Grimm series finale recap: 'The End’
Nick loses everyone he loves, then finds the strength to defeat evil and reclaim his world
“Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
These words open the final episode of the little fairy tale show that could. And at first, they seem cruelly ironic, as nothing about the Zerstörer’s staff is a comfort to Nick, who endures losses that almost break him. Thankfully, that comfort isn’t an empty promise, and Grimm closes its six-season run with a reminder that it’s the people we love who give us our strength.
Let’s recap, one last time.
After the initial shock of the Zerstörer’s attack on the police precinct, Nick grabs the stick and frantically tries to revive Wu and then Hank. But it doesn’t take, and he screams in frustration. Littering the floor around him are the bodies of his friends and coworkers, including Sgt. Franco (Robert Blanche, who appeared in 30-plus episodes and stealthily endeared himself to the audience).
Trubel rushes in, absorbs the carnage, and falls to her knees next to Hank’s body. Nick isn’t sure if he’s the only survivor because the Zerstörer wouldn’t kill him, or couldn’t, possibly because he was holding the stick. When he tells Trubel that bullets didn’t slow the Zerstörer down, she offers a practical solution: Embrace the methods of their ancestors and cut off his head. Seems like a solid plan.
They head for the weapons in the spice shop, but first Nick calls Adalind and breaks the news about Hank and Wu. She, in turn, tells Nick that Diana says the Zerstörer’s also after Kelly, so he dispatches Trubel to the cabin to guard his family.
At the spice shop, Monroe finds a reference to an evil, invincible beast that can only be destroyed by “the strength of one’s blood.” Naturally, Rosalee knows a spell for Force du Sang, which she describes as just this side of nuclear. However, it’s complex, takes forever to make, and, oh yeah, requires the blood of three opposing forces: Grimm, Hexenbiest, and Wesen.
She and Monroe agree that at no other point in time would making this potion have been possible, which drives home one of the best and most resonant themes of Grimm: Every hero needs a support system, and whatever your supernatural gifts, it’s the people you love who make you truly strong. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did it, as did Angel. Ditto The X-Files and Supernatural and Teen Wolf and all of the Berlantiverse CW shows and basically any fantastical program worth watching. Grimm was among the best of them… but it’s not time to eulogize it quite yet, as there’s still evil to defeat.
So. When Nick walks into the spice shop, Eve immediately recognizes that something’s wrong, and he tells them about Hank and Wu, stunning everyone. But they force themselves to focus on the task of mixing the base of the Force du Sang so they can collect the necessary blood at the cabin to be ready for the Zerstörer. “Get me a thermos,” Rosalee demands with hilarious determination as Nick selects a wicked-looking ax from the chest.
At the cabin, Adalind points at the Hummel-esque figurines and asks, “I wonder who’s collecting all these?” Renard reminisces about the murderous Blutbad postman who started Nick’s journey, and then he and Adalind have a heart-to heart. They apologize for their mistakes over the years, including the keys, Black Claw, and Bonaparte. Oh, and there’s that cursed ring Adalind’s still wearing, even after Bonaparte’s death, because she’s too afraid to take it off lest it harm her children. Renard promises to do everything in his power to protect them.
When Trubel pulls up, she hugs Adalind and side-eyes Renard. “You’re supposed to be on our side now?” she asks. We flash back to her crying over Meisner’s body and says she wishes he knew that Renard was back on the side of the Grimms. “Trust me, he does,” Renard says, and since nobody else ever saw Meisner’s ghost, that likely means nothing to anybody but him.
Gotta say, I do wish we’d had a little more of Renard working to atone in the last few episodes, maybe with a big gesture not driven by his desire to protect his daughter. But hey, there’s only so much ground you can cover in a final season, right?
Nick sends Monrosalee to the cabin separately so they can take off once the potion’s complete. (Monroe packs the Thermos in a picnic basket, which is charming.) After they leave, Eve apologizes that her blood won’t work for the potion. Nick reminds her that she said she has no regrets, and she replies, “I have no regrets, and I am definitely not done.”
Then the Zerstörer strides in and psychically forces Eve to stab herself in the belly with her own knife before disappearing. Even though she screams at Nick to run, he catches her as she falls. She whispers, “No regrets,” and dies in his arms. Again, the stick doesn’t work, and Nick screams for the Zerstörer to come back and fight him, swinging the ax and destroying the spice shop in his helplessness, grief, and rage. Man, Grimm gave David Giuntoli a heavy acting job in the finale, and he kills it.
When Monrosalee arrive at the cabin, they run inside to explain the plan to Adalind. The cabin’s interior is so dark; can you imagine waiting for the battle of your life in an abandoned kidnapper’s hideout in the woods? They wait for Nick to arrive to start the spell, but, I mean, Trubel’s right there. Did I miss a provision that it has to be the Grimm doing the fighting who bleeds into the potion?
When Nick finally arrives, he flashes back to Monroe bolting on their first case together because he wasn’t able to control his inner beast. Now, six years later, he’s a husband, father-to-be, dispenser of knowledge, and bulwark against evil. Blutbaden grow up so fast, don’t they?
Nick has to break the news of another death to the group, then Adalind gathers them around the bowl with the potion and explains that the knife has to pierce all of their hands at once so their blood flows into the bowl together while everyone who can woge is woged.
Renard volunteers to wield the knife (naturally), but when he hesitates, Trubel shoves his hand down (naturally). The Grimm, the Hexenbiest, and the Wesen all scream as the knife stays lodged in their stacked hands. (This seems like a good way to spread blood-borne diseases, yo.) The blood causes the potion to bubble and dissolve the stirring spoon, but, like, how does it not dissolve the bowl itself? This is my perpetual question when people make potions like this.
Suddenly, Diana wanders in and announces that she isn’t scared anymore, and the Zerstörer’s on his way to the cabin for the stick. “He wants it, Nick. He’s been looking for it for a very long time.”
Then the cabin shakes, and the Zerstörer strides through the door, demon face on. He strikes his staff on the floor and knocks over everyone save Diana, whose eyes glow purple. He unwoges and leads her away by the hand.
When papa bear Renard objects, Diana insists, “He wants me to be with him! He needs me!” and honesty, I could use a little more explanation for why she’s suddenly on board with this “child bride of the devil” plan.
Renard attacks the Zerstörer, vowing to die for his daughter. The Zerstörer accommodates this request by slamming his staff through Renard’s chest. He falls to the ground and dies in front of Diana, who it must be said has a creepy smile on her face the whole time.
Monroe then grabs the Force du Sang (while Rosalee shrieks “Don’t get it on you!” which is excellent advice) and whips it at the Zerstörer. He screams and falls to his knees, but when Nick delivers a fierce ax blow, the Zerstörer shakes off the damage. This causes Adalind to perform an amazingly over-the-top shriek of “Trubel, ruuuuuuunnnnnn!” so she can escape with Kelly, but the Zerstörer magically seals Trubel and the baby in the cabin.
Oh, did you think the preceding deaths were hard to watch? Because now the Zerstörer starts killing in earnest, and it is awful. (This is the point at which my D&D-loving husband announced, “Uh, this is starting to look like a TPK.”)
Adalind takes an ax to the chest and, with her dying breath, asks Nick to protect her children. Then Rosalee grabs the Zerstörer’s own staff, which morphs into a snake that bites her throat. When Monroe pulls it off of her, it bites him, too, and they fall side by side. Nick makes it to Monroe’s side to hold his hand and whisper, “You can’t. You can’t.” But he dies anyway, and Nick screams his grief to the sky. For those keeping score, that leaves two Grimms and two kids, along with a shell-shocked, tear-stained audience.
The Zerstörer next takes the fight to Trubel inside the cabin, recognizing her as a Grimm and killing her, too. Diana takes this all in stride, gesturing to Kelly and announcing, “We’re ready.”
But not so fast. There’s still Nick, who growls, “You’ve taken everything from me. You’re not going to take my son.”
Then the Zerstörer, who’s suddenly a great English speaker, tells him that none of this needs to happen, and if Nick will hand over the stick, the Zerstörer will bring them all back. As proof, he touches Trubel with his staff, and she wakes up with a gasp.
Nick strokes Kelly’s cheek (aww, he has a blanket with foxes on it!), then says, “You can have it.” The void in the staff where the stick belongs glows green, waiting to be made whole. But Trubel intercepts the handoff, telling Nick not to make that deal. (Easy for her to say; she’s the one who got brought back!)
But Nick wants his loved ones returned to him and follows the Zerstörer outside, yelling, “Take it!” Nevertheless, Trubel persists, telling Nick that making the Zerstörer’s staff whole will bring about the end of humanity. She punches Nick and runs off with the stick. He chases her, and now it’s a full-blown Grimm fight that’s damn hard to watch, particularly when Nick grapples her to the ground and delivers a vicious blow to her face.
As he heads back to the Zerstörer with the stick, he hears a voice telling him to stop. It’s his mother! “You can’t do what you want to do,” Kelly warns him. Suddenly, Aunt Marie’s there, too, and the women explain that the Zerstörer can’t take the stick from him; it has to be given, and Nick’s about to sacrifice the world to end his pain.
The women insist that he can defeat the Zerstörer. “The strength we need, that we all need, comes from our family. It’s where we’ve always found the way and the will to fight,” Kelly says. Marie adds, “And with that, we can defeat any evil.”
Nick looks at the stick, and then he, his mother, and his aunt walk forward in slow-motion, the body of Nick’s fallen friends in the mud around him. (As epic as that hero stride was, I was distracted by how cold and unpleasant it looked for the actors lying on the ground.)
Trubel, a bit bloody about the face, joins Nick, and the two of them, plus Kelly and Marie, surround the Zerstörer and launch an attack, punching, stabbing, slashing, kicking. Marie gets a good shot to the Zerstörer’s head, and Kelly cuts off an arm.
Finally, Nick grabs the staff, and the stick flies into it, making it whole. “You wanted it? Here it is,” Nick says, driving it into the Zerstörer’s heart. He falls to the ground, and black smoke seeps from his mouth, which as we all know is the universal signal of demon death.
Their foe vanquished, Nick asks the women how they knew he needed them. Kelly says because they’re all descendants of the first Grimm, they felt it. He thanks them for keeping him from doing something terrible, but Marie says they only helped him find his strength. Before they depart, Kelly tells him to guard the staff well, then adds, “Take good care of my grandson. I like his name.” That sound is my heart, melting.
When Trubel expresses her disbelief that the two of them took the Zerstörer down, Nick realizes that his ancestral help was even more mystical than he realized. Then reality sets in, and he falls to his knees in front of Adalind’s body. Poke her with the staff, Nick! It worked for Trubel! Instead, he notices the hated ring on her finger and tosses it away.
Then Diana comes outside to ask where “the other Grimms” fighting with him went. That’s when he remembers the power of the staff. “Oh my God. I can bring them all back to life.” He picks it up, but before he can use it, the Zerstörer’s body vaporizes and transforms into a swirling portal, which sucks Nick into…
…Monrosalee’s living room! “Mommy, it worked! I got Nick back for you!” Diana chirps. Everyone’s there, alive, just like when Nick and Eve first returned from the other place — except this time, Adalind’s not wearing the ring. Nick kisses her rapturously, and they’re all confused about his elation that everyone’s okay. “Why? Wasn’t I?” Wu asks when he, Hank, and Trubel arrive.
Nick goes around the room hugging everybody in a way that has to make them suspect he’s popped a molly. Then Diana looks at Eve and declares her a Hexenbiest again. She’s confused at the “again,” and Diana tells Nick the Zerstörer didn’t come back through. “He’s dead, and I’m not afraid anymore.” He hugs her, then greets his son (who, it must be said, is the least expressive baby actor in the business, bless his pudgy face).
Everyone looks on in concern as Nick continues to have a moment. “I’m just so thankful you’re all here,” he tells them, voice choked with emotion at being reunited with everyone he loves after experiencing the pain of their loss. Then Monroe notices the Zerstörer’s staff. “Where did this come from?” Joy steals over Nick’s face when he realizes what this means.
And then a narrator takes over the story, saying, “He didn’t know what to tell them.” It’s twenty years later, and a male voice explains that the Zerstörer was defeated thanks to Nick and his family members, including Trubel, Nick’s third cousin on his mother’s side. (Mystery solved, everybody!)
Yes, the narrator is Kelly, now grown-up and adding his family’s battle with the Zerstörer to the official Grimm book. Then Diana strides in, all bouncy ponytail, strong eyebrows, and sassy attitude. “Mom and Dad are waiting. We’ve got Wesen to kill,” she says. “The triplets are coming, too.” Yes! The family that slays together, stays together!
Kelly heads out, and before Diana leaves, her eyes glow purple, and she telekinetically slams the book shut. Its cover is embossed with a large G.
And they all, somewhat improbably but definitely satisfactorily, live happily ever after.
- Well. Six years later, we’ve come to an end, but one that hints at the future of the characters we love. Are you satisfied with how everyone’s story came to a close? For one scary second, did you think Grimm might actually leave Nick and Trubel as the sole survivors, or when Eve died, did you start to suspect that it would end with a time reset? And did you, like me, wish for one last scene with Bud?
- Be sure to check out my finale postmortem with showrunners David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, in which they discuss the one fairy tale they never got to tell and what they see for the future of Grimm.
- Thank you so much for going on this final-season journey with me! The Grimm fandom has been wonderful — warm and funny and welcoming — and I hope we can all come together again in the future to share our love of good television. You can find me on Twitter if you’d like to keep the conversations going. In the meantime, dry your eyes and let me know your thoughts about the finale in the comments!