Monday, January 9, 2017

Grimm 6x01 Review: “Fugitive” (The Symbols in the Shroud) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

Original Airdate: January 6, 2017

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”

Grimm is back, people! It’s been over seven months since season five ended, leaving us with tons of questions and loose ends. During the summer it was announced that season six would be the final season of Grimm (cue the weeping). I don’t think this was exactly a surprise to anyone, but it is a rather sad day nonetheless. We’re only slated to have 13 episodes this season, so that doesn’t leave my beloved Grimm writers much time to carry all the many meandering plots through to fruition.

If you need a refresher on where we left things at the close of season five, here goes: Nick was shot multiple times by a gang of Black Claw agents but survived without a scratch thanks to the ancient stick (which I have christened the Elder Wand for simplicity’s sake) that was in his jacket pocket. The Black Claw agents are all dead, including their leader Conrad Bonaparte, who Renard accidentally killed with a giant sword. You see, Renard and Adalind’s daughter, Diana, has a nasty habit of controlling people, and she wasn’t a fan of Bonaparte, so decided he needed to go, and the most efficient way to accomplish this was by having her daddy drive a sword through his back.

Renard was elected mayor of Portland thanks to Black Claw’s handiwork and is also probably maybe the new leader of Black Claw now that Bonaparte is dead. Bonaparte was forcing Adalind to play housewife to Renard in the giant mayoral mansion, but with Bonaparte’s dead, she’s free to get back with Nick. Maybe. There’s the small problem of the cursed engagement ring Bonaparte put on her hand, which will cause dire things to happen to her and her children (Diana and baby Kelly) if she removes it.

Poor Meisner is dead and Hadrian’s Wall is defeated. Eve is back to being Juliette thanks to the healing powers of the Elder Wand, and she, Trubel, Hank, Wu (who’s a werewolf now), Monroe, and Rosalee are all trapped in the tunnels under Nick’s apartment, looking for a way out. Oh, and Rosalee’s pregnant but has only told Monroe so far. I think that sums up where we left things, so what happens now?

Nick thanks Renard for killing Bonaparte but voices his confusion — he thought Renard was on Bonaparte’s side. Nick asks why Renard stopped Bonaparte and Renard says he’s not sure, then storms out. Down in the tunnels, the group has split into teams of two, each taking a different route in the tunnels in the hope of finding a way out. Hank and Wu discover the tunnels connect to the city storm drain but can’t get out. Rosalee and Monroe find an ax and use it to bust open a rusty metal door, which leads to a ladder and another door high above. It opens into an area that looks like an electrical plant. They go back to inform the others that they found a way out.

They decide that, before they head out through the electric plant, they’re going to go back for Nick. Before they get very far, they hear a noise in the tunnels, but it just turns out to be Nick looking for them. Wu points out that Nick’s shirt is riddled with bullet holes and asks if he’s a ghost. Hey, anything’s possible with this show. Nick fills them in on what happened in the apartment and they’re all confused as to why Renard killed Bonaparte.

Back at the mansion, Renard informs Adalind about what just happened. At first, Renard thinks Adalind made him kill Bonaparte, but she denies it, and Renard quickly realizes this was Diana’s doing. Renard is worried about Black Claw coming after him for Bonaparte’s death, so he decides to pin it on Nick and heads out to put his plan in motion. Adalind goes to talk to Diana, who admits she caused Renard to kill Bonaparte because he’d hurt Adalind and she didn’t want him to hurt her anymore.

Back at Nick’s apartment, the team surveys the damage, astounded that Nick was able to take out so many Black Claw agents single-handedly. Eve/Juliette asks about the Elder Wand, and Monroe and Nick bring her up-to-speed, explaining that it’s from the time of the Crusades and they found it hidden in the Black Forest and they’re not really sure what all it does besides heal people. Not only did it heal Nick’s multiple gunshot wounds, but it also healed Eve/Juliette from the fatal wound Bonaparte had given her. She doesn’t seem too happy with this news, and I can’t blame her. Being healed by an ancient stick that seems to have also caused a personality change? I’d be a little suspicious, too.

Back at the precinct, Renard has put out a shoot-to-kill order on Nick and secured various search warrants to aid in the search. He’s trying to pin not only Bonaparte’s murder, but also the murders of all the north precinct officers. These officers were actually killed by Wu, who was defending Nick at the time, but it helps Renard’s story to blame Nick for it all.

Nick, Wu and Hank are still at Nick’s apartment disposing of all the dead bodies. Monroe, Rosalee, Trubel, and Juliette/Eve have gone back to the spice shop to dispose of the three dead bodies there and clean up the mess caused by the fight. As Juliette/Eve reaches for one of the bodies, it grabs her wrist and puts her into a trance. Trubel and Monroe rush to her side but they can’t get the dead guy to unclench his hand from around Juliette/Eve, nor can they get her to wake up. Rosalee says she’s read about this — it’s a Death Grip, which happens when someone who’s died is afraid of death and tries to take a pure soul with them to bargain for eternal afterlife. Meanwhile, we catch glimpses of what Juliette/Eve is experiencing in her trance. She and the dead guy are surrounded by black swirling clouds and lightning and it does indeed look like he’s trying to drag her to hell with him. Rosalee quickly finds the book that discusses the Death Grip, as well as the “cure,” which is simple enough. She chops off his hand and he falls to hell while Juliette/Eve comes back to consciousness.

Rosalee explains he was trying to take a pure soul with him, which Juliette/Eve immediately questions, considering she’s about the furthest from a pure soul you could find. Trubel thinks it has something to do with the Elder Wand — that perhaps it “cleaned” her soul in addition to healing her wound from the glass shard.

Wu and Hank arrive back at the precinct, where an officer informs them about what’s been going on – that Nick is being blamed for everything. The officer doesn’t believe any of this is Nick’s doing and tells them to watch their backs in case they get dragged into Renard’s warpath. Renard, meanwhile, is stalking around his office. He gets a call from a Black Claw agent asking why Nick is still alive. That seems to be the question of the day. He says he’ll have Nick dealt with in 24 hours. As he hangs up the phone, he suddenly sees his hands are covered in blood. But it disappears when an officer comes in to give him a file. Great, all we need is a hallucinating Renard on our hands. As if he’s not dangerous enough.

Meanwhile, Adalind and Nick are able to reunite briefly. She tells him about all the craziness she’s been dealing with — mainly, the cursed engagement ring and her psycho violet-eyed daughter. Nick gets a call from Hank, who informs him about Renard’s vendetta. Nick tells Adalind she has to stay at the mansion even though she doesn’t want to. It’s the safest place for her at the moment. He heads out.

Trubel and Juliette/Eve are back at Nick’s apartment and Juliette/Eve is having flashbacks about being healed by the Elder Wand. She asks Trubel about it. Specifically, if Nick always carries it with him. Trubel says no, he usually keeps it hidden, wrapped in the cloth they found it in. Trubel shows Juliette/Eve the shroud and explains that it’s covered in ancient writing which they’re not able to read. Before Juliette/Eve can look too closely, Hank gives them a call and tells them the same thing he told Nick — that Renard is after them all. Just then, they hear sirens and head to the tunnels to hide. In the tunnels, Juliette/Eve is able to get a closer look at the cloth and she sees glowing patterns in it. Trubel can’t see what she sees, but Juliette/Eve has seen these patterns before — they were tattooed on the face of the man who just tried to drag her down to hell.

Monroe and Rosalee are back at their house, cuddled up in bed discussing the baby and the future. Monroe’s not sure Portland’s the best place to raise a child with Mayor Renard and Black Claw on the loose. Just as they turn out the light, Wu calls to warn them the police are on their way and not to resist. Sure enough, the police break down Monroe’s beautiful front door and storm the house, pulling a gun on Monroe and threatening him if he interferes.

Back at the precinct, Renard is going ballistic because they haven’t located Nick yet. Also, he’s now gone from seeing blood on his hands to seeing blood dripping from the face of an officer who tells him (in his hallucination) that he chose the wrong side. After this hallucination clears, another officer comes in to tell Renard they located Nick’s car but not Nick. 

Nick, meanwhile, has turned up at Bud’s house for help. Bud delivers a few coded phone calls to the team, who convenes at his place. They all think it would be wise for Nick to get out of Portland – he won’t be safe in the city as long as Renard’s mayor. While they try to figure out the safest way to get Nick out of Portland, Juliette/Eve tells them about the symbols she saw on the cloth and the dead guy. She doesn’t know what the symbols mean but she tells Nick she doesn’t think he should be carrying the Elder Wand with him all the time.

Hank and Wu head back to the precinct to keep an eye on things there. Renard informs them he knows they know where Nick is and if they get in his way, he will come after them, too. Neither has time to worry about this too much because just then they get a call about a female dead body — Rachel Wood. Knowing she worked on Renard’s mayoral campaign, Hank immediately suspects Renard. Hank rushes the fingerprint analysis from Rachel’s apartment and sure enough — Renard’s fingerprints are all over the place.

One of the officers has finished researching the frequently called numbers on Nick’s cell, and the only one that hasn’t been followed up on yet is a repairman named... Bud! Renard puts two-and-two together and realizes Bud’s house is the only place left Nick could be. He sends a gazillion officers to go stake it out.

Wu warns Nick and the team that Renard is coming, so they decide to create a diversion. They have Bud load a large freezer into the back of his truck to trick the officers into thinking Nick is in it. But they’re too late — officers have already surrounded the place. Juliette/Eve tries to woge and take them all out but she hasn’t been able to woge since the Elder Wand healed her. She collapses, apologizing to Nick. Outside, Renard orders the officers to “take them down.” And the episode ends!

As usual, there’s a lot going on in Grimm and the numerous plots and subplots show no signs of slowing down quite yet. We’ll see what next week brings!

Bonus Musings:
  • “Umm... kinda looks like you were shot.” “Like, more than once.” “You’re not a ghost, are you?” “I hope not.” 
  • “We should probably figure out how to deal with all these bodies. I mean, we can’t just leave them here, you know? Not if you ever want to have a dinner party for the living.” 
  • “When you’re murdered in bed, it’s usually by someone you know.” 


  1. It is starting to bug me that no one on the show has no clue about what that shard of wood could be despite a)them being steeped in various European lore and b)having specific information that it was brought from Jerusalem by a group of knights who then hid it, wrapped in a shroud. Either they are completely clueless about Christian/Knights Templar lore or going out of their way to not say the word "Christian." Every time they give one more piece of information on that piece of wood, I want to scream "it is a piece of wood from the cross of Jesus" because it fits that piece of mythology to a tee.

    1. This show has only just started airing in the UK, so apologies for (a) coming late to this and (b) saying something that may have been overtaken by events,but I have to endorse Anon's comment above. Even if the similarity of the elder wand to a fragment of the True Cross (and we can now apparently add forgiveness of sins to its powers...) is a red herring, it's beyond belief that a group of people who are supposed to be highly learned in esoteric lore haven't even considered the possibility. It's gratuitous ignorance that frankly spoiled an otherwise strong and intense opener.