Grimm "Natural Born Wesen" Review: Keep to the Code

By Josie Campbell

Mar 16, 2013

Grimm S02E14: "Natural Born Wesen"


This week’s episode continued Grimm’s rollicking post-hiatus pace as Team Grimm (now including Hank and, reluctantly, Renard) pulled together to cure Juliette and track down Wesen bank robbers!

We picked up where last week's return episode left off, with our gang in the midst of curing Adalind’s spell. As Nick gasped on the floor, the Wesen were able to convince Juliette that his ailment was the result of a chemical imbalance (no magic here!). As per usual, she swallowed the story rather than asking how they knew such a thing, or why people who run a spice and tea shop are suddenly medical experts.

The next day Monroe made a deposit at a bank just as three Wesen burst in to rob the joint, fully visible as Wesen to the humans. We learned from Monroe that Wesen live by a code and that rule numero uno is never reveal themselves to humans. Also, the penalty for breaking it is lethal.


Nick clearly read my review from last week as he decided to keep the Grimm Key on him at all times. He also had a heart-to-heart with Renard that went something like this: 

RENARD: Yeah, so, Adalind’s spell, huh? Haha! No hard feelings bro?

NICK: (Stares icy daggers into Renard’s skull) 


Nick and Hank were called in to investigate the bank robbery and we were treated to a great three-way dynamic between them and Monroe as the Blutbad went “undercover” at a Wesen dive bar. The trio discovered the identities of the robbers and we learned that at least two of them likened themselves to Wesen Harvey Milk, with a mission of coaxing the community out of the Wesen closet. We also discovered that Rosalee’s family had ties to the ominous Wesen Council after she made a call to report the code-breakers. After Robbers One and Two murdered Robber Three, Nick and Hank were able to arrest the Wesen criminals—only to see them assassinated by the Council.


Meanwhile, Juliette had an acid trip, and it lasted the entire episode.

There was a lot to love in this episode: sullen, sarcastic Nick! Nick and Monroe as roommates! Nick, Hank, and Monroe acting like a team! A Wesen-of-the-week story that actually tied into the show’s greater mythology! Another glimpse into the political workings of the Wesen world!

However, that last item brings up a question I've been pondering for a while now: Why are the Wesen determined to live among humans? They expend so much energy hiding from humans, the consequences are so dire if they’re caught, and as we’ve seen over and over again, so many of them are bad at it. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

While the first two episodes after Grimm's long break were both enjoyable, the show needs to finally address the nuts and bolts of the world it's presented to us. We need to see what the Wesen get out of living with humans, or explain why living on their own in hidden all-Wesen communities doesn’t work. We need to meet more Wesen who don't flaunt the law, and we need to see that humans in Portland break the law, too—otherwise we’re dealing with a world where only Wesen are criminals, and if that’s the case we’re back to the question of why they’re even attempting to fit in.

We had a taste of the inner workings of Wesen politics in Season 1, but with Season 2 halfway done it’s time for Grimm to give us a Wesen world we can really sink our teeth into.


QUESTIONS:

1. Are Juliette’s hallucinations the result of the counter-spell restoring her memory?

2. Why did Hank and Nick get called in to work a bank robbery? Aren’t they homicide detectives? Also, doesn’t the FBI handle bank robberies?

3. If the Council takes care of Wesen who break Wesen rules, what do the Royals do?

4. Now that we know about he Wesen Code, who else wants to learn more about Wesen history? Raise your hands in the comments!

5. Why do the Wesen want to live among humans?

6. Will Nick get over his problems with the Captain?

7. Is Renard as trustworthy as he’s making himself out to be?

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  • Liria Mar 23, 2013

    And here I thought it wasn't possible for Juliette to be even more annoying and stupid...

    She spends all night hanging near a precipice and doesn't think to pull out her phone and call for help or even open the drapes of the window right next to her and try to get the neighbor's attention?? Or even climb the stairs until morning? Seriously? And then she drops her phone when it rings! Of course she does!

    And of course she goes to sleep in her bed like nothing's weird... Hey, I would be sleeping at a hotel or at a friend's even if it was all a hallucination and I knew it. But then if I thought I was hallucinating, I would've gone to see a doctor.. You know, because maybe the coma did some damage... Juliette makes a lot of stupid decisions for a supposedly intelligent woman...

    And oh, the sparkly thinguies = I'm betting represent the synapses in her brain firing up, trying to get the pieces of her memory back together... Oh well, another day, another episode, another week to hope she's get less annoying...

  • GreyMinerva Mar 20, 2013

    Juliette? Juliette who? Oh, you mean that annoying grumpy lady?
    Yeah, I guess it could be the spell wearing off, or making her chose - does she WANT the knowledge about Wesen and all the other fun stuff back, or does her brain want to stay in denial a while longer? I'm thinking the big black whole is the missing part of her memories, and if she follows the voice from the past and jumps in, she'll remember everything and have ANOTHER freakout and ruin stuff - again. *roll eyes*
    I really can't find much sympathy for this character, I think it's been badly written, underutilized the whole way, and right now she's such a sad sidebar I keep forgetting she's part of the show until I see her face again.

    As for why Wesen want to live among humans?
    Humans have cool stuff like widescreen TVs, memory foam beds, Playstations and fast food, and to get those things you need this cool thing called human money.
    It would be tricky to set up a completely isolated community (not THAT much available real estate just lying around either), which would still have access to modern amenities while generating a fiscal surplus.
    Doesn't mean there aren't some Amish-style communes out there, but I just think most Wesen enjoy the benefits of the modern world too much.
    Also, there's such a divide between a lot of the different types of Wesen, I think they would find it hard to live as ONE community without a healthy number of humans as a "buffer" between the prey-Wesen and predator-Wesen. A fair number also seem to interbreed with humans, or so it would seem from the number of Wesen with human lovers and spouses at least, or who NEED humans to survive (like the spider-lady who had to find some delectable boytoys to snack on every ten years or so).

    A separate Wesen community would never be able to separate itself fully from its human neighbours; simply setting themselves "apart" would make them MORE suspect, open to suspicion and fear - you may hesitate to fear/turn on your good neighbour Harold, but the guy from the weird commune out in the woods? HE's definitely some weirdo!

  • JohnPeterson5 Mar 19, 2013

    1. Are Juliette’s hallucinations the result of the counter-spell restoring her memory?

    Well, if not, we're moving into the realm of the supernatural from the fringe science of cryptozoology. Didn't anyone else get a chuckle from the sporadic quick cuts to Julliette sitting or standing at the doorway doing nothing. Reminds me of that old saw "And Meanwhile ..."

    2. Why did Hank and Nick get called in to work a bank robbery? Aren’t they homicide detectives? Also, doesn’t the FBI handle bank robberies?

    In Televisionland every city has two cops (NYC might have 3 or 4) who catch 90% of the cases, jurisdiction be damned. Sometimes it's one cop and a magician or writer or mathematician. They are always the best looking cops in the city as well, especially the females. These are the rules. Accept it and move on ...

    3. If the Council takes care of Wesen who break Wesen rules, what do the Royals do?

    Like all plutocrats they scheme and plot and sleep with anyone but their spouses. It's a game of thrones ...

    4. Now that we know about the Wesen Code, who else wants to learn more about Wesen history? Raise your hands in the comments!

    I do, Ido!

    5. Why do the Wesen want to live among humans?

    Don't think they have much choice. Clearly they're significantly outnumbered here on planet earth (my quick calculation based on pretty much no evidence is about 300 to 1) and "coming out" to claim minority status didn't work so well in the past. I suppose they could try to form their own country but last I heard they weren't just giving away land enough for a few million "people". And, would YOU live next to a vesen community?

    6. Will Nick get over his problems with the Captain?

    Sure. Always knew it would turn out like this ... GRIMM and creepy ROYAL battling side by side with the resistance to defeat the growing vessen facist movement. World War 3 with scythes, crossbows, and gnarly studded clubs.

    7. Is Renard as trustworthy as he’s making himself out to be?

    He's a realist, but honorable. He lies with conviction and he kills people politely, after due deliberation.

    As for the vessen being the ONLY serious criminals in Portland (and by serious I mean dismembered bodies and such) I kinda like the idea that the true psychopaths are not, and never have been, human. Makes our species look positively virtuous by comparison.

  • vcivi Mar 19, 2013

    Love the way they used a Dutch company...i checked as i am Dutch...company does exist and is also a lawyer company..but as far as i could check, a normal human one...no Wesen ...beside that i loved this episode...i think Grimm has come back better then ever...
    Juliette annoys me in ways i cannot describe...her character is very annoying...Why didn't she tell about the hole and voices when she got called??
    Nick is getting darker by the episode...so love it....
    Favorite character stays Monroe...he makes the whole Grimm thing going...!!!

  • scbae Mar 19, 2013

    I think we do need to know more about the Wesen world. (I sure do!!!) But as for the question #5, I remember once Monroe said that they only reveal themselves when they want to, but only a grimm could see them "turned" when they were in distress. I guess that's why the Wesen community keeps on trying to live among the humans. Please, correct me if I'm wrong!!!

    And, although there are lots of questions to be answered, I believe it's a great show. I'm loving it!!!

  • Ninjaandy Mar 19, 2013

    "1. Are Juliette’s hallucinations the result of the counter-spell restoring her memory?"

    No. Unfortunately they're the result of a mediocre actress with a contract for a certain amount of screen time, and of writers who don't know what to do with her character. Strike 1 for lazy writers.

    "2. Why did Hank and Nick get called in to work a bank robbery? Aren’t they homicide detectives? Also, doesn’t the FBI handle bank robberies?"

    I'm assuming Renard sent them because it was suspicious, but you're right -- they shouldn't have been there, even if the Chief had pulled some strings. Strike 2. But speaking of homicide, did anyone else notice that two people were killed at the second robbery because, once again, Nick favored his role as a cop (by not bringing the ones he knew were guilty in without muggle evidence) over his special knowledge gained from being a Grimm? And he and Hank didn't even care? Strike 3.

    "3. If the Council takes care of Wesen who break Wesen rules, what do the Royals do?"

    Nothing, just like royals in the real world.

    "4. Now that we know about he Wesen Code, who else wants to learn more about Wesen history? Raise your hands in the comments!"

    Yes? Maybe? Can we have Joss Whedon write it?

    "5. Why do the Wesen want to live among humans?"

    Actually I think some do live in Wesen communities; at least the way the communal animals like beavers and such. I think Monroe and Rosalee aren't good examples of "normal" Wesen in that regard (or in many others). Beyond that though, there seem to be too many Wesen to hide out like the Amish, and too few to start their own country (unless you count Germany and France, which appear to be entirely peopled with Wesen). So hiding in mostly-Wesen neighborhoods seems like the best option.

    "6. Will Nick get over his problems with the Captain?"

    He pretty much already has, I think.

    "7. Is Renard as trustworthy as he’s making himself out to be?"

    No, he's probably working a power play, and Nick's falling for it.

  • jenrose72 Mar 18, 2013

    The more important question is, when can we expect to see Nick fighting, or doing anything else for that matter, bare-chested?

  • CarlosR628891 Mar 18, 2013

    Anybody notice? The use of European locations: they seem to be pretty random, as though for some Americans one European town is pretty much like the next, and nevermind what language is spoken there.
    The letterhead showed both "Amsterdam" and "DeHaag". Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't that be "Den Haag"?
    Also, in the last scene with the bearded Council dude, you first saw some Chateau out in the country, and earlier (when Rosalee called the Council) we were treated to the view of an Amsterdam "gracht" (i.e. street with a canal). But then, maybe the country manor was the guy's office.
    Next there was a green screen background showing some medieval buildings on a hill. I really don't think that would be either Amsterdam or Den Haag. Hence my comment about random European views. Sloppy.

  • lindakik5 Mar 19, 2013

    Actually, if you freeze the image (yes...I'm so feeling like a nerd right now but I'm from the Netherlands and was interested in this) you can see that the first picture they use is one of street + canal (Amsterdam). In the second picture (the office) they've used the 'Vredespaleis' (translated the Peace Palace) in Den Haag. I think that's a pretty good choice for a Council building actually ;) If you freeze the screen during the scene where the guy's in his office the background does look a bit weird but if you look at the buildings it does seem to match with reality (if you use google maps etc, you will see the church top, white building etc.). The letter should have said Den Haag indeed, but maybe that's a typo, because at the bottom of the letter it's correctly written. The address however is indeed made up haha ;)

  • CarlosR628891 Mar 19, 2013

    Appreciate the nerdyness, but I feel the same because it always annoys me when American TV misrepresents "foreign" places. Thanks for pointing out the Peace Palace! So the Council jumps between two cities. Right. But, both Amsterdam and Den Haag are completely flat (hence the good cycling!).

  • Maartje Mar 24, 2013

    I live near the peace palace and thought it was awesome that they used it! A little grand for such a low key organisation, but stil...
    The view outside is a little hilly, it should indeed be a little more flat. What bothered me more is the so called dutch accent. It was closer to a german accent and sometimes even sounded more like a russian accent (we dutchies don't pronounce the r the way they do on the show).

    But I love the show and the fact that they use the Netherlands as the headquarters for the council it awesome!!!!

  • lindakik5 Mar 24, 2013

    I know right! Great that they've used the Netherlands for this :)

    As for the background...it looks almost as if they've used a green screen, took a picture from the nearby surroundings at the Peace Palace and then projected it without looking at the correct angle...

  • headclub Mar 18, 2013

    1. It's a result of her being one of the worst characters on tv right now.
    2. They are the only cops in all of Portland. They handle....every crime. Every crime.
    3. Control the world, while pretending their existence is nothing more than a wild conspiracy theory.
    4. oooh ooh, me me!
    5. It sure beats the alternate dimensions of the Observors and Lost.
    6. I sure hope so. They'll make a kickass team, me thinks..
    7. See above.

  • kanniballl Mar 18, 2013

    I'm kind of hoping that Nick did NOT actually take away Renard's Hexen-wessen-essence.

    That's kind of a douche thing to do without telling him, even if it does wind up saving his life.

    If it was to save his life, he should have told him. If it was just to rid himself of a Wessen, that's just messed up.

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