Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 22, “Woman in Black”
Written by: David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Directed by Norberto Barba
Airs Fridays at 9pm ET on NBC
A tweet from Bitsie Tulloch revealing that the Grimm special effects wonks had been busy making a cast of her hand ignited fevered speculation that Juliette was heading for a Grim end this week. Most of this was fueled by the desire of we female fans to see David Giuntoli get frisky with some naughty Wesen hotness (we liked it when he bit Adelind Schade), but some of it also by the fact that Juliette’s character is underwritten to the point of invisibility (I’ve met buses that are more interesting than Juliette). Bitsie Tulloch has done what she can with the part, but no actor, however skilled, can make a character without the slightest hint of a twist watchable.
All that is about to change, of course. Nick’s long-awaited revelation about his special ability to see magical creatures had the expected effect on Juliette – tears and rejection. It would have been more believable if she’d become furious with him for playing some kind of sick joke on her, but Juliette as written is much too straight for that. And perhaps the writers made her that way to make her eventual transformation into something else at the hands of Adelind all the more dramatic.
That was Season Ending Cliffhanger number 1. Season Ending Cliffhanger number 2 came in the form of the woman in black of the episode title. My husband spotted who this mystery character was the moment she stepped on screen, annoying me greatly as, by this point, all I had logged was that Captain Renard was wearing another extremely red tie. So I poured scorn on his theory and was proved totally wrong, leading me to conclude that he is getting way too good at Grimm and needs to go back to watching Fringe which baffles both of us equally.
But I should have realized that the woman in black wasn’t just another throw-away character when I saw she was played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who holds the world prize for Most Awesome Woman Over Fifty and is probably the only female on the planet who could turn someone as super straight as me (although Monica Bellucci is another possibility). The sight of Mary Elizabeth practicing her chop socky moves on Sergeant Wu had to rate as my top TV moment of the week. She has much to teach young Nicky and I am going to enjoy every moment of watching her do it in season 2.
And in the spirit of going for the record in number of Season Ending Cliffhangers, a third strand to be resolved is the fate of poor old Hank, who witnessed a Wesen in full Voge (which is nothing to do with the Madonna-inspired dance craze of a few years back) and is now sleeping with a loaded shotgun for company. Nick owes Hank an explanation before his partner goes completely off his rocker. Which leaves Captain Renard as the only character who didn’t get a cliffhanger, despite the red tie and all his sneaky plans involving Hexenbeists
I was disappointed in Renard, this being the season finale and all. When the Wesen hitman Akira Kimora comes calling in search of the coins of Zakynthos, instead of cutting off parts of him, like he did with the errant Reaper, Renard allows himself to be overpowered and tied to a chair and also seems to forget that he’s no ordinary human but a scion of a Royal House, a fact he might use to bargain with at least when Kimora applies a knife to his jugular. In other words, Renard goes soft. The writers had better toughen him up, or next season it’ll be his blood the fans will be calling for, not Juliette’s.