As if the Grimm gods had heard my blogging prayers, Friday’s episode, "Cat and Mouse," had every element I’ve been aching to see—more Monroe and Rosalee, more background on the Wesens and the Grimms, more intel on how the show's world works, and more questions about Captain Renard’s place in things.
The episode began with a truly fun scene during which Nick recorded the details of his run-in with the Klausriech and Seltenvogelor in his big Grimm tome. Not only did we get to witness Nick stumbling over his words as he tried to find a dignified way to write “Mr. Cat was a d-bag,” but we got to see him applying his knowledge and being a Grimm. We’ve become pretty familiar with his cop side, so it was nice to see there are parts of his Grimm calling that are radically different.
On the creature side we had a cross-country gun chase as a truly hot British Fuchsbau, Ian, tried to outrun Edgar, a fantastically cold-blooded German Wesen hit man for the Verrat—the European Wesen rulers. In another fun reveal we discovered that Ian knows Rosalee and is the leader of some sort of Verrat resistance group. We also learned that so far, America has not been pulled into that “old country” political struggle, but it soon may be.
So Nick and Hank investigated the attempted murder of Ian, and Edgar threatened Nick and Captain Renard with equal aplomb. The show wisely did not attempt to milk the Hank/Adalind love story any further. And while there were no Juliette/Nick resolutions, there was far and enough action and new information to keep the glossing-over of that storyline from being troublesome.
The real meat of the episode came when Monroe arrived to help Rosalee with Ian and we saw a lot of Monroe jealousy as he and Nick helped the activist Fuchsbau. Monroe might as well have rented a billboard emblazoned with the words “I like Rosalee” for all his bluster, and I loved the subtle rivalry between Ian and Monroe. While our favorite Blutbad is a rebel in refusing to let his nature dictate who he is, it was fascinating to see him compete with a true revolutionary, though Rosalee seemed pretty oblivious.
But then the other shoe dropped for Nick as we learned that historically, the Grimms have often worked for the evil ruling Wesen royal families oppressing the masses. Apparently the old-country Grimms have an “enemy of my enemy” attitude and have worked for and with the Wesen royal families to take down their subjects, making the Wesens' overpowering fear of Grimms suddenly way more understandable. It also begs the question, who are the real bad guys here? Are the Reapers good guys for trying to keep the murdering Grimms in check? Is Captain Renard a good guy for trying to keep European politics out of America? Was Aunt Marie a bad guy, killing innocent Wesen with the help of the Royals?
Things came to a head when Edgar, after trying to put Nick on the wrong trail and then trying to employ Nick, resorted to threatening a citywide shooting spree unless he got Ian. Our dapper hit man then took Rosalee hostage, and the plucky Fuchsbau did some grade-A sassing as she stalled for time, cementing her status as my favorite new character.
Team Grimm formulated a plan on the run and we got a fantastic scene in which Monroe and Nick pretended to give up Ian in a Scooby-and-Shaggy-esque bickering pantomime. Monroe Blutbaded out and took down Edgar, but the refined hit man’s words about the oppressed becoming the oppressors rang true as Ian shot him. Nick decided to let Ian go for the greater good and proved that he is more adept at staging a murder scene than Captain Renard as he called in the Portland PD and pinned all the blame on Edgar. But the final twist came when Renard let slip that he knows there are more people gunning for Ian, and Nick began to look on his beloved police chief with suspicion.
This episode was excellent, everything I’ve been wishing for as we began to see the substance behind the creature world. The cop drama side has never felt more real; I enjoyed watching Nick race against time to catch the rogue hit man, though I'm a bit disappointed that Edgar won't be back, just like Woolsey (I still mourn you Woolsey!)
But the best part of "Cat and Mouse" was how much food for thought it gave us, from wondering who the bad guys are to questioning the very nature of rebellion. All of our main Grimm characters are rebels in their own way: Monroe is a vegan, pacifist Blutbad. Nick is a Grimm who will not kill; Captain Renard is a Royal who seems to want nothing to do with Wesen Politics beyond protecting his city. So what makes them different than the Resistance? Where do their goals diverge? Though I like the Wesen-of-the-week episodes I absolutely love the exploration of Grimm mythology, and with four episodes to go it looks like Grimm is going to finish Season 1 with a bang.
– What are the royal families? Are they all the same Wesen? Are they the same as Captain Renard?
– Who else is part of the Resistance? Will we get to see more of the Wesen political structure?
– Is the Resistance a "good guy" or did Edgar have a point about the oppressed becoming oppressors?
– Does Nick now know Captain Renard is a Wesen?
– Will Nick’s bending of the rules be a good thing, or is this the beginning of a slide into the bad cop/bad Grimm side?
– Is the Verrat struggle what the Mellifer was trying to warn Nick about way back when?
– Will Monroe ever work up the guts to tell Rosalee he likes her?