Monday, March 21, 2016

Grimm 5x13 Review: “Silence of the Slams” (That Mask Become You) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

"Silence of the Slams"
Original Airdate: March 18, 2016

This episode of Grimm picks up right where the 100th left off: the team has just unlocked the 800-year old treasure chest to discover a magical stick that seems to have miraculously healed a nasty bite on Monroe’s arm. They decide that until they can figure out exactly what this stick is, and how it works, they will tell no one else about it. So, currently, only Nick, Monroe, Rosalee, Wu and Hank know about the wand. It’ll be interesting to see how long it is before Adalind, Renard, and Trubel find out about it.

... My guess is not long.


The case this week revolves around a young wrestler, named Goyo, who is sick of losing. He wants a mask like the legendary fighters wore. He visits the mask maker, Benito, who tells him he’s not ready for a mask like that; that those masks have costs he can’t imagine. Goyo persists, wanting to know how much a mask like that costs, and Benito tells him it’ll cost half of what he earns in each fight. Goyo balks, saying the price is too high, and Benito reiterates his belief that he isn’t ready for the responsibility of a mask like that anyway.

After promptly losing his next match, Goyo pays a visit to Benito again, agreeing to his terms. There’s a contract to sign (in blood, naturally). The contract is in Spanish, which Benito doesn’t speak, so he’s unsure what it says other than he’ll owe Benito half his earnings. Benito tells Goyo he’ll have the mask ready for him tomorrow. Goyo leaves, and Benito promptly woges. Obviously he’d be Wesen.

Later that evening, we find Benito in a dark alley, confronting a tiger-like Wesen. The tiger-Wesen doesn’t take Benito seriously. He is after all, an old man. But Benito is more than he seems and woges and bites the tiger-Wesen on the neck, paralyzing him. Poor tiger-Wesen never stood a chance. Benito then cuts off the tiger-Wesen’s face. Which I would have appreciated some warning about, seeing as how I was eating at the time.

Benito then proceeds to perform some sort of dark ritual to transform the face into a mask for the young wrestler. When Goyo comes to pick up his mask the next morning, Benito gives him a dire warning — show the mask the proper respect and never wear it outside of the ring. How come I have this feeling Goyo isn’t going to heed this warning?

Back at the precinct, Nick, Wu and Hank find out that flaying off people’s faces while they’re still alive is fairly common, and that this tiger-Wesen had been injected with neurotoxins to paralyze him while his face was removed. They enlist the help of Rosalee and Monroe who agree this was probably Wesen-related, but tell Nick that many Wesen possess the ability to paralyze their prey with neurotoxins.

Rosalee, of course, is able to narrow it down almost immediately to what’s going on: an ancient worship ritual for a god that imbues his worshippers with the powers of their victims if they don their faces. Well, that’s not creepy at all.

Goyo’s first fight with the mask on is a victory. He destroys his opponent and wins the favor of the audience. Unfortunately, his opponent isn’t too happy about being beaten and confronts him in a back alley, looking for a fight. Completely ignoring all of Benito’s warnings, Goyo dons his mask to fight his opponent and ends up killing him. There sure are a lot of deaths happening in dark alleys this episode. Goyo runs back to his apartment and looks at himself in the mirror with his tiger mask on. As he’s staring at himself, the mask melds itself onto his skull, becoming permanently attached to his skin. If he wasn’t having a bad day before, he sure is now.

He runs back to Benito, demanding that he get the mask off of him and Benito chastises him for not listening to the warnings, then tells him there is one ritual that can be performed to remove the mask. But Goyo’s losing his mind to the mask and attacks Benito, thinking Benito wants his power for himself. Hank and Nick burst in, and are able to capture Goyo, though it’s too late for Benito who succumbs to his wounds.

Monroe and Rosalee come to the rescue to perform the ritual. They’re able to return the mask to mask form and get it off Goyo, though unfortunately it seems Goyo’s mind will be lost forever. He hears all the masks in the shop talking to him and begins screaming.


Meanwhile, over at Hadrian’s Wall headquarters, Eve is reviewing video footage of Andrew Dixon’s assassination and she quickly uncovers the same thing Renard did last episode: that Rachel Wood knew about the shooting before it happened.

Eve begins following Renard and overhears a conversation between him and Rachel, where she again encourages him to take up both Andrew’s campaign, and the leadership of Black Claw. Rachel even has leverage: she knows that Renard and Adalind have a baby together, Diana, and can supposedly help find her. After all, a mayoral candidate does need a family. Adalind may have developed feelings for Nick over these past few months, but the desire to get her first child back outweighs everything else. Sorry, Nick.

This episode seemed like a big step back after last week’s 100th. Not that I don’t appreciate the standard case-solving format, but how long are we going to completely ignore the wand situation? If this turns into another thing like the keys — where it’s mentioned once or twice a season for five seasons before we finally find out what’s going on, then I am not going to be happy. Let’s figure out what all this wand is capable of and get Nick using it on a regular basis. I’m hoping it ends up playing an integral part in the inevitable Hadrian’s Wall vs. Black Claw showdown.

And if not, can we donate it to some young wizard at Hogwarts?

Bonus musings:
  • “So... we’re thinking this is some sort of healing stick, magic wand thing?”
  • “There’s a ceremony for everything.”


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