Monday, March 6, 2017

Grimm 6x09 Review: “Tree People” (Symbiosis) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Tree People”
Original Airdate: March 4, 2017

“In the morning, glad, I see my foe outstretched beneath the tree.”

The latest episode of Grimm jumps right into the mystery of the man in the mirror. Or, the creepy skull in the mirror that seems to be after Eve. Now that the whole team is aware of the situation, they’re trying to unravel just what it means. With perfect timing, as always, Diana pops into the conversation and lets them know this creepy skull dude is a harbinger of things to come. Something is stirring on the other side of the mirror and it’s going to affect them all.

Meanwhile, a couple of drunk hunters in the woods get more than they bargain for after shooting a deer. When hunter #1 attempts to track down the fallen deer, a tree attacks and kills him. Hunter #2 is useless, only managing to shoot his already dead friend in the head before panicking, running back to their truck, and crashing it into a regular tree in his haste to get away.

Wu, Hank, and Nick get to the scene and hunter #2 is talking crazy after what he saw. He’s barely coherent but leads them to the dead deer and the spot where the tree monster took his friend. There’s no evidence of a tree monster and no sign of his friend, so they take him down to the station to question him some more.

Back at the precinct, Wu is able to track down more disappearances that have happened in that same general area. Three in the past five years, to be precise. And no bodies ever recovered. The lab results come back surprisingly fast on hunter #2’s jacket and it turns out that, in addition to his friend’s blood, there were large amounts of chlorophyll — an amount that could only be found in a large tree.

At the spice shop, Eve wants to take a closer look at the mirror she was staring into when creepy skull dude shot his arm out of it and tried to strangle her to death. Rosalee and Monroe, who is armed with a mallet, take the mirror out of a locked drawer and Eve examines it. As she’s looking, it starts dripping blood. Monroe takes that as a good sign to put it back in the drawer, but Eve declares she wants to get the bottom of this — by going to the place beyond the mirror.

They don’t get around to discussing that idea any further because Nick and Hank show up at the spice shop with a vague description of the tree monster. When they reveal that the missing guy was a hunter out poaching in the middle of the night, this narrows it down. Rosalee tells them there are some Wesen who have a strong inclination to protect nature and the poachers could have triggered a reaction. Hank happens upon a description of a humanoid creature made entirely of plant materials called a Kinoshimobe that sounds eerily similar to what the hunter described.

Back at the precinct, Wu has uncovered even more disappearances over the last two decades. Each of the missing people had a record of crimes against nature, from poaching to pollution. Meanwhile, in the forest, the Kinoshimobe has struck again. This time, against a woman who’s using the forest as a dumping ground for some environmentally harmful waste. The Kinoshimobe kills her and then releases her to a tree who seems to absorb her into the trunk.

The next morning, the team is back out in the forest, attempting to track down the Kinoshimobe. Wu discovers the old woman’s truck and the toxic waste she was disposing. They plot out the places where all the people have gone missing over the years, and it forms a perimeter. They head to the center and discover the gigantic tree the Kinoshimobe fed the woman to the night before. The knots in the tree seem to form screaming faces that look similar to the missing people.

Rosalee, of course, has heard about this type of tree even though it’s not Wesen. It’s called a Jubokko and it feeds on human blood. They quickly deduce that the Kinoshimobe has been feeding people who harm the environment to the Jubokko in some sort of disturbing symbiotic relationship. They decide to lure out the Kinoshimobe by pretending to harm the environment with a non-toxic but awful smelling concoction Rosalee whips up for them.

After hours of waiting with nothing happening, they call Rosalee to ask her how they can “spice up” the potion they poured everywhere. She says turpentine might do the trick and decides to bring it to them. They’re all pretty conflicted about their plan. After all, the Kinoshimobe is only trying to protect the environment from bad people who are hurting it.

Rosalee drives her SUV into the forest, following the path Wu texted her about, but on the way she hits a rock and begins leaking oil onto the trail. When the car starts making a bad rattling sound, she jumps out and sees the damage. As she’s talking to Monroe about the problem, the Kinoshimobe appears behind her, ready to exact revenge for the oil. She takes off running and Monroe, Nick, Hank, and Wu all take off running too, trying to find her.

They reach her and — just as they think they’re in the clear — the Kinoshimobe grabs her legs with vines. Hank is able to hack the vines away. Unfortunately for them, the Kinoshimobe isn’t done yet. It stalks toward them, and when Nick tries to reason with it, it wraps them all in vines. After some struggling, Nick is able to hit its heart-area with an axe, which fatally wounds it. The Jubokko tree then absorbs the Kinoshimobe into itself. A new knot appears in the Jubokko that has the face of the Kinoshimobe.

The team is a little beside itself about what to do next, so they just pack up and leave. After they drive off, the Kinoshimobe knot suddenly opens its eyes and looks around. So, apparently the Kinoshimobe isn’t totally dead inside the Jubokko.

This was a fun episode but we sure didn’t get very far on all the subplots like skull dude and the strange tunnel symbols, and we’re running out of episodes before the series finale. We’ll have to see what headway we make next week!


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