This season premier had that back to school feel. Not only did several parts of the season one finale repeat, but there was also a catching-up theme. Much of this episode is getting the audience back up to speed. There isn’t a lot of time to get this episode going. When you spend time replaying sections of a previous episode it means that there is less new footage that needs to be shot, less writing, but you also can’t advance the story line as much. Done too much and you risk losing the interest of the audience.
It was nice to see that the look and tone that was finally set last year has not been lost. The actors are comfortable in the roles they have developed. I miss the humor that Monroe had early in the series. Sargent Wu is usually good for some of the best comedic lines. This episode he was denied that, but at least he didn’t have to eat sofa cushions.
Our story opens with a ship out on storm-tossed waters. It’s a container ship, much nicer than I imagined they are, and there are sounds coming from one of the containers. Then the ship is in Portland’s harbor. A security guard calls in the Harbor Master after finding a pool of blood leaking from one of the containers. When they break their way in they find several slashed and torn bodies. On the wall of the container is writing and the drawing of a scythe in blood. (The special effects team did a much better job with the “blood” than many of last season’s episodes.) Even though there are three men they are no match for the Mauvais Dentes, a saber toothed creature in the container.
In a replay from the last episode, Nick is fighting off Kimura and meets his Mother. Nick’s Mother is apparently alive. Kimura is not dead, despite what it looked like at the end of the first season. Mother rolls Kimura on his back to reveal tattoos on his back. There are symbols on his back that indicate he works for the Dragon’s Tongue. His interest is in the Coins of Zakynthos. Mother did not kill him; she stabbed him with some kind of knockout potion. He comes to when the police are there.
With Monroe’s assistance Rosalee works out a dip test to figure out what potion/poison Juliette was infected with. Monroe takes the cat out of its crate and dips its paws in a bowl, turning the liquid inside it blue. Apparently blue is bad news. They rush off to inform Nick of their findings.
Once the police clear out of Nick’s home his Mother reappears. She is very skilled at appearing and disappearing. She is trying to explain and defend her past actions. When a knock at the door brings Monroe and Rosalee face to face with Nick’s Mother, it’s not the most cordial of introductions. Nick’s Mother attacks Monroe. It’s a tense scene with Nick in the middle trying to break up a fight with his friends and his Mother. Mother is disgusted and confused that Nick is friends with a Blutbad. But there isn’t time to explain much. She has to put a lid on that part to give Nick important information.
In one of the most suspenseful moments, Renard pays a visit to Juliette in the hospital and lifts her eye lid to reveal her black eyes. He is apparently miffed about her condition. Rosalee explained that the spell (who’s translated name is spirit elsewhere) causes memory loss.
Renard pays a visit to Adalind’s mother, Catherine. He lays the responsibility on her to find out what sort of spell has been given to Juliette.
In another flashback to last season, poor Hank is holed up with a shot-gun. He is not sleeping, taking medication, probably to keep himself awake. It’s a dangerous situation that we learn little about. The next scene has Nick meeting Hank at the harbor to investigate the container ship murders. Hank tries to encourage Nick that things will be alright. He reassures Nick that Juliette is strong and will recover. It’s the last thing he says is big clue to his mental health. He says, “I may not be awake, but I’m right.” Which to me says he doesn’t know when he is asleep and when he’s awake.
The FBI take over the investigation of the container ship killings. You can see that Nick wants to say something to the FBI agents taking over the case but Renard doesn’t let him. Renard then pays a visit to Kimura in the holding cell. He sort of threatens Kimura telling him that it would have been better for him if he’d known what Renard is. Of course I wish he’d have told us what he is but that secret remains. As Renard leaves, Kimura lets slip that he was not expecting two Grimms. This is the most valuable piece of information Renard has received lately. Now Renard knows that there is another Grimm, probably working with Nick.
The only time that we get a chance to dwell on anything is when Nick and his Mother are in Aunt Marie’s trailer. It’s the only time Mother gets to share and be more than a creepy character from his past. Nick’s focus is solving his current police case. His Mother’s is more big picture. She sets him a quest, much like a Lord of the Rings quest, to destroy the Coins of Zakynthos. He must return them to the island where they were created. But Mother does help out Nick with the investigation. This is after the case has been handed over to the FBI. So, technically Nick is no longer on the case. Mother correctly suspects the killings are the work of a Mauvais Dentes.
The next scene takes us to a castle and into a room that feels like a dungeon where a man is chained to a column, being whipped within an inch of his life. Another man interrogates him for names from the Resistance. Remember the other Fuchsbau who was a leader in the Resistance? Nick let him go and sent him on his way to protect his friends. Well, we are being given another glimpse into the seriousness of some dark, shady and not nice “people”. The interrogator is one of those people who sounds pretty while saying evil things. His line of questioning is interrupted by a phone call from our blood doodling Mauvais Dentes. It sounds like the Mauvais Dentes is in Portland to kill Nick and that will make “the families” very happy. I assume this is a reference to the Royal Families. The same ones that it seems Renard is from or works for.
Catherine pays a visit to Rosalee’s spice shop with a list of ingredients that she needs. Rosalee does some investigating of her own after Catherine has left and concludes that the ingredients are to wake someone with the same condition that Juliette is in. Nick goes to Catherine’s home looking for Adalind and threatens Catherine.
Captain Renard makes a phone call in French telling someone that there are two Grimms. And that he will make sure the Grimms do not get to Kimura. Shortly after, Kimura is given a brown bag with a sandwich. It’s shot so we can’t see who gave Kimura the bag of food. The sandwich is poisoned, it kills Kimura just before Nick comes to question him.
The Mauvais Dentes lures the FBI agents to an abandoned lumber mill. Is it just me, the FBI agents don’t seem to be the sharpest pencils in the box. The Mauvais Dentes kills the male agent and uses the female agent to lure Nick to the same place. Both Nick and his Mother know it’s a trap but they have an ace up their sleeve. There are two of them, and he will only be expecting one Grimm.
Kudos for the cliff hanger ending. If the audience was with them by that point they will be back to see the conclusion.