Column: Retronomicon: Can You Hear Me Knocking?: Grimm 3.01 (season premiere): The Ungrateful Dead

“But if I stand at the sick person’s feet, he is mine” – Godfather Death

Recap: I can hardly believe that I am writing this, but welcome to the third season of “Grimm,” a series that, for all its flaws, is proving to be one of those “little engines that could” TV series. Over the last year especially, I was convinced that the powers-that-be were going out of their way to kill this sucker off. Color me surprised that we’re where we’re at.

For those of you who may have forgotten all the details, the creators even give us a quick recap of Adalind’s pregnancy and quest to regain power from Gypsy Queen Stefania (Listening to the former whine prompted the thought, Oh, grow the hell up, already! More on that in a bit); the Baron’s zombifying Erik’s bodyguard; and, of course, the zombie plague.

I was wondering why the creators felt the need to leave out Nick getting caught in the Baron’s trap, which seemed to combine Dawn of the Dead with the ending of The Skeleton Key. But that gets explained by our opening sequence.

Before we get into that, a quick couple of notes on the quote above. First, it happens over yet another Blade-style night montage of Portland (I’m waiting for Disney to sue them for copyright infringement). Also, the quote is from an actual Grimm’s fairy tale, “Godfather Death,” one of my favorites of the minor tales.

Similar to the Season two opener, we get a time-stamped lead-up to where we left things last season. We start off with the caption, “15 minutes ago.” Erik is getting into his car from the hotel with Renard shadowing him. We then cut to Team Nick (sans Nick himself) running back to the SUV about half a step ahead of a bunch of George Romero extras that the Baron whipped up just for them. Juliette has noticed that her fiancée is nowhere to be seen and starts yelling for him. Monroe points out that they’re going to be safer inside the vehicle. Well … I’d call that a matter of opinion.

We cut to Nick catching his breath just in time to hear the Baron’s laugh, inviting him up for another chase. We then switch back to Team Nick trying to figure out how the hell they’re going to get out of the zombie traffic jam around them. Monroe makes the snap decision to put the SUV in gear, hoping that “they move because … we are.” The swarm continues to pile onto the vehicle (I can’t help but think that there’s a good Woodstock joke in here somewhere, but I can’t find it), even as it gets underway. Some of the zombies are still hanging onto the roof and back bumper, but it looks our erstwhile heroes are pulling clear of the crowd.

Then we’re back to Nick and the Baron, and their little chase around the shipping containers, chronicling their little duel and fall into the shipping container.

The timeline having been established, the Nickmobile has a few hangers-on that are still hanging on. It’s not as many as before, but, as we all know, zombies don’t necessarily need large numbers to be a problem. Noting this outside, Rosalie tells Monroe, “I think you’re gonna have to just – ”

“I know, I know,” Monroe says, sounding like an annoyed commuter in Atlanta rush hour traffic. Juliette is sitting in the back, probably wondering if maybe she should have stayed home tonight, after all. After a few minutes, the SUV ditches three of the zombies on the back bumper.

Now we’re once again at the shipping container again, with Nick making his ill-fated search of the place while the Baron laughs from the shadows.

The next caption pops up right after “5 Minutes Ago” Erik’s car has just pulled into a little spot in the shipping yard, right next to a waiting, open minivan (which I initially mistook for a hearse). grimm301-w622-h350It’s also at this moment that Nick has found the coffin with his (okay, “Thomas Schirach’s”) name on it and the Baron has given him a faceful of some of his magic medicine.

Amid the distant howls of zombies, Renard’s car pulls up at a discreet distance, headlights off as he rolls to a stop. He’s right around the corner from Erik and his car. The former is getting out of the latter – as Renard glimpses around the corner. Erik tells his remaining bodyguard something along the lines of how he’ll just be a minute. Renard keeps watch from around the corner, waiting to see what happens before jumping in.

Back at the SUV, Monroe asks, “How we doing?”

Rosalie pipes in, “Pretty good!” Then both she and her new kid sister Juliette (There’s really no other way to describe this pairing right now … kind of like Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones) point out the one left on the hood and a couple on top. Then Monroe gets pissed and snarls, “Okay, buckle up!” As they all grab their seat belts, I’m thinking to myself, Shouldn’t you have done that in the first damn place? Then again, getting attacked by zombies was never part of my daily commute.

As soon as everyone is secured, Monroe stomps on the gas. As he gets a little too close to a dead end, Rosalie says, “Container, container!”

“I know, I know!” Monroe yells back, looking like this was part of the plan. Then, after a quick “Hold on!”, he stomps the brakes. It has the desired effect of clearing off the zombies in a hurry, slamming all three of them into the container ahead and knocking them out cold.

Pause button: That was probably the best tactical move that Monroe has made yet on this show. Makes you wonder what else he can come up with. Unpause.

Rosalie herself is marveling at this move, proclaiming, with a grin, “I think it worked!”

Juliette, looking behind them, counters, “Not for long. They’re still coming!” Monroe backs up and makes a run for the turn on the right.

Renard is now slipping around the corner, slowing making his way to the site of the trap for Nick. The Glock is in hand, just in case. That’s when brother Erik is coming in to give Nick his little send-off. We finally get to the “Now” caption, cutting back to Renard, who apparently just heard the coffin lid shut.

We cut back to Monroe still driving, looking for the way out of this monster maze. The zombies ahead of him attest to how hard that is. Theseus had it easy. He only had to deal with one Minotaur. In disgust, Monroe even proclaims before fishtailing around yet another corner, “Oh, my God, they’re everywhere!”

Turns out that’s the wrongest turn they could have made. The SUV’s undercarriage winds up running aground and having its rear wheels stuck on a dirt pile. The effect is kind of like going into a ditch in reverse with exactly the same results. Monroe does a quick check of his passengers, but finds out that there is no escaping this particular mess in a hurry.

Juliette points out that this vehicle makes a lousy bunker and suggests going to the top of the containers. Monroe concurs and calls for everyone to go that way. They have managed to gain a little ground on the zombies. Team Nick is now a step and a half ahead of the horde on their heels.

The trio is mounting a crane when the zombies get to the base of it. At first, they seem a little confused and then they’re trying to figure how to do the climbing thing. At this point, I’m not sure there are enough active brain cells in that horde to figure out how to tie a pair of shoes, so good call, Juliette. May they be the first of many.

Still, Rosalie and Monroe respectively say they can’t stay up here and they need some help.

That’s when we return to Prince Not-So-Charming coming towards the container where Nick was. Don’t these Royals ever think or care about things like open doors?

Renard slips in cautiously and gets there just in time to see Erik’s minions being told by the Baron, “That is precious cargo. Be careful,” as they move Nick’s new home out of the container. Once everybody is outside, Renard takes a quick glimpse at the still-candlelit altar and then follows the track of the coffin. A car engine starts up as soon as he gets outside. The coffin has just finished being loaded. With a tip of the hat, the Baron assures Erik (who is now back in his own car), “We’ll have him in the air soon.”

A creaking of hinges draws Renard’s attention as the cars drive away. A pair of zombies jump him, one of them from above, knocking the Glock out of his hand in the process. Though he’s no slouch in hand-to-hand, they start getting the better of him.

Meanwhile, the zombie horde at the base of the crane have figured out that climbing thing and are going to greet Team Nick in person. From here on, it cuts back and forth between the two scenes, highlighting a lot of knockdown, drag-out brawling. In both instances of our still-living defenders, it’s graceless but effective. But Renard really gets the worst of it, getting throttled by one zombie while the other one pins his arms.

Oblivious to all this at the station, Wu is just looking things over, being the only familiar face around to greet Hank.

“Sooo … how’s it feel to be on two legs again?” Wu asks.

“Damn good,” Hank acknowledges. “Anything going on?”

Well, actually, Hank, now that you mention it ….

But of course, Wu’s got no way to know any other report other than all quiet on the Western Front, especially now that the zombies from the day before have finally been locked up. Hank asks where they were put. Wu says the jail infirmary, with heavy doses of Thorazine and other sedatives in their systems. “A little too much fun and games for us to handle here,” Wu adds.

After getting a negative on Wu knowing where the Captain is, Hank decides to get a little work done.

“Do it while you can,” Wu says. “I’m just glad things have calmed down.”

Biggest misstatement since one of the dopes that passed on the Beatles proclaimed that guitar groups were on the way out.

To underscore that point, Hank gets a call from Juliette (who apparently had the good sense to pack her cell phone). She’s sending out an SOS vis-a-vis their situation at the container yard.

She quickly tells him, “The guy you took to Rosalie’s shop? He’s okay, but we’ve got a hell of a lot of them attacking us.” She’s busy kicking a couple of zombies off their position while she says this. Hank gets another negative about Nick’s location and she tells him that she’s not sure how long they can hold out. She barely gets a zombie knocked off her feet at that and apparently drops the call. Hank wastes no time passing the word to get all available units to the container yard. Wu makes sure that Franco gets the word.

As the next wave of zombies coming up that crane in the yard can attest, the reinforcements had better hurry … or, as Monroe puts it, “This is not getting better.”

There’s a slightly revised opening sequence, including Adalind Voging from the pilot. Personally, I think that they may actually have gotten it right.

Apparently, Renard has either a lot more neck strength or life than the pair that jumped him counted on because he’s still alive. But enough is enough. He Voges, letting the monster inside loose. Said monster headbutts the guy grabbing him from behind and really gives the pair a righteous thrashing.

Rosalie and Monroe do a double team to take down one zombie, but don’t really have time to celebrate because Juliette is telling them that the zombies keep coming. Well, yes, dear, that’s what zombies do … along with eating brains.

Monroe Voges into full-fledged Bludbad himself. On a night like tonight, it’s exactly the kind of monster you want on your side. The big bad hippie takes care of the wave, but it makes Rosalie back up a bit in fear at the look, making Monroe Voge back.

Thankfully, the cop cavalry has at last arrived with blaring sirens. As soon as they get out of the car, Franco proclaims, “Holy crap, there’s a lot of them.”

Wu then gets off his best crack yet: “Whatever kind of drug this is, I hope I never see it again.”

Hank is barking out orders when Juliette hails him from the top of the containers. She tells Hank about Nick still being somewhere in the yard, but Hank points out that they still need to get control of this section before they can do anything about that.

Speaking of control, the Captain is right on top of his situation, kicking the last of the zombies around like a football while in full Voge. He finally realizes that a cell is going off as he determines that his foes are fallen, which makes him Voge back. It’s Nick’s cell, which apparently fell out of its owner’s pocket when he went down the hole.

Upon the Captain answering it, Hank immediately asks if Nick is with him.

“No, my brother has him,” Renard says grimly.

“Your brother?” Hank says back, not quite up to speed on the whole family relationship.

“No time to explain,” Renard points out. “Where are you?”

They both determine that they’re all in the same yard. Cap’s in the NW corner while Hank is “right in the middle.” Picking up his Glock, Renard lets his detective know that he’s on his way. Hank takes the time to knock one of the zombies out while the rest of the cops get this crowd under control.

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While Team Nick is climbing down, Renard tells them to get in his vehicle. Juliette insists that they need to find Nick here. Renard fills them in on what they don’t know, including the part where Erik is going to get him out of the country. With Hank riding shotgun, they make a run for the airport. On the drive up, Renard tells them about the box he saw. Rosalie, looking as if she’s dreading the answer, asks what kind of box? He confirms her worst fears on it being a coffin and deduces that Nick is now in zombie mode. Juliette is taking the news about as well as you would expect … and I actually don’t mean that in a bitchy way for once. With the right paperwork, Nick can be taken out “legally, no questions asked.”

Monroe then realizes that this means that the Baron works for Erik. Renard adds, “This madness was just a sideshow to distract us from what they were really after.”

“Nick,” Juliette says, her mouth apparently as dry as freshly picked cotton.

Then Rosalie, struggling to find her own voice, says that she’s thinking Nick will react differently than the others. After all, he’s a Grimm … and, as Rosalie points out, “They’re not exactly normal.”

Pause button: That was the point of “Mr. Sandman” last season. In order to see the Wesen, a Grimm would need physiology that would have to be necessarily different, similar to the way a predator animal adapts certain traits to conquer his environment. Leads to another good question, though: What if the cure doesn’t work as well on Nick? Unpause.

Meanwhile, the Baron is overseeing his precious cargo being loaded on the plane. He takes a moment to look inside at his prize and gloats, “Just a few more minutes, my young Grimm, and for all intents and purposes, you will be dead and on your way to your new home … or should I say, castle?” He then orders the men to “load our guest up.”

Hank is on the phone with the airport, trying to get the private plane stopped. Juliette then asks the sensible question of whether they’ve enough antidote for Nick. Rosalie just says, “I hope so.”

In spite of Hank’s wishes that the van be detained, it’s already on the move. The Baron is just getting onto the plane when an airport prowl car rolls up. Oh, this is not going to end well ….

Upon being informed that the plane is grounded and that his ID is wanted, the Baron comes down the steps saying, “But of course ….” Uh-oh.

One of the cops gets on the plane while the other one is about to be zombified. The cop on the plane doesn’t have that much trouble spotting the coffin … or the lock on it. Then he hears the Baron’s laugh as the zombie juice hits his partner in the face. Looks like it’s time for his dose, too, and he gets it about two seconds after he gets off the plane.

In other gruesome news, Stefania has finally completed the whole heart extraction from the late, unlamented Frau Pech in Germany. In what I’m guessing is either German or Rom, she tells her son Yanko to “get the box” and her son Miguel to get the wax … on the double. Ugly as this all is, the really gruesome part is that the damn heart is still beating.

Pause button: On a personal, catty note, I’m surprised that the scheming old biddy actually had a heart to pull out in the first place. Unpause.

The box is no ordinary one. The lid is carved in the form of a star, emblazoned with occult symbols of various kinds (which makes sense, given the kind of territory the Rom have covered over the centuries) and I’m willing to bet that the white wood on it is a very specific and special kind. The wax is as red as the blood on Stefania’s hands and pouring into an indentation in the center of the box. It goes straight into other canals around it to hit a mini-cistern on each of the five sides. She orders her boys to bring her Adalind. I get one of my usual uneasy feelings that she is about to do something nasty and unexpected to little Ms. Hexenbiest.

She then tells Pech, “I’m sorry, my old friend. But better your heart than mine.”

Pause button: Wait a minute. Did she just admit that she was a Hexenbiest herself with that? Unpause.

Meanwhile, the two now-comatose officers are lying on the ground as Team Nick and the Captain’s transport pulls up. Do I even need to say that, despite Juliette’s “No, no, no, no,” the plane is taking off, and quickly, into the air?

Renard is turning away in disgust. He tells Juliette that “in a matter of minutes, that plane will over international waters” and thus out of their reach. Rosalie brings up scrambling some jets, but Hank points out that only applies to terror threats. Monroe asks where they would be taking him. Renard mentions somewhere Erik could control him. “My best guess? Austria.”

Then Juliette does something that does a hell of a lot to redeem her in my eyes. She gives Renard the slap of ages – nice, hard, and vicious as a cat-o-nine tails. She follows this up with, “Your family is responsible for this. I swear to God, you’d better get him back!” The implication being that if he doesn’t, there will be hell to pay. Can’t say I blame her.

Apparently, neither does Renard, who manages to hold onto his cool and promises that he will do “everything in my power” to keep Nick out of their clutches. However, that still means he’s not going to be able to stop the plane. While this bit of conversation is going on, Hank gets a call. It’s Wu in riot gear, saying, “Hey, I think we’ve got most of them ….”

He just misses getting tackled by a zombie before adding, “… handled.”

Hank orders the zombies locked up in the container and promises to send somebody down. Think I know who -yep, Hank taps Rosalie to make more of the cure.

Juliette is not willing to let the previous topic of discussion drop: “WHAT ABOUT NICK?!”

Renard promises to check the flight plan that the plane filed to track them. It’s still too early to treat the cops on the ground, so they’re coming with the rest of them.

On the Lear Jet of Doom, the Baron is enjoying some fine, first-class rum and a cigar in his seat. He hears Nick knocking around in his coffin. He seems curious as the knocking continues then concerned.

Quick cut back to the Gypsy camp, where Stefania’s sons have just returned to their mom’s tent. Frau Pech’s corpse is still tastelessly decorating the floor. Adalind, whose experience with gruesomely mangled dead bodies apparently never went past horror films, is having a hard time looking at that particular corpse, just can’t seem to get her breath.

“I’m going to have throw the carpet away,” Stephania says, brandishing a dagger. “You just can’t get Hexenbiest blood out of anything.”

“What’s that for?” Adalind asks, looking at the knife.

“You,” Stephania says.

“Looks to me like you just already cut out her heart,” Adalind points out.

“Oh, that’s just the beginning of the ‘Contaminata Ritualis,'” Stefania says with a bit of glee in her voice. “Don’t you know what’s next?”

No, I was fairly sure at this point that Adalind doesn’t and she is going to enjoy it not at all. I had no idea how right I was.

As Stefania puts it, to gain the power of the Hexenbiest, you have to know what it is to have been the Hexenbiest you took the heart from, “walk a mile in her feet.”

“What?” Adalind exclaims, coming to the obvious conclusion.

“Well, not literally ….” Stefania corrects. Color me surprised.

No, all Adalind has to do is cut off Pech’s hands and feet, and pop out both of her eyeballs. Slapping the dagger into Adalind’s hands, Stefania cheerfully adds, “We’ll get on with it as soon as you’re done.”

Adalind takes a few moments to look at that knife as if she were just told to perform open heart surgery after watching an experienced surgeon just do the same thing.

Back on the plane, banging on the steel coffin lid is getting louder and louder. The Baron’s face has gone from smug to concerned to very, very afraid, considering the dents that Nick’s bare fists are making. For some reason, he gets closer to it. If I were him, I’d be grabbing that sword stick and getting ready to do some crippling.

Nick finally busts his way out of the box. The Baron spits another dose of his juice in Nick’s face to pacify him. It seems to do the trick. The Baron looks pleased and turns away, saying, “Bonsoir.”

Then something very bad happens. The juice disappears from Nick’s face, his eyes open back up, and he charges the Baron in a full, unthinking rage. After Nick throws the Baron across the cabin, the pilot makes the major mistake of checking on things while leaving the cockpit door open. As Nick is punching the poor joker out, the Baron reaches for his mostly empty bottle of rum and bashes it over Nick’s head. That just pisses Nick off even more, causing him to tackle the Baron, taking them all the way to the cockpit. Can you say, “Emergency landing,” boys and girls?

We then see Adalind finishing up her butcher’s work on Pech’s corpse. As Stefania takes back the knife, she says, “Bones always dull the blade, but you’ve done well … very well.”

The sons gather up the loose appendages, putting them into a bucket. Adalind asks, “Now, what?” Stefania gleefully replies, “A little walk in the woods.”

Acting like a pouty teenager getting ready for Prom Night, Adalind asks, “Can I clean up first?”

“You might want to wait,” Stefania advises her.

Then, in German or Rom, she tells one of her sons to bring the “kyle-hauka,” which I’m translating as “claw hammer,” given the mean-looking tool that is grabbed.

It’s a gorgeous, sunny day out in the Schwarzwald, the exact opposite of what you would expect for what I suspect is coming. They keep walking until they reach a poppy field (insert your favorite Wizard of Oz joke here). The party finally comes to a stop and Stefania takes off a piece of the lid to reveal a hexagonal opening. She then throws the loose part up in the air and it starts hovering like your classic flying saucer. It even moves like one, swerving off to the party’s left … then right … then landing with a thud just a few feet ahead of them.

Stefania advises that this is where Adalind must start. As to what, Stefania says, “To see if you will be accepted.”

She hands Adalind the claw hammer and orders her to dig in the spot where the saucer landed. Getting whiny about her chores again, Adalind asks, “How many tests do you have?”

“It is not us who are testing you,” Stefania corrects her.

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Meanwhile, the Lear is continuing to make its unscheduled stop in parts unknown. The Baron tries ordering Nick with apparently what works on his other zombies: “Obey me, for I am your master!”

Hey, ever stop to think that this is what Erik pretty much says behind your back on a regular basis, Baron?

Nick isn’t that impressed and punches the Baron out a bit more. It doesn’t take too long for the Lear to hit the Oregon treeline and go down with a crunch. The glass in on the cockpit shatters on impact.

Over at Rosalie’s spice shop, Juliette is pouring the cure ingredients into a beaker, asking how much they expect them to make. Rosalie says, “As much as we can.”

Juliette points out that they’re running out of time on this. Some of the afflicted will die before they can get the treatment at this rate. Monroe comes on in with a pile of jars full of ingredients and proposes going after Nick to Austria if need be.

Rosalie asks if he’s serious. Monroe, in his usual gung-ho fashion, says, “Hell, yeah, I’m serious. Whatever they’re going to do to Nick, they’re going to do it soon and I don’t entirely trust Captain Renard. If you recall, he’s got a little of that Royal blood coursing through his veins, too.”

He then drops and breaks a bottle on the counter. Rosalie advises her boyfriend to cool it, but Monroe is still hung up on the fact that they took Nick, “not to mention that they left a hell of a lot of mess to deal with.”

Juliette pipes up with, “I’m with you. Let’s go get him.”

Rosalie, wondering if these two have forgotten, points out, “This is the Royal Family you’re talking about.”

“I know who we’re dealing with,” Monroe says back.

“They have money … protection,” Rosalie goes on to say, hoping that the point will seep into their skulls. “We wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“Still doesn’t mean we let them get away with it,” Monroe counters, citing the Eleventh Commandment.

Juliette adds this pertinent bit: “If Nick doesn’t do what they want, they’re going to kill him. They’re never going to just let him go.”

“Exactly,” Monroe says. “So, the sooner we get there, the better.”

Then Monroe hits upon something that I hoped was coming. He points out that Nick has helped quite a few people in the last two years and it might be time to call in the markers.

“So what are you going to do? Raise an army?” Rosalie asks.

Monroe counters that he’s just going to get “a few people who are willing to put their lives on the line for something that really matters.” He advises them to keep making their cure while he makes some calls.

That’s when Rosalie gets a brainstorm for the cure … the broken bottle has excreted a gas. “What about an inhalant?” she asks.

Monroe proves that his head isn’t where it should be by asking, “What? We get them to smoke it?”

Rosalie looks a little disgusted at her boyfriend’s witlessness as she says, “No, breathe it.”

That’s when Juliette comes in with a way to do it, which she probably knows as a vet. With the Williamson Ether Synthesis, they can turn all the liquid into gas. It just needs lot of alcohol and glass containers to create the effect. As Monroe puts it, “a Molotov cocktail, except it doesn’t explode … we hope.”

At the station, Renard himself is wasting no time going back to his office to shake his own trees. He gives his inside man a call. The inside man still hasn’t figured out why Erik went to Portland, but Renard tells him not to bother, anymore. The Prince of Portland is issuing new marching orders. Time to deal with Erik once and for all. He gives his inside man the word: “Give it to Missner.”

“Are you serious?” Inside Man asks, sounding as if he heard Renard just say, “Release the Kraken!” He asks his boss if he’s thought about the ramifications that bringing Missner into this equation will have.

“Well, Erik should have thought about that before he took the Grimm,” Renard says, his mind firmly made up.

The inside man asks the sensible question: “Well, what about me?”

Over a knock on the Captain’s door, Renard tells him to stay close to the Family and “don’t forget to look shocked.”

It turns out to be Hank at the door with the flight plan. It was a direct flight straight to Vienna and no contact has been able to be made with the plane. Erik isn’t onboard (pity), but there is a pilot, a co-pilot, and one “Baron Samedi.” The Captain does burst one of Hank’s bubbles by saying the body ID for Nick was “Thomas Schirach”. There’s nothing they can do legally, but the Captain is going to handle this personally. “This is between my brother and me,” Renard declares.

Hank reminds him that this also involves his partner and adds that if something should happen to Nick –

“My brother … will be dealt with,” Renard interrupts.

“Well, somebody’s gotta get Nick,” Hank points out, before walking out without another word.

Hank needn’t have worried. The plane didn’t even make it to the Pacific before going down. It’s in a lot of pieces, as you can imagine. The Baron didn’t survive the crash and apparently the same looks to be true of the co-pilot. The pilot is crawling his way out when Zombie Nick grabs him by the ankles. Nick’s completely out of his head at this point, the better to match the Dawn of the Dead look he’s sporting. Walking away from the plane, his senses turned up way too high, he hears a heartbeat and follows it.

Meanwhile, Wu is dragging another guest into the Shipping Container Motel, riot shields and his officers keeping all the current guests inside. Team Nick comes in to let them know about the treatment and Monroe proposes making some noise at the other end of the container, away from the doors, to keep them distracted.

Monroe notices the baton on one of the riot-geared equipped officers and asks to borrow it. He makes everyone else preps to throw in the gas. The doors open, and Juliette and Rosalie toss in the gas. The doors quickly close up. Franco asks how they’ll know if it works. Monroe compares it to popcorn: “When it stops making noise, it’s … done.”

“Or they’re dead,” Wu adds.

Hank is getting a call at his desk. After hearing the news, he’s wondering when “it” happened. My guess is the plane crash. Renard’s on the phone, too, saying that the hit on Erik can’t happen at the airport. It has to be at his car “and avoid collateral, if you can.” Kudos for that last part, actually. This city’s suffered enough collateral over the last day and night. Hank proves me right about finding out about the plane crash. The theorized area is Mt. Sidera.

Nick is wandering around in a hyper-focused state of mind. Everything is coming in way too loud for him to be able to process it. Then he sees an oncoming car and wanders towards it. It gets worse once he gets out in the open. He starts hearing voices, coming from a tavern called Tippy Canoe. He makes his way there, looking and sounding for all the world to see either pissed off or dealing with the world’s worst case of constipation.

Back at the yard, the container has gone silent. Then Rosalie starts hearing human voices; so does Monroe. The gas has worked. Wu accepts the suggestion that they now open the doors, but he advises his officer to be careful until they know what they’re dealing with, adding, “If one of them bites me again ….”

Once it’s determined that Dr. Rosalie made the right call, she smiles and tells everyone that they’ll be okay. As everyone is getting this sorted out, Monroe’s phone rings. It’s Hank with the bad news about the plane. Juliette insists on putting it on speaker so that they can all hear it. Monroe tries to dissuade her, but she wins out. Hank tells them about the crash and Juliette, finally shedding that shrinking violet image that annoyed me last season, insists on knowing where because she’s coming, whether Hank wants it or not.

Nick’s hearing problems keep getting worse as he goes through the parking lot, as evidenced by the crack of the neon in his ears.

As it turns out, the pilot AND co-pilot managed to survive the crash. The Baron, as previously noted, was not so lucky. Renard IDs the Baron to Hank as “an associate of my brother’s.” Hank finds the forged passport and the banged up coffin.

Seeing no Nick, Renard concludes, “He’s infected and on the move.”

“I wouldn’t want to get in his way.” Hank adds.

Renard orders Hank to clue them into any 911 calls in the area.

Nick walks into the tavern, standing out from this big happy crowd the way a beer drinker would at a Jonestown picnic. The noise of the drinks being poured, the heartbeat, the voices, the crashes of the glasses, it’s all pounding on his head.

The bartender wisely observes, “I don’t know what he’s had too much of, but he’s had WAY too much of it.” Oh, if you only knew.

Somebody tries going out the door and points out that Nick is in the way. He’s your standard working-class stereotype for the Pacific Northwest – big, burly and with a beard. To Nick’s credit, he doesn’t do anything until the doofus makes a grab for him. He then backhands the doofus into a table, knocking him out.

Then, thanks to the overload of feedback, he starts knocking out every patron in sight while the bartender ducks down and calls 911. Everybody starts clearing out of there in a hurry. Slowly, Nick hears his heartbeat slow down. That’s when some of the patrons try making a play. Given Nick’s highly trained skills and inability to feel pain, it’s a losing proposition from the start. The guy who helped kick this off even pulls a switchblade on him – to no avail.

Pause button: Nick’s infection is very different from the others. He’s not aggressively attacking everyone. He’s mostly just reacting, trying to sort through the feedback in his head. Maybe his system is trying to fight the infection, or did it have something to do with the extra dose the Baron poured in his face? Unpause.

Team Nick rolls up at the crash site in Monroe’s VW Bug. Renard fills them in on Nick possibly still being alive and that they need to be prepared about Nick’s infected state. That’s when Hank gets a call on the 911 at Tippy Canoe.

Meanwhile, the bartender is coming out from underneath the bar to look at what’s left of it, pump action shotgun in hand. Nick takes the shotgun off his hands and the bartender is only too glad to let him have it. Then Nick catches sight of his reflection in the bar mirror. He throws the shotgun at it.

The bartender is just running outside when Team Nick and Renard pull up. Monroe knows Nick’s scent from all the time his best friend’s been living under his roof. That’s why he volunteers himself to go in with Hank and Renard. Rosalie warns everybody before they go in that Nick is different than before from all this business. She therefore echoes Renard’s assertion that they need to be careful. The boys go inside while Rosalie and Juliette cover the front.

Renard, Monroe and Hank find a lot of wreckage, human and otherwise, waiting for them. Monroe keeps sucking in the air deep through his nose, looking for Nick’s scent. He catches it in the back.

To Hank’s question on whether or not he can follow Nick, Monroe shrugs and says, “I can try.”

Renard then adds, “We’ve got to stop him ’cause it’s only going to get worse.” He then tells them to go after Nick.

Back in the Schwarzwald, Adalind is still plugging away at that hole. What some wicked witches will do for power, huh? Stefania finally declares it deep enough.

Adalind then says, “Thank God.”

Stefania says more or less what I was thinking: “I wouldn’t.”

She instructs Adalind to put the pieces of Frau Pech into the hole. Handing her the box, she tells Adalind to “put the box in the earth.” After an expectant look from Adalind, Stefania tells her, “It must be buried with your hands.”

“Of course it must,” Adalind grumbles.

Pause button: Okay, what the hell did Adalind think this was going to be when she agreed to this? It’s an initiation ritual, not an online order from Amazon. The former is usually vicious, terrifying, and rips you right down the middle. If my guess is right, Adalind is going to wind up looking back on all this hard physical labor she thought she was too good for and wish that she were still doing that. Unpause.

Stefania gives her charge one of her knowing smiles as Adalind finishes the job. Stefania orders her to stand up.

“If you have been accepted, we will soon see,” Stefania says.

Adalind goes back to looking uneasy. After a few seconds, she says, “Nothing’s happening.” Yeah, especially in your head!

Stefania shushs her and we all go back to waiting. Then the poppies start drying up and dying off, starting from the spot where Adalind buried the pieces. Adalind declares it creepy, but she ain’t seen nothing yet. That’s when the hole starts throwing up vapors. Sure enough, ghostly hands reach up to her. Stefania tells her that she has been accepted. Now Adalind needs to gather all the dead flowers. Adalind goes back to moaning: “Really?”

No, this is a practical joke just for a witless little gorgio like you. Actually, that might not be much of a joke, now that I think about it.

Juliette is nervously looking around the parking lot of Tippy Canoe when the cops roll up. Renard comes out the front and issues orders for a cordon and ambulances. Then he tells Juliette and Rosalie that they need to find Nick before he kills somebody, “because there’s no coming back from that.”

Hank and Monroe are tracking Nick in the woods. Monroe loses his scent for a minute before catching it again. Nick is still in freakout over his sense being turned up, especially in the woods. That’s when he rolls up on a house out in the middle of nowhere, a family coming home from a late night. Ohhh, no.

We get one last closeup of Nick and then this helpful caption: “This ain’t over yet.” You don’t say.

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Review: Okay, this one definitely gets points for its relentless forward motion and having a solid (if predictable) plot. This thing moved like a bullet train derailing and with just as much of a mess in its wake. Thankfully, nobody did anything too stupid or unexplainable for once, which is great.

Still, I have to say that I’m not as excited about this particular two-parter as I was about the ending of the season two premiere last year. I’m ready to get this whole “Nick as a zombie” business over with so that we can get to the fallout that we’ve been promised will be doing a number on him for the rest of the season. May it be less stupid than last year’s long-running subplot.

As to the other developments, Adalind has definitely picked up Juliette’s annoying personality traits in the course of this whole “re-Hexenbiestification” sequence. She comes off as your typical spoiled American who has had everything handed to her before now. Somehow, I can’t help but wonder if having Frau Pech’s soul inside her is going to have some really nasty blowback that Stefania is not telling her.

Renard has set his own ball in motion that may knock him for a loop before it’s over. Juliette has just proven to be one of the few people who could slap the Prince of Portland silly and get away with it. Monroe is ready to go to war and Rosalie is doing what she can to keep them from doing anything TOO rash. Lots and lots interesting developments here … here’s to a good season!

You can buy Grimm on DVD/Blu-ray or Amazon Instant Video, or watch recent episodes free on its official site.

About JHaney

J. Keith Haney was born in Misawa, Japan, but has lived most of his life in the state of Tennessee. His favourite all-time film is the original Clash of the Titans, mainly for the Ray Harryhausen monsters. Due to that film, he got a college-level book on World Mythology when he was nine, of which he memorized the Greek section by age 12. His first encounter with Lovecraft (though he didn't know it at the time) was the original Ghostbusters, which he saw in its original theatrical release. In addition to all things Lovecraft, he is an old-school gamer, history buff and fierce advocate for the steampunk genre. He enjoyed his first professional sale and publication in 2010 with his steampunk short story, "Grand Guginol", which can be found at Short Story Me!. His favourite all-time Lovecraft story is "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath", which he considers an important, forgotten forerunner to Tolkein's Lord of the Rings saga.

JHaneyColumn: Retronomicon: Can You Hear Me Knocking?: Grimm 3.01 (season premiere): The Ungrateful Dead