Episode 16: The Thing with Feathers
Director: Darnell Martin
Writers: Richard Hatem

Sing my precious golden bird, sing! I have hung my golden slipper around your neck: This story is based on a tale by Hans Christian Anderson about a Chinese Emperor who, when he hears about the beauty of a nightingale’s song, captures one and has it kept at his court. But when he finds a mechanical version of the nightingale, he loses interest in the real bird, and lets it go. Eventually the mechanical one breaks down, and when the Emperor takes ill some years later, the nightingale comes to sing for him again. Death is so moved by its song, that he lets the Emperor live and the nightingale remains, agreeing to sing to the Emperor of the happenings in his kingdom.

There is speculation that this is also a reflection Anderson’s unrequited love for the opera singer, Jenny Lind.

Nick is nervous. He follows Hank through the station, running through their cases and making sure Hank is on top of everything that has to be done and is expected back, while Hank it seems is used to Nick in hover mode like this – he mostly looks patiently amused, until Nick explains he’s going to use to this weekend away with Juliet to propose.

Here’s the thing – why is Nick proposing now? What changed his mind? We don’t know, and when Hank answers Nick’s worried questions of “what if she says no”…Hank never actually answers the question, and Nick doesn’t offer up why he would think she would say no. Nick doesn’t really understand Juliet, I don’t think, even though they’ve gone through some pretty harrowing moments in their relationship. Last week, he was afraid at dinner that she was going to possibly end their relationship and this week he’s proposing…fear, I guess can be as good a motivation as any.

Robin, a slender woman is waiting in woods near Whispering Pines (the place where Nick and Juliet are staying). She expected a man to pick her up, but when she calls him, she discovers he’s having car trouble and they arrange for a pick-up tomorrow instead. She’s worried about being able to get away from someone again, but she doesn’t have much choice.

At the station, Hank is using the police system to check up on Adalind and where she currently is. Hello, stalker!Hank! …also, Wu is eating paperclips now?! I guess Adalind’s spell has some other effects on the wrong person.

Robin is running through the woods, arriving at a farm where she gets worried when she sees a truck parked in front of a house. She peers in, but jumps when a guy appears behind her. He tells her it’s not safe for her to be outside, and she makes an excuse that she wants some air. That angers him and he transforms into a Klaustrich (German for “Scrounging Prankster”; vicious cat-like creatures that are abusive to women….abusive husband, maybe?) and terrifies Robin. He tells her it’s time to eat and she grows even more fearful. That fear is enough for her to shift into her Wesen form, Seltenvogel (“rare bird”) and he tells her it’s important for her to eat in her condition.

Okay, what he makes her eat is gross, blended grossness in fact, so let’s just leave it at that. Just keep in mind Grimm is never afraid to up the gross factor.

Nick and Juliet arrive at Whispering Pines, looking for their cabin and as they’re lost, Nick stops at Robin’s house to ask for directions. The guy opens the door and explains to Nick he’s on the right road, a drunk driver just knocked down the sign last week. They both hear a noise from inside, and he shouts for Robin to silence her. As he does he shifts, and Nick just about saves himself from rolling his eyes at a Wesen interrupting his weekend. The guy gives them directions to the house, which as it turns out is just up the road and within sight of Robin’s house. In the window, outside, Juliet sees Robin in the window.

Inside, the guy sees the blender and his concoction toppled over on the kitchen bench and warns her that she knows what will have to happen now. He draws her away from the window and Juliet who is still staring at her. Nick gets in the car, but Juliet is still watching Robin as she’s pulled away from the window. Juliet tells him she gets a creepy feeling from that place.

Their place is beautiful, and when they arrive, she loves it.

In the city, Hank literally begins to stalk Adalind. He is sitting outside her apartment and calls her and watches as she ignores the call and sends it to voicemail, which promptly pisses him off. He watches then as a guy comes up to her apartment and she kisses the guy outside the door, and pulls him through the living room – with the open blinds to her bedroom.

At the cabin, Nick and Juliet are getting ready for their evening; champagne popped and everything when Juliet sees the guy, Tim, pulling Robin forcibly back into the house. Nick is in the kitchen and comes in too late, but he calls the police to tell them about what Juliet saw. Inside, Tim straps Robin down and force feeds her the gross concoction.

Back in the city, Hank is waiting for Adalind’s Tall, Blonde and Handsome visitor – sitting on his car to be exact. He warns the guy off Adalind, before he essentially pulls a gun on him to emphasise his point.

At the house, the cops finally pull up to check on Tim and Robin, in the middle of her force-feeding. The sheriff gets invited inside – which, yeah, he’s in on this.

At the cabin, Juliet brings up the things that have been happening to them, telling Nick she’s ready to talk about the trouble that has been following them, but Nick just wants to sweep it under the rug and tells her that all of that will calm down. He doesn’t really want to deal with the problems in their relationship because of his Grimm heritage AT ALL. Juliet unfortunately is distracted by the sheriff leaving without arresting Tim, and their conversation gets derailed from there. Nick explains that if there are no obvious signs of domestic violence and the wife doesn’t want to press charges, there’s nothing the sheriff can do. Nick tries to change the mood, but Juliet isn’t interested. Outside, Tim sees Nick watching them in the window.

In the city, Tall, Blonde and Handsome gets into a car with Renard and it’s obvious that this was a set-up for Hank’s benefit.

Nick calls Monroe late at night – you know a bromance is solid when said bros can talk about groin pulls in yoga at 2:30am. Nick describes Tim and Monroe identifies him as a Klaustrich. He tells Nick about losing his high-school girlfriend, Molly to one, about her pregnancy to the guy and that when he left town, he slashed her face before he left. The cops never caught him, but it’s pretty obvious that Monroe did.

The next morning, Nick tells Juliet he has the whole day planned, promising to behave if she takes him antiquing. Nick wants to pick up groceries for dinner as well.

At the grocery store, Robin and her friend (with the car trouble) are having a conversation while she’s pretending to look at grapefruit, and he’s pretending to restock the fridge next to her. She tells him she can only get away late today, because of what happened yesterday, and in turn he tells her that he’s taking a chance he can’t afford to. As he walks off, Juliet rounds the corner and walks straight into Robin.

Robin turns away quickly, but Juliet pursues her and starts a conversation. It’s Nick’s job that catches Robin’s attention.

In another aisle, Robin’s friend is stacking shelves when he sees Tim in the same aisle watching him. He goes into the next aisle, but Tim follows him.

…much like Juliet is following Robin. She, however, gives her Nick’s card and is about to tell her to call, when Tim interrupts their conversation and tells Robin it’s time to go. At the front of the store, Robin sees her friend, and tries to get his attention, but he won’t acknowledge her. Afraid now, she shifts into her Wesen form and Nick, standing at another counter sees this.

Naturally, a call to Monroe transpires. He is helping Rosalie at the store packing shelves and flirting very cutely! Rosalie finds an envelope of Freddie’s passports from different countries and with different names. Oh hello, interesting sub-plot for Monroe!

Nick describes Robin to Monroe, and he and Rosalie are shocked at her existence because they thought Seltenvogel were extinct. Monroe and Rosalie explain about them, and about a particular trait that makes them extremely valuable – they expel a gold egg of sorts from their throats. Monroe explains that once Tim has what he wants, Robin is expendable to him.

Adalind is drying her hair, when she sees her bathroom door swing open. She goes to check and turns around to find Renard waiting in her bathroom. He tells her to pick up the next time Hank calls, and while Adalind might be a little bit angry at Tall, Blonde and Handsome suggesting they actually sleep together to ensure the authenticity of their charade for Hank, it appears she has no qualms about kissing, or doing other things with Renard.

At the cabin, Juliet is pleased that Nick remembers what they had for dinner on their first date. Their reminiscing is stalled when they both see Robin’s house through the window and at this stage, both Nick and Juliet are concerned for her. Juliet tells Nick that she has his card, and he must have been in on that as well. Juliet tries to convince them both, I think, that they did everything they could have done.

At the house, Robin is making Tim some team and puts something in it without his knowledge. She tries to get him to try it, but he isn’t thirsty, but their conversation is interrupted by a phone call. Tim goes off to see someone called Kevin, whose car was hit by a deer and needs a ride home – oh hello, set-up to catch Robin escaping. She watches him leave eagerly.

Juliet and Nick are cooking together when they see Tim leave and Robin escape. Nick decides to go after her. He tells Juliet to stay in the cabin in case it’s something serious.

In the city, Adalind finally picks up when Hank calls. She makes her excuses and though Hank knows she’s lying, he doesn’t care. He asks her out for dinner. They make plans for the next night.

In the woods, Nick is tracking Robin, but her friend, the one with the car that did show up for her, is also waiting for Robin. He hears a sound in the woods, and thinking its Robin goes towards it, but Tim, in Klaustrich form attacks him. Robin makes it to the car, only to find her friend dead and Tim waiting for her. He takes her back home.

Nick arrives just in time to see Tim and Robin drive off, before he finds the car and the dead friend. He calls Sheriff Munsen, and explains what happened. The Sheriff, shocked by all appearances, promises to come out – but wouldn’t he send coroners or take more cops with him?

At the cabin Juliet sees Tim and Robin arrive. He pulls her from the truck, even as she’s struggling to resist him. Juliet calls Nick, who tells her he’s on her way back. However, Tim is getting ready to feed Robin for the second time, something she doesn’t think she can handle twice in one day. He examines her throat where we can see the egg forming already.

In the middle of feeding, Nick arrives and tells him to turn his machine off, but instead, Tim turns it up and attacks Nick. He throws Tim through a window and escapes with Robin to the cabin.

There, Juliet and Nick tell her that they called the Sheriff, but Robin explains that the Sheriff is Tim’s cousin and that he’s part of it.

At Tim’s place, the Sheriff finds him and assumes that Nick wants Robin for himself. They head off to Nick’s cabin.

When Juliet sees Tim and the Sheriff running towards the house, a scared Robin runs off and Juliet urges Nick to run after her. She promises to hide and call the state police, but with her own gun in hand. Nick doesn’t like it, neither does she, but I like that he leaves her because he knows she capable with the gun, and of taking care of herself. Robin needs his help more.

Tim and the Sheriff burst into the house looking for everyone, but Nick is already deep in the woods looking for Robin. He hears her raspy cough and finds her collapses in a clearing. It’s time for her to expel her egg, and she tells him he has to take it.

His answer? Facetime with Rosalie for help about how to take it out of Robin, which Monroe is just slightly jealous of. I like this – the trailer could only be off assistance to Nick only so much, as can Monroe – who cannot know everything about Wesen. But two Wesens helping Nick will know more between them. Rosalie tells Nick he’s going to have to cut it out of her.

Monroe and Rosalie talk him through it and he takes it out, and yeah, it is gold. Robin is breathing easier and Nick thinks she’s going to be okay.

In the woods, Nick tries to give Robin the gold, but she says she never wanted it. Right about then, Tim and the Sheriff appear. Nick warns them that he knows that if he damages the egg that it becomes worthless, which scares the Sheriff into offering him a cut of it. In answer, Nick throws the egg up high, distracting the Sheriff long enough to attack him and cuff him, while Tim catches the egg. A gunshot sounds in the dark, which scares Tim into running, while Juliet appears. Nick tells her to watch the Sheriff while he heads after Tim.

While fleeing, Tim gets distracted by how fast Nick is catching up to him and trips, losing his grip on the egg. It soars into the air, clips a branch and breaks into a thousand gold pieces.

Tim is devastated and Nick arrests him easily.

Back at their home, with Juliet on the couch, Nick finally proposes, but she says no.

Woops, didn’t see that one coming, Nick, though you should have. He assumes it’s because he’s a cop, but Juliet tells him it’s because of him, because of the secrets he’s been keeping and of how closed-off he’s been since Marie’s death. He walks off devastated, but I confess, I’m more than happy with this turn of events. He wants to ignore their problems and she wants to work on them – put up or shut up, Grimm. Let her in on the secret or reveal she’s a Wesen – this has got to be leading somewhere, hopefully.

Meanwhile, Hank finally gets his date with Adalind, and they look like they’re having a good date. The final song playing? Season of the Witch by Scottish singer-song writer Donovan. Apt don’t you think?

Finally, a chance for Juliet to be onscreen as more than the weekly short appearance in the episodes. It’s been a long while – since the beginning of the season, I think that we’ve had a chance to examine Nick and Juliet’s relationship. Nick, it seems, finds it easier to bury his head in the sand in regards to the problems in their relationship, and its Juliet who wants to sort those problems out. As a result, the proposal gets a ‘no’ from her.

I absolutely love the inclusion of Rosalie as Nick’s got-toWesen for help. Monroe cannot know everything there is to know to help Nick, but Rosalie has the store, Freddie’s books and her own experience as a store owner which she can draw on to help Nick. She already knows he’s a good guy, and not your usual Grimm, so there doesn’t need to be much angst on her behalf about whether to help him over a couple of episodes.

Grimm also introduced a sub-plot for Rosalie and Monroe when they found Freddie’s various passports and I cannot wait to see how they develop this and their (Rosalie and Monroe’s) relationship/involvement in this sub-plot.

Hank is by now completely under Adalind’s spell and Renard is eager to move his plan for Nick along. As Hank gets more deeply involved as Adalind and Renard’s pawn, I am still holding out hope for Juliet to be the one that finds out about Nick first. I hope this episode wasn’t a one-off before the last six of the season, which I’m guessing is going to focus more on Renard and his plan.