Grimm Mid-season Premiere Review: The Truth About Renard

By Josie Campbell

Mar 09, 2013

Grimm S02E13: "Face Off"

After months and months of keeping us waiting, Grimm returned with a bang and a body as Nick learned Renard’s secrets and the Grimm Gods reunited Monroe and Rosalee. 

When last we left the intrepid Team Grimm, Juliette and Renard were smooching each other’s faces off, Adalind was back in town, and Rosalee was gone because the actress who plays her, Bree Turner, was having a baby. 

After a vigorous investigative process wherein Adalind asked Juliette where Aunt Marie’s trailer was and Juliette told her, the Hexenbiest sent Renard out to grab the Grimm Key. However, it was Renard’s recollection that he'd seen Nick put something in his desk drawer at work that enabled the Captain to find the Key (probably should have kept that on your person, huh Nick?). 

Nick did some investigative work of his own (i.e. Monroe told him about the Captain and Juliette), and there were a lot of barbed comments flung at Renard as Nick got called to his own murder scene. Nick covered his tracks well, but suspicion in the Verrat deaths fell on Monroe, leaving us worried that Yoga Wolf could end up taking the blame and that Portland’s Finest are a little too good at murdering people.

We also found out half-Royal Renard has allied himself with the Resistance and that, based on the way the number of times they shot at each other, he and Juliette really don’t want to be smooching. Monroe talked Nick out of bursting in on the spell-influenced lovebirds before he put Hexenbiest and Hexenbiest together and realized the Renard/Juliette spell is connected to Juliette's coma, Adalind, and her deceased mother. 

Adalind’s foolproof “stay in jail” plan fell apart when Renard released her (maybe she’s been taking strategic planning lessons from Nick?). But don’t worry, it was just so that he threaten her into lifting the spell—and so she and Renard could get it on!  Team Grimm did more simple arithmetic and figured out that Renard was the Royal living in Portland, which lead to a confrontation with the erstwhile bastard. Nick, believing that Renard was an evil Key-taker, went all 'roid rage on the Captain and boy, was there egg on his face when Renard returned the Key and told Nick he had vested interest in keeping the Key away from Adalind and his brother. 

It looks like Portland is uniting on all fronts against Ro-Bro and the Royals... though Adalind may have more tricks up her sleeve, considering that she's now pregnant and the father might just be one of the Royal boys. 

There was a lot happening in this fun and engaging episode, but the biggest reveal was that Renard isn't a bad guy! He just wants to keep Portland safe from the machinations of the Royals and is aiding the Resistance in some way! Though, it doesn’t erase the fact that he tried to kill Aunt Marie... or employed Fatal Attraction-level nutcase Adalind! Really, this episode just proves Renard is a complicated character, and is oddly a lot like Monroe: a Wesen anchored to misdeeds of the past but who wants a better tomorrow. 

But more importantly, the Gods of Grimm have heard our prayers and we're back to the Nick and Monroe show! 

Monroe was in top form tonight, slinging cheerful quips faster than Nick could keep up. I think we can all agree Monroe’s plaintive, “Why?” in response to the news that Mama Nick murdered Mama Adalind was a highlight of the evening, but really all of Monroe’s self-aware jabs were winners. Monroe is one of the few characters on Grimm who's allowed to poke fun at the very conceit of the show, inviting the audience to laugh at the more outlandish plot points. That's partly why he and Rosalee, the other character who enjoys this liberty, are the most likeable members of the cast: They're engaged in the Wesen world, but they also serve as a proxy for the audience, helping us to accept the stranger or more convoluted bits of the show's mythology. I, for one, hope that Hank doesn't return from his hospital stint as Nick’s right hand man—from both a character-development perspective and an audience perspective, that position belongs to Monroe and Monroe alone. 

But what really made "Face Off" great was that it got right back to the fast-paced info-dump from the beginning of Season 2. Secrets were revealed in a way that felt satisfying and also gave rise to more questions; characters were thinking as fast as they were reacting, crashing headfirst into the changing status quo. Though I'd be happier if Monroe and Nick had more gradually pieced together the Hexenbiest/Juliette's Memory Loss puzzle over a few episodes instead of figuring it out all at once, once things started to dawn on them, a lot of fun was had. 

I hope the rest of the long-hiatused Season 2 keeps up the same pace, or at least tries to avoid dragging things out, as it did at the end of Season 1. The more action in this cop/fantasy/action show the better, and that doesn’t mean more bodies—it means more character development, more answers, and more mysteries.


1. What does the Key open? Where does that map lead?

2. Will Renard join Team Grimm and become a regular at the Spice Shop?

3. Why has Renard allied himself with the Resistance? Is he trying to foment revolution?

4. Why was Renard looking for the Key in Season 1 if he wasn’t going to use it or hand it over? Was his motivation as simple as keeping it away from his brother?

5. Shouldn’t Rosalee upgrade to a computer system? Seems like all her Grimm potion research would go a lot faster if she could just access a file.

6. What was wrong with Adalind’s cat before it met its untimely end?

7. Where can we get that novelty red-liquid-to-clear-liquid blender? Looking at you, NBC Store!

8. Will Juliette be tolerable in the second half of the season? 

9. Will Adalind’s baby have Hexenbiest powers?

10. What was your favorite Monroe-ism this episode? Extra points if you name mine, “Oh, that quadruple homicide!”

  • Comments (58)
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  • Sparx Mar 28, 2013

    8. It took a season and a half, but finally Juliette managed to not suck in an episode.
    The way she delivered "Now what?" was actually pretty funny. I hope the writers continue to give her good material and that this wasn't just a fluke

  • TQB Mar 14, 2013

    And am I the only one who thought that when Renard found the key in Nick's desk that it would turn out to be Nick's actual Leatherman key fob, as opposed to the crudely refashioned one that serves as the key? BTW, serious prop guy fail on that one.

  • TQB Mar 14, 2013

    How I missed this show!! It's crazy, I wasn't aware how much I liked it until it was gone. OK, mostly I missed Monroe.

    Agree about the rapid unraveling about the hexenbiest conspiracy, but at the same time, COME ON. So many of the mysteries solved in this episode were almost Three's Company-level miscommunications. Just TALK to each other, people! Why so many unintentional secrets between Nick and Monroe? Monroe and Rosalee? The "aha" moments weren't unbelievable but the idea that it never occurred to these people to share some of these details is. Nick never told Monroe that his mom killed Adalind's mother? Monroe never mentioned that the cat ran away and got hit by a car? Are you people for real? Look, it's apparent that the Portland Police Department is slightly less capable of solving actual crime than your average Law & Order viewer, but I expect the Spice Shop Gang to be a bit better about at least laying out all the puzzle pieces, even if they can't quite snap them together.

  • protonefrid Mar 12, 2013

    My theory about the 7 keys. I think they were given to the 7 royal families that ruled in that specific time they were created (maybe now there are more or less families...don't know for sure) to create a balance of power between them. My thought is that they are a map to, and open a box (or secret room or something supernatural) that contains an artifact that actually needs those weird coins (the ones that drove Renard and Hank crazy) to function and it's power might be the unconditional submission of every living thing on the planet to the owner of the artifact.
    The coins are pretty uncontrollable and destructive as they are right now so maybe they are just part of the device, never intended to be used alone. Otherwise why would they introduce the coins at all into the storyline?

  • scapegraces Mar 12, 2013

    Personally, Monroe's 'why' had me giggling like a school girl and the Renard's and Nick's fight.. :glomp: Pure awesome.

  • vcivi Mar 11, 2013

    I just loved this was dark and well acted by all the characters!! Just love Monroe...he is so glad that Rosalee is back...!!
    Nick and Renards fight was awesome....i still wonder, what it is with the key???
    Loved also the make out scene between Renard and juliette....even i think it is about time, that someone tells her the truth...poor thing is losing her mind soon...!!!
    Well was worth waiting for it...!!!

  • kanniballl Mar 11, 2013

    Monroe really does keep this show together, and in a way so does Rosalee. Without Monroe the show would be a lot less entertaining. Nick is alright, but he lacks the charisma of the Winchesters which is probably the closest comparison for the show

    On the other hand. Bee woman (DS9's Nana Visitor) did try to warn Nick against Adalind and perhaps Renard

  • kanniballl Mar 11, 2013

    Didn't we learn last year that the Grimms tend to work for the Royalty? In which case going after the aunt might have been preemptive (in Renards eyes anyway)

  • sarahbaraujo Mar 10, 2013

    if monroe dies i quit

  • TQB Mar 14, 2013

    i think it's pretty clear that he's the heart, soul, brain and several other major organs of this show. Realistically, it should be called Blutbad, not Grimm.

  • JustinJohnson9 Mar 10, 2013

    Great start to season 2. These are some good questions here:
    1. For now they only have one key. As to where this leads to, i have no idea but am very inrigued on finding out.

    2. He'll join team Grimm but won't be a Spice shop regular.

    3. I think he's forming a fake alliance with the Revolution. While I still distrust him a lot, I think he means well in the long run for Nick.

    4. I definitely think he was keeping it away from his brother. There's just something about the brother that doesn't sit well with Renard, and I don't blame him.

    5. Heeck no!!! Rosalee's system works just fine. Keep it old school, especially in this hacker-loving day of age.

    10. The warm milk line lol!!!!

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