Grimm season 4 episode 21 review: Headache

Grimm is going dark in its season four finale arc, and for some characters, there'll be no coming back...

This review contains spoilers.

4.21 Headache

Well that escalated quickly.

We thought last week’s episode was a little darker than usual for our favourite fairytale-based detectives, but this episode is includes mass murder, demonic possession and a Se7en-style beheading that no-one saw coming.

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Headache is the first episode directed by co-showrunner Jim Kouf, which may help to explain the faster pace and blood lust.

We pick up where we were left last the epsiode, with Juliette forcing Nick to turn his gun on Monroe. Last week we heard a gun go off, but in the style of an old Saturday morning serialised adventure story, we rewind 30 seconds to see Hank push Monroe out of harm’s way.

Well they weren’t going to kill off fan-favourite Monroe, right? While that’s almost certainly true, this episode might lead you to feel a little less comfortable with such assumptions.

The attempt on Monroe’s life is all too much for the gang, who wash their hands of their former friend. With Rosalee spitting out “that bitch!” you know your bridges are burned.

We don’t have too long to dwell on events though as someone sounding like Jack the Ripper – or Dick van Dyke – appears to be holding the Captain hostage. This is true in part, as we finally put the bleeding bullet holes story to bed with the discovery that Renard has been possessed by the spirit of Jack the Ripper.

Yes, when he was saved from the jaws of death by his mother, he unwittingly brought back an unwelcome guest. Since then he has been killing prostitutes – and Henrietta – and dumping their bodies all over Portland.

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This is an extremely dark turn of events, and not just because it might mean the end of shirtless rage. Even if “he wasn’t himself”, Renard has slaughtered a number of women in the city where he is a police captain. It seems impossible that there can be no comeback on this, or that the knowledge of his actions won’t trigger some problems in the future.

As a side note, Renard also attacks poor Wu, which is just about the most one-sided match-up ever. I hope in the season finale Wu gets a really big gun and goes all Billy Rosewood in Beverley Hills Cop 2. He deserves it.

For now though, Monrosalee are on the case, brewing up another batch of Dead Faint potion to convince Jack to leave Renard’s body. The rouse works, but includes a lot of shooting and an increasingly put-upon Rosalee.

Meanwhile, Kenneth is busy setting a trap for Kelly Burkhardt’s return to Portland… by killing all of Nick’s neighbours so there are no witnesses to the ambush.

Juliette also takes the opportunity to seduce Kenneth, though it really seems more of a power play in her part – with the added bonus it’s in Nick’s (unusually tidy) bed. She wants Nick to see the messy bed and feel what she felt when he slept with Adalind.

Juliette’s usual blank face has now found a good home in the cold-hearted creature she has become. Saying that, post-ambush she finds Diana (who it seems is aging faster than a human child) sitting alone among the carnage, and it appears Juliette’s protective nature takes hold – but it’s difficult to read anything into the glassy-eyed stare Bitsy Tulloch has made her own.

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Conversely, Adalind continues to show her vulnerable side and is instrumental in helping the gang diagnose Renard’s possession. Already pregnant with Nick’s child, it seems the writers are easing us into the idea that there may be a future for Nick and Adalind, which would have been unheard of at the beginning of the season.

So while Renard, Wu and in particular Kelly Burkhardt are having a very bad day, there is one bright note in the return of Trubel. Last seen in The Grimm Who Stole Christmas, Trubel now looks more like she could fill Kelly’s shoes as she efficiently dispatches one of Kenneth’s hundjager.

Nick’s going to need her – the episode peaks with his anguished screams at the traumatic discovery of his mother’s head in a box.

While dark, Headache also offers up lots of action and a couple of genuine jaw-droppers. It also sets up the last episode of the season for some big explosions, with Nick running on vengeance. Nick, Renard and Adalind all have cause to look for payback, and you get the feeling n next week’s finale will deliver.

Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, You Don’t Know Jack, here.

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