In your wildest fairy tale fantasies, did you ever expect Grimm to feature a somber rumination on dementia, eldercare, and dying with dignity in its final season? I didn’t, but I’m certainly glad it did — and in an episode where seemingly divergent plot threads tidily weave together in the end, to boot.
First, let’s check in on Eve (but really, Eviette, given her downright animated personality these days). She’s decided she needs to be proactive and kill the mirror monster, rather than waiting for it to get her, so she asks to borrow Adalind’s mother’s Hexen-books to learn more about creating portals to other worlds. When Adalind hesitates, Eve points out only she and Diana can see the symbols, so they could both be in danger.
That does the trick, although Adalind dispatches Nick to tell Eve not to tackle this alone. (Adalind worries that Eve’s looking for redemption, then murmurs, “Aren’t we all?” Gotta say, the apologetic, cautiously supportive dynamic that’s emerged between the two women this season has been welcome.) When Nick finds Eve up to her still-bruised neck in books with skulls on the front, he tells her he’s worried, and she promises not to make any solo moves.
The oversized Hexen-books give Eve some trouble. First it’s the letters scattered across the page that she has to shake like an Etch A Sketch, and then it’s the book locked with a stake through a hasp that she has to woge to open. Eventually, she finds a chapter on blood magic. (In the history of magical TV shows, has blood magic ever been used for cheerful, feel-good spells?) She flashes back to her blood coating the hand mirror and excitedly calls Adalind to get her take on whether blood can be used as a form of payment to pass into the other world. Adalind says maybe, then wisely asks if Eve can be sure it would be a two-way trip.
Now to the cases of the week. First, we have the murder of a woman walking to her car after dinner. We don’t see who attacked her, but we can tell it was vicious, and the lack of any stolen items leads Nick and company to suspect a Wesen. Wu discovers a similar murder that happened 10 days ago, and available security footage shows an elderly man with a cane walking past both victims just before their deaths. Coincidence? Prolly not, and yet he looks harmless and the picture’s too blurry to identify him.
Crime the second: In a nursing home, orderly Mason Wilcox is escorting dementia patient Mrs. Cutler to her room as she reminisces about running through the woods with “the sweet taste of blood in my mouth.” “That’s a new one,” Mason replies, humoring her… until she woges into a white-furred Blutbad (I think) and attacks Mason. Then a nurse comes along to find Mason, who thought he was defending himself against a monster, choking a 91-year-old woman. Awkward.
That night, an insectoid Wesen creeps into Mrs. Cutler’s room, opens a window, and inserts his feelers into her nose. The next morning, she’s found dead, and the police get involved because of Mason’s “assault” the day before.
The physician on call, Dr. Landeaux, tells Nick and Hank that Mrs. Cutler’s vital signs were good after the altercation with Mason, which means her death was likely from natural causes. Still, because of the nurse’s testimony, Hank and Nick bring Mason in for questioning. He describes Mrs. Cutler’s yellow eyes, furry face, and teeth like a wild dog and is shocked when the police believe him. But privately, Hank wonders how poor Mason is ever going to mount a defense in court.
Mrs. Cutler’s autopsy results complicate things when they reveal an unnaturally high level of the toxic saliva from an assassin bug. The ME is baffled about how so much of it ended up in Mrs. Cutler’s system, then shrugs. “I suppose if any place was going to have a giant assassin bug, it’d be Portland.” Man, they should really recruit her to the team.
Cut to the spice shop, where Rosalee’s selling an enormous dose of melatonin to one of her regular customers, Elizabeth Stanton, who says it’s hard for her to get out of the house these days. (“Oh, you don’t want to take too much melatonin, Mrs. Stanton. Trust me,” Monroe advises.) Rosalee asks after her husband, and Mrs. Stanton looks like she wants to say something more, but in the end, she thanks Rosalee and leaves.
When Rosalee bemoans growing older, Monroe busts out a Yeats quote: “But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face.” Relationship. Goals.