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