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What are everybody's theories surrounding Nick's new "condition" in S3? Speculation about what exactly is happening, and what it all means, is welcome. :)

Spoilers! (up to S3E3, "A Dish Best Served Cold")

Here are the facts we know for sure (as of E3). I'm listing every fact I can think of, including the ones that I don't personally think are relevant, in case others disagree:
  • The "dying" thing (where he goes completely grey and cold and has no discernible pulse or breath) happened three times, that we know of, since he was cured from being a zombie.
  • It's unknown how long he was "dead" the first two times. The third time, it was for less than a minute. Because Juliette was there to wake him? Or is that just how long it lasts?
  • Twice, he was asleep. Once, he was awake, and sitting. All three times, he was in his home, and Juliette was in the vicinity. Apparently, nobody else has seen it yet. And apparently *sigh* Juliette has still not consulted Rosalee.
  • He doesn't seem to have any awareness at all when he's "dead" - he loses that time.
  • He always says he feels fine afterwards, although the second time, he said his face hurt.
  • According to the doctor, he's in excellent physical shape, except that his heartrate is bizarrely slow... even while running a treadmill uphill at ~20 mph.
  • [ETA after it was pointed out in comments]: When Nick used his super-hearing and heard that somebody was killed in the bar fight, he broke a coffee mug with one hand. (according to the comment, he also went deathly pale when hearing this... because of what he was hearing? Or because he was using his super-hearing?)
As I was watching S3E3, I think I noticed something. To illustrate what I saw, here are a series of headshots, from the time Nick woke up from being "dead" in PTZD, right up until he "died" again in "A Dish Best Served Cold":








Is it just me, or, when you take into account differing lighting conditions, does Nick look increasingly worse as time goes on?

And then here he is, immediately after "dying" in E3:



This is better than he's looked since the last time he "died."

I think this is something Nick now needs to do. As time goes on, his batteries get tapped, until he needs to recharge. Why? I don't know.

Questions:
  • What does this mean? Bigger picture - does this mean that Nick is now less human than he was? Was he ever that human to begin with?
  • How different is this, from what happens to regular people who were attacked by the Baron?
  • Not really a question, but... why hasn't Juliette consulted Rosalee? Is it just because the writers don't want her to? (Because that's the only reason I can think of, and I hate hate HATE it when writers think it's ok to mess with their characters for the sake of the plot. Ok, sorry... getting off the soapbox.)
  • Do you think that, in this universe, there will be any precedence for this kind of thing? Or is Nick the very first? (Personally, I can't think how there can be any precedence... how common could it have been for a Grimm to be accosted by that one guy who makes zombies, and then cured?)
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Yearh.

I believe it's safe to assume that whatever does not kill him, makes him stronger. I remeber clearly when that evil Santa-goat-thingy tries to strangle him. He turns grey, and then just smack it with such a blow that it faints! Really awsome! Acsually i miss the supernatural part more where he gets grey and super-strong or is hearing something far away which would not normally be possible to hear!

But no doubt that a Grimm is a natural born wesen-killer which have adapted so much to kill wesen, that whenever a wesen tries to kill a Grimm and it does not succeed, then the Grimm gets a super-natural power that will ensure a quicker victory next time confronting the same type of wesen.

Hope we will se Nick beat the crap out af stronger wesen soon. Maybe even get som more superpowers!
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So long as they come back and deal with it, rather than let it drop off the face of the earth, I'll be happy.
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I personally think that whenever a grimm is infected by a wesens power and is then cured, he gains a supernatural ability that makes him stronger and then gets to keep it. When the fly took his sight, he gained super-hearing. And when the blowfish made him enter a zombie like state with super-strength and limitless energy, he gained both of those traits. It doesn't really explain why he looks like he's dying, but since it happens when he's asleep I just think that his resting heart rate is now at a point where it gets so low, he has the appearance of death. Which can be useful if he is in a situation where he has to go a long time in a harsh climate or without food since it would practically stop his metabolism.
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The way I've understood the increased Grimm abilities Nick's been showing since his brush with zombie-hood is that are more of a reaction to the stress hiss body went through while fighting the poison. And that response was to ramp up his natural Grimm abilities to overcome the effects the poison. Even though he was cured by the serum, his body is still in that ramped up mode, and that is what we're seeing.

I remember how amazing his mother's fighting skill is, and considering her age, her fighting abilities are pretty amazing. I guess if she had been able to raise him as a Grimm, he would've known more of what he could do. But this whole trip has been a major learning experience.
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I actually like to think that it is a possibility that one of his ancestors was a wesen, somewhere... and he is a grimm wesen DNA extravanganza.
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The show runners and executive producer went over this in an article I posted on this site a couple of weeks ago. Right now it is just a reflection of his mood and a deepening of the character. That is a direct quote from the EP.
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I can't find your post you mentioned. Could you link it please, thanks.
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Shreela, the site won't let me review my posts before Nov of 2013 and the article(link) was posted in Oct of 2013. It was an article(link) of an interview with the show-runners on the TV Guide site if you want to look there. You could also see if you could find a way to review my post for Grimm. I have been on this site and I post on a number of shows, so I probably have too many for them to keep after a certain number or date.
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Yes, this site seems to have an expiration date for articles. I wasn't able to find your posts on TV guide without a full author name. But using Google's site search find a few of your comment threads discussing Nick's evolving powers and his gray spells.
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Let me sort of explain my reasoning here...I've always wondered about the Grimm and whether they are in fact Wesen themselves. I know that they can technically trace their origins to the Knights Templar but what if Nick is actually kind of a prototypical male Grimm. He, as all male Grimms do, come later to their power than female Grimms but had a lot of the personality traits necessary. So he went into law enforcement and moved up the ranks quite quickly for someone his age. So did the Knights Templar. Maybe they don't have a Wesen form or maybe they just didn't ever have one, or maybe the line began as a hybrid of two Wesen species (like when eventually Rosalee and Monroe have a baby, both recognize that the baby is neither a Blutbad or...the fox thing Rosalee is). Maybe then, the Baron's curse just jump started Nick's development and the the grey periods are when his body needs to shut down and adapt. I mean, his mother moves around almost supernaturally and maybe she will share a tale of how a Grimm goes through a transition and usually is out for an extended period.

Or he is some sort of version of a vampire on this show...

On the other hand, remember when Wu ate Adalind's muffins and had a totally crazy reaction to them? And even if we have dropped that story, initially Nick was really concerned about him. We aren't paying attention to the other recovered vicitms, maybe they are experiencing something.

I will be a Juliette apologist here, she is looking for the scientific and human medical reason first. Now that there is no answer there, I bet she will be asking Rosalee (who, you'll remember, acknowledged she has to look up and research all this Caribbean based Wesen stuff because her training is all in the European based Wesen).
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Rosalee is a fuchsbau. I think you're right about him having a transition, but this is something different. I think his Grimm abilities are like a muscle, and each time he is attacked by a Wessen the 'muscle' gets stronger and gives him new abilities.
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Yeah, it would be the easiest way to deal with the whole thing too. It looks like in next week's episode (not the one from tomorrow night) Juliette is asking Rosalee advice about something or other. Now, it could be any number of things from Nick's mother to helping her figure out how to protect herself so Nick doesn't have to worry so much about her, but I hope that now that she has exhausted the scientific explanations for what's going on with him, that she has had her initial distraction of the email answered, I could see her finally thinking, well, maybe Rosalee could help out.
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That's an interesting theory that he does a quick hibernate to recharge. I was thinking that since his heartrate is really low even when doing high energy stuff, it could be that when he is sleeping or just sitting around, his heart rate slows way down and puts him into the deathlike state.
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***Warning Juliette Rant paragraph***Ok don't even talk to me about Juliette. I mean she was in the dark season 1. Season two she was painstakingly annoying (bitchy). She finally started being close to ok in my book and now she is once again borderline mentally deficient. REALLY?! Just a doctor, cuz it's not like Nick went through anything strange that a doctor my have trouble deducing! I hate her. I try to like her, but I want that fly wesson that eats tears to come attack her because then she'd have a reason for missing blatantly obvious things. I've been waiting for her to die for forever.

Ok I feel better, now on to the theories:
I think bigger picture Nick's going to become some super Grimm. Not necessarily in a good way. He may become more primal with all those abilities and blackouts.
Renard made that (seemingly out of character) comment about Grimms always killing. Kinda like they are laying the ground work for Nick to start becoming one of the deadly Grimms wessen are always so scared of. I think they are going to make him deadly. Maybe not all the time but at least when he feels backed into a corner.
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Good theory! Just to nitpick about Renard's offhand comment that you mentioned: it could have come from one (small) part grief due to the loss of his half-brother Eric even though they weren't close but most likely dealing with the stress of being involved with the family machinations resulting in the loss of Eric.
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It's a mark of how much they showed the enmity between Sean and Eric, that it literally never occurred to me until now, that maybe Sean is experiencing some grief! Really, not until I read this, and then the light bulb went off in my head. So, thanks. :)
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Judging by his mother, Nick is not not your average Grimm, maybe its because he grew up with his aunt or because he's a police officer, but he is different.
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Completely agree with you DeDee - that woman has more lives than a cat. Still, even cats can run out of their nine; so, you know...........
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If you go to the replies in my previous post, you can see my line of thinking goes in a similar direction.

And yes, Juliette is the perpetual holder of the Idiot Ball, and i think her character is there solely to use this trope.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdiotBall
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Nick's face hurt because Juliet slapped him. It is not at all relevant to what is going on with him, except that it tells us that he doesn't lose all sense of feeling when he goes into these "dead" states.

You also forgot to mention that he goes deathly pale when he's using his super hearing to listen to Juliet and the cops talk about the dead guy when he first finds out... and then he smashes the mug from mere strength.

As for what's going on? I have no idea. But I can't wait to find out!!
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Thanks! Yes, I did forget that. Adding to my original post now...
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I mentioned on the Grimm review that I think because Nick was hit with a double dose of the blowfish-wesen poison, perhaps he wasn't completely cured. Therefore, he's mostly human but part zombie.
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if you go back to the previous season in which he gained a new power of heightened awareness, this may be a vehicle to expand his capabilities in anticipation of greater threats to come...
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well, they did go into his heightened sense when he was a zombie, so maybe it is more like a spider sense that works involuntarily. The heightened awareness is the first augmentation to his abilities i recall, so the new physical prowess would be the next.

The Awareness was an beneficial after affect, so this temporary dying may be the obstacle to be overcome before he gains his physical prowess, so as not to just be giving him an augmentation without there being some risk involved. Considering expansive mythos, i suspect this is part of some dark secret relating to the origins of the Grimms.

The Grimms seem to walk between the human and Wesen world, so it may be that the different reactions are due to the Grimms not truly being human, but really some form of hybridization between humans and Wesen. We have gotten into the history of the Grimms, but not really the origin. So it may be that even the Ability to see Wesen itself may have been something that was originally "acquired" and not just a spontaneous ability. NIck's resistance while being a Zombie may have hinted to his assimilation abilities. Even in his enraged stages, he still seemed to have some hesitation, like he was struggling with it subconsciously. I theorize that as a Grimm, Nick is capable of absorbing new abilities, but not without some form of sacrifice necessary, either as a plot device, or as a balancing element.

One thing i do like about this series has been that we are still, like NIck, in the dark about the true nature of the world, and there are a lot of mysteries that are slowly unraveling, only to introduce new mysteries. This new "ability" may be a hint at a more complex nature to the Grimms then previously mentioned. After all, Nick is as new to this as we are, and i suspect there are some dark secrets about the Grimms to be uncovered yet.

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I like your take on Nick's abilities and his nature. :)

Regarding upgrades to his abilities *getting back on the soapbox*:
As you say, the best upgrades come with an initial risk that must be overcome. In the case of Nick's heightened senses, that would be when he went blind and almost died. And in the case of this new condition, that would be when he was made into a mindless zombie, killed somebody, and almost died.

But, to my mind, it doesn't stop there. There's not just the initial risk to be overcome... the best upgraded abilities also have a flip side. That's what I think the "deaths" are. They're not the initial risk - that was the zombie thing. That's over and done. Rather, they're more like the flip side of his new abilities. They go hand in hand. For as long as he has these new abilities (and they really should be a constant forever thing, or a one-time thing. One or the other, but nothing in-between, because that's cheating), then this is the price he must pay for them.

That's what I hope this is. Because that makes for better stories. :)

Much like, to use the Daredevil comics as an example, DD has heightened senses that are a huge asset, but also an equally-huge liability. Yes, he can track people from blocks away, and always know when people are lying, and do countless other things that people with regular senses can't do... but he also can't enter a sewer without gagging and being unable to breathe (where a regular person would be more like, "Ugh. Disgusting," but they'd still be able to move on). And adversaries who understand his abilities often target him with weapons that use his unusual sensitivity to sound, against him.

That's what I wish they'd done with Nick's heightened awareness. Made it a constant asset with a constant flip-side, that was just always there. Mainly, I wish this because that's what they kind of implied it would be, at the end of the blindness episode.

Or, if your version is correct, and this is a sporadic involuntary thing, that's cool too... but then, super-hearing would be a sudden thing that comes on him. Such a thing would be painful. Think about it... one second, your senses are normal, and the next, the plumbing and distant traffic is pounding in your ears.

The most relate-able new abilities are usually just as much a hindrance as they are an asset, and the constant challenge that the character must face, is figuring out how to a) use their new abilities, and b) work around the flip side, or learn to deal with it, so that it doesn't get them killed.

*getting off soapbox*

Love your last paragraph, btw. Totally agree, nothing much to add. :)
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Sorry for the double. I forgot to add...

*steps onto the soapbox*
My biggest worry, is that they'll treat his new abilities the way they treated his heightened senses - used them when they're useful for the plot, and forgot them when they weren't.

Whatever these new abilities/handicaps are, they, along with his heightened senses, should become part of the new norm. After they've served whatever purpose they serve to the upcoming plot, these new abilities should just become part of Nick's character description.

Kind of like... Oz being a werewolf. It's a big deal. And then it's not. But it's always there. It's always a part of his character. From time to time, we just see people babysitting Oz in his cage.

This should be the same. The writers could, legitimately, go two ways with this - either this is a temporary condition, or it's permanent.

If it's temporary (and I hope it's not), then the writers should have a reason for it to be temporary. If action must be taken to rid Nick of this condition, it must be because there's danger in keeping it. Or if it just goes away on its own, it should be established why.

If it's permanent (as I hope), then it should be permanent. Eventually, it should cease to be a big deal (except maybe on occasion), but it should always be there. Sometime before it ceases to be a big deal, there should be a way to predict exactly when these "dead" times will occur, and then, frequently, the characters should have to work around it or work with it. Just a mention - "Nick, I need you to go here and do this." "When?" "A couple of hours." "Can't. Dead time coming up." "Oh. Never mind."

Anyway, sorry. I just... really don't like it when writers introduce things that should be made part of the regular character description, and then drop it except where convenient. Especially something that's as big a deal as Nick uncontrollably dying from time to time. Not that they've actually done that or anything. Except with the heightened senses. And maybe a couple of other things (I don't know, I feel like I'm forgetting a couple of should-be-permanent-additions to Nick's character description, that were so not permanent, and it was never established why).

Sorry. Getting off the soapbox now. :)
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Hopefully they'll do a better job of keeping his new skills (the slowed breathing, etc.) in the constant canon than they did his heightened senses. Since it happened, viewers were given very, very few chances to remember that, yes, he has heightened senses. Nice to see them returned to the canon. Hopefully they'll stay that way, along with his new senses.

I agree that the writers are introducing new abilities to Nick, with an unfortunate side effect, and I'm all for that. :) But this leaves me with so many juicy questions: what exactly do you think those abilities are, and what exactly is the side effect? That is, how does it work? And why? Why does he appear to die from time to time? Do the "deaths" serve some function, in and of themselves, or are they just a negative side effect? And what does all this make Nick? Is he more than a Grimm? Less? Would other Grimms consider him a monster if they met him?

All fun things to speculate. :) Of course, I'm still having fun with the big question, "what exactly is a Grimm? Why do Grimms consider themselves human, while Wesen clearly consider Grimms to be very different from human? Grimms have different abilities than humans, but does it stop there? Do they also have different primal instincts? I'm inclined to think, "yes," and that is so intriguing to think about. :D
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In the pilot rosellee said that because he is a Grimm he would react differently than the others also he got two doses of that anti zombie juice. He also acted differently while a zombie he wasn't in control like the others he was going on pure primal/zombie instinct not even the voodoo man knew what to to he he was shocked and separated him again overall Nick got hit with double of everything. Other than this I really don't know any other theories are appreciated it's got me thinking on over time
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