Grimm season 4 episode 16 review: Heartbreaker

The days of Juliette as Grimm's meek, mild veterinarian are long gone as her character starts to really inhabit her new witch persona...

This review contains spoilers.

4.16 Heartbreaker

Grimm took on two storylines that dealt with heartbreak this week – one figurative, and one literal.

A beautiful girl struggles with loneliness due to the fact that any man who finds her attractive will suffer a painful death through heart failure. This is caused by a poison emitted through the skin of the girl, who is a frog-like Wesen called a Folterseele. As Monroe succinctly puts it: “If you kiss this frog, your face blows up and you die.”

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Meanwhile, Nick valiantly continues to implore Juliette to come back home and work out their problems, even though the sight of her physically repels him.

Maybe the writers have realised that they are 16 episodes in to the season and need to ramp up the pace a little, which would account for Juliette’s transformation from nice but bland girlfriend to Hexen-bitch in just three episodes. Frustrated that there’s no cure for her condition, she is blindly lashing out at those around her – seemingly building on a residual anger about all the other life-changing stuff she’s had to deal with over the last couple of years.

While this is understandable, her change is much more pronounced than feelings of justified anger; Juliette is losing her humanity. She is embracing the meanness that comes with her new persona, cruelly laughing at Nick’s upset. She is wallowing in her own anger and pity and it won’t be long before she looks to inflict pain on those around her in retribution for her suffering. 

She warns Renard: “If I don’t [get my life back] you better watch out.”

But even if she could find a cure, it seems at this stage Juliette is simply too far gone to think about a return to meek and mild veterinarian.

Meanwhile, Sean Renard is also having a bad week (although admittedly not as bad as double agent Sam Damerov). Aside from playing unwilling landlord to a bitchy Hexenbiest, the Captain continues to suffer side effects from his “trip to the other side.”

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To make things even worse, Renard receives a beating at the hands of the new royal in town. Prince Kenneth – an unassuming name for a man who takes such great pleasure in violence – has a reputation for getting results. As he tells Renard: “I’m a little more hands-on than Viktor,” as they fight.

The casting of Nico Evers-Swindell as Prince Kenneth is interesting, as a man of equal height and size to Sasha Roiz, making for a fair fight – at least for the most part. For all his skills in manipulation and game-play however, Renard lacks the obvious cold-hearted cruelty that it seems Kenneth enjoys.

(This isn’t the first time Evers-Swindell has played a prince, fact fans; he played Prince William in the 2011 Lifetime movie William And Kate. We would include a review link here, but er, we seem to have missed that one on release [Ed])

It is also left to Kenneth to drop a fly into the ointment for Adalind and her plans to conjure up a new baby daddy. Not only does he immediately recognise she’s pregnant, but dismisses her claims that Viktor is the father with the bombshell that Viktor is sterile.

Here the writers appear to need us to suspend our disbelief for a while. Adalind has just discovered she’s pregnant and already appears at least several months gone. Claire Coffee is currently heavily pregnant with her first child, so in some way it makes sense for the writers to incorporate it into the story, but this really is a leap for us viewers.

The upshot of the Folterseele story is that there’s someone for everyone. Also it’s important to look beyond the superficial and see the real person underneath the skin – something with which Nick has been struggling.

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But even if he were to look beyond Juliette’s decaying skin and skeletal features, right now there’s not much better underneath.

Next week Juliette looks to take mean girl to another level, and Adalind shouldn’t be the only one to watch their back.

Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, Double Date, here.

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