This week, on Grimm (NBC, Fridays, 9/8C), Detectives Nick Burkhardt and Hank Griffin discover that lycanthropes exist – and that they’re not exactly blutbaden.
Meanwhile, Adalind and Renard meet and Eve discovers that RENARD campaign poster – and it’s just the littlest bit hinky!.
Lycanthropia opens by juxtaposing a scene of Nick (David Giuntoli) getting up in the middle of the night and heading into the secret exit from the warehouse loft and hiding the casket with the healing stick with a young-ish man driving to his mother’s (Ann Cusack) place for the weekend when a tire blows, he hits a tree, gets out of the car and starts running.
Elsewhere, Adalind (Claire Coffee) and Renard (Sasha Roiz) and the young-ish man, Doyle Baske (Matt Angel) being attended to by an EMT as Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) drive up. Circumstances lead Nick, Hank and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) to two bodies in the woods (things look bad for Baske).
Writer Jeff Miller and director Lee Rose have put together an episode that sets up misdirection in such a way as to keep everyone – and the audience – on their toes.
We get to see Eve (Bitsie Tulloch) be a detective to learn more about Rachel (Anne Leighton) and Adalind reveal a secret to Renard. After all the twists and turns, we also get one heckuva cliffhanger.
Lycanthropia, it turns out, is a blutbad disease/condition that is the original source of werewolf legends – it causes certain changes during a full moon. As Rosalee (Bree Turner) notes, it’s incurable – and Monroe adds that blutbad parents that suspected a child had the condition would kill it.
Meanwhile, Rachel is ordered to press Renard to run for mayor.
Considering that Grimm has adapted many mythological and faery tale tropes over its five seasons – and that the show has been known to shown more than the occasional burst of violence, Lycanthropia is surprisingly violence-free.
There’s only one very brief burst of onscreen violence and one offscreen. The episode creates most of its tension by using well-timed revelations and managing expectations through misdirection. The rainy, overcast weather (hello, Portland winter/spring) and slightly psychotic score add to the tension.
Miller and Rose weave a number of threads together to create a unique episode in the Grimm canon. That the show can continue to surprise this far into its run is remarkable.
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