Director: Peter Werner
Writers: Alan DiFiore & Dan E. Fesman
Guest Star: Amy Acker (picture credit: EW weekly)
“Instantly, the priestess changed into a monstrous goblin-spider and the warrior found himself caught fast in her web.” – from The Goblin Spider, a Japanese short story
This episode begins with a previously that reminds us that creature-community in Portland know that Nick is a Grimm and where he lives. We’re also reminded that Juliet has been under surveillance before by a couple to whom she returned the favour. Oh yay, continuity!
Slimy, SLIMY guy is at a gallery talking to his girlfriend – lying really – while very obviously checking out the women at the gallery, instead of the paintings he’s telling his girlfriend he’s there to buy. A woman in black – black widow anyone – catches his eye, and he tries to impress her with his opinion on the art they’re viewing, and excuse me while I squeal at Amy Acker appearing on Grimm. Keep scoring the amazing guest stars, Grimm!
But, back to the episode. Slimy guy shifts while he’s trying to pick up the woman, and we see what he really is, but the woman doesn’t. She excuses herself and leave the gallery, but Slimy Guy follows her out and convinces her to come home with him for a drink. Next, we see them in a beautiful apartment, where she reconsiders her presence there. The guy doesn’t take kindly to her changing his mind, and he attacks her, shifting to show off who he really is, which is about when the woman shifts too and shows her true self much to the horror of the Slimy Guy. For some reason, I keep thinking of Shelob’s attack on Frodo in this scene, though you know without Shelob being a woman dressed in a slinky black get-up. But, the guy’s end is vicious and that’s kind of where the comparison takes me.
We see her on the street next, crying at what’s happened, and as she wanted to leave before and seemed afraid of staying, I get the sense that she didn’t want to kill the man, even though he attacked her. And also? She’s missing a finger.
Juliet is watching Nick try to fix their TV and failing miserably, when their house gets egged. Yup, egged. Nick gets his gun before going outside to see who it is, and eggs or not, it’s easy to understand why he reacts the way he does, after the attack of the Ogre in episode 8. Last week, the seeds were sown for his worry over Juliet being in danger with him, and we get to see that it’s still bothering him here.
Did I mention my joy at actual continuity with this show?
Anyway, he goes outside to see two kids hiding on the street and egging their house. One shifts into some sort of mouse creature, maybe, and this is Nick’s “Grimm Legend” coming back to haunt him here. I beginning to think he’s the only Grimm whose ever had a permanent address and a house to be egged. Juliet explains that she did the same when she was a kid – treated a man who lived in their neighbourhood as a monster, only, he had been wounded badly in a war, and that was the cause of his horrific injuries, BUT, what Nick takes from that is that he is the monster on their street now. Juliet reminds him they haven’t actually been quiet neighbours recently. What strikes me about this conversation, is that this is about Nick’s house, Nick’s presence on the street – she never includes herself as having part of the house, even though she lives there.
The next morning over coffee and breakfast in the park, Nick tells Monroe what happened with the kids – Eisbibers, as it turns out – egging his house. Monroe explains a creature (Wessen) must have found out about him, and got curious. No one has ever seen a Grimm, it seems, so yeah, Nick must be the only one Grimm to have a house and an address people can check out. Nick hates the idea of being on a Grimm grapevine and is worried whose going to find out about it. Monroe asks if he’s told Juliet, but Nick answers in the negative. Before the conversation can continue though, Hank calls with a case.
The case – Ryan Showalter – the slimy guy from last night. He was found by his girlfriend who returned from a trip to LA. No one believes he died last night, because of the state of the body – it’s dessicated, which is impossible as the girlfriend talked to him last night and he was at the gallery. Nick finds the woman’s finger under his body, noting it’s been bitten off.
They head to the gallery next, and together with the owner view the security footage of the gallery the night before. They note the woman, but the gallery owner doesn’t recognise the woman as they work from a list of people – art collectors, I’m guessing, that most galleries have and use for their showings. She goes off to get the list, and leaves the guys watching the security video. They see the woman leave, and Ryan follow and are left wondering if the woman had intended to seduce Ryan the entire time.
They head to the morgue next, where Harper tells them that Ryan was made to ingest an acid that liquefied his organs which were then sucked out of a bite/incision in his abdomen. They report Harper’s findings and their own to Renard – which is basically nothing yet. However, it turns out that the print of the finger they found was found on case in Phoenix five years ago, and the PD there has sent them their information about the case – which is pretty much exactly like their case. The Phoenix PD did id a spider venom used in their case and Renard orders them to find check to see if there are any more cases like this one, and the Phoenix one. Hank takes over that, while Nick starts researching the venom, which eventually takes him to Marie’s trailer. There he finds a diary of an older Grimm (older than Marie) who travelled on a steamer where he met a Japanese doctor, who interestingly, shared the Grimm’s abilities.
Oooh, Grimm’s in other cultures? Nice, more please! But not in this episode, I guess.
The Japanese doctor gave this Grimm a scroll that told of a creature he hadn’t encountered before – and from the drawings, it is exactly what the woman did to Ryan.
She, Iin the meantime, is getting ready to head out again, but this time as a blonde. We see she has several wigs and knows exactly how to change her ID all the time. But, as she stares at herself in the mirror, she starts crying at what she sees. Later, dressed and collected she heads out to a restaurant where she grabs the attention of every single man in the room, including one dining alone. She’s not there to meet him, more she’s playing the seducer even before she’s sat down opposite him.
She kills him later – painfully.
Nick is at a house, the address I think he searched for in an earlier episode where Juliet saw a couple taking photos of their house. The guy that opens the door to him instantly recognises who he is, and is scared out of his wits at a Grimm being in his house and there, he is convinced, to kill him. Nick follows him into his kitchen, where his refridgerator repair man appears and he realises how everyone in the Wesen community knows who he is – the repair man has been telling everyone where he lives because no one would believe him otherwise. He tells them to warn everyone they’ve told to stay away from his house, happily hamming up the Big Bad Grimm persona they seem to think he is.
And a very unlucky maid finds the Lonely Diner guy, while Spider-woman escapes behind her.
Nick and Hank find a piece of black material in the victim’s hands, and from the surveillance camera on the floor, pick their suspect, who despite the blonde hair matches the physical characteristics of the woman at the gallery. Renard tells them of two more murders in Phoenix and five years before those, another three in Alburqueque and they realise they have one more to go.
The woman is at a park now, checking out the men around the park for her next victim. She opens her trunk when a man approaches her, flirting and offering to help her with her things in the back. She flirts back but when a young girl in a soccer uniform runs up and greets her as “Mom”, we realise this is her family.
This is why I enjoy this show so much – they’ve humanised this woman through the episode – starting from her crying after the first kill, and her crying and self-loathing despite her beauty before the second kill. Now, we see she is a wife and a mother, and a killer too.
That night, Nick visits Monroe who is cooking vegetarian sausages! Never change Monroe please! Nick is there to talk about spider venom and Spider Wesen. Turns out the other Wessen don’t really consider Spider creatures as the same as the other creatures in the Grimm World. Nick shows Monroe a picture of the drawings he found in the Grimm diary and he identifies them as Spinnetod. He doesn’t know much about them, only that they kill after sex. But he does know someone who might know more about them, and funnily enough, her name is Charlotte, lol.
The Spider-Woman is having dinner with her family, when the daughter tells her that they missed her last night. Mom looks away, almost ashamed, but she doesn’t make any excuses for where she was, or what she was doing and I think the husband and daughter know exactly what she is. Mom brings in a gift-box and the Dad opens it to find Ryan’s rolex.
Monroe takes Nick to Charlotte, at a Wesen retirement home, which surprises Nick with it’s existence – me too! Charlotte, looks to be about 70 and a Spinnetod like Nick’s killer. She explains that the need to kill to stay young is a biological imperative, one that’s she’s stopped giving in to. And then surprises Nick by telling him she’s 26.
Spinnetod age rapidly, it seems and need to feed every 5 years to stop the process. There is no pleasure in the act, it’s heartbreaking as evidenced by the woman we’ve been following through this episode. She asks if anything else was taken from the victims and Nick mentions the Rolex – which doesn’t surprise her as Spinnetod like shiny things.
The next day, Hank comes up with a lead on the Rolex at a school. A seventh grader traded his mountain bike for the watch, and took it home where his mother caught him with it. She called the school, and then the school principal called the police to make sure it wasn’t stolen. Ben, the seventh grader, said he got the watch from Sally Marcinko – our killer’s daughter. Nick questions her, and she claims she found the watch, but the principal points out that she told Ben that she took it from her father.
The guys arrest Sally’s father, and at the house, they see the killer with a bandage on her finger. Immediately they suspect her of being their killer, but when she shows them her finger, it’s whole, and a big point towards her being their killer is gone.
In interrogation, the man, Robert insists he got the watch from a swap meet and a guy who thought it was a fake. The guys don’t believe him, but they don’t have much to hold him on, besides possession of stolen property. Nick though is convinced his wife is involved.
Lena drops off her daughter at a friend’s house, before heading out for her last kill. At the same time, Nick gets a match of the finger they found with Ryan’s body and Lena’s fingerprints and decides to take another crack at Robert with this evidence. What he does though, is call Robert out on being a Spinnetod and identifies himself as being a Grimm. Robert doesn’t know where Lena is, he never has when she goes out on her kills. When Nick points out that Spinnetods kill their mates, yet he’s still alive, Robert tells him a very simple truth – he’s alive because Lena loves him, she always has.
At their home, Lena is showering, and when she gets out she sees how wrinkled her skin is, wrinkled enough to literally pull off her face. I’m guessing she’s shedding her skin here. And sure enough, when Nick and Hank and a SWAT team storm the house to arrest her, Nick finds the skin but no Lena. Instead, her car is reported being seen at the marina, and sure enough, she is on a boat seducing another victim. They hear a noise outside and the man goes to investigate, only to have Hank appear and pull him off, while Nick goes to confront Lena.
He can’t find her though, and goes further down into the boat, until he sees a hatch in a bedroom open to the deck above, which is where Lena attacks him. He manages to fight her off, and in Spinnetod form, she escapes, leapfrogging from pole to pole on the docks, until Nick finds her on a another boat and manages to knock her into a net, alive. He resists shooting her, though, which was unexpected.
Later, Hank and he got to pick up Sally from her friend’s place to take her to her grandmother’s and while Nick tells her she might be able to see her mother and her father tomorrow, she shifts into a Spinnetod in the back seat.
The next morning, Lena has aged overnight in jail. She has grey hair and wrinkled skin and yes, she was a killer but the show went out of its way to make her more than just a mindless killer.
I think that the show humanised Lena so well – she is a killer, who is forced to do what she does because of biology, and she has a family who she clearly loves. She is never named, not until her family life – her real life – makes an appearance on the episode. This could have been the tale of a black widow, a ruthless killer and became instead the story of someone who is fighting who she is, and comes from a loving family.
Nick is drawn deeper into the Grimm world by exposing himself to the Wesen spreading the word about him on the Grimm Grapevine. It’s funny, and lighthearted but I hope this isn’t the end of it.