‘Grimm’ Review: “Nameless”
We're now in the back half of the second season of 'Grimm,' and there's been a lot put on the table in terms of the drama, but not a lot of answers. Juliette is still kept in the dark, and is suffering the fate of a lot of TV girlfriends in shows like this, while Detective Nick Berkhardt and Captain Renard are still on uneasy ground. Tonight's episode, "Nameless," looks to be another monster episode of the week, but hopefully it starts putting the pieces together for the season's conclusion.
The episode opens with the quote "Then he seized his left foot with both hands in such a fury that he split in two." over someone ripping a page out of 'Alice in Wonderland.' At a video game launch party, a mysterious Wesen breaks into a room, while lead game designer Jenna and programmer Brody go in the same room to have sex. Jenna hears something and so she walks out, while Brody ends up checking to see if there's someone in the room, and gets cut in half. Cue Jenna finding him a moment later and screaming.
Renard gets a call from an unknown European number and in Austria he has a mysterious conversation with someone who wants to meet. Juliette goes home, still nervous about seeing ghosts, and talks to herself. Nick and Hank are called in on Brody's death, and see the words "Play my game" written on the wall (in blood, natch). Jenna's new code allows for more players in a single location (hundreds), which is a literal game changer, so there may be reasons to hate her and her team. As Nick and Hank question the game's staff, they get the details on the night and the game. But their interrogations are interrupted by a call from the killer saying "Play my game." The cops chase to the room the call came from, but they're too late. Nick finds Brody's ID cut in half, and the first pages of 'Alice in Wonderland,' 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' and 'Rage,' with each featuring a word (those words: "What's" "My" and "Name"). Surveillance cams were all remotely shut off, so there's no evidence who did it, but Wu recognizes that all the books are fantasy, so he goes off to do research. Nick checks with Monroe about the kill, but Monroe has no leads. The two talk about Juliette, but Nick feels like he needs to give her space. Dominic, the video game company's owner, calls Nick and tells him about Jenna's previous boyfriend Ridley Cooper. Then we someone do some impressive programming. Juliette tries to sleep, but sees a ghost of Nick, that -- when she touches it -- disappears.
Nick and Hank go to talk to Ridley Cooper, who lives with sister. Cooper's got an alibi (he's a game tester), and reveals that Brody's character in the game was also cut in half. The killer in the game's name is Nameless. Wu has a theory: All three authors have a nom de plume, hence the books. Monore brings a clock to Rosalee, and the two kiss when Juliette comes in. Monroe suggests the ghost memories she's having are of the night she went into the coma. She wants their help, but without Nick knowing. Nick and Hank try to track the IP address of Nameless, when Nameless kills the avatar of Vicky, one of the women who worked on the game. Vicky closes the window, but it's too late. The killer then calls Jenna to see if she's figured out his name.
Nick and Hank show up at Vicky's house when they get a call from Jenna. They find Vicky's body, and a Sudoku puzzle and "Guess my name" written in blood. Monroe and Rosalee have dinner at Juliette's, when Juliette sees a Nick ghost looking in a book, but when she tries to touch it again, it disappears. Wu solves the Sudoku and they get some numbers that could be a date or a time.. They bring in Jenna, but then Wu cracks it that Nom de Plume was the location of a date Jenna was supposed to go out on a date with him. Jenna then reveals that that the guy also helped write the brand new code that made her rich and famous. Motive!
Juliette explains the vision of Nick, and Monroe can tell it's a vision of Nick in the trailer. Monroe is reluctant to take her there, but Juliette makes a convincing case. Renard is to have his meeting, but the mysterious man is being tailed by another mysterious man. The killer can't be found through the IT company because he's an independent contractor, and pays for everything electronically. Nick goes to his trailer and finds the type of Wesen, and sees that this type often uses an anagram with the same letters. They find a match: "Trinket Lipslums." Jenna is playing the game when Trinket approaches her in game asking her if she's figured out his name, and then Jenna says his name and cuts him in half. This causes Trinket to freak out, but then he tracks her address.
Renard goes to his meeting where Renard learns that his brother is part of a big power grab within the Royal community. Renard then notices a bomb, and throws it outside and then shoots the would-be assassin. Jenna is in a robe at her place when Trinket shows up and breaks in. But the police are there, and Trinket then runs out and goes to roof. Nick has the drop on him, but Trinket decides to jump off the building instead of getting arrested. Splat, case closed. Nick goes home to Monroe's, where he's told that if Monroe can't take Juliette to the trailer she'll move out of Portland.
It looks as though 'Grimm' wanted a palate cleanser before heading into the final stretch of the season, as the next episode looks to finally give Juliette some answers, and the Royals are coming back into play. But you have to give the writers credit on this stand-alone, there's enough there to make it interesting, even if it's self-evident the case will be cracked by the time the credits roll. 'Grimm' is a modest but likeable show, and this is a good episode to show why the show works. That said, there's a lot of juggling that goes on with the supporting cast, and this was a Wu-heavy episode (which is nice, he's often left with little to do), but that also meant that Monroe was kept at the margins (though as always he had some of the best moments in the episode). At some point -- perhaps in the next season -- they should maybe background Nick from time to time, just to let others have an episode to themselves.