Grimm Mid-season Premiere Review: The Truth About Renard

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.


QUESTIONS:

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 (59)
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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
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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.
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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.
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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?
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Personally, Monroe's 'why' had me giggling like a school girl and the Renard's and Nick's fight.. :glomp: Pure awesome.
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I just loved this epsiode...it was dark and well acted by all the characters!! Just love Monroe...he is so funny...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 done...it was worth waiting for it...!!!
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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
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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)
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if monroe dies i quit
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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.
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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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Grimm has gotten a lot better and I hope they keep this pace up. This episode was much more fun to watch because and the story was building to something. I'm not sure I can go back to the case of the week Wesen episodes unless they get become much stronger
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1. I believe it's already been established that there were multiple keys but we won't know what they lead to for some time. I think it's Blackbeard's castle.

2. He's already Nick's boss. He doesn't need to.

3. Politics.

4. I think he was going to hand it over but changed his mind.

5. Have you ever tried to digitize a library?

6. I think that was clear enough from earlier episodes.

9. That seems pretty obvious.

10. "I'll make you some warm milk to forget about your problems, just like your mother use to...." (or something along those lines)

I get the impression with all that was going on (and that it was episode 13) that this episode was initially intended for the mid-season break but without Bree Turner they had to delay it.
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"2. Will Renard join Team Grimm and become a regular at the Spice Shop?"
Will Team join the Resistance or the other guys instead?
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Juliette is still annoying. When she called Renard to tell about Nick knowing I went like ughhhh here we go again...
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Rosalee! Renard & Juliette's "love scene" was rather drawn out IMO. Loved the way Nick stood up to Renard.

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10. "Why?"
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Renard a good guy? Hrm, he tried to kill aunt Marie (wonder if it was the cancer or the preacher guy who killed her) and he isn´t a bad? Think he has other motives, so hope Nick doesn´t trust him too much.
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As far as I understood Renard received orders from Europe to intercept the key as fast as possible, probably after the death of the first reaper (i believe with the discord among brothers, Renard wouldn't have been forced to get involved and possibly get his hands on something important, unless someone was afraid that with her tracker dead, Marie could have disappeared with the key... but this is just how I see it, he could have received the order when Marie stepped into his territory). In order not to raise any red flags in Europe (and attention to what he was doing with the resistance, which he failed anyway) he went along and did one rushed job after another and messed up almost everything (Renard seems to be more of a planer who takes his time and fools you without you ever noticing but he didn't have the time to do that properly in the first season).

The proof that he received orders came from his cousin, who came to visit and probably kill him for not delivering the key in due time.

the preacher/reaper wasn't with Renard... he had ordered humans to take care of the job because of Nick.

Truth be told, I'm not sure Renard is a good guy but I don't see him completely evil either. I suspect he might have a revenge thing going on (most probably against his brother) and his very own agenda but I can't decide until I know him and his plans better.
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I thought we learned that the Grimms tend to be hit men for the Royalty. Perhaps he assumed she was here for him

On the other hand, Bee woman (DS9's Nana Visitorr) did try to warn Nick. Ad she was anti Adalind
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whyyyyyy, best moment of the show
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This is my favorite show( after Lost Girl;) I am so happy it's back! I wish there could be a new love interest for Nick to spice things up. I can not believe Adalind is pregnant with Bernard's uh quarter Princeling? I think it is so sexy when he speaks French:)
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I love Lost Girl
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YAY!!! Rosalee is back!!!
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10. "Well, at least you know who did it!"
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With regards No. 4, we know (based on previous episodes), that most Grimms seem allied with the Royals (in fact, I strongly suspect Mama Nick is an ally of the Royals)--and the reapers are mainly after the renegade Grimms. Could be that Renard could not be sure to whom Nick's loyalties will be (or, Aunt Marie's, especially if her sister already became an enforcer for the Royals.)
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4. Renard uses the key before he gives it back to Nick. He places the imprint from the key on a sheet of paper, seems excited, and then shreds the paper.
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Great episode!!..during the winter break Nick must have taken the "Advance course in badassery" ..or anger "works" for him. those flips during the fight..crispy sentences..welcome back Grimm!. Now why the hell did he turn red?!!
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I was wondering that too, I do remember Renard turning some color when he took the purification spell and I couldn't remember if it was a different color. I doubt he will be down for long, it is supposed to allow you to do whatever with a clear heart as you truly are, Nick is pretty much those two things already. I think Renard was out of commission for a couple of hours.
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Renard spit out some black smoke then he fell down and turned bright red. Before awakening he was grey then he got to normal color.
I don't think Nick is pure of heart (no one is, for that matter) but he's been angry and resentful lately and killed those verrat agents pretty fast for someone who wanted to question them. He's been slowly getting darker and darker this season. Not that I don't understand his reasons, but i expected him to have a reaction to the potion. Still he got pretty fast from the first pain to red skin stage (it took much longer for Renard)
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Ultimately, I agree about Nick I just wondered because I just remember Renard's being so much more worse and Nick seems fine in the next episode.
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Oh, THAT quadruple homicide!..Well, at least you know who did it!
Monroe alone makes it worth watching Grimm!!
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"What was wrong with Adalind’s cat before it met its untimely end?"

It was EVIL! That's what! ;)
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I think Renard is up to something that's more his own interest than a better future, so I don't think he'll be joining anyone. And oh, yeah, he tried to kill aunt Marie... I adored aunt Marie!

Favorite Monroe moment: "At least you know who did it."

I don't think Juliet will ever stop being annoying... I think she's just built that way. Shame on you, writers...

I wonder if they'll take a page from Charmed and give Adalind powers because of the baby, like channeling, hahaha.
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My favorite Monroe's quote has to be "Can't wait to write the invitations to that party" after Rosalee says that the 2nd step "involves all three of you". Great great show, so glad it's back!
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One of the best shows on TV is back. No more waiting on tenterhooks for the story to continue. Monroe is just awesome. Welcome back Grimm! My only complaint is that it was "To be continued..."
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Ugh. The break killed it for me. I was continually pausing trying to remember what happened previously, so that I could put the pieces together.

Other than that I enjoyed the episode for the most part. One thing though...

So basically after all this time and everything that has happened, Renard's intentions have been good? He knew that after the purification process that he was the only one that could wake Juliet up and he did this out of the goodness of his heart? Knowing full well the consequences? That is a bit hard to buy into, but whatever, for shows such as Grimm sometimes you just have to go with it.

ps. Monroe is awesome. I hope he and Nick continue to get a lot of scenes together.
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He didn't know about the consequences...lol. he would have made sure to have all antidotes in his hand (or at least the recipes for them or Catherine at his mercy) before taking the first sip of the white goo.

And he probably has his own agenda and reasons. He might not be completely bad but he's not prince charming on a white horse either.
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I couldn't help but think of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the end of this episode.
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Welcome back the only good hour long drama NBC has left. Which makes me wonder how long it has left.

This was a great return episode. And they covered a lot in the 40 some minutes of airing. Where to begin.

First with Renard and Juliette. Well first with Juliette. FINALLY she is interesting. Finally, granted it is interesting via potion. But interesting none the less. And I appreciate the psychology of her and Renard's situation. Because obsession, even mutual obsession at the level they are experiencing it can turn violent very easily. So kudos to the writing staff for showing that. It was an interesting almost hate sexcapade. I think it would have made Juliette much more interesting if they actually did the deed. But the way that it turned out was just as good.

Nick, I have to say this. David Giuntoli has really stepped up into the roll. He was a little shaky and wooden in the beginning and has really taken it seriously and gotten a lot better. Nick's story was great, as much as I wanted him to go into the house and beat the crap out of Renard, it was so much better with Nick barely containing his fury and making not so subtle hints to Renard that he beat down the four and that he shouldn't be messed with. His interaction with Monroe was funny, Monroe is such a great character and brings so much to the dynamic between the two. However, the only issue I had was the fight between Nick and Renard. Now I am not discounting Renard's skill. But Nick has become a serious Grimm and has taken out way more skilled fighters. The fight between he and Renard, lasted longer than what his character has become known for, should have.

The key, Renard, Nick and Adalind. I see where they are going with it. In order to further the story and the mythology, there is going to have to be an alliance at some point in order to fully introduce the European Royals to the show. Now that doesn't mean Nick is going to have to like it, or even trust Renard, because he shouldn't. Renard is a hexen beast, we have already seen his desire when he had the coin. But a tentative trust with him and the scooby squad she bring fun and interesting stories and side stories.

Also, Adalind is preggars. That was quick. She really has become a fun character.

Questions;
1. It opens a power. Where is it, it better be in Europe, if the power is in Washington County then that is going to be lame.
2.Probably not a regular, but a alliance is inevitable.
3. He desires power, as with any conflict in the history of civilization he needs an army. Pretending to be a man of the people has garnered many a persons political power.
4. He didn't anticipate how good Nick as a Grimm would be. And why fight against him when you can manipulate him to fight with you. If Nick agrees, he has a powerful Grimm as an ally and his brother can keep sending suckers over for Nick to pile up. Nick has access to things he doesn't, and vice versa. The better question is, if an alliance is made. What is Momma Grimm going to have to say about it?
5. Yes, it is just better.
6. It is just a cat. And they are evil.
7. Amazon
8. Gosh I hope so.
9. Probably, at least 1/4
10. The quadruple homicide thing as pretty good. However, I liked the conversation between him on the phone outside of the house.
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1.Have you noticed that no one has ever talked about a King or Queen, even if we saw an elder couple in a picture kept by Renard (fox in French). I think the keys were given to each Grimm family to keep the Royal Scepter or Crown or whatever symbolizes the Sovereign.I think that the seat of Power is vacant.
3. Renard is a half blood Royal, hence he is disavowed from the top position unless he can get Crown or whatever.He is obviously in touch with other royals or servants to them who have taken his cause. However, making the hexen known to the world would be catastrophic.
4.I think part of legitimacy for a Royal is to have a Grimm under his service. Any alliance cannot be sustained unless an understanding of their place is discussed and agreed.
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1. I don't know what the key opens, but didn't Aunt Marie say there were a bunch of keys out there (held by Grimms) and that they all made a map that led to something important that had to be protected? Or am I remembering wrong...

2. I hope Renard will become one of the gang. He'd be a great addition!

3. I think we suspected Renard was part of the Resistance and one of the good guys before. This episode just confirmed it.

9. I think Adalind is pregnant with Renard's baby, and it will be part Hexenbiest. That was her goal in sleeping with him. She hates that she has lost her powers, and this is her way of getting them back.

10. I just love Monroe and every word that comes out of his mouth!

And...I also love that Nick saw Renard in all his part-Hexenbiest glory. And they should definitely tell Juliette everything...she must wonder what the hell is going on!
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Great return episode. Believable at this time that Renard could have good intentions. Interesting to see how this Scooby-gang works things out.
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They kicked things off with a bang. I really love this show. I was surprised when Renard turned out to be a good guy, doesn't really make sense when you think back on previous seasons, but maybe the writers realized how much the fans like Renard and decided to find a way to get him on the show more. I'm totally okay with that, since he was pretty mysterious all along anyway.

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Well after waiting damn near a year for a new episode (yeah, so it's a slight exaggeration) I'm happy to say this was a great episode. I'm really wondering what "step 2" if he survives step one. (which we know he will). I'm glad the cats out of the bag where his Capt. is concerned. I can't wait to see how their relationship dynamic will be now.
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Phase 1. Drink something that looks like a mix of all sorts of bodily fluids.
Phase 2. ?
Phase 3. Profit.
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I dont get why Nick had to drink the potion
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I guess we'll find out in step 2...I actually thought that it only hurt if one was evil so my probably self-made theories were shot down when Nick turned red. I also thought only Royals could use the purification potion to break curses....apparently i was wrong there too
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8. Why should she start being tolerable all of a sudden? She never has been before. ;-D
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Favourite part of the episode was Nick doing that back-flip while fighting Renard. Who knew he was a gymnast prior to becoming a detective?
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I KNOW RIGHT!!!! I had to rewind a couple times. In all that time they were showing him running through the woods I must have missed when he learned that...
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Monroe was definitely on a roll this episode; and I do believe the "Thaat quadruple homicide" comment was the best along with the lines around it "see there are still things happening for you" to Nick and "at least we know who did it". And I agree, I like that Renard is a good guy (or seems to be at the moment) there's something about him I like. I think it's going to make a good story all of them working together. Except Juliette, am I the only one who watches the show and wonders (with crossed-fingers) if this is going to be the episode they kill her off in?
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I don't wish he death but I do wish that she would be turned into something or maybe she has some latent wessen-hood that comes into focus....meanwhile since they are there drinking potions and stuff in front of her they might as well tell her Nick's a Grimm, and the rest r different wessen and royals so that she can be in the loop or not be able to handle it and leave 'cause leaving her in the dark makes her boring.
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Yeah it does, and it doesn't make sense having her standing there with them in a shop full of potions to break a spell and not even explaining to her what's going on. So I don't know if it's the writing of her character or the actor's acting that makes her blah but something needs to be done.
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Hahaha! Yes, they could bother to tell her. Although I think she only cares about one single thing right now ;)
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Juliette has been a drag in this show from day 1. She got in te way when Aunt Marie needed to get Nick indoctrinated & she's been nothin but an obstacle since.
If she drops dead with a dose of royal pox, it will mean the writers can parade a succession of hot witchlets past Nick for our edification. Plus of course they could design a few avant garde witch frocks to keep the female section of the audience engaged while the blokes sheck out witchlet spells n stuff.
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