This review contains spoilers.
5.20 Bad Night
As we crash inevitably onwards to next week’s two-hour season finale, Bad Night tries valiantly to inject some tension into the proceedings. And to some extent it works, with most of the episode focusing on Nick’s transformation from mild-mannered detective to a man consumed by a need for revenge against those who have taken his family.
It’s understandable, of course, that he’s feeling vexed after Black Claw forced Adalind to up and leave with their child, all so newbie politician Renard can benefit from a camera-friendly instant family. (There’s clearly more to it than that though, right?)
The writers are obviously attempting to portray a new darker side to Nick; a man driven by revenge and who doesn’t give a hoot about the rules. The problem is, even his darkest moments, Nick is just a bit too nice. Even when confronted by Renard – the man who’s parading Nick’s girlfriend and son as his own on TV – he seems more incredulous than pissed off.
The whole Renard heel-turn continues to confuse too. This is probably down to a lack of time spent on his characterisation this season, as he now just comes across as a one-dimensional villain. There was always the idea that he was playing both sides up to now. However this episode provides a little more insight into his motivations for aligning with Black Claw; he’s now espousing the idea of a Wesen “revolution” like a true convert.
In all likelihood though, Renard has just picked what he believes to be the winning team, and is securing himself an early place at among the organisation’s leaders. We know he’s always been mercenary, but because there’s been such little back story behind the turnaround it’s just a little unbelievable that he would so quickly betray those he has fought alongside so closely in the past.
At the same time he’s allowing himself to be used as a pawn by Black Claw, and it’s difficult to imagine him taking orders so readily. Plus, does he think taking Adalind and Kelly – in addition to threatening his friends’ lives – will persuade Nick to join their ranks? Whatever’s in that Kool-Aid, its strong stuff.
There was actually quite a lot of other stuff packed into the episode too. We learned Diana should never be left to babysit her little brother. Also, Rachel Wood should consider taking a wee vacation away from Portland, as Adalind’s first-born seems to have taken against the campaign manager – and that’s likely to end badly.
But with Diana so keen to see Renard and Adalind reunited, it will be interesting to see how much of a bond still exists with Meisner, and if so, what effect that might have.
Hank realised he was getting used by Zuri, which led to the return of Eve’s unique, and gruesome, interrogation skills. It also turns out that Rosalee’s skeevy ex, Tony, is tied up with Black Claw too – although we don’t know if this is a coincidence after his fateful visit to the Spice Shop, or if that was the real reason he was in Portland.
Elsewhere, Wu is handling his new big dog status remarkably well, and is even exerting control over the transition process to Lycanthrope. This implies it might be a permanent thing, which is an interesting move.
There were some laughs too, courtesy of Monroe and Rosalee. In fact, Rosalee was channelling Sid James with a cheeky line directed at Monroe: “Unless you join me in the next few minutes you’re going to be the one that’s self-winding tonight.” Saucy.
Also Monroe’s idea of revenge on Renard? “None of us are voting for him.”
The Stick of Destiny also made an appearance – presumably one of the writers remembered it from a few weeks ago and decided they should probably reintroduce it, despite it having no bearing at all on what’s going on. It was satisfying to see the bond between Nick and Trubel though, as he trusts her with news of the discovery. Trubel’s character has matured greatly over the past season and she now come across as a likeable and exceptionally loyal friend to Nick.
This is all leading up to the big finale next week where we can expect a showdown between Nick and his allies and the forces behind Black Claw. In particular Nick has his sights set on Renard, which could prove to be an interesting turning point for the show – is there any way back for the Captain now? (Well if both Adalind and Juliette / Eve can don white hats, yeah there probably is.)
Now that Nick has a fire lit under him let’s hope the show pulls out all the stops with the finale, and we get the showdown we all deserve.
Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, Taming Of The Wu, here.