Grimm season 5 episode 1 review: The Grimm Identity

Birth, death and revenge are on Nick's mind in the Grimm season 5 premiere, an episode that promises an edgier future for the show...

This review contains spoilers.

5.1 The Grimm Identity

“They took my mom’s head!”

And so begins another season of fun and games for our favourite folklore-inspired series.

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If you remember, last season’s finale saw Grimm’s first major character get killed off in the form of Hexenbitch Juliette, courtesy of two arrows to the chest from Truble. This occurs just hours after the show’s hero, Nick Burkhardt, stumbled upon his mum’s severed head, Se7en-style, which had been left for him to discover by (the now-deceased) Kenneth and his pack of royal attack dogs.

So as if the violent deaths of the two women he loved most isn’t enough – it’s clearly not – this opening episode sees poor Nick get knocked out and while his protégé Truble is abducted by somewhat shady FBI agent Chavez. Who also takes Juliette’s body, the crossbow and, as mentioned, Kelly Burkhardt’s head. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.

The show’s writers have hinted that this fifth season will take a darker turn than previously, and this episode sees Nick going rogue, fuelled by his own dark thoughts of revenge.

Indeed, David Giuntoli has said that Nick will care less about being a cop this season: “I’m just like I’m doing my own Grimm thing… They beheaded my mom, they killed my woman, and I want to get whoever did that.” Which is understandable.

Nick’s feelings of rage and confusion are reflected in a drug-induced dream sequence that includes Juliette’s funeral, and a rather odd scene involving lots of floating heads in boxes, presumably to represent the death that now surrounds the Grimm.

Nick’s trusted Scooby Gang then add to his frustration when they initially doubt his version of events. This seems a bit off and somewhat uncharacteristic of his friends – of all the downright weird things they’ve encountered over the last few years, they choose now to be sceptical of their leader?

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This doesn’t last long, however. The supporting cast of characters – Monroe, Hank, Rosalee and Wu – have a specific role to play and it’s to do just that: support Nick. (Captain Renard is still somewhat of a lone wolf, despite creating an alliance with the gang over the past couple of seasons. To some extent he will do continue to do whatever suits him best.)

Rosalee is the only one of the group to express any real remorse for Juliette’s death; having called her a “bitch” for attempting to kill Monroe apparently now a distant memory.

The biggest surprise of the episode was the discovery that shady Chavez is working alongside dreamy hero of the Resistance, Meisner. This adds an interesting plot twist; what could the Resistance and a possible secret US government agency be working together on? Or is the secret agency reference a red herring and we’re looking at something completely different?

Chavez concedes they are “playing with fire” and this certainly rings true when we catch a glimpse of one demonic-looking Wesen they’ve captured in a cell, although we don’t know yet if they are holding any others or more importantly, why.

Just a side note: the Grimm forums are abuzz with the theory that Juliette isn’t dead. There’s speculation that the disappearance of her body could indicate a return for the character formerly known as Nick’s nice-but-dull-girlfriend. Obviously we don’t know anything at this stage, but it would be interesting if Juliette had somehow been brought back from the dead were one of the creatures being kept locked up by this shadowy group.

However, when asked about the possibility at Comic-Con earlier this year, showrunner David Greenwalt dashed Juliet fans’ hopes, stating: Anything could happen, but no.”

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By the end of the episode, we begin to understand that Chavez probably isn’t the bad guy we suspected as she and Nick find the other members of her secret group viciously slain by as-yet unknown assassins (although we know one is a Gelumcaedus, the alligator-like Wesen from season’s 3’s Cold Blooded.) The pair are then ambushed themselves, fatally in Chavez’s case. With her dying words, she warns Nick that they are fighting a war – against a particularly vicious enemy if the claw marks calling card at the scene are to be believed.

Interestingly this sees Nick potentially aligning himself with Meisner for the first time – although he doesn’t know that the Resistance now have Adalind’s super-powered baby, Diana. That could lead to some tension, particularly given Nick’s new role as baby daddy to Adalind’s newborn.

Yes, as Nick’s mother dies, his son is born. And in a gesture that reflects her new sensitive human persona, Adalind names him Kelly after his decapitated grandma. There’s nothing at this stage to indicate there’s anything more to their relationship than co-parents, but it seems inevitable that as the season progresses, a more romantic relationship will develop between Nadalind.

It will also be fun to see what powers Kelly will inherit from this parents.

But for now, this is all a lot for Nick to take in. Nevertheless, he’s managing to step up to all the challenges laid out before him with a mixture of bewilderment and determination.

Grimm’s writers have hinted things will get difficult for a couple of characters this season, with Rosalee and Wu struggling with their own issues. But taking the show to a darker place, outside of its comfy-knit zone, will likely reap huge benefits.

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In addition, it’s been reported that we’re going to finally find out what the mystery is surrounding those bloody keys from the first season! Greenwalt has said that for the show’s 100th episode, which is coming up this season, “We’re going to explain the damn keys… We still don’t know what they do but by God we’re going to explain it.”

And finally, in another piece of good news, UK fans will no longer have to wait months for new episodes following their airing in the US. The new season will be shown on Watch on Tuesdays at 9pm, only four days after it’s shown in the US.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a fast-paced, action packed, and slightly edgier new season!

Read Christine’s review of the season four finale, Cry Havoc, here.