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‘Grimm’ Review: “The Show Must Go On”

Grimm The Show Must Go On
NBC

Though ‘Grimm‘ has teased carnival workers as wesen in season one, the show goes into full blown carny mode tonight. And Jim Rose has nothing on this collection of circus performers.

The episode opens with the quote “Under such conditions, whatever is evil in men’s natures comes to the front.” We see a carnival in action, and a barker who warns that there are monsters living among us. His show is a great success, perhaps because it features a “werewolf.” ThatĀ Blutbad Max is a drunk, and his partner thinks they need to quit, but he says he needs the money. He leaves the tent in a stagger and is spotted by female fans who invite him out for a drink. Back at Monroe’s, Nick and Juliette have dinner with Rosalee and Monroe and the four talk about Rosalee and Monroe’s wedding location. They’re thinking somewhere on Mount Hood. Juliette volunteers to help, which leads to Monroe asking Nick to be his best man because he brought the two together, while Juliette is asked to be Rosalee’s maid of honor. Max is doing shots with the two ladies (who are listening to “Werewolves of London,” naturally), when they ask him to show them how he does his “trick.” They grope and slap him, and so he transforms, and they scream in panic.

Nick has a nightmare about the wedding, which wakes up Juliette. Nick is worried that it’s not just a nightmare, but a premonition, and he thinks he should not participate. Juliette agrees. In the Swiss Alps, Martin and Adalind hide from the search party, while back in Portland Nick and Hank show up at the fans’ house and are given a briefing by Wu, who’s back at work. They find tickets for the carnival in the victim’s pockets, and it’s their only lead. The two go to the carnival and asks to speak to the owner, who’s also the barker. His “freaks” are all wesens, with Max the main attraction. Max breaks his bars, and is shot by the barker, as he does every show. Back in the Alps, Martin and Adalind go to the search party’s vehicles in hopes of stealing a car. There Martin finds Sebastien, but is caught by on of the bad guys. But Adalind is able to use mind control to make the man kill himself.

Martin shoots the other car, while Sebastien exits the vehicle and takes a gun to make up for what he did/hold the search party off. The barker argues with his stars when Nick and Hank come in and show them pictures of the dead fans. The barker offers nothing, but Max obviously recognizes them. Nick questions the method of the masks, but the barker deflects, while Max meets with his girlfriend and says he knows he drank with the girls, but can’t remember anything else. The girlfriend suggests they leave, and destroys his whiskey, which makes him woge and throw her around. The other carnies come in and note that they need a replacement. Back in the Alps, Sebastein is able to kill most of the search party, all but one, who then shoots him.

At the spice shop, Nick and Hank asks Monroe and Rosalee about the carnival, where the wesen tell both that they find the whole carnival idea offensive, and reveal that wesen that woge too often can lose control to their wesen side. When the cops leave, Rosalee says she and Monroe should go to the carnival. Back at the precinct, Nick and Hank find that there’s a pattern of violence around the carnival, and that Max is the likely suspect. They have two days to find concrete evidence. When they hit the carnival, Rosalee is offered a job as a fill in.

In the Alps, Adalind and Martin drive off. Renard calls him and tells him about an airstrip they should get to, and to be careful. Back in Portland, Rosalee gets ready for the show and talks to Max’s girlfriend, who is reticent to do anything, but reveals the situation. Back at the station, they find even more murders, going back even further, which points the finger at the barker. Rosalee is ready, but Max gets upset at the replacement, which makes the barker woge. The Barker then reveals that he’s the killer.

Monroe calls Nick and tells him about what’s been happening at the carnival and blames Max. Nick and Hank show up as Max transforms ahead of schedule and starts attacking his costars with his eyes on Rosalee. Nick and Hank come in and the barker recognizes that Nick is a Grimm. Monroe subdues Max and Rosalee tells him that it will all be okay, while Nick and Hank pursue the barker, who goes into a funhouse. The other carnival wesen surround the barker and confront him with his crimes and then burn him to death. Back at the precinct, Renard says to close the case, because there’s nothing they can prove. At the carnival, Max’s girlfriend tells Monroe and Rosalee that they’ve found a place to take Max, and thank them for their help. Later, Back at Monroe’s, it seems that Rosalee kept a souvenir from her time in the circus: her sexy outfit. Woof.

It looks like we’re off for a week, and then next week finally brings Adalind back to Portland. I think I’ve figured out what my biggest problem with the Adalind arc this year is: She has no motivation now that she’s got her powers back. There’s just nothing going on there, but her being hustled from event to event. Thankfully that will come to an end soon.

Tonight was a light episode that didn’t err on the side of scares, and that’s fine, the show doesn’t always need to chase ‘The X-Files.’ In that way it was mostly a charming episode that put Monroe and Rosalee at the front of the action, and though their wedding is obviously going to be a big story point moving forward (especially now that there’s news there will be a season 4… yay!), it feels like they needed a good episode that made them active participants in the mystery. Perhaps, considering the nature of fandom, the slash fiction surrounding the two is a driving force in the ratings. By putting them in the forefront meant that almost everyone else was backgrounded. I like Juliette’s new role, but hopefully she’ll have something more substantial to do shortly.

The episode was wafer thin, but lightly likeable. Good enough.

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