The episode begins with the usual Grimm carnage, this time in the form of a blood-soaked shipping crate aboard a boat in Portland’s harbor. Security guards find mangled corpses and French writing in blood on the walls before they are attacked by an unknown creature hiding in the crate. This makes for one of the more grotesque crimes scenes in the series, setting up season two with an even darker tone than the previous season.
The show then picks up immediately where season one ended, with Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) attacking the evil Kimura (Brian Tee) when a mysterious woman in black breaks into the house. The woman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) wounds Kimura and reveals herself to be Nick’s mother Kelly, who was assumed to have been killed in a car crash 18 years earlier.
Police arrive at the house to find a barely conscious Kimura and a seriously rattled Nick (Kelly has disappeared in a fashion uncannily similar to Christian Bale’s Batman). Kimura is booked off to jail by Nick’s boss, Captain Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz), leaving Nick and 18 years of unresolved mommy issues alone in the house.
Kelly reappears to explain that she, like Nick, is a Grimm. Through inheriting the Grimm ability to see Wesen (a diverse group of parahuman creatures who can blend into human society unnoticed) she has been in constant danger and a target for Reapers. Knowing she was being hunted 18 years earlier, she left Nick in the custody of his Aunt Marie to protect him. She also sent her husband and her friend away in a car to keep them safe, but they were killed in an “accident” by the Reapers instead. Her friend’s mangled body was mistakenly identified as Kelly’s own, which is why Nick believed her to be dead for nearly two decades.
The mother-son reunion is interrupted when Nick’s two Wesen friends burst into the house and Kelly pounces on them Grimm-style (apparently she didn’t get the memo that it’s hip in Portland for Grimms and Wesen not to kill each other). Nick stops the fighting before any damage is done, and awkward introductions are made between his mother and his friends Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner, now a series regular).
Alas, Rosalee comes bearing bad news; Nick’s comatose girlfriend, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), has been cursed with a dementia-like illness that will erase her memory if she doesn’t receive an antidote—fast. Rosalee and Monroe promise to make the antidote for her, but they still don’t know how to wake her from the coma. They leave to concoct the antidote, but not before Monroe bluntly tells Nick, “Dude, I’ll be honest, your mom scares the crap out of me.” I feel the same way, Monroe.
The show goes on to explore Kelly’s relationship with Nick, which vacillates between her playing the soccer mom who makes him pancakes and the skilled assassin who treats him like her protégé. Neither hat fits her comfortably, and I expect the tension between the desire for normalcy and the responsibility of being a Grimm to consistently plague them both this season.
Highlights of the rest of the episode include Monroe’s phobia of cats, a random scene set in the dungeon of a French castle, Nick threatening to kill a 50-year-old hexenbiest and Kimura’s death by sandwich (OK, it was poisoned, but how funny does “death by sandwich” sound?). We also get the history of Nick’s mysterious key from season one, which turns out to be one of seven keys that form a map leading to the treasure of Constantinople. I’m hoping the ensuing treasure hunt will take the characters out of Portland and into an exotic locale for a few episodes.
This week ended in a cliffhanger, with the murderous Wesen from the shipping crate in the process of tackling Nick when the credits rolled.
Best Monroe Quote of the Night: “At my last family reunion, we lost two cousins and a sheepdog… and I liked those cousins.”