It also indirectly answered a question I'd had since pretty much the first episode: why are there so few Wesen at Nick's precinct? Now we know! Obviously, Black Claw has someone in the personnel department at the Portland Police Bureau.
The protagonists were all divided at the end:
- Adalind is with Diana (and presumably Kelly) at Black Claw headquarters
- Nick is at the Home-Sweet-Paint-Factory with Renard (and a lot of dead guys)
- Trubel and Eve are in the tunnel watching the others' backs
- Wu and Hank are looking for a way out
- Monroe and Rosalee are celebrating their pregnancy after reaching a dead end
There were two major aspects of this episode that I found frustrating and/or disappointing. The first was the utter evisceration of Renard, a process that started at the beginning of the season and reached it lowest point here. The second was the death of Meisner.
Meisner has been one of my favorite recurring characters; I'm not so much upset that he got killed (his is a hazardous way of life, after all) as the sad way he went out.
He'd always been something of an awesome example of a Kehrseite holding his own (and then some!) in a world full of super-powered creatures. With his death, we really lost some of that. If it weren't for Hank, the "normal" people wouldn't have any representation on the cast at all!
As for Renard... sigh. What started out as a ruthless, powerful, and dangerous character in Grimm Season 1 was reduced to a puppet – both of Black Claw (figuratively) and his own young daughter (pretty much literally at the end there). Pretty much the only choice he made for himself this entire episode was to mercy-kill Meisner.
Take this exchange:
Adalind: Don't you see what's going on?!
Renard [confused]: I thought I did!
Adalind: You *moron*! It's our daughter! She's doing this, not us!
Renard: What are you talking about?! Diana?!
Adalind: Oh, God, do you *really* think that I just all of a sudden decided you were the hottest guy on Earth and couldn't wait to take my clothes off and hop into bed with you!?
Renard [somewhat sheepishly]: Well, I am the new mayor.
Adalind: *I* didn't vote for you.
It was absolutely hilarious (Adalind is really getting her snark on lately), but it also demonstrated one aspect of my frustration; Renard used to be the guy who knew what was going on almost all the time. He was the mastermind. How far he has fallen.
The Renard from the first season would have killed Bonaparte himself, not have his two-year-old daughter pull his strings into doing it! It was frustrating in the extreme to see his character devolve so badly.
Let's talk about that two-year-old for a moment.
Renard [about Diana]: I think we need to talk to her.
Adalind: About what?
Renard: About killing people.
I correctly predicted that Diana would be the death of Rachel Wood, but she also did in Bonaparte himself, which I did not see coming. While Bonaparte's demise is beneficial to Team Grimm (obviously), this is a child murdering people who upset her. This is patently Not Good. What can be done to stop her?
The finale as a whole was dramatic and fairly fast-paced. The actors for the most part did an excellent job expressing the intensity, tension, and emotion of the situation. There were a number of moments I'd like to highlight briefly:
- Damien Puckler got one final fight sequence before his demise. I'm going to miss his awe-inspiring martial arts skills.
- The hilariously terrible acting from the North Precinct cops, both when Nick goes to see them about Hank and later when Nick is taken to be tortured. "We do things a bit differently here!" They were so over-the-top I could barely stop laughing.
- Hank being totally nonchalant about being held captive by the Black Claw detectives.
- Pretty much every single conversation between Adalind and Renard was comedy gold.
- The really funny "Oh, crap!" from the two Black Claw stooges in the truck right before Eve exploded them.
- The last Black Claw goon turning around to make the phone call reporting Nick's demise, only for Nick to rise up like a vampire from a coffin, courtesy of the Magic Stick.
- Rosalee telling Monroe she's pregnant, and despite the horribleness of the situation they're in, he's thrilled almost beyond words.
- Nick and Renard standing there, staring at each other like doofuses over Conrad Bonaparte's dead body.
I found the finale quite a ride – not perfect, but it was definitely exciting and also impressed me with how far it went to completely overturn the characters' lives.
Hank framed for murder, Nick publicly attacking his captain and arrested, Wu killing two fellow cops in the precinct hall, Rosalee pregnant, Eve critically injured (and maybe Juliette again?!), Meisner dead, Renard the mayor of a city in chaos, and pretty much all our heroes running for their lives.
This finale, more than any other finale (or any other episode, for that matter), totally changed things for the players. It remains to be seen whether Grimm capitalizes on all these developments or falls flat. But that, of course, is a matter for next season.
A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you:
- At some level, I felt the worst for Sgt. Franco and the normal, everyday Kehrseite cops who had absolutely no clue what was going on, only that the city was suddenly devolving into chaos for no apparent reason.
- How is anyone going to explain the appalling number of dead people (including an entire precinct full of cops!) left at the end of this episode?
- Sure was convenient that the entirety of the North Precinct was totally cool with kidnapping and torturing Nick. Grimm or no Grimm, Nick had a good reputation as a detective, and a pretty positive one with every Wesen he helped.
- Nick, however angry he is with Renard, can't actually kill him due to Diana's protection. This may lead to an uneasy truce between Nick and Renard when the next season starts. '
- Bonaparte was revealed to be a full-blood Zauberbiest, the first one we've seen on this series and considerably more powerful than Renard, who has never shown any propensity for the sorts of magic tricks favored by Eve and (now) Bonaparte.
- The special effects for Adalind's petrification were remarkably good.
- With Bonaparte dead, can Adalind safely remove that Evil Ring of Doom now?
- Will there be any side effects from the Magic Stick? Why did Eve react the way she did?
So, what did you think of "Beginning of the End"? Were you surprised how Bonaparte met his maker? Will there be any side effects from using the Magic Stick? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you missed this explosive season finale, you can watch Grimm online to catch up. Grimm is slated to return for a sixth season this fall, so you have all summer to speculate what happens next!