Apr 19 2012 5:00pm

Grimm Special: “Love Sick”

Apparently, Once Upon a Time was taking a longer vaycay than I realized. But it will definitely be back with an all-new episode this coming Sunday. Says so right on the website. So... there.

But don’t fret, pets! This week’s Grimm special is chock full of badassery, unrequited love, requited love that goes horribly awry, and Sargent Wu in his underwear, thus one-upping any shirtlessness engaged in by Renard, Nick, OR Hank.

Grimm, Ep. 17: “Love Sick”

Nick is horrified to discover that the new lady-love Hank wants to introduce to him and Juliette is none other than the hexenbiest, Adalind Schade, and he is determined to stop her from harming his friend. Meanwhile, Captain Renard is feeling pressure from his family about getting the mysterious Grimm key from Nick. Not satisfied with the work that Adalind is doing, Renard employs the help of her mother, Catherine (True Blood’s Jessica Tuck), to ensure Adalind’s success. Catherine is indebted to Renard, it seems, and making sure Adalind succeeds would free her from it. Sargent Wu (Reggie Lee) continues to suffer from his compulsion to eat objects, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (guest star, Bree Turner) help tie all the threads together, and it all ends in blood, comeuppance, and extreme douchebaggery.

Script: Catherine Butterfield has given us an episode of Grimm that is full of both driving action and small, emotional character moments. “Love Sick” throws us right in the middle of things, as Nick frantically rummages through his trailer to find what his Grimm key fits, and Renard is led at gunpoint to face concerns from his family. The entire episode was wonderfully paced, quick while also giving us a lot of new information in an economical way through dialogue and some interesting visuals (leeches as part of the hexenbiest beauty regimen?)

Nick was really well-written in this episode, and was given plenty of opportunity to shine, both as a detective and as a Grimm. We see what a good detective Nick actually is, his progress on the investigation of the double-shooting coming a little too close for comfort for Renard. There’s also the wonderful scene where he talks to Adalind on the phone, speaking in code so that Hank doesn’t know what they’re talking about, but firmly asserting himself as a Grimm.

Interpersonal relationships were beautifully explored throughout the episode. The budding relationship between Monroe and Rosalee is touching in its awkwardness as they clearly have feelings for each other, but are too shy to act on them. Renard is apparently hexenbiest catnip as we learn that not only is Adalind in love with him, but he’s had implied “fun” with her mother. (awkward....) The relationship between Adalind and Renard as well as Adalind and Catherine is complex and heartbreaking. Adalind being left powerless showed how horrible Renard can actually be (He was only interested in her for her power. Now, he’s dropping her like a bad habit! That bastard!), and the fact that her own mother is willing to leave her out in the cold just as easily. Adalind being left alive but powerless was a brilliant decision, as she is now free to come back with bitter, human vengeance, which can be just as troublesome as any harm that magic can inflict.

My only qualm about the script concerned Nick and Juliette. She turned down his marriage proposal in the last episode. While I’m glad that they didn’t suffer a cliched break-up, it also seemed a unrealistic for it not to be addressed at all. Nick’s pride must have been severely hurt, and Juliette is staying with someone she knows is keeping something from her. For them to be going to dinner quite that cheerfully seemed a bit off. He mentioned “something going on between me and Juliette,” but only as a cover-up for his concerns about Adalind. We should’ve seen what was “going on between [Nick] and Juliette” for real.

Best line? Nick saying, “It’s time we settled our differences...violently.” An Angel-esque line if ever I heard one! Brilliant.

Performances: David Giuntoli just keeps getting better. His Nick successfully balances the humor, uncertainty, intelligence, and ferocity the role needs. He also never lets Nick stray too far from the thing that makes him special as a Grimm — his heart. When he bites Adalind, we see that he is conflicted about what he’s done to her, even though he’s “won.” Giuntoli never loses sight of Nick’s conscience, even as the character is being “badass,” and this often elevates what is on the page.

Renard is a tricky role, because it could so easily be overplayed, veering into mustache-twirling territory (unfortunately the way Jessica Tuck played Catherine), or it can be underplayed to the point of blandness. Sasha Roiz is great at walking that fine line between Renard’s own interests and the interests he fakes in order to manipulate others. When Renard speaks to Nick about the case, he seems genuinely concerned, allowing the writing of the episode, rather than cracks in the performance, to be what gives away Renard’s true concerns in scenes like that. Also, I don’t know if it was directed this way, an actor choice, or written this way, but when Renard disarms Woolsey and shoots his cousin, it’s badass, yes, but it’s also balletic and graceful. It’s the precise fighting style of someone who prefers fencing to throwing punches. As violent as the character is capable of being, we also glean from this moment that he will not get dirty if he doesn’t have to, giving us further insight into the character. As Nick mentioned with regard to the cell phone, Renard is “too clean.”

Claire Coffee was amazing in this episode, particularly in the scenes with Catherine and Renard. She, like Roiz, does a wonderful job of balancing the character’s interests with the interests she fakes for others. However, in this episode her performance goes one step further as we see Adalind as truly vulnerable for the first time. I’ve always been a huge fan of the character, but this was just tragic. Powerless Adalind broke my heart so much that I actually HATED RENARD WITH THE BURNING OF A THOUSAND SUNS. And it takes a lot for me to not like Renard. But he messed with my girl. Eff that. I hope that Adalind starts helping Nick out to take Renard down. He’d deserve it. Bastard.

Reggie Lee brought some wonderful moments of humor to this episode. I love that, while Sgt. Wu is still snarky as all get-out, we also see him being funny in an inclusive, “buddy” kind of way. He genuinely wants to make his co-workers laugh, and he’s absolutely charming. Meanwhile, Russell Hornsby, while a good actor, had some trouble with the humor he was given in this episode. His conversations with Nick about Adalind should’ve had some humor to them, but his timing was off and the funny didn’t stick, making those moments more awkward and serious than I think they were intended to be.

Lastly, I’m thrilled that Bree Turner, who plays the fabulous Rosalee, has been promoted as a series regular! A well-deserved promotion, too, as her performance is beautifully subtle and smart, and a perfect match for Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe. From the very beginning, Turner had me curious about the inner-workings of this tough but sweet fuchsbau, and I’m so very glad we’ll be seeing more of her.

Production: I’ve always loved the hexenbiest morphing effect, because unlike other wesen who usually look like familiar animals, the hexenbiests look ghoulish and frightening. In “Love Sick” we got to see how individual the morphing can be, seeing it on both Adalind and her mother, and the effect of Adalind’s powers leaving her body like a ghost is a natural progression from the original effect.

Also, I just have to say — I don’t know if Portland is really just this nice, but everyone seems to have an amazing house or apartment on this show. If Portland really does have such attractive real estate, I wanna live there!

Representation: I’ve been thinking about Hank and Wu a lot lately. I’m thrilled that they’ve been given such a focus, and that we get to see both Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee do some great work. However, now that their big stories are essentially “resolved,” I’m concerned that their only purpose on the show was to function as a vehicle for Nick without getting resolutions for their own characters. Hank clearly has issues connecting with women and Wu clearly has issues connecting with, well, anyone. I hope that these characters get some sort of resolution for themselves and not just in the context of the Grimm story by the end of the season.

However, there was a really interesting female relationship between Adalind and her mother. It was wonderful to see them bonding over power and things “getting ugly.” Catherine helping Adalind with her beauty regimen was oddly charming. While I was a bit conflicted about the entire reason for Adalind’s actions coming down to her loving Renard, having him so callously spurn her coupled with her already-precarious relationship with her mother gives her some great places to go. I’m hopeful for the future of this character.

I love what they’re doing with Rosalee. There was a beautiful moment where Monroe called hexenbiests hot, then after looking at Rosalee kind of put his foot in his mouth by saying, “If you like that obviously hot thing, which I don’t.” He clearly wants Rosalee and is saying everything all wrong. I love that in Rosalee, the beautiful, smart, low-key, not-obviously-hot woman is getting quality attention.

Audience Engagement: While “Love Sick” focused entirely on the show’s mythology and tying up threads from the over-arching storyline, the script was so well-structured and pertinent information was so well woven into the dialogue that it was a surprisingly strong standalone. “Love Sick” raised the bar yet again, proving that Grimm greatly deserves its second season in order to explore these wonderful characters in greater depth.

Also, shout out to @tishalulle1 on Twitter from the #grimmlive Grimm live-tweet for coining something awesome by saying that Nick gave Adalind a “GTD - a Grimm-Transmitted Disease.” That tickled me.


That’s it from me this week, folks! Join me next week when there actually will be a Battle of the Network Fairy Tale Shows as Grimm returns tomorrow at 9PM ET on NBC, and Once Upon a Time returns with, appropriately enough, “The Return,” on Sunday at 8PM ET on ABC.

Teresa Jusino struggled really hard to not make any “carpet-munching” jokes about Sgt. Wu in this review, and is hoping this doesn’t count. She was selected as one of the Top 11 Geek Girls of 2011 at the Geek To Me blog at Chicago Redeye, and her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on websites like,, Newsarama, and Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! She is Geek Girl Traveler when she travels. 2012 will see Teresa’s work in two upcoming non-fiction anthologies, and her “Moffat’s Women” panel will be featured at Geek Girl Con in August!  Get Twitterpated with Teresa, “like” her on Facebook, or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.

Wealhtheow Wylfing
1. Wealhtheow
This was my favorite episode in a while! I agree that we should have seen a hint or two of tension between Nick and Juliette, but hopefully the show deals with it eventually.

I loved seeing Renard in action: he's cool as a cucumber, whether tampering with evidence or shooting old friends. I like that I still have no clue what his goal is, or exactly how he thinks about Nick. He seems to be protecting him, but I'm not sure if that's because he likes him in particular, Grimms in general, or just intends to use him.

The key has been shown and mentioned before, but both Nick and Renard's interest in it has been very uneven--I wish the show would do slightly better build-ups to these big reveals. And I'm sure there was a better way to get the key than to have Adalind get Hank to fall in love with her--it seems like far too many complications and build-up. Why not just search his apartment while he's out or sleeping? Or beat him up/chloroform him, and take it?

It'd be cool if Adalind sticks around, either as a foe or an ally--I could see it happening either way. And either way, I'm sure I'll enjoy it!

Thanks for the great review, Teresa!
Sophie Gale
2. Sophie Gale
"When he bites Adalind..." Did Nick bite Adalind or vice versa? Only the blood of a Grimm could defeat her. That was the last minute connundrum Monroe threw at Nick. That's why Nick had to duke it out with Adalind instead of killing her from a distance. She had to ingest his blood. I saw him get her down and give her a tonsil kiss till she bit him. But maybe I was wrong. When the dust settled, it did look like she had bit through his lower lip.
Teresa Jusino
3. TeresaJusino
Sophie Gale @2 - He "kissed" her so that she'd bite him so that he could bite back. (Can you tell I watched that a couple of times?) And yeah, he had to bleed, then get it into her. So that's how it had to have happened.

Because that's how this stuff works IN REAL LIFE. ;)
Sophie Gale
4. Stefan Jones
Things are getting more and more interesting.

At first, I thought that Nick was being a bit callous as Adelind walked away in a state of obvious berefment . . . but then she had been a piece of work. If they become friends or allies it might take a while.

But I would have thought that Nick would at least be curious about what had just happened:

Are hexenbiest a species, or is being one the result of an enchantment? Or perhaps an enchantment that's inherited?

Can any of the animal-folk be cleansed of their hidden beastiness?
John Massey
5. subwoofer
Nope, good episode all 'round. Very much liked your take on Hornsby too, there was something that was just not right.

Yay for Bree too! I was feeling for Monroe being a third wheel so often. I cheered when Nick finally introduced him to Juliette. Having Bree will bring the resources of her little shop to the Grimm cause and give Monroe a storyline to explore as well:)

As for Nick and Juliette, well, I think that leaving out the whole story arc speaks volumes. Let's face it, Juliette said "no" because Nick was holding back from her, Nick has a bigger responsability going on and may not have room for marriage in his life. This takes that idea further. Unless Nick comes clean there will be no progress in that relationship.

Teresa Jusino
6. TeresaJusino
Stefan Jones @4 - the impression that I get is that hexenbiest is a species, and that taking one's powers is like having a cat declawed, or a bird's wings clipped. Taking away the thing that would give it any power at all.

subwoofer @5 - Well, I suppose that's the thing. There won't be any progress, true, but how long will Juliette stay with someone who is obviously keeping something really big from her? That's the big thing that doesn't sit well with me. Because in the rejection scene, Nick didn't even TRY to explain himself. By saying nothing, he was basically like, "Yes, I'm keeping something from you" without saying why. Without even giving a reason why he couldn't tell her. Without even asking her to bear with him as he figures out if he should tell her or not. I don't believe that this wouldn't be a huge problem for Juliette, even if she's trying to be understanding. And I get that. I understand loving someone enough to understand that they deserve a certain level of privacy, but I can't believe that Juliette would be totally OK with not having any information to go on at all. Not only would that mean "no progress" in the relationship, that would lead to it stopping all together. On her end, not his. To me, whether Nick has "room" for marriage in his life is almost irrelevant, because right now she's well within her rights to make the decision for him.
Sophie Gale
7. Preetha
Loved loved this ep. Huge fan of Claire Coffee. She rocked this episode. Playing such evil badass witch is hard enough, she also made Grimm fans feel sorry for Adalind in thos last few scenes. Hats off to her!
Now that Adalind is without power, wondering they don't kill her off in the season finale. I just read the TVline season finale SPOILER ALERT: One character has grimm ending. I just don't want Adalind to die. They should keep her. I am worried becasue if they just took her
power to kill her in the finale would be so stupid.
I am also conflicted on other fans thinking that Adalind needs to join Nick&Co. Won't she be more angry on Nick now as he is the reason her mother/Renard threw her out. I am thinking witch or not she is going to come back to haunt Nick and his loved ones. This is just my thought. This why i am worried for Adalind.
John Massey
8. subwoofer
Absolutely- Nick's reaction was a huge gimme. This may be a "you can't handle the truth" situation. I am not sure if Juliette should look behind the curtain to see the Wizard. I can't recall, were there any episodes where someone not Grimmlike saw the creatures for what they are.

And obviously Juliette is not "totally ok" with things, she did say "no" after all. I think Juliette is a smart and patient lady, she is just waiting for Nick to catch up. It is a tough decision, but for the interests of Juliette having a reoccuring role in this series, let's hope there is some movement in a positive direction. If Juliette wants "out" well, I don't see them recasting for the lead of the show, OTOH a hiatus from relationships followed by a few chance encouters while looking for "Mrs. Right" may be written in nicely with the script.

Joe Vondracek
9. joev
@TeresaJusino: His conversations with Nick about Adalind should’ve had some humor to them, but his timing was off and the funny didn’t stick, making those moments more awkward and serious than I think they were intended to be.
I thought that was deliberate. The guy was supposed to be all bewitched and becookied, ya know?
@Preetha: Won't she be more angry on Nick now as he is the reason her mother/Renard threw her out.
On the flip side, won't she be more angry with her mother and the man that she loves for abandoning her as soon as she lost her power? It was clear that they only valued her for her power, not herself. In any case, I have a hard time feeling sorry for her, considering what she did to Hank. Yeah, Renard used her, but she used Hank.

I've always gotten the feeling that Juliette knows more about Nick's other life than she lets on. But maybe not. Is there some particular reason that Nick can't tell her about his aunt and the Grimms, or is this one of those TV tropes about not wanting the person to freak out if they should learn the truth?

Many years ago, I lived in Portland for a short while. It's a great city, and has many neighborhoods like what you see on the show. I highly recommend that you pay a visit.
Sophie Gale
10. AlBrown
I think Monroe is my favorite character on this show, and Rosalee has so much good chemistry with him, I'm glad we will see more of her.
I am not sure I like actors going from one genre show to another. Every time I saw Catherine, all I could think of is, "Didn't she die recently with a stake through her heart?"
Teresa Jusino
11. TeresaJusino
joev @9 -
Is there some particular reason that Nick can't tell her about his aunt and the Grimms, or is this one of those TV tropes about not wanting the person to freak out if they should learn the truth?
Aunt Marie warns Nick to break up with Juliette in the pilot in order to keep her safe. When he talks about it with Monroe a couple of eps back, Monroe says that humans can't handle knowing about this stuff. Not that they would freak out, necessarily, but that they don't even have it in them to believe in it. One of the many gifts of a Grimm is that they are predisposed to be able to handle the truth of the world. So, I think it's a concern for both Juliette's safety and sanity that makes him keep her in the dark. However, the fact that his first impulse was to tell her, and that his impulse is to keep her makes me think that he'll be telling Juliette sooner rather than later. He's taught her how to shoot, after all. I think he's prepping both Juliette and himself for telling her. He wants to make sure she can handle herself before he springs this on her, I think.

Also, I got the same impression that you did that there's something up with Juliette. Not necessarily that she knows about him being a Grimm, but perhaps she has secrets of her own. She was just way too good a beginner shot! :) Especially for someone who "hates guns."
Joe Vondracek
12. joev
TeresaJusino@11: Not that they would freak out, necessarily, but that they don't even have it in them to believe in it.
Oh, so it's one of those TV shows where the people in the show don't have TVs or don't watch TV, so they've never seen any episodes of the X Files or BTVS. Thus, when confronted with something outside of their ken, they'd never respond, "Holy crap, this is just like that episode of Angel!" But I guess if you can't see beneath the wesen "mask" then it would be hard to believe that Nick's friend Monroe is actually some kind of werewolf creature.

Actually, this is an area of the show that I'm still unclear on. Do the wesen actually transform into their creature aspects, or do they always look like those creatures but have some sort of magical disguise that only the Grimm can see through? It seems a bit inconsistent. If it's the former, than it would mean other people should see their creature selves once they've transformed; it's not just Nick seeing them. But if it's the latter, then how come Nick doesn't see their true selves all the time? (I know: show budget.)
Teresa Jusino
13. TeresaJusino
joev @12 -
But if it's the latter, then how come Nick doesn't see their true selves all the time? (I know: show budget.)
Actually, that's been explained. He's able to see them when they "lose control," like when they're having a strong emotion or something. So, in those moments, while they're able to keep appearances up just enough for normal humans, a Grimm is able to see them for what they are when they're afraid, or angry, or deeply sad or something.
Sophie Gale
14. jmspencer
@4 Stefan Jones -

I was wondering the same thing, about the enchantment. The effects of the Hexenbiest "leaving" Adelind's body was a little too specific for me to buy into the argument that it was just a representation of her power. Maybe I've watched too much Buffy, but the idea that all of the wesen aren't a whole other species but are essentially a human with a (passed-down through families) wesen "spirit" attached that makes them the way they are appeals to me. And, of course, if it had been happening for generations, they wouldn't see themselves as "human-plus", they'd see themselves as a separate species, leading ultimately to the world as we see it in the show. If there's a supernatural original to the wesen and what happened to Adelind can happen to any of them, that could be extremely interesting.
treebee72 _
15. treebee72
@14 That theory might also help explain why the wesens' appearance turns back to human when they die (a fact that has been bugging the crap out of me all season!).
Debbie Solomon
16. dsolo
I love both of these shows, and it's really interesting how the same source material is handled so differently. That said, I think I like Grimm just a tad more. I love the character development that has gone on, and I really wish that Nick would just go ahead and tell Juliette. She may become a target again in the future because of him, and he needs to come clean with her. I'm on the fence about telling Hank, but it's pretty obvious that people close to Nick are targets. I'm anxiously waiting to see what Adelind is going to do without her power. Love the reviews.

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