** SPOILERS AHEAD … AND ZOMBIES, LOTS OF ZOMBIES **
There are zombies in Portland!
And not just any zombies.
No, these are authentic voodoo-priest created zombies – the priest in question is a seemingly ageless Wesen called Baron Samedi (Reg E. Cathey), a Cracher-Mortel who spits a vile green slime onto the faces of his unsuspecting victims which painfully kills them before they rise from a brief death-like state – who move with swift, violent aggression, much like the zombies in 28 Days later or the upcoming World War Z.
They are nasty creatures, running on anger and adrenaline, acting much like hopped-up junkies on a rampage.
When the Baron unleashes them on downtown Portland – part of a plan sanctioned by Eric Renard (James Frain), one of the Wesen royal family heirs and estranged brother of Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz) – all hell breaks loose, drawing Nick (David Giuntoli) away from a lazy morning after a big night before with Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) with whom he has now thankfully been reunited, and into the chaos the undead have unleashed on the unsuspecting city.
Chaotic though it is, it is but the curtain raiser to Eric’s grand plan to draw Nick into his nefarious hands, and the coldblooded way he goes about it, taking delight in the zombiefication of one of his own men simply because he wants to see how the Baron goes about his cruel work, sends shivers down the spine.
It’s clear at this point that Sean Renard is well within his rights to treat everything Eric says about a reconciliation with a great deal of scepticism, since Eric’s presence in the city, which by the way he makes clear he regards as a laughable backwater in comparison to the grandeur of his beloved Vienna, has nothing to do with his bastard brother and everything to do with Nick and the key.
And Nick, who doesn’t connect the dots, and why would he since Eric and the Baron go to great lengths to keep well within the shadows at all times, is drawn step by step into their carefully-thought out plan until he is lying, in the Baron’s induced death-like state, in a coffin to be shipped back to Europe under a false name.
Fortunately Juliette, and Nick’s friends and often partners in fighting Wesen crime, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) are able to escape the deadly shipping container labyrinth within which the Baron has laid his trap.
But as the episode ends on a cliffhanger big enough to fit several Grand Canyons of narrative, they sit besieged in their car, unable to drive off, and certainly unable to administer the antidote they have concocted to free the zombified from their wholly unnatural state.
Which includes Nick, sans the key, which is safely ensconced in a hiding place in Rosalee’s spice shop, who is about to be delivered into the hands of his mortal enemies, the Wesen royal family of which Eric and Sean (now Nick’s ally in a bizarre upturning of the traditional Grimm/Wesen order of things).
Alas the antidote can only be administered when the victim is in their fourth and most violent stage of zombiefication by which Nick will be far away in Europe, unable to be aided his friends.
Or will he?
I suspect that Sean, Monroe, Grimm/Wesen newbie Juliette (fresh from seeing her three friends “woge” for her with Monroe sensibly going last) and Rosalee, along with Nick’s now Wesen-aware police partner Hank (Russell Hornsby), who have already made it clear they will make quite the team, will be finding themselves on a plane to Europe, to fight Eric and his dastardly plans for the nicest Grimm of them all, Nick.
And Europe of course is where Adalind (Claire Coffee), pregnant with a royal heir who she is rather cold bloodedly looking to trade for the regaining of her Hexenbiest powers, is spinning a nasty web of her very own.
In league with both Frau Pech (Mary McDonald-Lewis) and Stefania Vaduva Popescu (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the Zigeunersprache of the Schwarzwald gypsies (don’t say that too fast or you may rip the tongue of your mouth before a Hexenbiest can do it to you), who aren’t on the best of terms, Adalind realised in “Goodnight Sweet Grimm” that she had to choose sides.
That decision was made immeasurably easier by Frau Pech’s rather clumsy attempts to threaten her life, which spurred Adalind and Stefania to cook up a plot to dispatch Frau Pech’s off to the great Wesen hunting ground in the sky and use her heart to get Adalind’s Hexenbiest-ishness back, her price for giving up the baby.
Frau Pech clearly was on the losing end of Adalind’s endless mercenary strategising, and learnt the hard way that you can’t really trust anyone in the murky labyrinthine world of the Wesen.
I have a feeling that Adalind’s playing of just about everyone in her life is going to earn her a well-deserved and rather messy comeuppance, but for now she appears to be in the driver’s seat, in control of her destiny.
Grimm has raised the stakes quite substantially for just about everyone involved with “Goodnight Sweet Grimm, signalling that the show is getting to ready to stage a rather large thematic and narrative leap away from its case-of-the-week approach of the first two seasons and into a far more dense, arc-liike show.
That makes sense since both Hank and Juliette are now in the know about Nick’s true calling as a Grimm and have effectively become a team with Monroe and Rosalee, and oddly enough, Sean, making it very hard to go back to the same-old same-old.
And with the stakes being raised all the time and a power struggle to end all power struggles once the keys are all found in the offing, focus must necessarily turn to this building tension, and attempts to avert an all out human-Wesen war.
Even with this move to a larger, more epic tableau, I don’t see Grimm losing its focus since it remains at heart the story of a group of unlikely travelling companions, all tied closely to each other one way or another, who just happened to be wrapped in an extraordinary, ever growing world.