Grimm "Bad Moon Rising" Review: Three Howls for Hank!

Grimm S02E03: “Bad Moon Rising”

What do incestuous coyote-monsters, a bathtub full of animal remains, and pelts gussied-up like a fifth-grade taxidermied diorama have in common? If you need me to tell you then you clearly haven’t been watching Grimm, so get out now while the rest of us discuss fairy-tale monster sex rituals. Thank you!

Last night’s “Bad Moon Rising” was the episode where Hank finally learned the truth about Nick and a young girl almost got violated by her hillbilly kin. But let me take a moment to address the biggest shock of the episode, which was the awful new opening title sequence.

This new opening sequence is the worst!

There was something inherently exciting about Season 1’s logo and discordant instrumental theme, cluing you in to the fact that there was more to meet the eye in the forested, fantasy-land that is Grimm’s Portland. With the new sequence’s horribly hyped-up narration and Photoshop-filter fun, I can only hope that the show's title-sequence people saw a Wesen and temporarily lost their minds, and will return to the original opening posthaste.

“Bad Moon Rising” kicked off with Operation Freak-Out-The-Amnesia-Patient as Nick showed Juliette a really boring slideshow of their relationship and established that Juliette remembered everything in her life but Nick. Monroe suspected Adalind’s spell was geared toward erasing the Grimm from Juliette’s life.

The real meat of the episode, however, was Hank and Nick’s search for a seventeen year-old AP Student, kidnapped by a hick in a denim vest (‘90s holdovers are always a red flag, guys). This was, without a doubt, one of the creepiest rape-centric Grimm plots to grace the screen since Season 1’s “Lonelyhearts,” and yes, I realize I've now written “rape-centric plot” for the second time about one network TV show. Grimm, ladies and gents!

The missing AP student was Carly, the daughter of one of Hank’s oldest friends and goddaughter to Hank. Kidnapped by her inbred Texan relatives, Carly and her kin were Coyotls (coyote-Wesen) and her uncle and cousins wanted her to be part of a shudder-inducing Coyotl mating ritual. After Hank spent some time reflecting on his Wesen-induced PTSD he and Nick tracked the kidnappers first to a rotting corpse in an apartment building, and then to a foreclosed barn where Carly was being held. Teamed up with Carly’s father, the truth came tumbling out after Hank nearly killed the transformed Coyotl Carly and Nick had to admit he could also see the Wesen. Hank and Nick then took care of the Coyotl’s by being unimpressed when they transformed, the Texans were arrested, and Coyotl Carly was safe once again and free to take too many AP classes.

Let’s get this out of the way now: Come on, Grimm, Coyotl? For a show that forces me to misspell complicated German words every week I expected better of you. If I’m not cursing the English-to-Deutsch function in Google Translate then it’s not Grimm!

That said, I think we’re all relieved to see Hank taking a proactive role this early in the season. Throughout Season 1 Hank was a comedic relief, then an Adalind plot point, and finally an Albatross around Nick’s neck. Now he’s got the chance to be an equal partner in all things, sleuthing for human and Wesen criminals alike. While some (*cough* me *cough*) would be a bit more miffed that my best friend was content to let me go shotgun-cuddlin’ nuts, Hank’s determined to see the silver lining once Nick clues him in. With both Hank and Monroe on Nick’s side perhaps our Grimm will actually be able to overcome the Royals, rogue Wesen, and the Selective Amnesia Girlfriend. Plus I cannot wait to see the Hank/Monroe meeting!

With the reveal of the truth, it’s increasingly obvious this is a Grimm radically different than Season 1, determined to throw status quo to the wind rather than milking a plot. Moreover, this Wesen-of-the-week story did not feel like useless filler as so many of the Season 1 episodes did. It stood on its own and delivered a solid crime story that could have honestly been an episode of a regular procedural drama with the barest of retouches. No longer does the show feel segmented into monster episodes versus mythology episodes—just like Hank and Nick, the show is uniting all the separate pieces.

I will say that I was little troubled at the central “a group of guys kidnap a teenage girl to rape her” plot—and the fact that when Carly’s father learns their intentions it takes him two commercial breaks to get as upset as I think most of us would be if we learned our child was kidnapped for a mating ritual. But Grimm avoided exploitive pitfalls and used the horrifying truth to propel the action and raise the stakes rather than wallow in sensationalism, so we’ll chalk Father Coyotl’s reaction up to Grimm’s often-inconsistent guest star acting.

And for now let’s rejoice in the enlightening of Hank—this looks like the beginning of a beautiful Grimm friendship.

... How are Rosalee and Monroe going to react to Hank, newest addition to Team Grimm?

... Will Juliette become a more likeable character now that she has to literally restart from scratch?

... Was Adalind’s spell targeted specifically to Nick memories?

... With the reveal that Hank’s high school bud was a Wesen, at this point are there any actual humans in Portland? Real people from Portland, weigh in!

... Now that Hank has seen one Wesen fully transform does that mean he can see them the same exact way Nick can? Or do they need to transform to a certain point for Hank, a non-Grimm, to be able to see them?

... Will Hank become a Deputy Grimm? Can one become a Grimm if one is not born into the Grimm family line?

... How many languages does Monroe know?