Grimm "La Llorona" Review: The Not-So-Friendly Ghost

By Josie Campbell

Oct 28, 2012

Grimm S02E09 "La Llorona"

Mainstream culture has recently discovered Mexican bogeyman La Llorona, as it seems she’s been showing up everywhere from amusement parks to movies to comics to Friday’s creepy Halloween episode of Grimm. So grab your Spanish dictionary and get ready for ghosts!

It was All Hallow's Eve and a father/son fishing trip fell apart when a weeping woman in white tried to drown herself near the pier. First she vanished before Papa Fisherman could reach her, then re-appeared while he floundered, and she took off with his son in tow. The distraught father called the Portland PD and Juliette stepped in to translate, as he only spoke Spanish. Juliette also had to deal with a mysterious Spanish-speaking woman, who warned the police the kidnapper was La Llorona, a Mexican ghost. She also had uncanny insight into the cat-scratch magic that affected Juliette, though in typical Juliette fashion, Juliette did not listen.

Back at the station a Wesen jaguar/detective from New Mexico named Valentina flew in with the news that this was not the first time the kidnapper had struck. This Weeping Woman had killed kids across the U.S. and the M.O. was always the same: Kidnap two boys and one girl and drown them right before midnight on Halloween. Also Renard had a hush-hush conversation on the phone concerning that mysterious plot he’s involved with; and he discovered Adalind was in Vienna while a little girl was taken by Llorona.

Just as Nick and Hank began to make progress on the case, Renard revealed that Detective Valentina was really an ex-detective who'd been discharged after becoming obsessed with Llorona, and who was now in the custody of the FBI. A trip to the Grimm trailer convinced Hank and Nick of the urgency of stopping Llorona, and they busted Valentina out after a third kid was taken. After tracking the creature down, they saved the kids and Nick tackled the Weeper into the water, only to see her transform and vanish. The children of Portland were safe once again... at least, until next Halloween.

Mwahahahahaha!

Meanwhile, in an extremely silly B-plot, Monroe loved Halloween and scared some punks.

This was a fairly standalone holiday episode, and Grimm did a nice job of upping the creepy factor with Llorona, though not such a great one rounding up actors who can convincingly speak Spanish. It should also come as no surprise that Juliette is now boring in two languages; I mean, if someone was immediately able to tell you that you’d been ill, lost your memory, and ended up torn between two men, wouldn’t you be a teensy bit curious? Or willing to indulge the witch-woman to ask for a bit more information?

But despite the weird phone and tablet product placement (Nick has a smartphone and an e-reader but can’t Google Translate what the Grimm book says?), "La Llorona" was a pretty decent episode of Grimm, closer to the Wesen-of-the-week plots from first season than anything we’ve seen in second. It even managed to make you feel bad for the murderous Llorona, trying to atone for the unforgivable act of drowning her children, haunted by their spirits each Halloween.

"La Llorona" was fun, but after last week's episode dangled an Adalind/Ro-Bro team-up, I wish there'd been more mythology or Royal developments. The enjoyable, frenetic flood of information that began the season has slowed considerably, and while Season 2's episodes have been paced better than those of Season 1, “La Llorona” left me hoping that the next episode will throw us back into the maelstrom of the Wesen/Royal/Grimm conflict.

It also left me hoping that Rosalee will be returning soon. At this point she’s been gone for weeks with her Aunt, and without her Grimm's Monroe plots have devolved into pointless fluff, devoid of the main troubles Nick is going through. This is also a side effect of Hank being Nick’s new backup—a role that up until now was Monroe’s. I like Hank, but if we as an audience have to choose between Hank being Nick’s Guy Friday and Monroe being Nick's Guy Friday, Monroe’s the winner, hands down. Team Grimm is at its strongest when Monroe is around, so here’s hoping that next week will bring us a more connected Monroe story.


QUESTIONS:

– What is up with that intern? Could he actually be a spy for the Royals? A Wesen?

– Was the Spanish-speaking woman who knew about Juliette’s problems a Hexenbiest?

– What department are Nick and Hank in? I thought it was homicide, but they also investigate missing kids?

– Was Llorona a ghost, a Wesen, or both?

– Along those lines, are there supernatural creatures that aren’t Wesen?

– Why can’t Captain Renard think of a reason to get Juliette to come with him to the spice shop to get that obsessions spell cured? Couldn’t he buy another potion to wipe her mind with afterward?

– When will Rosalee return?

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  • meee223 Nov 11, 2012

    Did no one even notice the constant loud background music in almost every single scene? It was so annoying!! Maybe this was just a problem on CTV airing the show in Canada? They music was so loud and unnatural as to almost drown out the dialogue. Any other Canadian viewers notice this? Or was this not a problem anywhere else?

  • GreyMinerva Nov 06, 2012

    I don't think ALL their cases are Wesen-related, it's just that we're just SHOWN the ones that are. Time moves at the speed of plot, there's no telling how many cases they work through pr. week, vs. how many are of the supernatural persuasion.

    As for Nick and Hank working homicides, I think they're actually working "Major crimes" or some such, as they were put on the case of the missing accountant who supposedly stole the church's money just a few ep's back - long before they knew it was a homicide.

    So murder, grand theft, missing persons - it's all in their portfolio.

  • TaliaMaldonad Nov 03, 2012

    Being Mexican, I can say i LOVED this episode... ive grown up listening to La Llorona stories, and there are MAAAANY versions, and this show somehow managed to convine them all in an understandable way that still makes sense in the Grimmverse. Also watching Mexican actors in American series is nice, and the fact that here character was a Balam (which is mayan for jaguar) AND was jaguarbased.... was just amazing kuddos for the details...consider me a happy Mexican

  • Elleee Nov 02, 2012

    I like the idea that other supernatural creatures/legens (not just those from fairytales) are being incorporated into the show...I hope this continues.

  • TQB Nov 01, 2012

    Not sure if the Rosalee question is supposed to be answered within the confines of the show, but the actress who plays her is on maternity leave, hence her absence.

  • thorswitch Nov 01, 2012

    Do we know if she's had her baby yet?

  • protonefrid Nov 01, 2012

    yes... as far as i know it's a beautiful baby boy and she is already back with the Grimm crew... i just don't know what episode they are filming about now. it would be cool to know exactly in which episode she returns... i really miss her (she was always the level headed one when Monroe freaked out and it was too funny)

  • Shreela Oct 31, 2012

    I accepted the ghost story since it's Halloween week. Rosalee will hopefully return after she's recovered from having her baby IRL. Juliette seems to be returning to her bitter pre-amesia self by blowing off the neighbor that's eager to help her, OR it was her sub-conscious resenting someone offering to prevent her from hooking up with Renard.

  • ionee24 Nov 02, 2012

    I'm thinking Juliette snapped because, for the first time, someone else noticed how she felt. Juliette could no longer dismiss it as her own idea. Someone noticed, it was real.

  • KateMahon Oct 31, 2012

    i thought the reason renard didnt want to bring juliette to the shop because monroe would recognise her... but then i realised that renard wouldnt know that. i want him to go back to the shop and tell monroe her name and description / bring herwwith him... monroe stops b-plotting and tells nick about it : **** goes down.



    or renard threatens monroe... or monroe recognises him later on



    this episode did creep me out a bit, worth the watch... i want more malicious adalind! hell hath no fury like a scorned hexenbiest it seems.



    and yeah! more monroe. and juliette, why arent you questioning that pseudo renard kiss... why arent you curious about anything renardy? what?

  • suzieqster Oct 30, 2012

    This was a pretty good episode. Of course, there was just too much of Juliette for me, simply because I'm so sick of her whining and simpy looks & actions. Also, what is the deal with that absolutely ridiculous intern? If he's there for comic relief, they have sorely failed. He's just irritating and unnecessary. Needs to go back to the Bones set from whence he came. More Monroe. More Monroe and Rosalee. More Monroe and Nick.

  • Mate Oct 30, 2012

    Decent episode all around. Except yes, arguably Juliette might be the dumbest Veterinarian alive.



    ?'s

    Who knows, it seems like they are keeping him around. So it may very well be some type of plant. However, previews of next week lead us to believe that there is going to be another grimm, so maybe it has something to do with that.

    Perhaps, but I doubt it. I think she just might be a regular witch, if there are those in their world. But seriously, if someone comes up to you and cold reads the last few months of life, you might want to at least listen to her. But hopefully, when things start to get tense she can go back.

    I think it might depend on the department. Portland is a big city probably has around 1000 officers. I would imagine detectives are split up into drugs, property crimes, and serious people crimes, such as homicide, child abuse, kidnapping etc. Who knows, he somehow keeps getting all the wesen crimes.

    Maybe she is a ghost Wesen.

    Perhaps, I think they got plenty of Wesen to deal with before they have to start inventing new things for him to deal with.

    Well if they did that it wouldn't be that much drama. Renard has to be revealed at some point, this potential love triangle of Nick, Renard and Juliette is the perfect way to go about that. And it finally gives something for Juliette to do other than walk around looking confused all the time.

    Hopefully soon.

  • blaine101 Oct 30, 2012

    Ugh, again so many reasons I can't take Juliette anymore. For a woman of science, she suffers from a deplorable and unforgivable lack of curiosity. And if you're going to hire an actress with the slightly crazy eyes and unusual face, give her character a personality to go with it.

    Let's just exchange Juliette for Valentina - her snarling blue panther was awesome and every second she was on screen, you felt she was ready to absolutely pounce. Hope we see her again, Nick could probably use her help.

    And give Monroe and Rosalee their own spin-off!! Totally can't get enough of Monroe's idiosyncracies - maybe he and Rosalee could do a decorating show for the holidays! A vlog for vesen! lol

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