Rosalee and Eve uncover the shocking meaning of the mystery cloth's symbols
You think you had a tough time getting to sleep last night? At least you’re not facing down Grimm’s creepy new monster, which taps into those primal fears about what goes bump in the night.
Twitchy, down-on-his-luck Dan is staying at the publicly subsidized Englewood Hotel, where you’d never want to walk around barefoot and bedbugs are the least of your problems—although it’s probably got those, too.
When he enters the hotel, both the manager and the lady down the hall yell at him to keep it down at night, while an ominous elderly man with an oxygen tank and a wheelchair, who may as well be holding a sign that says “suspect me!” in his wizened hands, watches with beady little eyes.
Dan engages all the locks in his room and nails a huge chain across the windows. He peeks under the bed and in the closet, then strips to his boxers and nervously climbs into bed, clutching his hammer.
Sleep finally comes, but he’s awakened by a green vapor that slithers into his nose. Then we see that he is being menaced by a creature with a four-way split mouth and glowing green teeth in rows all the way down its throat.
Thanks, Grimm. None of us wanted to sleep tonight.
When he wakes up the next morning, he freaks and races outside, ranting and mumbling. A kind passerby offers to take him to a shelter so he can get some sleep. “You want me to sleep?” Dan asks incredulously. He leaps on the good Samaritan and beats his head into the payment. Man, no good deed, amirite?
Meanwhile, Nick asks his research team to investigate the photos he took of Eve’s tunnel carvings. It’s a mishmash of centuries and civilizations: Sumerian, Mayan, alphabetic, logographic, symbolic, syllabic. “We need our own Rosetta stone to crack this mess,” Monroe concludes.
Then he has a breakthrough and hypothesizes that a series of seven stars could be the Pleiades constellation. In autumn, these stars rise as the sun sets, and many ancient people associated Pleiades with mourning, which explains the timing of Halloween, the Day of the Dead, and so forth. Plus, you’ve got seven stars, seven Grimm crusaders, seven keys…
As the ideas fly, Eve smiles in happiness, then catches herself. Feelings, man! They consider the possibility that it’s a calendar, but “a calendar of when?” Monroe asks. Eve suggests an event that happened a very, very long time ago, which might tell them where the stick came from. Yeah, I’m starting to think I was waaaaay off on my guess that this was a splinter from Christ’s cross.
At the precinct, Hank asks how the new roommate sitch is going with Nick’s Hexenbiest baby mama girlfriend and his Hexenbiest ex-fiancé, and he declares it weird. Yeah, that’s fair. He starts to fill Hank in on their cloth findings when Wu calls them to the scene of the good Samaritan’s murder. Hank’s relieved. “I’ll take a cold-blooded murder over an unsolvable ancient riddle about the universe any day.”
NEXT: Be very afraid of what goes bump in the night
Hank and Nick quickly track Dan to the Englewood, where the manager, Scott, gives them Dan’s room number. The cranky neighbor lady’s still complaining about noise.
And to be fair, Dan’s still a-hammering away in his room. The police break down the door and arrest him as he gibbers away that he doesn’t know how it gets in, but it won’t let you sleep.
Once he’s hauled away, Hank sighs that he’d like to think it’s a mental health issue, but he’s been a Portland cop (and Wesen-adjacent) for too long. As they leave the Edgewood, Nick casts a long look at old guy in the wheelchair, who’s silently watching. Scott says this is Charles Lynk, who’s been there and been mute for as long as anyone can remember. (Lynk’s middle name: Herring. I see you, Grimm writers.)
Since Dan’s criminal record is clean, Nick speculates that he had a breakdown after encountering a Wesen. In interrogation, Dan, who now is thankfully clad in borrowed sweatpants, announces that it’s Satan, with disgusting breath and a huge mouth. “You can never sleep, never,” he whimpers.
Monrosalee the Wesen whisperers take in the information about the bad breath and declares it an Alpe. They cause paralysis and insomnia while feeding on brain proteins from REM sleep and are attracted to melatonin, which heavy sleepers produce like crazy. Alpes go insane when they don’t feed, while their victims go crazy when they do.
Monroe says an Alpe drove his favorite great aunt, Ada, mad when he was a teenager in Germany, and the team realizes that it could be anyone staying in the hotel. What’s confusing is how the Alpe got into Dan’s room with the doors and windows nailed shut. “These things can’t walk through walls. Can they?” Wu asks. (X-Files fans, did you immediately think of Eugene Victor Tooms? Because I sure did.)
When Hank does some research, he learns the grim (ha!) history of the Englewood: Six suicides and four murders over the last 60 years. The hotel is owned by Beverly Garwood, who lives in Los Angeles. She answers Nick’s phone call in her swank home, which is night-and-day different from the depressing squalor of the Englewood. She says she inherited the hotel from her grandfather, but she isn’t particularly helpful about the backgrounds of her employees.
Time to check in with tall drink of water Renard! A Black Claw operative enters his office and says he’s there to clean up Renard’s mistakes, including the death of Bonaparte, his lost mayorship, and his inability to handle Nick. Despite this, they still want him to pick up where Black Claw left off, but Renard announces that he’s done with all of it. Done. Yes! Time for the final redemption arc now?
At this point, Renard’s openly conversing with Meisner in a busy precinct hallway. Our favorite bearded ghost says he’s not there to haunt Renard but to warn him that two men are waiting by his car to kill him. And sure enough, in the world’s darkest parking garage, two men with guns lurk. Meisner does some ghost mojo to blur their sight so Renard can take them out.
When Renard asks Meisner why he helped, Meisner says, “This time, you chose the right side, Sean.” Renard wants to know if they’re done, and Meisner simply walks away, waves over his shoulder, and vanishes. Now that’s an exit.
Back at the Englewood, the Alpe’s still hungry, and next on its menu is cranky neighbor lady. I was going to snark on her getting a taste of her own medicine, but when she comes to, she runs in a panic from her room, trips, and falls to her death over the staircase wearing an “OK BUT FIRST COFFEE” T-shirt and polka-dot pajama pants. This creeps me out because I’m in a “CATS BOOKS COFFEE” T-shirt and striped pajama pants. Oh my God, am I cranky neighbor lady?
When Nick notices that neighbor lady’s window casing has the remains of old nail holes along it, they decide to set up a sting using Monroe. Rosalee’s not thrilled about this plan, but she agrees to give Monroe a boost of melatonin to make her light sleeper more attractive to the Alpe. The melatonin boost involves an enormous needle that may actually be scarier than the Alpe’s mouth.
NEXT: Eve and Rosalee crack the cloth’s code
Armed with a camera and earbud, Monroe checks into the Englewood, yawning. He locks his room’s doors and windows, sets up the camera, and double-checks that his support team can see and hear all. Then he climbs into bed, wisely declining to slide under the sketchy blankets but putting his head on the pillow, which may be the bravest thing anyone on this show has ever done.
As they watch Monroe sleep, Hank murmurs, “This reminds me of some foreign films my second wife used to drag me to, but this one’s got a better plot.” Then the camera jostles, and the guys leap into action.
The Alpe (and its incredibly muscular thighs—whoa) hits Monroe with the paralytic, then straddles him. But the sound of Nick and Hank pulling a John McClane on the hotel’s glass front door startles it away, and it escapes into a tunnel hidden behind the dresser.
They find manager Scott in the tunnels and give chase. He woges into a Hundjäger and is killed in the ensuing fight. Um, did Scott deserve that? It looked like he was minding his own business, got startled by a cop and a Grimm, and defended himself.
Nobody dwells on this and, since Scott wasn’t their Alpe, they keep moving through the passageway, now joined by unparalyzed Monroe. It’s kind of like Clue as they pop in and out of rooms. The last one they enter is an exceptionally nice suite. But wait, we’ve seen this place before. It’s the owner, Beverly! She doesn’t live in L.A. after all.
Monroe sniffs out that she’s the Alpe and demands justice for Aunt Ada. Everyone woges, and Beverly recognizes Nick as a Grimm. She scoffs that since she never actually killed anyone, she can’t be arrested for anything.
Although she has a point, Nick gives her two options. Option A: Sell the hotel, donate the profits to a homeless shelter, and get out of Portland. Option B? Nick’s a Grimm, and nobody’s going to lose sleep over one less Alpe in the world.
She meekly agrees to call her Realtor in the morning, then woges and charges. In the struggle, she falls and fatally cracks her head against the décor.
In the hallway, Charles Lynk woges into a … wait for it … red herring! He cackles wildly, and so do we.
Finally, we return to the mysterious star calendar. Rosalee has a computer program that tracks the historical movements of the solar system, so she superimposes the drawing on it and runs the program to see at what point in history the stars aligned with it. But the farther she goes back, the more out of alignment it becomes.
She fiddles with it, and Eve points out that it all suddenly lines up. The date it matches? March 24, 2017.
WHY, YES, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION, GRIMM.
This was a fun little entry in the monster-of-the-week cannon that also plays into those ancient fears of sleep paralysis. Plus, we get the news that Nick’s magic stick comes wrapped in an ancient cloth with a star map pointing to an unknown event just a few weeks from now? That’s some delicious foreshadowing as we hit the midpoint of Grimm’s final season.
- That goodbye from Meisner felt rather final, no?
- Dan was played by Charles Edward Baker, a.k.a. Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad, who seems to specialize in portraying wiry, strung-out reprobates.
- Some good acting by Bitsie Tulloch tonight as Eve’s animated conversation in the final scene with Rosalee has her sounding just like Juliette. The woman Nick used to love is roaring back, and I think they both know it based on some of the fraught glances they’re exchanging.
- Hey, whaddya know. March 24, 2017, just happens to be the date of the penultimate episode of Grimm ever.
- Seriously, how long have the writers been sitting on that red herring Wesen joke? Well done, guys.