Renard attempts to rid himself of his obsession with Juliette, while a new alliance forms in Vienna

By Emily Rome
October 20, 2012 at 02:02 AM EDT
Scott Green/NBC
S2 E8
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After a couple episodes focused more on our Portland heroes’ story arcs, this week Grimm shifted back to procedural mode, putting Nick and Hank on the grisly case of murdered high school students.

But this episode, called “The Other Side,” was not without some forward momentum for the continuing stories of Juliette and Renard’s potion-induced obsession with each other and of Adalind’s return. Once the show established the group of ill-fated academic decathlon kids, it moved on to Nick and Juliette getting ready for a dinner in Renard’s honor – he received an award for his work with the Portland Police. A thank you from Nick to Juliette for accompanying him to a dinner he hopes isn’t too dull is met with Juliette’s response of, “Of course. This is what couples do – they go to each other’s boring work functions.”

So they’re a couple now? A couple that’s cool with exchanging casual kisses in front of Nick’s co-workers? How much time has passed since the end of last week’s episode? I thought the “What’s wrong?” “Me” moment meant another stall in rekindling their relationship. But Juliette seems to be cool with getting back on familiar terms with the boyfriend she has no memories of. And, hey, I don’t blame her at all – it’s about time she realizes the sweet, handsome, patient man in her house is really a good guy. But it just seemed like a sudden leap forward for them. I wonder if Nick is still sleeping on the couch.

Nick may feel like things are starting to get back to normal between the two of them, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s got some competition, thanks to the continuing effects of the kiss that broke Adalind’s spell on Juliette. It’s clear that Juliette still has thoughts of Renard even though she’s growing more comfortable with Nick again – there’s her forced smile when Nick tells her that his boss will be giving a long speech, and Renard and Juliette’s eyes repeatedly meet throughout that speech. And there’s no denying that Renard is still obsessed with her. He drives Juliette home from the dinner when Nick and Hank are called away to a case. Then the police captain sneaks into the house (really, Nick, you’re a cop and you’re dumb enough to hide the spare key in the most obvious place possible?) and spies on Juliette in the shower. I so, so wanted Nick to arrive home then and discover Renard in his bedroom. That would have been a fun encounter. But I guess we’ll have to keep waiting patiently for Nick to finally figure out that his boss is the Royal in Portland and that he’s harboring feelings for his girlfriend.

NEXT: When Renard met Monroe… When Adalind met Eric…

Renard sneaks back out of the house without getting caught. He’s barely keeping himself together – control isn’t coming so easily to the half-Hexenbiest now. So he goes to Rosalee’s spice shop for help, where Monroe is still covering for her while she’s out of town with her sick aunt.

It is so great to see these two together – Monroe’s goofy, awkward openness clashes amazingly with Renard’s no-nonsense, stern seriousness. And Renard is so uncomfortable and embarrassed by this situation. You can almost see him blushing – a royal flush! Renard, in a sad attempt to be on the DL in a black jacket and aviators, asks Monroe to cook something up for him to cure his obsessive behavior. I’m surprised Renard – who’s been so carefully keeping Nick safe and within Portland for his own purposes, whatever they are – hasn’t figured out how Monroe is, that Nick has a Blutbad friend who helps him with his Wesen cases. But Renard seems completely unaware of how close he’s gotten to revealing to a friend of Nick’s that he’s half-Wesen (I assume Monroe knows that this customer is a Wesen – unless it’s commonplace for non-Wesen to come into the shop and to talk to them about “potion-y, dark arts, maleficium situations”), and Monroe, though he says, “Do I know you…?” doesn’t pick up on who this is.

When Renard returns the next day to check in on what concoction Monroe has decided is the best cure for his affliction, there isn’t much good news. There is a treatment for the physical component, “a reverse-Viagra, if you will,” Monroe says. But his emotional longing for Juliette requires a dual treatment, meaning that Renard would have to bring in Juliette to be cured of his obsession with her. Renard promptly tells Monroe that that would be impossible. And the scene ends with this warning from Monroe: “A condition such as yours left untreated could be downright dangerous… This could get really gnarly, and not just for you but for anyone standing between you and the person you’re hung up on.” Watch out, Nick!

Meanwhile, back in Vienna, a meeting of the devious minds is going down. Adalind has brought herself and her history with Renard to the attention of the police captain’s brother, Eric, who is very captivated by the pretty young thing who also appears to have it in for Sean Renard.

It is in Eric’s castle that we learn how a prince ended up in Portland: Eric tells Adalind that his family was not too pleased when they discovered that one of his father’s mistresses was a Hexenbiest. So Sean’s mother ran away with the young half-Royal to America.

It’s not clear what plot is afoot with these two, but their combined desire that something ill befall both Renard and Nick can’t mean anything good.

NEXT: What happens when you mess with a Wesen’s DNA

As for the case of the week, Nick and Hank were busy tracking down the killer of high schoolers prepping for an academic decathlon. The killer turned out to be one of the decathlon kids, a boy named Pierce, though he wasn’t aware of his murderous acts. His mother, a geneticist and a Genial Innocua (Wesen from the Galapagos Islands who look like lizards and were named by someone determined to give them a very obvious name), had altered his DNA at birth. Turns out Pierce can morph into both his natural Wesen state and another Wesen, one that’s not so genial and innocuous, a Lowen. That other side is the side of him that’s been doing the killing, unbeknownst to Pierce. So we’ve learned that it is possible for someone to morph into two different Wesen, but we have yet to see what a child of two different types of Wesen parents looks like. (Maybe someday we’ll see a half-Blutbad, half-Fuchsbau baby, nudge nudge wink wink, Monroe and Rosalee.)

This episode spent more time with Nick and Hank’s case than the past couple episodes have, and I found myself just wanting the show to get back to its mytharc stories. Did anyone else feel that way? I’ve been trying to figure out why I tend to be so uninterested in these weekly cases – maybe it’s because the show’s mythology has gotten so much stronger this season, maybe it’s because Grimm’s cases veer toward the too predictable – but here’s what I think it really is: The problem with Grimm’s monsters/cases of the week is that, unlike most great sci-fi/fantasy TV out there, they don’t reflect what’s going on with the protagonists. The cases in Grimm move things forward for Nick only to the level that they get him more in touch with his Grimmness. I can recall no episodes where Nick sees himself or his experiences reflected in the victims or the criminals he deals with. There’s nothing like the episode “Marionette” in Fringe when the words “I looked into her eyes and knew it wasn’t her” from the case of the week’s culprit spurred Olivia to finally tell Peter how she really felt about Fauxlivia. There’s nothing like “Fresh Blood” in Supernatural, when hell-bound Dean finds himself identifying with a vampire who doesn’t care anymore, who feels like he’s dead already. On Grimm the A and the B story aren’t really linked by theme, which is a key to making genre episodic television consistently compelling. Maybe it’s harder to connect upstanding lawman Nick with monsters and criminals, but unless Grimm starts to find a way to do that, it’s going risk losing viewers’ interest in its cases of the week scenes. I love this show dearly, but it’s not without it’s flaws, and this is a flaw I’d like to see the writers fix.

I’m curious to hear what you think about this, Grimmsters. Does the show keep you interested in the monster of the week scenes? Is this something you’d like to see change, or am I just forcing the traits of sci-fi TV onto a show that’s a procedural at heart?

And tell me more about what you thought of this episode. Who were you more excited to see finally get a scene together – Renard and Monroe or Eric and Adalind? What do you think is going to happen with the intern we got a brief introduction to? And how do you feel about the state of the Nick/Juliette/Renard situation?

I definitely owe you guys some quotables after depriving you of them for a few weeks. Here you go – enjoy the delightful quips of Monroe, Adalind and Eric!

Eric: What could be worse than torture or murder?

Adalind: Betrayal.

Eric: Right you are. What do know about betrayal?

Adalind: Well, for one, thing, I know your brother Sean.

Eric: Then I would say you’re well-versed in betrayal.

Adalind: The circumstances of our discord were quite… grim.

Renard: I need something for obsessive behavior.

Monroe: OK, now just to be clear you have obsessive behavior or you want obsessive behavior? Because we can deal with both.

“I was young and he was charming. That’s a volatile combination.” – Adalind, about Renard

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

Read more:

Gallery: Special makeup effects designer on how to create a ‘Grimm’ monster — EXCLUSIVE

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