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‘Grimm’ Review: “Ring of Fire”

'Grimm' Review: "Ring of Fire"
Scott Green/NBC

After a little break, ‘Grimm‘ returns to hopefully wrap up some of Juliette’s issues as she keeps seeing the ghost of Nick. You almost feel bad for actress Bitsie Tulloch as the amnesia has been pretty much the only thing her character has been dealing with this entire season, while all the other main characters (save Wu) now know Nick’s secret.

The episode starts with the quote “The Demon came home, and he declared that the air was not clear. I smell the flesh of man.” We’re then introduced to Jill, a geographer who’s looking at some steam arising from rocks (her camera shows the date of 4/19/2013, which points out that this was meant for last week). She’s then disturbed by a noise in the woods, and when she gets back to her car a strange man grabs her bag. She pepper sprays the man (who’s also a wesen), and he shouts “you haven’t shown respect!” Back at the police precinct, Hank is kicked out of the office as he’s on vacation (and supposedly going to Hawaii). Juliette comes home and unpacks her groceries, but keeps seeing visions of Nick. She runs to car and drives off, but then sees Nick in the car and has an accident.

In Vienna, Adalind is vomiting because she’s preggers. Someone knocks at the door and it’s the woman who’s helping to sell her child. There’s a meeting, and Adalind is told to go. Nick shows up at the hospital to see Juliette, but she thinks he’s a vision. She tells him that he’s everywhere, and he tries to comfort her, but she doesn’t want to see him (or visions of him), and blames his friends for her visions. Jill goes home and there’s an earthquake, but then it seems someone’s obviously in her house. Her place starts steaming and then she’s attacked by a fire wesen. Munroe and Bud are watching soccer with Nick. It turns out that they’re all Timbers fans, and both are trying to comfort Nick about Juliette, but it doesn’t take. Nick then gets a work call. Juliette goes to the Spanish lady from the episode “La Llorona” for help, and the older woman gives her a potion and tells her to focus on one memory to help her reconnect. If she doesn’t, it will ruin her. Nick’s work call is the body of Jill. She’s got burn marks on her hands and neck, and the house is partly melted. They check her camera and see her footage from the start of the episode.

Adalind drives up to her meeting with gypsies, and the leader wants a sample of the blood of the child. They hold Adalind down and get out some primitive-looking equipment. Ouch. Back in Portland, Nick talks to Jill’s boss. They find out what she was collecting and about the man who attacked her. They go out the same place Jill was at the start of the episode, and Nick senses something. Jill’s boss pockets a rock, but when they go back to the car, it’s been trashed. Nick goes in pursuit, and finds the crazy guy from the opening, and pins him. The crazy guy says they’re all going to die for not showing respect.

Adalind’s baby’s blood is tested and it turns blue, which means it’s the blood of a royal. She’s offered half a million euros for a boy and 750,000 for a girl. Adalind doesn’t want money, instead she wants her powers back and that’s all. Marcus Hemmings, the crazy guy, has been arrested before. He was a normal tax payer until he went off the grid fifteen years ago. Marcus also has a dead wife who died the same way as Jill. Captain Renard suggests he should help interrogate Marcus, and Nick agrees. It turns out that Marcus is just trying to warn people of the evil monster who lives in the mountain and wants revenge. Marcus mentions Volcanalis, and Nick and Renard plot how to deal with it, and possibly deal with it off the books. As Wu reveals, it turns out that people dying for taking rocks from sacred ground happens around the world. Juliette goes home, but is so overwhelmed she goes outside but then gets into a memory of Nick moving in. The vision starts in black and white and slowly goes to color. Jill’s boss has a rock, and – no surprise – he’s attacked by the Volcanalis.

Nick and Renard show up in time to shoot the monster, but it runs away. Nick chases on foot but loses him. Juliette goes through the memory of moving in, but finally she breaks out of it. Nick goes to his camper with Monroe in tow, and they find precedent for Marcus’ wesen, and Monroe finds the Volcanalis. They get Renard to translate the Latin of Nick’s book, and it turns out that Volcanalis destroyed Pompeii. They decide to ask Marcus for help and try to figure out how to “make Hell freeze over.”

Monroe, Renard, Marcus and Nick all head up to the mountain to take rocks. They load up a truck and take off to a warehouse where they set up their trap, with Marcus standing in as bait. The Volcanalis shows up and they cover him in liquid nitrogen, which turns him into a rock. Marcus then smashes him to pieces. To close the episode, Juliette puts up a picture of Nick and finds the wedding ring Nick gave her, and then she flashes back to his proposal.

As a former Portlander, tonight’s episode of ‘Grimm’ definitely played up the fact that the show is happy (and maybe grateful) to be shooting in that glorious city, as the references to the Timbers, and the quote of “Keep Portland weird” seemed to be direct shout-out’s to their host town, just as Portland must be happy to have one of NBC’s most stable (if not most successful) shows shot in their area. But, between it and ‘Portlandia,’ it suggests (perhaps rightfully so) it’s a quirky town.

Juliette is finally getting some resolution and real remembrances of Nick, but with so few episodes left in the second season, it’s more than likely her whole memory thing will play out until the finale. And that’s fine and good and all, it’s given Bitsie Tulloch something to do, but hopefully they’ve thought out a slightly more interesting arc for her character in season 3.

Though ‘Grimm’ deals in moderate scares, this was a solid monster of the week episode as it did a good job of giving Nick’s supporting players something to do and to work together. We haven’t seen Renard and Monroe team up before, and it was a nice dynamic. Perhaps it came at the cost of Hank, who may be out of operation for the rest of the season if his vacation is any hint. One hopes he’s off the show (at least for this episode or two) for good reasons. But with guest stars Nora Zehetner and Reg E. Cathey showing up in the upcoming weeks, he’ll be well covered.

Tonight delivered what makes ‘Grimm’ a fun show to watch, a modestly interesting monster of the week, and these characters, who’ve become more interesting as the series has progressed. And with Nick’s stable of wesen-aware sidekicks, that could lead to all sorts of fun combinations fighting evil. Which makes me all the more happy the show got renewed.

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