Saturday, February 6, 2016

Grimm 5x08 "A Reptile Dysfunction" (We’re At War, People!) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“A Reptile Dysfunction” 
Original Airdate: February 5, 2016 

“A sucker is born every minute.” 

I have to give the writers props for the title of this episode. I was genuinely amused and laughed out loud at it. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a thirteen year old, what’s your point?

This was the type of classic Grimm episode that I love, with a case to solve, some backstory springing up, and an overarching plotline to ponder. So, let’s get to it, shall we?


Fact: any episode that begins with, “you look so cute in that life jacket!” is not going to end well for the person wearing the life jacket. As our episode opens, we see a happy couple (named Allan and Elizabeth, because of course every couple should have an alliterative name) renting a motor boat to take out on Diamond Lake, “Home of the Diamond Lake Monster!” as the sign proclaims. In typical fashion, as a creepy reptilian monster starts circling their boat and raises its scaled and horn-tipped head out of the water, their initial response is to snap photos of it to post on social media instead of being concerned for their lives. They clearly didn’t bother to read the sign about the lake monster or they would have been a little more prepared for sudden and inevitable death.

Finally starting to get a little concerned, Allan pulls a gun out of a tackle box. Having never gone fishing in my life, I feel the need to pause here to ask a few questions: who carries a gun in a tackle box? Is this normal? Is fishing with bullets a thing now?

Unsurprisingly, the Diamond Lake Monster did not like being shot at, and Allan is eaten, his cuteness in a life jacket proving unhelpful.

Even though Diamond Lake is completely outside Nick’s precinct’s jurisdiction, he and Hank get called in to work the case, because apparently his reputation of solving “these weird cases” precedes him. Lucky for us, or it would have been a short episode.

Turns out the Dunbar brothers who run the boat rental and gift shop have been hiring Logan, a Wasser Zahne, to scare people on the lake and make some extra cash to pay off some of their debts. They hadn’t counted on Logan killing someone, but Dunbar Brother #1 thinks this is great and tells Logan to kill again, and it’s a drunken teenager that gets taken out this time. Dunbar Brother #2 is clearly conflicted, but does he go to the cops? Nope.

Seeing how much money the brothers are raking in, Logan thinks he should be making a bit more money off this deal (he sure adapted well to the role of hired killer), and threatens the brothers. Strategy is clearly not the brothers’ strong suit because their response to this is to hatch a harebrained plan to kill Logan themselves.

But Nick, Hank, and Trubel have their own plan in the works. Trubel shows up to threaten the brothers and get some intel on Logan, pretending to be interested in the cash herself. Then Brother #1 runs off to warn Logan and ask him to kill Brother #2. So much for brotherly love. There are so many double crosses going on in this episode that it’s hard to keep track. In the end, Brother #1 and Logan end up getting killed off which seems appropriate after all the havoc they caused.


Before Nick gets called in to work the Wasser Zahne case, he has time to fill Captain Renard, Wu, and Hank in on what happened the night before at the restaurant. Basically, there was lots of blood, death, and Juliette now going by Eve and wearing a platinum blonde wig. I really want to know why a name and personality change mean you have to start donning a really bad wig, but I guess that’s just one of life’s great mysteries.

As Nick and Hank try to unravel who all those dead Wesen are from the restaurant, Trubel shows up to help and takes Nick to the creepy Hadrian’s Wall compound where she, Eve and Meisner have been hanging out the past few months.

Nick finally gets to be filled in on what Hadrian’s Wall has been up to, who they are, and what they’re fighting against. Apparently, the evil Wesen organization, Black Claw, is trying to rule the world and Hadrian’s Wall is trying to stop them. Long story short: we’re at war, people, and nobody knows it.

Trubel already told Nick that the HW is trying to recruit as many Grimms as they can to the cause, and yet he still seems surprised when Meisner extends an offer. While Nick is chatting it up with Meisner and Eve at HW headquarters, Trubel pays a visit to The Spice Shop and lets Rosalee and Monroe know that the HW will be contacting them to join the fight, too. Nick, Hank, Rosalee, and Monroe agree that whatever their decision, it needs to be one the whole team agrees on unanimously. That’s #TeamGoals right there. But there’s no time to actually make a decision because there’s a Wasser Zahne to catch!


Meanwhile, Rosalee has received another cryptic letter from a man from her past. In the first letter, from a few episodes ago, this mysterious guy mentions that their mutual friend Carlos has died. Rosalee is visibly upset by the news but we don’t find out anything more about Carlos (or the letter writer), and nothing more came of it.

Now, Mr. Mystery Man is writing to say he’s thinking about coming to Portland. We know Rosalee made some big mistakes in her past involving drugs and jail time. She was very upfront about it when she first joined the team in season one, and not much else was said about it. Now it seems the Grimm writers are giving her a meatier storyline, which I’m tentatively excited about. I love Rosalee, and I love Monroe and Rosalee as a couple. But the writers have already thrown a ton of drama their way in the form of bigoted Wesen opposing their relationship, Monroe being kidnapped and almost killed, and then Rosalee also being kidnapped and almost killed. I think these two could use a break and a happily ever after.

At the same time, I think Bree Turner is a fantastic actress and such an asset to the show, so I would love to see her really get to sink her teeth into a big storyline that revolves around her and not just around her relationship or her sidekick status on the team.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this episode. Pretty much any storyline where everyone on the team is working together to solve the latest case is fantastic because it’s full of quippy one-liners and enough side-eye and eye rolls to make one’s heart happy.

Bonus amusements from this episode:
  • How many creepy abandoned buildings and warehouses does Portland have? Because it seems like it’s at least 182,000. 
  • “Wouldn’t it be great if it was a monster and not a homicidal maniac?” In the Grimm world, these two things are not mutually exclusive. 
  • I guess the Dunbar brothers have a great relationship with an overnight shipping service, because getting a sold-out store completely restocked with merchandise in the span of approximately 12 hours is bigger a fairytale than the Wasser Zahne. 
  • I love that it takes Trubel about 2.5 seconds to take down the ferocious Wasser Zahne. She is awesomeness personified.

1 comment:

  1. You left out the weird stuff..probably intentionally.... The scene with Reynard and the girl was exceptionally odd and not in the good way. As was Eve's staring into the mirror and the brief conversation with Meisner. What did "chicken" even mean in that context.
    While I agree the lake monster scenes were refreshing and gives a little reminder of why we have been watching Grimm. Rosalee was a procrastinating, avoidance grouch unlike the take charge, pleasant woman viewers enjoy. Monroe didn't make smile like the old days. Adalind (best actress on the show) was missing from this episode. She needs to be better utilized. Not enjoying the disease sounding black claw scenes. And frankly, Nick is still a new Grimm. He needs to research more on the Season and not just know every Wesson that exists. Particularly when this is his first encounter with a new one. And when the heck are they making Trubel a cast member and getting rid of that guest status. She is great and you Need the younger cast member. Where is Diana and why don't we hear more about her?