Welcome to the Round Table discussion for Grimm Season 5 Episode 16, "The Believer"!
In this episode, Nick and Hank investigated when the bodyguard to a tent revivalist preacher was killed, discovering that the preacher pretended to be possessed by the devil while he was really only Wesen.
Join Grimm Round Table Panelists Doug Wolfe, Allison Nichols, Robin Harry, and Kathleen Wiedel as they discuss Team Grimm keeping secrets from Renard, the preacher's reasoning, Eve-as-Renard, and more!
As always, readers are invited and encouraged to take part in the conversation by adding their own thoughts in the comments section below.
Is Team Grimm making the right choice to lock Renard out of the loop?
Doug: It’s too soon to tell, just yet. I wish we could have seen more of the bedroom scene with Eve/Renard and Rachel. They ended it too before Eve could get her answers.
Allison: I think so. There are too many unknown variables, and Team Grimm needs to play it safe. Like Doug said, Eve's trip as Renard was kind of wasted this episode because we didn't actually learn anything.
Robin: I don't think they are. I think Renard could make better decisions if he knew exactly what was going on. If he had known from day one, he wouldn't have accidentally killed that assassin and they all might have been a little bit closer to getting to Black Claw.
Kathleen: I think you make a great point, Robin. The lack of communication going on between the people who are supposed to be good guys is already causing huge fractures between them. Frankly, I find it frustrating that it's evolved (devolved, really) to this stage, with trust clearly crumbling between certain parties.
Do you agree with Dwight Eleazar's reasoning, that he's helping people even though he's not actually possessed by the devil?
Doug: Dwight’s act provided a kind of “get out of jail free” card or magic pill for those who lost hope. So by that logic, then yes, he was helping people. We know that in the pharmaceutical world, placebos actually work for some people, even though they’re effectively using their own brain to heal themselves. It’s an intriguing idea.
Allison: He's letting them know that they can overcome anything in life. He overcomes having the "devil" possess him often, so if he can do that, then they can take on whatever is weighing them down. Dwight gives them hope.
Robin: What Eleazar was providing was a quick fix to people's emotional, moral and ethical struggles. He was providing himself as a proxy for people to transfer their weight to him. While immediately it may have seemed like a help, it's really not.
One could argue that people don't actually heal without having to deal with consequences of their wrongdoing. His employee Mark was a great example of someone whose life he supposedly turned around, but who hadn't really changed enough to be completely averse to betrayal.
Kathleen: It's a very emotionally complex question, but I have to say that I'm with Robin on this one. It may seem superficially that he's heping them, but Dwight really isn't doing anything to solve the root of anyone's problems.
Indeed, it could be argued that he ultimately made things worse, since now his ex-wife and her congregation are now all going to jail for kidnap and murder. Again, however, it's really not an easy question to answer.
What did you think of Eve's Renard impersonation (and everything that happened during it)?
Doug: I like how his/her physical movements were just as jerky as Eve’s. That made it convincing to me. Of course it makes sense that Eve/Renard couldn’t “get it up,” seeing as Eve has zero physical attraction to women, or at least to Rachel. I didn’t expect Rachel wanting to play as soon as she came over, so that made the whole thing hilarious.
Allison: It was definitely amusing. I wish we saw more of Eve-as-Renard in other scenarios just to see how she would play him. It would be amusing to see her as Renard in the precinct, for instance.
Robin: I'm saying it right now: Sasha Roiz is the best actor on this show, and rises magnificently to the occasion whenever he's given something interesting to do. During Grimm Season 4, his portrayal of Jack the Ripper was incredible, and he made Renard and the Ripper feel like completely different characters within seconds of each other.
This week he did it again, playing Eve-as-Renard so well that I couldn't believe that the woman didn't realize something was up, he was so different. For the love of all that is grimm, please, writers, keep giving Roiz challenges!
Kathleen: It was funny, I agree, but it was also intensely uncomfortable for me. If anyone should condemn Adalind for having sex with Nick while disguised as Juliette, what about Eve having sex with Rachel Wood while "wearing" Renard? Despite my personal discomfort with the sequence, I do agree that Sasha Roiz nailed it with Eve-as-Renard.
Diana is still an important piece on the chessboard. What part, if any, does she have yet to play?
Doug: Diana is the hook that Renard wants to use to get Adalind to go along with whatever plans he has for her. I dislike that he’s being so cagey about it. It’s a reason to distrust him.
Allison: I don't know. What has this tiny child being doing all this time? Maybe she's secretly running a country or has a cult of worshippers. Diana has power, and all I can do is hope no one is taking advantage of her for a taste of her power. Right now, Diana is Black Claw's bargaining chip to get Renard to play along, but I'm not sure whether or not they really have her or have any valid intel on her.
Robin: The guardian of the Pandorica!! Honestly, I really don't know. We don't know a single thing about Diana's existence, and all she is right now is a name people are throwing around.
Kathleen: Last time we physically saw Diana, she was in the hands of Meisner in that helicopter. How did Black Claw get their hands on her in order to use her as a bargaining chip?! Come on, writers, this is sort of important information that you're omitting. What really happened to Diana after Meisner threw the King out of the chopper will hopefully be explained; maybe it has something to do with how Meisner came to be affiliated with Hadrian's Wall.
What do you think might be so "dangerous" about the Magic Stick?
Doug: Whether it comes from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, or represents the rod of Moses, it has equal propensity for both sides of the coin, meaning it can be used to perform positive miracles like healing, but can also be used to nefarious ends. I’m thinking it can be used to kill, or worse to create major conditions for death, such as a plague. I’m fascinated with the storyline and can’t wait to find out what its limits are.
Allison: When power like that falls into the wrong hands, so many things could go wrong. I'm also curious to find out if it maybe has any weird side affects. There are so many possibilities. I'm definitely intrigued, and I'm glad we revisited this mystery.
Robin: Anything that powerful can be weaponized in the wrong hands, and it probably has a lot to do with the intent of the wielder. Like everyone else, I'm intrigued.
Kathleen: I like Doug's ideas for possible uses beyond its miraculous healing powers. Perhaps it has different effects on normal humans than it does on Wesen. I'm actually pondering whether it has something to do with the symptoms that Wu is exhibiting.
*Bonus Question! Pretend you're on Team Grimm; would you vote for Renard as mayor?
Doug: At this point, yes. I think Renard is still pretty much a decent guy. I still hope he wants to gain the upper hand against the Black Claw and in so doing, is playing the long game by keeping his cards close to his chest.
Allison: Maybe? I'm not sure. If I'm Team Grimm, I would think having Renard as Police Captain is more useful. Nick and Hank don't seem to work any cases that aren't Wesen related, so if Renard became Mayor, who would help them solve cases or handle the tricky particulars of dealing with Wesen and following the law? It's doubtful that another friendly Wesen would take over as Police Captain.
Robin: Like Doug, I think Renard is a good guy who is just being misguided by everyone around him. If I was on Team Grimm and knew everything they did, I'd probably abstain from voting for him, just to try to save him from himself.
Kathleen: Oy. I think I'm pretty much where Doug is at the moment, really hoping that Renard is on a long con against Black Claw. So, at this point, in a choice between him and the other guy, I'd go with him. On a side note, I suspect that Renard likes the idea of being mayor much more than he actually would like being mayor.
Be sure to tune in for Grimm Season 5 Episode 17, "Inugami," on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 9/8c on NBC and catch our review after it airs!