This Week on TV, March 12, 2016

Spoiler Alert!

This was fairly fun week! No Arrow or Flash, but Once Upon a Time and Agents of Shield both made strong returns, Gotham delivered a heavy episode with a fairly intricate plot, Grimm finally thrust towards the great mystery of the show, Castle was plenty of fun and advanced the overarching plot in surprising ways, and Legends of Tomorrow was the same as ever: good, but with glaring plot holes.

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

“Souls of the Departed”

I am sensing some skill with titling episodes, here! 😛

Speaking of skill, this may be their most brilliant episode yet. So many old, familiar faces have already shown up, with powerful effect.

Right off the bat, we see a familiar face, when Neal visits Emma as she lies unconscious in Charon’s ferry. It’s a brief, simple exchange, talking about how they miss each other, how their son is growing up, and Neal delivers an ominous warning: turn back, don’t go, it won’t go like Emma imagines, and there will be suffering. Really, warning aside, it’s two people who love each other, seeing each other one more time. Very emotionally powerful, and it sets the tone for the episode, and likely the rest of the season. We are going places that hit our beloved heroes, and us, right where we feel it most.

Emma hears Neal’s warning, but she can’t turn back. So, into the Underworld they go: Emma, Snow, Charming, Regina, Robin, Henry (I still think it defies reason to take him along), and Rumpelstiltskin (ah, so he is accompanying them, I did not realize this last episode). Seven souls venturing into the Underworld to reclaim a friend.

The Underworld, as it turns out, looks a lot like Storybrooke. Or maybe it’s Storybrooke that looks a lot like the Underworld? They bring up that curse that made Storybrooke in the first place, and there are some interesting details the two locations have in common, which I will get into in a moment.

Within minutes, Emma and the others meet and see more familiar faces. The Underworld, it seems, is where the people with unfinished business go when they die, and it’s no surprise that a number of these are connected to the Storybrooke crew. They see Cruella’s car driving around, that’s someone they’ll want to avoid. Snow meets (and gets kissed by) Charming’s brother, James. Hansel and Gretel’s witch is in the diner. Rumple soon meets his father, Peter Pan. And, of course, there’s Regina’s parents. Both of them. Cora’s in the mayor’s office, by the way, while Pan is in the pawn shop. Interesting, the parents occupying the Underworld’s version of their offspring’s positions in Storybrooke.

Rumpel has his very specific priority. In fulfilling his deal with Emma, he intends for them to find Hook and get out within a day. To that end, he visits his shop to find a specific potion. Pan shows up, talking about making up and new starts and, oh, him taking the place of one of Rumpel’s living companions on the ferry, getting out and living again.

…hmmm, does that hold true for Hook too? I mean, Neal paid a similar price for bringing back his father, a life for a life, and the Dark Ones all intended to do the same thing Pan means to, so it makes sense. How are they supposed to get Hook out if they need a living person to take his place in the Underworld? Food for thought.

Anyway, Rumpel’s not having it, but Pan assures him he’ll consider it in time. For the moment, as “a gesture of good will,” Pan gives him the potion he seeks, one that allows communion with the dead. That might not seem very useful in the Underworld, but the crew are searching everywhere for Hook and coming up with nothing. If they sprinkle it on his grave, they can talk to him directly, find out where he is. Expediency is always desirable, especially when one is in the Underworld and under a time crunch.

Unfortunately, the potion only half-works. They catch a glimpse of Hook, and he’s pretty beaten up. I’m guessing after his failure up top and his many ill deeds, there are plenty of people interested in his suffering. But he doesn’t hear them, or, at least, he seems not to (he could be trying to protect them from whoever is torturing him). There’s something interfering with the spell and it just fizzles out before they can learn anything useful.

On the bright side, Regina is able to use the potion to speak with her father, Henry. Cora seems keen on getting Regina out of the Underworld, pushing her to be selfish again, as she once was, to take just Henry and Robin and leave on a boat she’s arranged for. When Regina refuses, Cora sees that she can’t convince her daughter to leave, so she tries forcing her to instead, by holding the fate of her father’s soul over her head. The Underworld may be an eternal destination, but there is a way out: by going either “someplace worse,” involving fire, or “someplace better.” Cora means to send Henry the Elder down to the worse place if Regina doesn’t do as she says.

It’s not Cora’s first time trying to get Regina to do what she wants. We saw her manage to return to the Enchanted Forest from Wonderland and take Snow’s heart, but Henry gave it back before Regina could get it. Regina answered that by shrinking her father down and keeping him in a box, which Cora then stole when she was exiled (again) to Wonderland. Have we seen that box before? I want to say we saw Henry get released from it in a previous episode, but I could be misremembering.

When the attempt to speak with Hook fails, Emma, being selfless, tells Regina to take Robin and Henry the Younger and go. None of them can simply allow Regina’s father to suffer for what they’re trying to do. But Henry the Elder himself makes his own decision: he’d rather suffer forever than stand in the way of Regina’s ability to be a hero again. He wants Regina to stay. Regina chooses to stay, but also tries to save her father, only to watch him be swallowed up in flames… and then see the flames fall away, leaving him be.

Of course they’re not sending the hero to Hell! 😛

Henry’s biggest regret was allowing Cora to twist Regina towards the darkness, instead of building her up into a hero. Now he’s done right by her, his regret falls away, and he, a good soul, gets to go someplace much better, filled with light, where he truly belongs. He says goodbye to Regina, encouraging her, and meets his grandson, charging his namesake with looking after her. Then he turns, and leaves. He escapes the Underworld.

Spirits are high after that, and the heroes find another purpose to being there in the Underworld: to help people move on. Not only to help one trapped soul, but many. To spread hope. Rumpel wants nothing of that, and he stalks off, but the rest of the crew don’t care. And as Regina looks at the shattered clock tower in the street, she sees the minute hand move, just a tick, and smiles. Hmmm, isn’t that what we saw in the very first episode of this series? 🙂

Not everyone is happy about this.

Cora enters the library below the tower, enters the elevator, goes a loooooong way down, and meets the real man in charge as he luxuriates on his thrown: Hades, Lord of the Underworld. He is quite unhappy that Cora failed to get Regina to leave. In fact, just the opposite happened: a trapped soul was released, and the clock ticked with Henry’s freedom. He no longer belongs to Hades, and Hades hates that. He chooses a very specific punishment for Cora, turning her back into a miller after her lifelong struggle to be a queen. Reminds me of the brutal punishments Greek gods conjured up for the mortals who especially displeased them.

So Hades himself tried to use Cora to manipulate Regina into leaving. Hmmm.

Storybrooke and the Underworld resemble each other in appearance, but also in function: they are designed to keep a massive population trapped and quietly suffering forever. Both have clocks which are frozen, but which move when hope enters and a curse begins to be undone. Both events are heralded by the arrival of a certain figure which the puppeteer in charge tries to force to depart. Could it be that Hades himself created the Storybrooke Curse? Could Regina be the Underworld’s version of Emma, their Savior?

I’m also very intrigued by what we saw in Hades’ throne room. What was that design on his floor? Where do those other gateways lead? Are those rainbow-colored rivers the classic five rivers of Hell? I know stuff like that: the Styx, the Acheron, the Lethe (the gray river, maybe?), the Phlegethon (I’m guessing that was the molten-fire river), and the Cocytus (blue one, most likely).

And who was that slave girl Hades had cleaning out his toenails? Meg, maybe?

Ooooh! This episode was exciting, and tense, and emotional, and touching, and foreboding all at once! Well done!

castle titleCastle

“G.D.S”

…whoa.

Just… whoa.

Ok, breathe! (whew!)

So, after Castle’s last adventure among the immigrants in “And Justice For All” (another one I apparently missed in my commentary… man, I’m slipping!), he found a lead that led him to Los Angeles.

As it happens, a case is given to him to solve while he’s in town, in the form of a card signed, “G.D.S.” The Greatest Detective Society. A legendary, nearly mythical, group of super sleuths, dedicated to solving the unsolvable mysteries in pursuit of justice. Hayley thought they were just an urban legend, while Castle has been dreaming of being invited to join their ranks. And he’s not alone in that hope (of course!).

Is this the first time Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau have been on the same show since Firefly and Serenity? I can’t recall another time they’ve done that, but I could be wrong. It was really cool, though, come on, I was hoping they could squeeze one more reference to that show in this one. Oh well, c’est la vie, moving on.

Summer is playing a young PI named Kendall, also a hopeful addition to the GDS. The two collide, compete, compromise, and double-cross, all as naturally as their next breath. Kendall certainly had her work cut out for her, competing with Castle when he has Hayley and Alexis alongside him as well as Ryan, Espo, Beckett, Laney, and Vikram back in New York, which comes in handy. The murder they’re working is one of the GDS’ own members, a young man who sniffed out the trail of an unknown serial killer, one good enough to operate on both coasts, and he got very close.

Kendall was right there alongside Castle, neck-and-neck, which is no small thing considering the resources at his disposal. Still, he got a few critical pieces of information she didn’t, and that gave him the edge. In truth, there were two serial killers, operating in partnership. Ryan and Espo got one, a screenwriter, and Castle was able to nail the second, a director he’s had past dealings with, and who apparently made his Nikki Heat movie absolutely terrible.

After the dust settles, and Castle has gotten his payback on Kendall for double-crossing him and endangering their efforts, the GDS decides to accept Castle. But he refuses, knowing his place is with Beckett, and encourages them to accept Kendall instead. By the look on her face, I’m guessing his praise of her means a great deal, and why wouldn’t it? She’s learned to respect him, and the praise of those you respect is great indeed.

As for his ongoing investigation into his missing time eighteen months ago, the lead leads them to a Korean restaurant. Turns out, he stopped in for a bite to eat and couldn’t pay, so he gave the proprietor his watch, which Castle now buys back.

Within the watch, as Alexis – who was grumpy about manning the hotel suite of a home base until she noticed the man-candy staff – finds, is a tracking device. Hayley thinks they can’t track it, but, and this was my first clue, Alexis manages it anyway within a day. No way Alexis can do something that Hayley can’t, at least not yet. Then Hayley advised her to drop the lead she dug up, leading to a former marine. While I agree with Hayley about the potential dangers, there was something a little too persuasive, too manipulative, with how she was saying what she was saying. When Alexis investigated anyway, after pretending to drop it, she visited the marine’s mother, looked through a photo album… and found a picture with the marine in questions, standing next to Hayley.

Ok, yes, that is good reason to freak out. It did not help her nerves when she got back into her car, already scared, to find Hayley waiting in the back seat. Yeah, with all the stuff Alexis has had to deal with, I’d be afraid of Hayley too. I note that no one involved in Castle’s disappearance has actually meant him or those around him any harm, but I’d still be afraid that could change. Hayley doesn’t much like seeing the fear and mistrust on Alexis’ face, and she apparently cares so much now that, in order to protect Castle and Alexis both, she comes clean.

Hayley confesses to Castle that she was asked, by his father, to keep an eye on him in LA. She doesn’t know what Castle was doing there. After his two weeks in Thailand, he was supposed to go back to his life in New York, but he suddenly went rogue and stayed in LA for awhile. Then, one day, he managed to ditch the tracking device she’d put in his watch, and the next time she saw him, he’d been shot and decided to have Jenkins wipe his memory. As a safeguard against his own curiosity, he asked, even begged, Hayley to lie to him if they ever met again. If he ever came close to the truth again, he left a video message on the dark net, and gave her the address to give to him.

The message he left for himself is nothing but dire. He went rogue because he found out about Bracken’s partnership with Loksat, and the night he was shot, he had found “where Loksat was landing,” and barely escaped without being identified. He had his memory erased to protect Beckett, absolutely certain that if she found out what he knew, she would die.

Castle’s been protecting Beckett from Loksat far longer than even he knew. But with the knowledge of that comes the weight of the price that’s been paid. Everyone Loksat has hurt since then, including Beckett’s entire team from her CIA days, is because he chose to go to extremes to protect her.

What she’s going to make of that, of how he erased his memory to keep her out of Loksat’s path (only to have it fail) I can scarcely imagine.

Oh, and Ryan and Espo played a little prank on Laney when she asked Ryan to background check her new boyfriend without telling Espo, who found out. They really had Laney going, but when she figured it out… well, Hell hath no fury like a woman. 😛

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

“A Dead Man Feels No Cold”

This was a pretty heavy, and chilling, episode.

Barnes, Gordon, and the other officers are pursuing Freeze, but the man manages to get his ammunition and arm himself to the teeth, including his freeze gun, freeze grenades, and a suit to protect him. With all of this, and his wits, he’s quite the formidable force, and leaves a large number of dead officers in his wake.

The GCPD set Nora up at Arkham, guarding the entrances, waiting for him to attack. Smart, but their approach is too rigid. They clearly aren’t accustomed to dealing with freaks like Freeze yet. He uses a hostage as a diversion and just opens a hole in a wall. Every officer he comes across, with exception to Gordon – who, I think, survived only because Freeze didn’t want to accidentally hurt his wife – is left a frozen, broken corpse.

What the GCPD doesn’t know is that there’s a third side to this mess, namely Strange and his cronies. Strange is practically giddy with excitement at the opportunity presented to him. The GCPD sets their trap, but Strange rigs the game, trapping the cops as “the cold damages wires” and things “malfunction,” while aiding Freeze’s escape in exchange for one of his cartridges. It goes swimmingly, with the cops never suspecting a thing.

While Gordon was there at Arkham, Penguin begged him for help, which Gordon refused, even taunted him over his insanity plea. Whatever that machine is that Strange has Peabody hook Penguin up to, it’s clearly of nefarious design, and Penguin’s fragile grip on reality is already slipping. The distinction between what’s real and what’s not is vital for us, as humans, to be certain of. When that slips away, or is taken from us, madness is soon to follow. As such, it’s no surprise when he lets slip that Gordon was the one to kill Galavan. Keeping secrets involves the stability of sanity, and that involves knowing what is real and what is not.

That’s what Freeze has forgotten: the reality of other human lives. Nora is the foundation of his life, and he refuses to accept life without her. That weakness has driven him to murder. To stop him, and to keep herself from a life without him even if he should succeed, she distracts him and Thompkins, and switches out the cartridge with another. When he freezes her, he thinks he’s saving her life, but she’s made it so he’s killing her instead. Rather appropriate as an external representation for what he’s done to her soul with each of his murders. He hasn’t actually been saving her at all, no matter what he thinks.

When he realizes the truth, Freeze summarily kills himself. …or, at least, he tries to. He’s become a freak now, needing to stay in the cold to survive. The world believes him to be dead, but Strange keeps him in Indian Hill, the better to use his knowledge and expertise. Oh, and there are people floating in capsules of liquid, so I’m guessing, even if Freeze were so inclined as to not assist Strange, Strange will have found a way to dangle Nora’s supposedly-extinguished life over his head, to force his cooperation.

I have to say, I was not expecting this episode to be so good for developing Thompkins. No only does she get to talk to an unconscious Barbara, but she has more in common with Nora than she knows. They both love men who are trying to do something good, but have deviated from their original path to go down darker roads. Freeze, really, is just a bit further along than Gordon, and believes that since there’s no turning back from what he’s done, he has to push on through ever more monstrous deeds until he achieves his goal. For once, we may have gotten a truly good look at the sort of monster Gordon could become.

Where Nora blinded herself for too long, until the truth caught up with her, Thompkins learns from her example, and faces the truth head-on, confronting Gordon over both his role in using Nora as bait in a dangerous setting and how he lied to her about Galavan. Against that, Gordon doesn’t really have any defense, so he just goes to work. As usual.

And this is the show that I barely decided to keep watching after its first episode.

Mind you, Bruce’s presence was a detriment, I felt, to this episode. Alfred took him to Switzerland after the “trauma” of being kidnapped. However, as he tells Thompkins, he didn’t feel scared, he felt alive. If that weren’t disturbing enough, alongside his declaration that he never lies despite the fact that he does so frequently, Alfred makes a deal with Bruce, now that he’s found Patrick “Matches” Malone: they find him together, and Alfred, not Bruce, will be the one to kill him. Bruce agrees, but asks Selina to get him a gun without Alfred knowing, so he can kill Matches instead.

If they’re aiming to be at all true to the source material, where Batman never lets anyone die if he can help it, then they’ll have Bruce be on the brink of success… and then choose, in a moment of clarity, not to kill him. Then again, Matches also dies in said source material, and Bruce is able to use the man’s identity to infiltrate the criminal underworld as he needs to. So it could go either way, really.

Bruce, however, strikes me as a very unstable young man right now, frighteningly so. He is both driven and consumed by obsession, the mystery of who killed his parents, and the need to destroy them.

agentsofshieldseason3bannerAgents of Shield

“Bouncing Back”

That was a rather foreboding opening scene. “Three months from now,” someone wearing a Shield uniform and a golden crucifix is on a spaceship, with blood droplets floating in the air, as it blows up.

Back in the immediate present, Shield has been kept pretty busy the last month, since the incident with the portal at Hydra’s castle. While Coulson is hunting Gideon Malick, Sky… sorry, old habits, Daisy, Mack, Hunter, Morse, and Joey are in Mexico. The public is becoming increasingly aware of the “alien contagion,” the terrigenesis poison spreading throughout the oceans, but there’s still a great deal of ignorance and fear. When one new Inhuman robs a police caravan of the weaponry they mean to use against Inhumans like herself, the team comes in, ready to assist.

Daisy seems to be growing as a leader. She helped Joey through the crisis of his terrigenesis, and now it’s his turn, and not only because he can speak Spanish. First, however, they have to find the Inhuman woman, who turns out to be a speedster of sorts, but one that bounces back to wherever she began. She and Mack have some initial misunderstandings, resulting in her kidnapping him, but it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t the real villain of this piece. She – her name is Malina if I heard that right – stole the weapons, but rather conspicuously refrained from hurting anyone. Then she kidnapped Mack, rather than really hurting him. When she and Mack were talking, each getting bits and pieces to form a rough understanding of each other, she said her power was a gift from God, to fight injustice and save the world, and she would never use it for a sin.

Yeah, something the Agents forgot, being on the right side of both the law and justice, is that such is not always the case. Malina and her cousin stole the weapons to destroy them. The cops are the real criminals here, and they’re willing to kill every Inhuman, and likely every other freak or inconvenient person, they come across. …well, ok, not every one. They do have one working for them, capable of paralyzing you with a look. That’s how the cops get the drop on Hunter and Morse, and kill Malina’s unfortunate cousin.

It’s putting it very mildly to say Malina is willing to help the Agents (once they come to understand each other) take down these corrupt cops. And she proves most useful. Daisy absolutely loves having her for a friend! 😀 Between Mack and three Inhumans, the cops really didn’t stand a chance. 🙂 Still, Malina’s not willing to leave her life and be an agent, but then that would leave her alone and vulnerable to a number of their enemies, like Hydra, or Lash. And Hydra’s certainly not helpless, as they pluck Medusa-eyes out from right in front of them.

So, they need to be able to keep the Inhumans close and safe, but also keep them separate and free. How to balance the two sides? Daisy recalls her time with the Rising Tide, a bunch of hacker friends who were one in purpose and formidable as a group, but not even all on the same continent. Ah, the wonders of modern technology! 😀 They just give Malina a watch so she can call them for help, or the other way around! Joey takes one too and goes home to his family at long last! 😀

And it seems there may be a certain connection between Mack and Malina. I can think of worse first meetings between prospective romantic partners! 😛

The crucifix around Malina’s neck gives me pause. Was that her necklace we saw on the space ship? She doesn’t seem the sort to fly a space ship. Does she give it to someone, say, Mack? Does she get killed and Mack keeps it to remember her by? Or does it belong to someone else completely?

While all that’s going on, Coulson presses his hunt for Malick. The President of the United States is sort of on his side, to the point where he’s appointing Talbot to run the ATCU as their public face for dealing with threats, while Coulson runs Shield in the shadows, with Talbot taking orders from him. That will be interesting! But as for Malick, the man is too protected even for him. He can pull any number of economic threads and bring nations to their knees. Go after him, and he uses the economic version of Mutually Assured Destruction. No one can help Coulson, but they aren’t going to stop him either, especially if he can stay out of the spotlight (and thus limit reprisals).

Coulson, Fitz-Simmons, and Lincoln are able to hook the catatonic von Strucker kid up to that interrogation machine and, after getting him out of the trauma of his torture, he gives them a way to call Malick, and trace said call. Coulson is able to gloat, basically a formal declaration of war, but Malick meets him blow for blow, partially because Coulson missed one crucial detail: when he killed Ward, he gave the creature a vessel with which to return to Earth, and one that informed him he could find shelter with Malick.

The creature has been a rather lackluster god, though. For month now, It’s barely so much as moved or spoken, and only now does It express hunger. I’m thinking it had to do something special with Ward’s body, to further its plans, and this something has left it weakened. It slowly eats Its way back to strength in this episode, though, and It talks about belief and believers. It says It will “make a believer” out of Malick’s surviving Inhuman. Then, right at the end of the episode, It reaches out and Its flesh starts disintegrating from Its bones, specifically sent out in the Inhuman’s direction. And the episode ends.

I’m guessing It has the ability to take control of others, making them Its followers, “believers,” that It is one with, like a Hive mind, or the Borg collective, or something like that.

Which brings us to a very important question: how do you permanently kill something like that?

It’s vulnerable to fire, clearly, but It can just jump to any nearby corpse, so it’s impossible to kill It by conventional means. The super-powered Inhumans of ancient times couldn’t finish It off, that’s why they sent It through the portal in the first place, and It destroyed the world on the other side when they wouldn’t “be part of something great,” because they were “too easily divided.” So, superpowers don’t kill it, and super-advanced technology can’t kill it, not so long as it can leave one old body to take over a new one. And It can take over anyone, wear them like a suit while It uses other bodies like puppets. So, how do you kill It?

Answer: you burn it all up in a place where it can’t find another body to jump to. Like, for instance, outer space.

Or maybe the spacecraft is meant to spread its influence across the whole of the globe simultaneously, and destroying it is the only way to prevent that. Either way. This is going to be… interesting.

Final note: it’s interesting what Lincoln says about the Inhumans and their powers not being random, but all according to some need, some intelligent design. If that is true, then who or what decides who gets what abilities?

Oh, one more final note: Fitz is understandably traumatized by how he burned Will’s corpse to keep that thing from coming back, but it takes Simmons to help him see that he didn’t actually hurt Will, so there’s no need to be hesitant around her. They make for a cute couple, I’d say, and now Simmons supports Fitz as he supported her after her experience on that other planet. And as for the two of them? Well, they’re still a couple of brilliant, inquisitive minds about to embark on a wondrous, transforming relationship that they have no idea where it will really go, so… same as ever. 🙂

Legends-of-Tomorrow-LogoLegends of Tomorrow

“Night of the Hawk”

I saw the title and thought, “Is Carter showing up again?” Apparently not.

Back in 1958, some teens stumble across a fallen meteor, and Vandal Savage. He snatches up three of them, possibly some others, uses them in his experiments, turning them into these bird-human monsters. The idea is to make an army of Hawkmen, but they don’t seem easy to control, mostly feral, and since they never have to deal with such an army on the unaltered timeline, I’m thinking it was doomed to fail anyway. But that doesn’t really help either the test subjects or the people they’ve been mutilating, the latter of which draws the Legends’ attention.

Investigating the murders, and disappearances, Sara and Stein go undercover at an asylum (one of their doctors was murdered), Ray and Kendra pose as a couple taking up residence in another victim’s available house, Jacks gets acquainted with a young girl who is a witness, and Rip and Cold pose as FBI agents investigating the serial killings, overriding the sheriff’s protests that all of these violent deaths are just accidents. What does each separate case have in common? Savage. A doctor that worked at the same asylum, his neighbor across the street, a girl who saw him that night at the meteor, and an officer who is in his pocket.

While they work to foil Savage’s plan, things are kept as personal as ever among the Legends.

Cold is having to deal with the whole thing with Heatwave, and it’s rough, to say the least. Anything that upsets his calm is rough. Jacks doesn’t help by hammering on how Heatwave was his best friend and partner, suspicious of what he might do to the rest of the team. Stein gets a small dose of what Cold feels like when Savage captures and experiments on Jacks, but Cold, however ruthless, refrains from hurting Jacks, earning the boy’s gratitude later, after he’s cured. Cold did what he did to protect the team, so whether or not Cold has a proper partner anymore, he is one of them.

Kendra, Jacks, and Sara all have a lot to deal with in ’58. It’s right before the Civil Rights movement kicks off, and the status quo is… not friendly. Jacks has racist young jocks to deal with, Kendra and Ray draw a lot of attention with their interracial marriage, and Sara “liberates” a lesbian woman, with an option on seducing her later… that is, until she realizes that this is her first kiss since her resurrection, which is an explosive feeling, with terror front and center of her emotions. Stein did warn her against the hazards of what he’d be doing to the woman, but he’s also capable of understanding her own conflicted feelings after that kiss.

Also, I love the bit about Sara being able to kill someone slowly, over the course of “days.” 🙂

Ray is unwilling to let Kendra go into danger alone, and he has to learn that what she needs is not an overprotective boyfriend. Mind you, I side with Ray on this one, at least for practical purposes. I’m not saying they should have invaded the entire asylum, but all-out assaults actually don’t automatically give Savage an advantage. They’ve found him (again), and now they’ve found the dagger (again), so now they should overwhelm him (again), and kill him (again), only this time having Kendra finish him off (at last!). No, instead they send her in alone, with backup a bit far away. And then, when that goes sideways and Ray blasts him through a window, once again, they don’t finish the job! This team sucks at following through!

Yet another reason not to have them tangle with Savage in almost every episode: having him get away becomes increasingly idiotic.

And to add the fire to the frying pan, right as they’re wrapping up loose ends and leaving, Chronos attacks, with greater firepower than before. Rip, Stein, Cold, and Jacks are driven back, racing for the jump ship. Jacks tries to merge with Stein, but Stein says they could destroy the ship, so they’re severely outgunned. Just as Kendra, Ray, and Sara return, the Waverider takes off without them.

Crap, meet Fan.

grimm_title_cardGrimm

“Into the Schwarzwald”

Called it! 😀 …well, almost. 😉

They did kill Dixon to get to Renard, to make him the next mayor of Portland, under their thumb, and the redhead was their inside source. I missed the part about Black Claw offering up their own man to a wrathful Renard, elevating his public image as a hero, and I also missed the part where they come to him openly, after he figures out the redhead’s complicity. But I got the broad strokes, and I am feeling rather satisfied about that! 🙂

Now, obviously Renard can’t trust these people. The redhead betrayed Dixon, and Lucian betrayed the assassin, and that is pretty much the definition of untrustworthy. Still, they make a rather interesting offer, and his ambition was established way back in the show’s first season. But if I’m right about what virtue there is to Renard and his capability to scheme, then I’m hoping he more intends to be HW’s new inside source, their way into Black Claw’s higher ranks. But it’s not like he’d be the first character on the show who went to the dark side.

And speaking of sides, Adalind is caught between two of her own.

The past catches up to both her and Rosalee in this episode. Munroe’s been keen to protect Rosalee from her old “friend,” but his arrival at the spice shop happens to happen while he’s on the other side of the planet. Good for Rosalee, refusing, point-blank, to help him, but then he gets violent, starts wrecking the place, hits her when she resists. Adalind tries to step in, but she’s helpless as he advances, making to hit her too. That is… until her powers start making a comeback. The man’s hand is gripped in midair, each finger broken before he’s released the flee, howling in pain.

Rosalee was shocked by that, but it’s nothing compared to Adalind, filled with horror and sorrow and fear. She once went to great and terrible lengths to get her powers back. Now she wants nothing more than to not have them, ever again. Rosalee tries to help her, and the two share their pasts as they research maybe strengthening the suppressant she took last season. Rosalee made mistakes, Adalind tried to be anything but like her mother. Now they’ve both come out of the past to find a certain happiness here and now. Adalind’s afraid of losing that, and herself, as her hexenbiest nature reasserts itself. She’s afraid of losing Nick, and so soon after gaining him. She’s afraid he’ll be rid of her and perhaps even their son. Most of all, she doesn’t want to be the person she used to be, thinking that way, acting that way. She says being a hexenbiest itself influences how you think.

There could be an argument made for that, as evidenced by Juliette’s descent following her own transformation. If so, then the HW may have a terrible threat in their midst, but that might be true either way. Adalind herself did plenty of bad things between when Nick took her powers and when she got them back again, but she also seemed to retain some her abilities. However, Renard’s mother, Elizabeth, seemed entirely different from Adalind and Juliette, not to mention Henrietta from last season, so it’s clearly possible to be a more balanced person even with a hexenbiest nature. I’m guessing Adalind just needs to choose to be a better person, powers or no.

Still, she’s in a tough emotional spot right now, so she hasn’t told Nick yet. I think that should be done face-to-face anyway, not over the phone, and Nick has yet to see her face-to-face again, so…

Speaking of Nick, he and Munroe are pretty good treasure hunters. After assembling the map, finding and following the clues, and finding the lingering ruin of an ancient church, they’ve clearly done pretty well. Falling straight into the catacombs beneath was not exactly part of the plan, but it works out. They aren’t hurt by the fall, and now they don’t have to dig their way in! 🙂

First they think to dig down further, but Munroe realizes that would be a pointless effort, to bury something beneath a buried catacomb, and also less secure, as putting it beneath any random stone would mean that stone could be easily found and upturned. So instead of beating around every corner, they try to think like the knights. People would be terrified of the catacombs, of all the dead within, so placing it within them would make more sense than simply burying it.

To the people back then, the spirits of the dead would be like an ever-present security force that doesn’t need anything like food or rest, not to be trifled with. Following that line of reasoning, Nick realizes no one would come down without light, in the form of torches, to protect them from the dead. So they douse the lights and find a wall of skulls, seven of which glow in the dark, and are arranged to form “G” shape. Behind these skulls, a Crusader’s shield, complete with a cross, an “X.” Behind the shield, an old, metal chest with seven locks, for seven keys. As they can’t finish unlocking it then and there, the duo takes the whole chest with them, search for the exit, and dig their way out.

That’s when they they find that they have some local trouble to deal with, the wesen community come to kill the Grimm. They sneak past most of them, though they run into one that bites Munroe in the arm. They trick the pair guarding their rental car into going to “help the others,” and take out a tire on each would-be pursuing car. They barely make it out as the mob is returning in force, but with no one able to quickly pursue, they get a big lead, and use it well. They don’t even stop to treat Munroe’s wound, just go straight to the airport and board the next flight back to Portland.

They came, they saw, they solved, they snatched, they escaped! 🙂

They get back, and, typical blokes, they open the chest instead of seeing to Munroe’s injury. I roll my eyes at that. I know you’re all excited, boys, but priorities. You’re not running from an angry mob in Portland, you can take your time with the chest! It’s not going anywhere, I promise! 😉

So, they pick the last two locks, unlock the other five… and find one more safeguard (sheesh, the seven knights really went all out with this!) in the form of a sealant, one that requires Grimm blood to dispel.

So, to recap: whatever the seven knights found on the Crusade, they put it in a metal box. And put seven locks on that box. And sealed that box with something that only one of their own could dispel with their blood. Then they put this thoroughly locked and sealed box in a hole in a wall, with a strong shield placed over it. And they put that hole into the wall of a catacomb, marked only by glowing skulls, which no one would ever see because no one would come inside without torchlight. And they put the selected catacomb beneath a church, to be specific. Then they put the selected church in the freaking Black Forest. Then they put the location of that church in the Black Forest onto a map, with a nearly invisible mark that only the most discerning and learned eye would see and recognize. Then they put that map onto the chest’s seven keys. And then they scattered the keys.

What was worth all of this trouble?

In the chest, Nick and the others find a small stick wrapped in weathered, old cloth.

…huh?

Having no clue what the significance of this stick is, though they notice the cloth has some extremely faded writing on it, they can only make wild guesses. I have a few of my own, of course. Maybe it’s from the cross Jesus was crucified on? Maybe its from the Spear of Longinus? Maybe it’s from a special tree?

Whatever it is, it’ll have to wait, because that wound on Munroe’s arm has festered, gotten infected, and he’s got blood poisoned by now, and they need to get him a hospital stat, and… and… his wound heals instantaneously, the poison gone, Munroe made perfectly healthy. Because Nick still had the stick in hand when he grabbed Munroe to help carry him. The stick healed Munroe.

…ok, that is a special stick!

…but why would the knights take such extreme precautions to hide something that heals? Just what else does that stick do? And where does it come from?

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