[Photos: Scott Green/NBC]
At last, the Halloween episode! Do you believe in ghosts? This was a fun episode. The case is not is not mysterious to the audience, because we see it happen. And the mysteries in the episode remain at the end.
I will translate La Llorona to be the crying lady or the lady who cries.
Our story opens with a father and son outing to do some fishing at the Willanette River. Did you catch the glaring continuity error? The Father, Luis, opens the container of worms and sets it down. The camera angle changes and the container is being opened again and set down. No, it’s not a big deal, it just gives you the double take feeling because we are shown the same action twice. Now, I acknowledge that this is often done with large explosions. The director is so enamored with the explosion that he set up he shows several angles of the same action. But here’s the thing, worm cartons aren’t as exciting or visually interesting as a massive explosion. And back to the story; Luis notices a lady in a flowing white dress crying on the shore. She walks into the river and Luis rushes to try and save her. When he comes up for air he sees the lady leading his son up the bank away from the river. Frantic, he tries to go after them. Screaming out his son’s name, Rafael, the father loses them at the parking lot.
At the same time Rafael was taken a lady has a nightmare of the La Llorona appearing in a river and morphing into a gruesome face. She wakes and waits for the Amber Alert that she knows will come. When she sees the Amber Alter her rage flares and she morphs into a Balam a blue, jaguar-like Wesen. Once she has the location she books a flight for Portland.
Monroe really gets into Halloween and decorating his house. Nick brings him a Morning Star from Aunt Marie’s trailer. Monroe sets it up so it smashes a pumpkin when they kids will be approaching his door. And just for safety, Nick makes Monroe promise that no one will get hurt.
Nick and Hank arrive at the scene of the child abduction. Luis is complaining that he has told them, the police, a thousand times that the lady was crying in the river and that she took his son. They take Luis, some cell phone footage that caught the lady in white leading the boy away, back to the police station. The police’s Spanish translator is off on safari, literally. So, Nick calls Juliette and asks if she can help.
The new intern is too eager. This is the first intern we’ve seen and you just get the feeling there is more of a story with this guy. I think there is a really dark side to him.
Now, I know that the looks between Renard and Juliette are being described as romantic sparks, but I think they just look very uncomfortable in each other’s presence. Juliette translates Luis’ desperate tale. They take him back to his house to see if there are any clues that will help lead to Rafael. At the house Juliette meets a lady who claims to know who took Rafael. She says it’s La Llorona, the weeping lady. Luis calls her crazy and says her ghost stories are not going to help find Rafael. During a moment alone the lady takes Juliette’s hand and tells her and looking at the scar from the cat scratch tells Juliette a lot about what has happened to her. Juliette is surprised that this lady knows so much about her but she’s also upset by it.
Back at the police station Valentina Espinosa the lady who had the nightmare, arrives and has a meeting with Renard. Who was on the phone asking for details about someone who was tortured. He seems concerned about information the person may have given before they were killed. Valentina has been tracking the La Llorona for five years. Although she does not call her that. She believes this to be a predatory lady that for unknown reasons abducts three children on Halloween and drowns them in a river at midnight. She has information on cases from several states all with the same traits. Renard excuses himself and asks one of his other detectives to solicit information from the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department and get information on Valentina and the child abduction cases she has been working on.
There are some time issues that I don’t understand. In one scene we have the trick-or-treaters at Monroe’s house. That should be taking place in the evening. Then in the next scene it’s during the day probably afternoon at the Halloween party in the park by the river. Monroe gets the fun in this episode. First he gets hordes of wonderfully costumed kids to come to his door for handfuls of candy. In a nice little touch many of the kids know Mr. Monroe by name. Then he rescues a young girl’s candy from three bullies. He’s having so much fun.
At the police station, Valentina does not believe in ghosts. She thinks this is a real woman who has been taking children each year on the same day and drowning them at the convergence of two rivers. She can predict where the other two children will be abducted from. While talking to Nick and Hank the word comes in of another abduction. This time a young girl. She was taken at the Columbia River’s edge. There was a large Halloween party with kids running through the woods in costumes and adults in costumes to scare them. It’s during the day so the scare factor for the kids is not so great and they look to be having a wonderful time. One princess runs to the river edge to hide and encounters the crying lady in white.
Luis is heartbroken by the news that not only has his child not been found but another child has been taken. Luis’s despair is one of the saddest things ever depicted in this series. It’s a real human response to loss. The “crazy” lady who spoke with Juliette has more predictions for her. She tells her that she is conflicted by what she knows or understands and what she does not. She says that Juliette’s world is being ripped apart and that Juliette will have to choose between two people that she wants. In this case wants, means two people that she loves. Juliette angrily responds that she will not be choosing between anyone.
At the park where the little girl was taken Hank, Nick and Valentina look at the scene and gather what information they can. Renard arrives at the scene to inform Hank and Nick that they are to bring Valentina back to the station. She is wanted by the FBI for impersonating an officer and interfering with a federal investigation. In her frustration and rage she morphs into her Balam form. She recognizes Nick as a Grimm and thinks that he will drive her some place to kill her. Nick fairly calmly explains that they will be taking her back to the police station to wait for the FBI. The special effects are animated again this week but with better results this time.
This scene looks like night shots. The mysterious lady brings the girl to the same shack that she has Rafael in. They appear to be in some sort of trance from the haunting lullaby she is humming. They lie side by side and the girl asks Rafael who she is. He says he thinks she is an angel. They smile at each other and await their fate.
Hank goes with Nick to the trailer to do more research. They find information on La Llorona in several languages. It seems that Nick’s ancestors never learned what or who La Llorona was either. They head back to the police station to get Valentina and have her help. As they are leaving the call comes on their radio that the third child has been taken. They figure out that the children will be drowned at the confluence of the rivers and there is a park, Kelly Point Park that they think is the likely spot.
The ghosts of three children rise out of the river and La Llorona offers these children in their stead. They arrive just as La Llorona is about to walk the children into the river. Hank and Valentina grab the children, Nick goes after the lady into the water. He wrestles with her but she disappears into the depths of the water.
The three children are reunited with their parents at the police station. And because of the help and success of the rescue charges are dropped against Valentina.
Remember the bullies that tried to steal the little girl’s candy? They break Monroe’s large picture window. But Monroe gets them back. They recorded their vandalism on one of the boys’ phone. Monroe grabs the phone and says he’ll return it when they pay for the window. The boys claim they aren’t scared of Monroe. So, he gives them a little something to be scared of. Leaving him with the best last line, his grin and “Trick-or-treat!”
Many things are not explained. Is La Llorona a ghost? Is she some sort of Wesen? Who were the children ghosts that rose from the river? Were they the original children that La Llorona drowned or the last set of children that she took the year before? Who is the tortured person that Renard is asking questions about? Who are the “inside” people that he is concerned that their cover may have been given away? Why does that intern grin so much?
Maybe next week we’ll learn more.