The roster of Grimms in Portland is getting a bit overcrowded in the span of just a few weeks. First Trubel—a young girl bouncing from foster care to mental institutions to surviving on the lam—turns up unannounced like a grenade lobbed into an already crowded city. Nick has taken her under his wing since she’s a Grimm, and she’s now a part of some awkward dinners with Monrosalee, fielding questions about her first experiences with Wesen, and voraciously poring over the books from the Airstream. In her third appearance, it’s been an upswing on just about every level: Nick gets to play Giles, Hank gets to crack wise, Juliette gets to bond with someone, and Trubel’s presence tests the commitment of Nick and Juliette’s relationship.
“The Inheritance” adds Rolek Porter (Sam Anderson—most recently, in my memory, Boyd Crowder’s mortician adversary Lee Paxton over the last two seasons of Justified) to the mix, an older man on the verge of dying, apparently a Grimm, who desperately needs to give Nick something valuable. The twist is that his son Josh doesn’t understand any of the things his father says, presuming him crazy while accompanying him from Pennsylvania to Portland. That means there are for varying positions on the Grimm spectrum represented here. Josh can’t see Wesen; Trubel can see and fight but has only begun devouring the history behind her abilities; Nick is in his prime, and of such influence that a dying Grimm like Rolek actively seeks him out to impart his treasure: one of the legendarily valuable keys, which instigated Nick’s showdown with Renard over the course of Grimm’s first two seasons.
I’ve said it so many times that I sound like a broken record available in one of Portland’s many used record shops, but Grimm has so many plates spinning right now in terms of potential plot avenues to wander down, from Adalind’s child to the Fuchsbau coins (hopefully gone forever) to Trubel. But of all those threads, the hunt for keys, building the secret map of the Black Forest, and searching for some unknown powerful MacGuffin—that interests me most as a quest. There are still parameters to be worked out, such as what it is, how far along the royals are in their quest to find it, and what exactly the item could be used for, but it’s a tangible path that makes logical sense to navigate toward now that the show has cast a wide net. Grimm has already been renewed for a fourth season since it has been a surprising success on Friday nights, but it can’t stay in neutral forever. The keys give the show something overarching to build toward, no matter how much it feels like mapping a platformer video game quest over a television series. There will still be side quests (cases of the week) and shorter arcs, but if this is what the show wants to leave on a simmer for multiple seasons, I’m on board.
It’s also interesting to watch Trubel’s quick ascension to Grimm apprentice. Hank and Nick still can’t let her be a part of the police force (which seems like something she could accomplish elsewhere as a long-term career path when she doesn’t recur on the show), leading to comedic moments where she has to disappear from a crime scene. But she’s definitely an asset, both as a fighter in the field and an investigative assistant, because she’s desperate to fill in knowledge gaps that eluded her for so long when everyone else told her she was crazy. If there’s one think Jacqueline Toboni excels at, it’s a blank stare that still exudes confidence. She knows no other way to live than survival at all costs, and that means she doesn’t mince words when dealing with Josh and doesn’t listen to Nick when he tells her to stay out of the fray when he and Hank fight the “special” Verrat on the hunt for Rolek’s key. She’s going to be out of the picture for at least a little while after next week’s finale, but she fits into the world well, since she has the same potential as Nick while making him look a lot more sympathetic while standing in as a mentor.
Other than those dispatched Verrat, this is an episode that doesn’t trouble itself much with Viktor or any of the royals, and from the look of next week’s finale, which takes place at Monroe and Rosalee’s wedding, the folks over in Europe won’t be playing much of a part in the endgame this season. Instead, the villainous role falls to the recharged Adalind, exploiting her Hexenbiest powers and her mother’s storage unit to make good on some deal with Viktor. C. Thomas Howell’s rogue FBI agent is still around, and there’ will always be more soldiers hunting down Renard or Nick—which seemingly comes to a conclusion in some way next week—but aside from a spectral, faraway villain presence, Alexis Denisof’s character doesn’t play into any quest for the keys yet. That’s something to build on for next year. With Adalind’s child safely hidden away, there’s plenty of narrative time to devote to Nick, Renard, and Viktor negotiating a power struggle over that secret treasure.
Adalind has given birth, she’s a viciously vengeful mother without her child, and because none of the New Scoobies can divulge exactly what happened, she’s going to achieve some kind of victory. I called that she would be casting a spell to transform into Juliette (and I might have initially stated to my roommates that she was brewing a Polyjuice Potion), but there was a bit of unintentional humor with the stereotypical pointy witch hat. There’s still bad karma that has gone unserved upon the good guys, because they tore a child away from her mother and gave her to Kelly to abscond with, under the guise of resistance or just simply keeping her from the royals. But these past few episodes have left the impression that a price has yet to be paid for that heist, and somebody has to settle the bottom line. It’s not clear whether that will be Juliette, Nick, Renard, or someone tangentially involved, but Adalind will drop the strongest hammer she can conjure. And hey, of all the regular cast, Bitsie Tulloch deserves to let loose with some alternate role. Now that Adalind has inhabited Juliette, she’ll get her chance
- Nick is clear to point out to Josh that even though he doesn’t see Wesen now, he may develop the ability in the future, since he gained his powers later in life as well. That struck me as the writers leaving the possibility open that Josh would return in some future episode, having gained his power, looking to team up with or oppose Nick in some way. The door is open for a bunch of other recurring characters to return (Bud, anyone? Titus Welliver?) but other than Kelly and Trubel, I don’t know that any actually will come back in significant ways.
- Rosalee has the generic television mandated freakout about her wedding. She thinks something bad is going to happen—and it’s obviously going to be a disaster, because what plot purpose would it serve to have everything go off without a hitch? It basically comes out of nowhere, and it would’ve been nice to build up to that brief cacophonous scene that overwhelms her over the course of the many episodes since Monrosalee’s engagement.
- Nick’s quickly summarizes what the key represents to Trubel: “That enough?” “Good enough for now.”