlett didn’t even see them as boyfriend and girlfriend yet. Makes me suspicious… particularly knowing the folks at Nashville have faked us out before, with supposed angels who turn out to be more like demons.

Still, I could be worried over nothing…

Back on the brighter note, Avery is nervous as heck being away from Juliette at the height of her pregnancy. With only three weeks left until her due date, it’s understandable that he’s anxious. I mean, who hasn’t heard of a baby coming early? He calls every hour, on the hour, and it annoys her just a bit. But she understands it’s because he loves her, so, after he sings “This is What I Need to Say,” she asks him to call her again in the morning.

Awwwww! Have I mentioned how much I love them as a couple?

Speaking of couples, there are two more to comment on.

Will is still uncomfortable around his new song-writing friend, Kevin, who is openly gay. Which puts a strain on things, so they “break up” their professional relationship, but Will comes back again. When Will says he thinks Kevin can understand something he’s going through, and Kevin acknowledges it, it’s pretty clear that Kevin has probably guessed that Will is gay too.

Finally, Layla gets jealous of Jeff when the latter clearly has a history with another woman, a blogger who came to interview her. Ironically, while Layla is still stinging from that, she helps Will figure out that, as he’s never been in love, he shouldn’t try writing about it. Then she takes Jeff back one more time, when Jeff, stinging from Teddy’s accusation that he only cares about himself and this is why he has lost everything, wants to try and make their relationship work. He wants to try and love her, but Layla knows you shouldn’t have to try to love people. So she ends their physical relationship, and makes them only an artist and her manager. A step in the right direction, I’d say.

(sheesh, Nashville is pretty good at making me go on forever, aren’t they?)

One last thing: it’s music like “This is What I Need to Say,” and “The Ghost of Us,” and especially “My Song,” which make me love this soundtrack, and country music in general. I listen to it and think, “I must have it!” 😉

grimm_title_cardGrimm

“Heartbreaker”

Whoever said, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” clearly never had to deal with either a hexenbiest ex who’s going ’round the bend, or a girl who changes into a poisonous frog anytime a guy wants her. The one has known love, and now believes she’s lost it, while the other can never know love at all. Pick your poison. Neither hardship is easy to endure.

On the bright side, the frog-girl, Bella, has a perfect defense against a would-be rapist. On the even brighter side, Munroe and Rosalee are able to whip up a potion that negates Bella’s ability to produce the poison at all. It’s far more preferable to her grandmother’s solution of taking a red-hot iron to her face. For one thing, I assume it hurts far less. For another, it was Bella’s choice to take the potion, even risking unknown side-effects. Nick has some particularly nasty and recent experience with that sort of thing, so he cautions her to really think about it. But for Bella, there’s no choice to make. She won’t have another dead body on her conscience when she might have prevented it.

And there are side-effects, altering her face quite a lot. But last we see her, she’s on a date with a huge tattoo on his face, and he sees her as beautiful. Happy ending for her, we hope!

Nick is trying to deal with his latest ordeal, but he has no idea how. He finally opens up to Hank, confessing what’s happened to Juliette. Hank doesn’t know what to do either, but he’s a good friend, just being there to support him, however he can.

Juliette is faring quite a bit worse than Nick. He’s racked with guilt, but Juliette is growing angrier and angrier as her investigation further confirms that she will never be “normal” again. She even laughs in Nick’s face when he tells her still hasn’t given up, because he loves her. I think I can understand that, as his feelings must seem both idealistically naive all of a sudden, yet still striking at her heart. With such pain as she is going through, everything, good or bad, has to just add to the hurt, and she can’t break down and cry… so she breaks down and laughs instead.

Most worrisome.

On another front, Renard’s friend who has been “working for the Royals” is still really working for Renard, as evidenced by feeding the Royals a false lead. Unfortunately, the King sends Prince Kenneth to take Viktor’s place, and Kenneth is far more brutish and physical, yet conceals a ruthless, savage cunning. He doesn’t use pawns like the other Royals we’ve seen. He gets his hands dirty. Yet he can still play the game of manipulation, and the physical threat he presents, even without his henchmen, makes him all the more threatening and dangerous. He has the will to back up his threats with his own hands if need be, and that makes him a much greater predator. Small wonder the king sends him, an actual hunter to find Kelly and Diana.

In his introductory episode, he outwits Adalind, kills Renard’s friend, and beats Renard in a one-on-one fight before delivering his ultimatum: “Join us or die.” Renard may have been handicapped, with those infernal bullet wounds bleeding out when he woges, but Kenneth was thrown across a room… and got right back up. Like it was nothing! That is just not normal! Does he have some wesen in him too?

It’s my guess that the only ones who could pose a threat to Kenneth are all Grimms. Or maybe a really strong hexenbiest.

Speaking of, Nick got an email from Trubel. And replied, at a time when things are terrible, “Everything is fine.” I want to roll my eyes at that, but “Juliette is a hexenbiest now,” is a bit more difficult to say than is perfectly fair.

…DOH! I can’t believe it took me this long to think of it! Nick‘s blood can’t de-hexen Juliette, and perhaps neither can Kelly’s, Trubel’s just might! Oh, someone really needs to think of that in the show!

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