True love beats douchebaggery in a schizophrenic (but good) Grimm

Did anyone feel like they were watching two separate Grimm episodes last night? Because for the first 35 minutes, I honestly thought we were getting the most boring, useless Grimm of the season. Then, shit started happening. Good shit. So good that we’ve got some actual momentum heading into the last two episodes.

Let’s recap first, of course: Nick plans to have dinner with Monroe. Nick meets Hank at a coffee shop. Hank has torn his Achilles tendon while on vacation. Then Juliette calls and asks Nick to come over to dinner at her place tonight. Nick accepts. This is the breakneck plotting that the episode begins with.

When a gunshot rings out nearby, I thought it might be the audience putting themselves out of their misery, but no — an author has been shot at a bookstore by an otter-themed Wesen (called a Luisant-Pecheur) to impress his ex-girlfriend, who is (er, was) now dating the author. The Wesen o’ the Week gets away, thanks to a nearby river and being otter-themed, and Nick goes to question the beleaguered girlfriend.

The girlfriend is a budget Katie Holmes lookalike named Chloe who explains her romantic turmoils, and gives Nick a lingering kiss on the hand. It’s super-weird — both Nick and Hanks recognize it as super-weird — yet ultimately don’t think anything of it. If you guessed Chloe was in fact a Wesen as well, congratulations, you are a better detective than Hank or Nick. If you guessed she’s a Wesen with some siren-like ability to make men fawn over her, then you’re probably better than Renard (not as good as Wu, though).

Chloe is a Musai, which is basically a super pale Dungeons & Dragon elf with bright red hair. She captivates men with her kisses, which inspires them to create (she usually picks artists, a.k.a. “people with different ways of seeing the world”) but also drives them batshit crazy. This invariably results in the Musai’s boytoys attempting to kill each other. When a semi-obsessed Nick heads over to Chloe’s house for “additional questioning,” she seals the deal with a kiss, and Nick only remembers to go to Juliette’s because of a timely call from Monroe, who, having talked to Juliette earlier, calls Nick to be delightfully bitchy about standing him up.

At Juliette’s, Juliette tries her best to apologize to Nick, but he literally wanders off in the middle of her big, heartfelt reconciliation speech, then spends the rest of it daydreaming about Chloe before he simply takes off. While it’s a tiny bit satisfying to see Nick dish out a little of what he’s been receiving for most of season 2, I can’t tell you how enraged I was at this scene. Really? I thought to myself in anger. We’re going to continue to put off the Nick/Juliette reunion again? Juliette is going to be hurt yet again, and spurn Nick’s advances for how much longer? And for what, a shitty copy of the storyline Juliette’s been going through the entire second half of season 2? I was so wrong, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

True love beats douchebaggery in a schizophrenic (but good) Grimm

Nick heads to a bar and calls Hank, mostly to ask about Chloe, but which Hank takes as an invitation to join him. When Hank arrives, Nick is drawing a picture of Chloe in her Musai form. Apparently, being kissed by a Musai also makes you artistic even if you aren’t an artist; it also makes you a complete douchebag, because when some idiot is impressed by the drawing, Nick gives him shit and then just punches him in the gut. This whole scene is hilarious for a lot of reasons, mainly because to make this scene happen, Nick’s “fan” is saying and doing things no human being would ever do (or Wesen, for that matter), and mostly because this kid is completely awed by Nick’s drawing, literally thinking he’s a famous comic artist on the spot, and yet Nick’s drawing is so, so shitty. Nick leaves to go be an even bigger douchebag to Monroe before breaking into Chloe’s house for no reason (he could have knocked, she was right by the door).

Hank, slowly getting the hang of this whole “Wesen” thing, brings Nick’s drawing to Monroe and Rosalee; they don’t know what it is, but a quick trip to trailer reveals the whole Musai deal. It also reveals that Van Gogh was inspired by a Musai — including the point where he cut off his own ear — until his pal Gauguin asked a Grimm to kill the thing. Apparently there’s no cure… except for maybe true love, which unfortunately Nick has in short supply right now.

Or does he?! Rather than shrink away and pout, Juliette — thankfully, blissfully — is still determined to get the Nick mess sorted out, and she arrives at Rosalee’s shop to demand the keys to the trailer — she knows that was her most important moment with Nick, and wants to remember it. Monroe is reluctant, knowing how poorly this went last time, but Rosalee sees the opportunity to save Nick and convinces Monroe to give her the keys.

And Juliette goes to the trailer. And relives the moment where Nick revealed he was a Grimm. And doesn’t freak out.

And then Monroe and Rosalee explain Nick is being a douchebag because he’s under a spell by a Wesen. And she still doesn’t freak out.

And that when shit starts happening. The artist ex-boyfriend, still on the run, paints a giant picture of Chloe’s head in a Portland lot, and Nick, Hank, Wu and Renard all investigate. Nick immediately leaves to go chillax with Chloe again, Hank sends Wu to search after Nick, and Hank immediately tells Renard about the Musai. I’m still not a fan of how Nick and Team Grimm are almost never prepared for the new type of Wesen they’re facing — seriously, do some preemptive research, people — but the Team using all their available resources and getting the rest of the team up to speed ASAP is almost as good.

At Chloe’s, Chloe surprises the completely insane Nick with a kiss and the news that evil ex-boyfriend is there, and then asks Nick to please prove his love for her and kill the duded. A fight ensues, which is only stopped by the arrival of Renard and Hank. Everyone’s taken to police HQ: Nick sent to his desk, boyfriend to a cell, and Chole to an interrogation room. While Renard demands she release Nick from her spell and she tells him she can’t help her powers, Nick decides to finish the job and shoot the boyfriend right there in jail. Of course, Nick is stopped by everybody — and I mean everybody, Renard, Hank, Monroe, Rosalee and even Juliette. She takes Nick’s head in her hands, and… well, then he’s pretty much cured.

The “solution” may be perfunctory, but I’m willing to let is slide because the last 20 minutes of “Kiss of the Muse” is Grimm at its best. Things happening. Action. Team Grimm being smart and effective. Juliette actually, truly advancing past the point she reached in the season 1 finale! Hell, that alone is reason enough to cheer.

Maybe this was all on purpose. Maybe the first 2/3rds of the episode were supposed to seem like more delaying tactics, more contrivances to keep Nick and Juliette apart — so that it would be extra satisfying when they blew past them all in last 1/3rd. If so, it worked. I’m feeling pro-Grimm again and am pretty excited about these last two episodes, especially since it means we’ll likely be getting some more Grimm/Wesen mythology stuff, which is always great. As long as Juliette doesn’t get hit on the head with a flowerpot or something and lose her memory again, I think we’re in seriously good shape.

True love beats douchebaggery in a schizophrenic (but good) Grimm

Assorted Musings:

• I have a theory, and that it’s Grimm is good as long as Renard is involved. It doesn’t matter if he’s a primary part of the plot, or if he just shows up, but Grimm is invariably better whenever Renard is part of the action. Seriously, as soon as Renard made his first appearance, “Kiss of the Muse” almost instantly went from horrible to pretty damned good.

I think this is because the writers can’t stall when Renard is around. Renard knows more about Wesen than anybody on the show, so he’s almost never going to go through the “What is this? Might it be a Wesen? What Wesen Is it? Should we look up the Wesen in the trailer?” stuff that makes up much of each episode. Plus, Nick and pals usually go to him when the stakes are higher than usual, him being the captain and all. And most of all, his actual plotlines, being related to the Royals and bound completely up with the show’s mythology, are absolutely the most interesting ones. Seriously. Go back and watch some old episodes and see what you think.

• I really thought the Musai design was great, although that could very well be my inner 12-year-old Dungeonmaster talking.

• I don’t really think much of David Giuntoli as an actor, but he did crazy obsessive psychopath rather well.

• For most of the episode, I was disgruntled that Nick seemed to be going batshit crazy over the course of 24 hours while the rest of the Musai’s victims seemed to need months to reach that level of obsession. Then the show actually explained it! It’s because Nick is a Grimm and is so powerful and the Musai’s juju works extra fast. It’s not exactly the most brilliant answer, but I’m infinitely grateful Grimm saw a plothole and then filled it in.

• Next week: Zombies? Sigh. Still, Grimm’s earned the benefit of the doubt after this episode.