‘Grimm’ Review: “Eyes of the Beholder”
Finally, in season three of 'Grimm' we're starting to see Juliette actually do something interesting. Some times it takes an ensemble a while to gel, and perhaps Nick had to keep his secrets from her for at least a season, but now that she knows her partner is a wesen-killer, Juliette has become infinitely more compelling.Hopefully that holds in tonight's episode.
The show starts with the quote "I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me, for I am much ashamed of my exchange." Nick shows up late to a lunch with Juliette and her friend Alicia (from last week's "Red Menace"), and when Alicia goes to the bathroom Nick tells Juliette that Alicia is a wesen, while Alicia's husband watches from across the street. A young man named Jared is at a restaurant, and his girlfriend/waitress Joy offers that he come over for the weekend when a man leaves an exorbitant tip for Joy, and is followed by another man as Jared exits as well. Jared sees the tipper and his girlfriend getting beaten up (and the tipper turn wesen), and tries to stop it, but they pursue him and so he runs off.
Nick and Hank are called in with Wu, and the tipper is dead. They find that the man is named Alonzo, and that his wallet was untouched. Nick and Hank talk to witnesses who suggest that Alonzo might be involved with a gang. Jared reveals to Joy that he saw the beating, and she tells him to stay out of out it. The gang members talk about what to do about the witness and plot something. Back at Juliette's, Alicia is looking for apartments while Juliette is acting a little off. Juliette comes out about knowing she's wesen, but Alicia says she has no idea what Juliette is talking about. At the precinct Nick and Hank brief Renard on Alonzo, who has a record, while Wu has a photo of Jared from a red light camera. They go to the car owner's residence and the person there is Zuri, Hank's physical therapist, whose first name is Tyler. Jared comes home and runs away, but Nick takes him down. This does not go over well with Zuri. Sucks to be you, Hank.
Nick finds that Zuri and Jared's father is in jail, and Nick suggests Hank sit this one out, but he won't. They question Jared, who tries not say anything out of fear. Nick and Hank try to get Zuri to convince Jared to talk, but she won't bite. The female victim wakes up in the hospital, and Nick and Hank talk to her, but she won't talk and reveals she's wesen, and freaks out when she realizes that Nick is a Grimm. She finally gives up the name of the Seventh Street Savages. Nick and Hank go to the spice shop to talk to Monroe and Rosalee, and find out there's a turf war between the SSS and the North End Crew, to which Alonzo belonged. Wesen gang war. Rosalee reveals she used to have a drug problem, which -- when the cops leave -- let Monroe and Rosalee have a moment together. Joy leaves work and calls Jared, who tells her he's grounded. Joy waits for the bus when one of the gang members grabs her.
Zuri cleans up dinner and gets a call from Hank when SSS gang members show up. She locks herself in her apartment and Hank calls the Calvary while Zuri and Jared make their way down a fire escape, pursued by gang members. They hide, and are about to be found when the cops show up. Renard offers to put Jared and Zuri in protective custody, but only if Jared gives up the assailants. Jared finally picks out some pictures of the gang members. At Monroe's, Monroe is playing the cello for Rosalee when Juliette shows up for advice from Rosalee about Alicia. Rosalee talks about hiding her wesen-ness as a younger person, and how much the wesen felt persecuted. Hank puts Jared and Zuri in protective custody. Wu tries to be a third wheel, but Hank sends him away and Zuri offers thanks. Things might be happening for Hank. The Seventh Street Savages meet up, and one of the members reveals he's kidnapped Joy.
Zuri wakes up to find that Jared and Hank are playing video games and having fun, and when Jared leaves Hank and Zuri get to talking and bonding. Juliette is making breakfast when Nick comes downstairs and they talk about Juliette's conversation with Alicia. Alicia comes downstairs and says she found an apartment, but Juliette pushes the issue and points out that Nick is a Grimm, which freaks Alicia out. Nick tries to talk her down when Alicia's husband Joe shows up and gets violent. Juliette takes him on and when Joe shows that he's wesen Juliette gets to have a badass moment. Juliette beats the crap out of him, and Alicia joins in when Nick shows up gun out and Joe folds because he didn't know Nick was a Grimm. Nick easily kicks him out, and when the men leave, Alicia opens up and shows her wesen face to Juliette and the two hug. Hank, Jared and Zuri have a nice family moment when Jared finds his phone. He calls Joy, who baits him to come over, but she can't fake it, and alerts Jared that she's been kidnapped.
Hank and Zuri have another moment together when Hank finds that Jared has bolted. Jared runs to his girlfriends house, but it turns out that Jared is wesen. Hank and Nick show up at the house and see a car with Washington plates. Jared takes on one of the gang members, while Nick hears that one is reloading his gun and uses it as an opportunity to take one out, while Hank shoots another. Jared and Joy try to make their way over a fence when one of the gang members pulls a gun, but Zuri attacks and kills the final gang member. She freaks when she realizes that Nick's a Grimm, but Nick and Hank calm everything down. Back at her place, Hank and Zuri talk about the wesen world and Hank pitches that the two date even though he's normal and she's wesen. But she feels she can't, and so Hank walks.
Though it was way more evident in the first season, 'Grimm' has often used the conflicts between Grimm and wesen, and a more modern approach to the other as a metaphor for how we as a species have evolved about certain people, be it race or sexual orientation (whichever makes the most sense/offends the viewer the least). But that sense of otherness and of secret societies, of people who feel they have to live in the shadows because they're afraid regular people might shun or kill them has taken a backburner, so it's nice to see an episode where that conflict is put front and center again.
In that way the wesen gang members are way less interesting than everything else going on, but it makes for a sturdy vessel for the narrative. And, without being too cute about it, we get to see both the greatness of acceptance and the built-in sense of preservation that can keep Wesen and Humans apart. In that way, by having the negative version represented between two black actors, it -- though arguably neat -- muddies the metaphor waters in the best possible way and shows that distrust of the other can exist on both sides. And perhaps for good reason.
One then wishes that the central story was stronger, as everything with Juliette and Hank was great, and it was nice to see even Nick take a back-burner to other characters. This episode seems to have focused on Nick less than any previous episode, while also limiting Renard to some cursory scenes (and -- thankfully -- none for Adalind, who just didn't belong). The show has done right by Bitsie Tulloch and Russell Hornsby this season, and the ship needed to right that, but I'm hoping that Monroe gets a good episode soon, because it's been a while.Ultimately I look at 'Grimm' like a good sports team. They've developed a strong bench of players, and now that they've done so, it's about the rotation so no one gets played out.