This review contains spoilers.
5.19 Taming Of The Wu
After a few weeks of careful manoeuvring around some of the show’s key storylines, Taming Of The Wu finally throws that caution to the wind as our heroes find themselves increasingly shrouded in danger.
Forgoing the regular Wesen of the Week procedural, the show this week at last focuses on the imminent threat from Black Claw, with some of our favourite characters unaware of how much jeopardy they’re in.
Thankfully though we saw the welcome return of Hadrian’s Wall (HW) warriors Meisner and Trubel, who have been MIA for the past few weeks – presumably taking the fight to all four corners of the earth in their mission to track down and destroy the bad guys.
It’s good to have them back. We see Meisner encounter a bloody murder scene and soon discover that Diana has been taken. This leads to a fight scene with a Black Claw henchman that was notable for two things: Meisner’s shirt mysteriously falling off mid-fight (there’s been a little competition for Renard’s shirtless rage title lately) and that he was saved by Trubel, who has morphed into even more of an ass-kicking machine, if that’s possible.
So the pair make their return to Portland where it’s all kicking-off in the battle for power between the terrorist group and our heroes. Black Claw believe they hold the trump card in Diana, convinced she will bring Adalind over to their side. We’re introduced to a new member of the group, Conrad Bonaparte, who thinks nothing of threatening first Adalind, and then baby Kelly’s life, in order to seal the deal.
Now, Renard has never struck me as a man who particularly likes taking orders from anyone; he’s the archetypal Alpha male in any situation, which has always made his relationship with Nick a little more interesting. But he’s been portrayed this season as somewhat two-dimensional, a cardboard cut-out that is seemingly going along with anything Black Claw demands of him. This goes so far as figuratively shrugging his shoulders at the threat against Adalind – the mother of his child – by Bonaparte. When will see that Zauberbiest rage spark into life again? Is he just bottling it up for a big season finale showdown? Because Renard 2.0 is just a bit… dull.
Also, in what seems like an odd – and unlikely – proposition, Bonaparte wants to convince Nick to align himself with Black Claw. Oh yeah, that’s going to happen. When asked why Nick would do such a thing, he replies: “Because there’s a place for him. Because there’s no other choice.”
I know a lot of things about the show don’t necessarily make sense, but trying to persuade a Grimm to fight alongside an army of murderous Wesen intent on sealing their place as the dominant group on earth doesn’t seem too practical.
The other big reveal was Wu’s transition to Wu-Wolf, as the changes become too obvious to ignore – particularly if they involve ripping the throat out of a shady Skalengeck. It’s as much of a surprise to Wu as to everybody else, but he appears to take it remarkably calmly, given the circumstances.
Meanwhile, our suspicions about Hank’s new squeeze, Zuri, are confirmed; she’s in cahoots with Black Claw and poor Hank doesn’t realise the danger he’s in. Also targeting Monroe, Wu and Adalind, the bad guys do seem to be targeting those closest to Nick.
The other obvious point to note is that Diana is one creepy little girl. Her powers seem to have grown at a staggering rate, and when she throws a tantrum everyone knows about it. Interestingly, she looks to only tolerate Renard, but demands to be reunited with Adalind. I wonder if she still feels the bond with Meisner after he rescued her twice from the Royals? This could lead to an interesting stand-off when it inevitably all goes down in future episodes.
Ultimately, Adalind has an incredibly tough decision to make – defect to Black Claw to save the lives of her children, or stay and fight alongside Nick. Feeling she really has no choice, and acting on her instincts as a mother, she decides to sacrifice her relationship with the Grimm in order to protect her children. But the subtext here is that she is also protecting Nick from further attack, which he realises, too.
What perhaps Black Claw haven’t banked on is dealing with an angry Grimm, plus an alliance of the Scooby gang (including his new Were-Wu buddy), Meisner, Trubel, Eve and the rest of HW. Nick will now be a man on fire as he embarks on a mission to rescue his son and put down Black Claw once and for all – even of that means taking out his boss. He refuses to let Black Claw take any more of the people that he cares about.
Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, Good To The Bone, here.