This Week on TV, Feb. 4, 2017

Spoiler Alert!

This was generally a pretty intense week. Gotham‘s “winter finale” delivered in all the right ways. Agents of Shield increased the pressure bearing down on the agents. Arrow was kinda flimsy, but still had some decent character development. The Vampire Diaries ripped our hearts out, very much like a show on its last season. And Grimm continues the slow boil, very unlike a show on its last season. All in all, pretty fun! 🙂

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

3.14 “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”

Wow… that was pretty intense. And I loved it! 🙂

Be warned: this episode is not for the faint of heart. Not by any stretch of the imagination. And my imagination is pretty stretchable.

It begins with Gotham in turmoil, chaos erupting in every corner, the entire city besieged from within, and two lone figures, Catherine and her mysterious colleague, looking down on the burning cityscape like gods. Judgment, says the man, has come early. Which does not bode well for what they’re thinking of whenever they use that word. Catherine says they may have to intervene, but her companion remarks that the city will bend long before breaking, so they will give the GCPD a chance. When Catherine says, “Your faith in him is touching, and dangerous,” it’s pretty clear she’s referring to Gordon. The man wears the same ring as Gordon and his father, after all. So, who is he?

That question is answered last.

Meanwhile, Gordon is leading the fight against Jerome’s widespread mania, not an easy task, and hopes to cut the head off the snake, as it were. But finding him would be difficult enough under normal circumstances. In the middle of all this? Not a chance. Not unless they can get ahead of him somehow. Lee, having survived Jerome’s first conversation after his return from the dead, answers Gordon’s questions while simultaneously treating injuries. She goes over what Jerome was interested in… and realizes, to everyone’s horror, that Jerome means to kill Bruce. Lee calls and Gordon races to Wayne Manor, but too late.

Were I Bruce and Alfred, I would have started fortifying the place the instant the madness broke out. I would have especially gathered the most valuable things, like that owl statue, and retreated into their secret cave. It’s not a bad thing to use the secret bunker when the crap hits the fan, you know. For that matter, I would have put the owl statue into the bunker straightaway. But, predictably, they haven’t done any of this yet, and the phone call warning them about Jerome comes at exactly the moment when he and his maniacs come storming in. Or, the cult comes “storming” in. Jerome has a crazy flavor of swaggering.

And now the whole thing with the face makes sense… from a narrating perspective, I mean. They needed a way to give Jerome that classic Joker smile. So they stretched his face, by having him staple it, because it was cut off and he wanted it back on.

Gotta give Bruce due props here. He’s face to face with a deadly madman, disorienting and upsetting to every rational sense both in his appearance, his insanity, and how dangerous he is, and he keeps calm, clear head. He uses Jerome’s own psychology against him, purchasing precious time by convincing Jerome not to just kill him, but to do so publicly, make a spectacle of it, a show. That appeals to Jerome’s natural showmanship, so he takes Bruce with him, and leaves three maniacs to kill Alfred. Fortunately, Gordon comes in just in time, and the two men dispense with the three, then go after Bruce and Jerome.

Jerome gives Bruce a little tour through his wonderland of madness, a circus where the attractions have been given lethal twists: smashing human heads in whack-a-mole, hitting them in the face with balls at close range, dropping a man into a pool filled with piranhas, etc. He has Bruce done up with makeup in the image of tears, adding blood around his lips. He is violating and traumatizing Bruce in a dozen intimate ways, but Bruce stands firm. I mean, he has had plenty of practice by now, being kidnapped and sacrificed so many times already, but this would put anyone to the test. He even endures when Jerome puts staples into his arm, without showing signs of pain or protest after the first two, much to Jerome’s surprise. I could be wrong, but I think he only gave in to the pain the third time because Jerome would have simply continued indefinitely otherwise.

The point Jerome is trying to make, of course, is that everyone is mad and malevolent at heart. They just need “permission” to express it. Oh, and there are no heroes.

To which we say, “Maybe not yet.” 🙂

Bruce is cuffed in front of a cannon filled with sharp ammunition. He manages to surreptitiously pull a staple from his own flesh (thank you, Jerome), and pick the cuffs, but it’s a near thing. And he only succeeds because Gordon, Alfred, Bullock, and the Strike Force come in guns blazing. Oh, for everyone trapped in that circus, waiting for death, that must surely have been a godsend. They managed to put some intelligence together amidst the madness, found the spots Jerome’s followers had camped out in, and Gordon picked out the circus, as Jerome grew up in one.

As the bedlam of battle erupts, Bruce manages to sneak away, but Jerome follows him into the mirror maze. Or, rather, Bruce lures him into the mirror maze, where he can confront the man alone. He manages to get under Jerome’s skin, standing tall even after everything Jerome has done to him, and then getting the drop on Jerome from behind. Depriving him of the knife, and Jerome having put down the gun, it’s raw fisticuffs, and Bruce, with fierce discipline, beats Jerome down. He almost kills the man, but sees himself in the mirror, bloodstained, in makeup… and chooses not to.

The joyful reunion with Alfred outside is cut short when Jerome comes out, angry, but this time it’s Gordon’s turn to beat the man down, and he does, much faster than Bruce did. Bruce has grown, but he still has a ways to go before he’s the best.

And that is that. Jerome is taken in, without his face, and the madness subsides. Law and order win the day.

Alfred and Bruce have a talk, while Alfred is patching him up. We can see how Bruce has grown: he endured the madness and pain, he freed himself, he confronted a terrible villain… and he chose not to kill. And so that becomes his first rule as a man, on his journey towards becoming the bat: he will not kill. Not ever.

I have sometimes wondered about that rule. As Alfred and Bruce say, when Bruce was poised to kill Jerome, killing him felt like the right thing to do. In the heat of the moment, with justice and vengeance on your side, it always feels like the right thing to do. I say, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, so which mistake is the worse one to make? I do agree, Batman, as a symbol, must not kill. With the darkness he deals with, he must not kill. But there are times when his enemies must be killed, and not killing them puts everyone, guilty and innocent alike, in extreme danger. There is no better example of that than the Joker himself. To paraphrase Batman: Under the Red Hood, the Joker has filled entire graveyards, made thousands suffer, crippled and killed dear friends and comrades. At that point, and even this early in Jerome’s destructive career, already with so much death and suffering to his credit, killing him would be a public service in the cause of both protecting and avenging the innocent.

But it must not be Batman who does it.

So, now that that’s established, Bruce and Alfred have work to do.

While all of this is going on, Nygma’s quest is virtually unaffected. Penguin walks into the trap, his guards are killed, and Nygma confronts him with the truth. Penguin killed Isabella in he name of love, but Nygma is right, he does not know “love.” Love is about sacrificing for the other person, even sacrificing your own happiness for theirs. Enraged, with a cold, unrelenting fury, Nygma has undermined him, driven him mad, taken everything from him, destroyed his empire, defiled his father’s remains, and now, at last, he will kill him. Slowly. By rigging a vat of acid to pour down on him, as he is tied to the front of Isabella’s car, and walking away.

Harsh.

Luckily, or so it seems, a guard happens to come by and cut him loose at exactly the right moment. Penguin means to retaliate, but his men have all abandoned their posts, and him, and he is caught by Butch and Tabitha, who seems to have regained the use of her hand. They take him to Barbara, who wants his help to find Nygma. Their partnership being at an end, they mean to kill him, but Nygma would realize that, so he’s being difficult to find. If Penguin helps them, he might live. But… oddly, he chooses not to. He is finally ready to sacrifice himself for Penguin.

At which point, a confused and frustrated Nygma enters the scene, having arranged it all so Penguin would die knowing he was incapable of loving anyone. That failed, but Nygma didn’t let him off the hook. He took Penguin to the water, mirroring the scene of the first episode, where Gordon pretended to shoot Penguin and toss him in, and the first season finale, where Fish was shot and Penguin tossed her in. Now it’s Penguin’s turn to actually be shot and tossed in. He pleads with Nygma, to no avail. He declares that he created Nygma, much as Fish declared to Penguin. Penguin spared her life. Nygma does not spare his. He shoots Penguin, and pushes him in.

Of course, as intense as that was, it’s no longer surprising for Penguin to come back from the dead at some point. The question is, will he really, and when? Also, just what will Barbara, Butch, and Tabitha do now, and what will Nygma do?

Finally, we return to Catherine and her colleague. The Court of Owls has healed up their clone of Bruce, groomed him, trained him, indoctrinated him. He is now their willing pawn and puppet, and so the Court shall surely betray Bruce any day now.

As for Catherine’s colleague, he goes to see “him,” obviously Gordon. Catherine warns him, and he hears the warning, answering, “No one refuses the Court.” Obviously some history behind that remark.

As the GCPD is mopping up, Gordon returns home to rest, and there is a knock on his door. He opens it, and greets the man from the Court as, “Uncle Frank.”

whoa! That’s Gordon’s uncle?! His uncle is on the Court! His uncle!

…how did Gordon’s father die? I don’t remember any of the details. Did he refuse the Court? Did Uncle Frank kill him?

agentsofshieldseason3bannerAgents of Shield

4.12 “Hot Potato Soup”

And at long last, we finally get some answers about the Koenigs! 🙂

These identical-sibling agents have made a couple of appearances over the years, wriggling about like slippery eels in the background. They are very difficult to grab and keep hold of, and the only one who’s managed to do so before is Grant Ward, the wolf in sheep’s clothing back in the first season. Tragically, the Koenig he got hold of perished by his hand, and the Koenig Clan was reduced by one. There are still four of them left: three boys, and one girl. The girl picked her brothers all the time growing up. 🙂 Of the entire set, only one of the boys is not an agent, and none of them are happy when one of them gets kidnapped by the Watch Dogs.

It was the Koenigs that Coulson entrusted with the Darkhold, and they passed it between each other like a game of hot potato, confusing anyone who might be following them, before putting it in “the Labyrinth,” which is a secret maze with many locks, hidden within a library. Very appropriate, and it would have worked… except that the Dogs, not even realizing there was more than one Koenig to deal with, managed to grab the one that put the Darkhold away. So, while Shield was chasing their winding trail, the Dogs were able to find the finish line.

Radcliffe proved indispensable in that effort. At first, he acted like he’d been betrayed and taken captive, but that ruse got them nowhere. He used his technology, the same tech that can be used to copy and map a person’s entire brain. It can be applied to information gathering, too. They just had to copy the Koenig’s brain, and Radcliffe followed his memories, like he was watching a simulation, straight to the Darkhold’s hiding place.

Of course, such a thing is pretty incredible, and the Dogs don’t intend to just take Radcliffe’s word for it. In particular, their leader, presumably “the Superior,” one Anton Ivanov. (could there be a more cliché Russian name?Ah, well, at least it’s pronounceable)

Ivanov is a very intimidating man. Like, he is the walking definition of the word. He is driven and strong, he has multiple business interests around the world, he’s rich enough to fund his own private army (the Dogs), and he seems to be a capable leader. He also has his own beliefs and codes, and holds most modern technology in low esteem, as it’s not “built to last” like his old Russian submarine. Which is an appropriate contrast to Shield’s grand hellicarrier from the movies. He appreciates “the old ways,” the things inherited from his ancestors, which stood the test of time for a reason. Among these: drinking a shot of vodka and smelling an onion. Enjoyable, apparently. He also believes in a good old-fashioned interrogation, and would have done this to the captured Koenig had Radcliffe not intervened.

What really convinces him, though, to trust Radcliffe’s technology is the revelation of Aida’s true nature as an android. “Built to last,” he says. A connection is forming between the two men, based on how impressed Ivanov is, and how ruthless and effective Radcliffe can be. By the end of the episode, we can see the Watch Dogs becoming more than just a paramilitary group that hunts Inhumans. Ivanov is the leader and financial backer, and he has public face in the form of Nadeer, a strong right hand in Shockley, and now a cunning left hand in Radcliffe, a renowned scientist of vast accomplishment. The Watch Dogs are coming to rival Shield itself, now.

Oh, and Ivanov has more in mind than just killing off the Inhumans. He intends to destroy “what brought them upon us.” A foreboding statement that he does not immediately explain. It is when he reveals his meaning that we know Radcliffe is not just hiding with the Dogs anymore, he’s in their inner circle. And what is this that Ivanov blames for the Inhumans? The same as he blames for the Chitauri invasion and the Kree (how does he know about the Kree?), and all “alien problems” on Earth. He sees a recurring thread, a man who is there for all of it, standing in the shadows, just out of focus, and blames that man. A man who was declared dead, and yet lives.

He blames Coulson.

Which is, of course, idiotic. That’s blaming the soldier for the threat he protects you from, and the Inhumans aren’t even a threat.

Still, sometimes people need to find something to blame, no matter how unreasonable it is. Ivanov has chosen Coulson. And Radcliffe signs on to help him destroy Coulson, a man who fought at his side, showed him mercy for his crimes, and enabled him to continue his work. He’s a full-fledged traitor now, having bitten the hand that fed him.

To quote Captain Jack Sparrow: “The deepest circle of Hell is reserved for betrayers and mutineers.”

Meanwhile, over on the agents’ side of things, they’re busy trying to protect the Koenigs, re-secure the Darkhold, and understand Radcliffe’s technology.

It turns out, the original Aida actually managed to construct and artificial brain of sorts, an LMD “quantum brain,” which is how the LMDs are able to operate like the humans whose copied brains are the basis of their own intelligence. That makes them impossible to hack, because you can’t hack an active brain. The Radcliffe LMD also has all the memories of the original, among them, interestingly, a friendship with Fitz’s father, which dregs up bad memories for Fitz.

Simmons fills Mack in: Fitz’s father was not kind to his son, quite abusive, always telling Fitz he was an idiot, at least until he walked out on his family. Fitz proved him wrong by becoming one of the most brilliant minds in the world. Mack, always the good friend, would certainly like to have some words with the man, but Fitz has refused to ever find him. He doesn’t want to, and why would he?

I love how Simmons is there for Fitz at this moment, when a piece of him is brought low by the mere mention of his father. He’s been betrayed and hurt by his father, by Ward, and now by Radcliffe. But it’s how he’s behaved in response that shows who he is. Simmons is right, he could have put up a barrier between himself and others, to try and keep from getting hurt again. Instead, he became open, loyal, and caring, which is why Simmons first fell in love with him. (good criteria, that! 🙂 ) And, in that moment, that is when Fitz realizes the truth about the LMD brain.

Not a moment too soon, either! Mack, already off-put by the whole android copy thing, is angry at how the LMD has emotionally hurt his friend. He decides to remove its head, but his honor demands that he not do so while the robot is offline. The Radcliffe LMD then makes a pretty pointed argument that he is as real and genuine as a human. Metal vs flesh is just a matter of biology, of the material that makes up one’s form, and as for the soul… well, if that comes from outside the flesh, then why can’t it come into the metal?

Myself, I can’t possibly comprehend the scientific nuances of artificial intelligence and copied brains. I prefer to tread on the side of caution and respect. If it walks and talks and thinks and makes choices, if it possess intelligence, then who am I to say it’s not alive, in its own way? Who am I to say it doesn’t possess the same rights as any sentient or sapient being? The denial of rights is both a monstrous thing and a slippery slope, often coming back to bite the entire world with terrible consequence.

Put another way: if it exists, then it should be respected. Whether it’s man, machine, animal, plant, home, furniture, land, entertainment… unless it is doing something harmful, there is no harm in leaving it be. Decency is a choice.

But I digress.

As they examine the LMD brain, the Radcliffe LMD lets slip the fact that his is not the only one, which Simmons catches, and realizes that he had access to at least one other brain: May’s.

As Coulson and company round up the Koenigs – I love the part where Daisy has to deal with one of her friends now idolizing her like a celebrity – they eventually close in on the Darkhold. They get to the Labyrinth first, and get to the book first, but the Dogs are close behind, with the captured Koenig as a hostage. Coulson and LMD-May share some feelings in the middle of this, and kiss, which clues him in as to why “May” suddenly goes nuts and tries to take the Darkhold: she’s been programmed to do so. Daisy comes crashing in to disable the LMD before it can hurt Coulson, crippling it. Coulson hands the book over for the Koenig’s captured sibling, but they fight over it anyway, and Radcliffe swoops in to take it. He looks down on LMD-May, his creation, like the bastardized version of a god, as she pleads to come with him. He coldly answers that she wasn’t built to last.

So, this is the second episode in a row where the Dogs have won and the agents have lost. Now, however, the agents at least know the true score. They burn the original Aida and the Radcliffe LMD, but Coulson keeps LMD-May intact. They know she’s been captured now, and he’s determined to save her, but he can’t let go of what could be the last piece of May left to him. She’s his dearest friend, and could become more, so he can’t let go of anything he has of her.

Which… I have to say, I was happy having May and Coulson be best friends and nothing more. It’s like TV looks at all possible male-female relationships and says, “Unless one or both of them are already romantically attached to someone else, they must get together at some point.” It drives me batty sometimes, ya know?

So, Radcliffe has he Darkhold, the Watch Dogs are getting stronger and stronger, they have the LMD technology, their leader wants to kill Coulson specifically, and they have Agent May, who Coulson will stop at nothing to rescue.

That about sum it up?

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

5.11 “Second Chances”

With how Arrow has been since two seasons ago, it’s more like “Umpteenth Chances.”

This week, they search for Laurel’s replacement, a women to inherit the mantle of the Black Canary. The team finds plenty of candidates, but… really, I’m with Ollie on this one, it can’t just be someone with badass military credentials. It needs to be someone more like them, and, they may not have noticed, but “sterling military record” does not qualify.

They do find a proper candidate, though. She goes by the alias Tina Boland (or something like that). She was in Central City when the particle accelerator exploded, giving her a proper sonic cry, which she can control pretty adeptly after three years of practice. She was an undercover detective, and her partner was killed in front of her eyes, so she’s been after the man who pulled the trigger, going through his entire organization in the process.

She attracts Ollie’s attention, and hits the right nerves.

Back in the past, we see that Ollie is doing for Tina what was done for him by Talia. She recruited him because his teacher was her student, and she’s looked into his ensuing career in Hong Kong and Russia. She sees that he is lost in darkness, and offers to guide him back to the light. She starts by helping him strike a blow against his enemy, Kovar, by taking down a smuggler who specializes in “young girls.” No great sympathy for the man once Ollie catches up to him.

Having shown him the monster, Talia shows him how to deal with said monster: by giving it a face, an identity apart from his own. That’s when he first becomes the Hood, in Russia, set to dispense justice with bow and arrow instead of gun.

Back in the present, Tina refuses Ollie’s offer, more than once. But he, Curtis, and Rene help her anyway, and save her life. They help her because she is where Ollie once was. They even help her have her enemy at her mercy, and she kills him. It’s after this that she really considers his offer. She thought it would feel different, after, like the weight would be rolled from her shoulders, but it isn’t. So she comes to Star City, looking for a place to fit in and have a second chance at life. Which seems to be what most the team is there for: a second chance.

Oh, and her real name is Dinah.

What an amazing coincidence.

Though, personally, I preferred any of the previous possibilities for Black Canary.

Meanwhile, Felicity is given a lead, something she can use to exonerate Digs. Adrian learns that there’s already an investigation into the corrupt general underway, but said general pulled strings and slowed it down. If Felicity can hack the government and find the file, she can serve justice and save her friend. It takes some time and effort, but she gets in… only to find it already gone. Not willing to give up, she proceeds to crawl through the entire internet, especially the dark web, looking for a ghost copy of the file. This is a major undertaking and it attracts attention.

A mysterious someone makes contact, asking if she is “Ghost Fox Goddess,” Felicity’s hacker alias back in college. They meet, and it turns out to be a nondescript (though very attractive) woman, younger than Felicity, who was once inspired by everything the GFG did. Now she heads up her own unit of hackers, which happened to hack the same database Felicity got into, and have a copy of the file, and so much more, to give her. She’s hoping that, as Felicity once inspire her, she can now inspire Felicity.

I have to say, I actually like that idea. She was a brilliant hacker, with strong morals, and went straight because things went bad with her boyfriend, he not being the person she thought he was. She was overqualified for IT work, and would have fallen into a rut without Ollie needing her help. Then she sort of fell into being a CEO, which didn’t really fit her either, and then she got ousted. She’s been Ollie’s tech support, but that, too, has been a rut. Now she’s being drawn back to her roots, bringing everything she’s been and done with her. She’s felt kinda flat for awhile, especially once she became another one of Ollie’s girls, but this is something she can do to be her own independent woman again.

vampirediarieslogoThe Vampire Diaries

8.11 “You Made a Choice to Be Good”

The people behind this show are sadists. (a trait which is surprisingly common among storytellers)

First, Cade comes back, and demands that Damon either kill one hundred evil strangers or kill Caroline. Damon, of course, tries to wriggle out of either by trying to kill Cade. Small detail: he cannot be killed. At all. He’s not even inconvenienced by being burnt or having his heart ripped out, and he can utterly disable any enemy with fire, both physical and mental. Then he begins doing some personal terrorizing, to force Damon into a corner. Damon finally relents, only for Cade to then reveal that he made the same demand of Stefan, and Stefan elected to kill Elena.

Damon is immediately off in pursuit, but Stefan is way ahead of him, courtesy of Cade freeing him hours ago.

With all the doom and gloom and dire situation, talk turns to using anything and everything they’ve got to survive. The past comes up a a lot in that discussion, from the old past of the founding of Mystic Falls, to the more recent past. Matt sees the town as having become different from the one they knew growing up, but Caroline sees it the same. The adults hid the darkness from them because they were kids, but now they are the adults, so the darkness is theirs to grapple with. And as a vampire, Matt sees Caroline as part of the darkness.

Matt might be right. He’s certainly right about how they keep giving Stefan a pass, no matter what. They keep fighting to save him. Which is why he’s on his way to kill Elena, as Damon killed Tyler, so they stop trying to save him. He’s severing the old ties that bind him down.

Matt is also right about being a vampire. Caroline gives him and Dorian both the option, with death likely being imminent, of coming back as vampires. Caroline argues for the bright side, the emotions, the wonders, the power. Matt argues against, seeing the violence, the pain, the immortality that is nothing more than the world’s slowest death sentence. Dorian, faced with Cade, almost drinks her blood, but then he sees Damon kill an innocent girl, and chooses to live and die and stay dead as a human.

In the middle of all of this, Matt and Dorian find more Maxwell legacies for Matt. There’s a cipher decoder with his family crest on it, which means more research into his family’s secrets, and there’s a pendant which may prove significant later on, as these things tend to.

With pretty much everything else off the table, the question becomes, how do they kill an immortal? Of course, they don’t think of destroying the source of his power just yet (I really hope they do, soon), but they have dealt with immortals before. So, how do you kill an immortal? You make them mortal. You give them the cure, and then take it away. One shot of Elena’s blood into Cade could theoretically make him mortal, and then Enzo can take the cure and enjoy a mortal life with Bonnie, and Cade ages four thousand years and crumbles to dust.

If it works.

Bonnie has been making sure that Enzo is really on board with the idea, by giving him a taste of mortality, in the form of a bucket list. Race car driving, skydiving, etc. He is all on board, and they couldn’t be happier.

Which, on this show, is a sure sign that something terrible is about to happen to them.

If they give the cure to Cade and it doesn’t work, then Bonnie and Enzo lose their shot at a mortal life together. It’s a certain possibility, so it’s a huge sacrifice on their part.

I thought that was going to be terrible, but bearable. But there was so much worse in store for them.

Enzo is just reassuring Bonnie of the happiness they’ll share together, when Enzo is forcefully ejected from the house. It was Bonnie’s house, recently purchased, so she could keep Elena safe. But Cade read her mind and pointed Stefan in the direction of her realtor, who took over ownership of the house and invited Stefan in. Damon fails to warn Bonnie and Enzo of Stefan’s imminent arrival – admittedly, he only finds out about Bonnie’s safe house about a minute before – so as Bonnie draws Elena’s blood, Stefan comes up behind Enzo and rips his heart out.

Enzo doesn’t have any immortality deals with Cade to bring him back to life.

When Enzo dies, he is dead. Just… dead.

It took forever for me to see Enzo as actually having a place on the show, and the moment I acknowledge it, he’s killed off.

Stefan invades, and is about to kill Bonnie, who is ready to kill him in return. Unable to stake him, she drives the syringe into him, injecting him with Elena’s blood, and the cure. He collapses.

And Bonnie runs to Enzo, helpless to do anything but scream and scream her agonized sorrow… and send a psychic shock wave through the air.

…so, in one episode, Cade comes storming in, Damon is driven into a corner, Caroline and Matt are divided by the very past they share, Dorian chooses mortality, Enzo is killed, Stefan becomes human, and Bonnie’s pain breaks through whatever held her back so she becomes a witch/psychic again.

…intense, much?

I say again: sadists.

grimm_title_cardGrimm

6.5 “The Seven Year Itch”

What is it with the folks behind Grimm and the insect-wesen? Somehow, they manage to make these the most monstrous of all.

And this one, more than most, I violently dislike. If the exuberant party-going wasn’t enough – he is apparently the inspiration for the myths of Dionysus – the cavalier attitude towards his murders, like he’s just hooking up with a girl for a spectacular one-night stand, really drive it home. He kills a concerned citizen for his clothes and wallet, he kills an innocent bystander to clear the way to a particularly fat girl, and he seduces her, making her feel special – he’s a very skilled player – so he can lure her to his lair, kill her, and eat her over the course of the next seven years. That’s his hibernation cycle. Seven years in the ground, one day above.

Have I mentioned I don’t like him?

Unfortunately for this cavalier killer, Nick and company pick up his trail before he can vanish again. It turns out, he’s one of the area’s first settlers, which pus the puzzle pieces together, and they catch up with him just in time. It’s an epic fight, really, and the guy holds his own against Hank, Wu, and Nick, which is not unimpressive. It had a hilarious and poetic end, though: just as the three are about to fill him with bullets, it’s the girl he lured and attacked that rises up behind him, a wesen with a hippo head, and bites his head off. Very appropriate, I say. Very appropriate. 🙂

And trust me, if you don’t know, a hippo’s jaw is very powerful.

Back at Nick’s loft, Adalind has Diana for the day. She asks about Meisner, as Renard was arguing with the specter for much of the night. She asks what happened to him, and Adalind tells her what she can, and the truth, without outright saying, “Daddy shot him in the head as a coup de grace after betraying him.” Diana mentions how he “wanted the king to fly,” and a couple other things. If that wasn’t awkward enough, Diana nonchalantly mentions Eve’s presence in the tunnels, which appropriately alarms Adalind.

Eve, under the sway of that stick, has been drawing and drawing on the wall for an extended period of time, so much that her hands are bloodied by it. She comes to, weak, bloody, and half-starved. Adalind helps her get up to the loft, gets her food and water and rest, while Diana goes down and illuminates what she was drawing, which is the same symbols as are on the cloth, and which Diana was drawing too. Between that and the nightmares Nick has been having, how feels like he needs it, and needs to know everything about it… well, one begins to see more and more why the knights labeled it as a miracle, and then used half a dozen words that signify danger. It’s got both Nick and Eve on strings.

Finally, Renard has had enough of Meisner. The first thing he needs to know is whether he’s being haunted or if he’s losing (or lost, really) his mind. So he calls someone, goes to their shop, and they demand a hefty price – both his family ring and his wedding band – to use a handy machine he happens to have that deals with this exact situation. Renard steps in, and the ghost of Meisner is brought out, but then attaches itself to the shop keeper, and turns things up a notch, and everything explodes in white light.

Renard comes to in an empty shop, the space available for lease. He is without his rings – which, did he ever really have them in the first place? – and quite alone. That is, except for Meisner, who says, “A mind is a terrible thing to lose.”

So, it would seem that Renard has simply gone nuts. In Season 2, he was cursed with a mutual obsession with Juliette. In Season 4, Jack the Ripper possessed him. In Season 6, it seems, he just loses his marbles.

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