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Grimm – 10 Burning Questions for (Hopefully) the Second Half

Our hero - Nick Burkhardt
Grimm is back on Friday after a whopping 16-week winter break to start off the second half of its second season with what is sure to be kickass action, a few resolutions to ongoing issues, and probably more teases in a slowly unfolding mytharc.  Whether you’re new to the Grimm world, or like me tend to forget some of the plot points of the earlier episodes, you might find a quick guide to the wesen world and the mechanisms of the wesen’s power-hungry so-called royal families helpful.

Wesen (pronounced vessin) is an inclusive term for the part-human, part-animal-or-monster creatures featured in Grimm fairy tales.  To the normal world, they look like average humans (unless they’re really really angry), but Grimms (descendants of the fairy tale writers) can see their true form when they don’t want to be seen.

A Quick Mythology Recap

Nick, our hero Grimm and a Portland, OR, police detective, was raised by his Aunt Marie after his parents apparently died in a car crash in New York state in 1994.  We met a dying Marie in the Pilot, who came to see Nick to explain the strange visions that he was starting to see, as well as tell him about his heritage and give him a key that we later learned was part of a map pointing to the location of something so powerful that his ancestors thought it best that it stay hidden.  Marie also left him a trailer with relics from their heritage: books on wesen and weapons of old with which to fight the wesen.

Marie in the Pilot was attacked by a reaper of the Grimms, a wesen who acts as a hired killer of Grimms.  The attack put her in the hospital, where she later died after a second attack orchestrated by Nick’s boss, Police Captain Sean Renard, who we would later learn is a member of a so-called royal family.  As the series progressed, Nick faced off against two more reapers and took their heads, which he sent back to their leader with a note, “Next time send your best.”

The bad guys - Renard's royal half-brother and Adalind
The royals are the apparent bad guys of the story.  We know there are seven royal families, they seek to restore the power they once had, and they have resources and influence.  Grimms and wesen fought for them during the Crusades, and they apparently looted Constantinople and stored away the treasures they obtained.  But not all wesen are fans of the royals.  There’s a resistance group, whose members have included the family of Rosalee, one of Nick’s wesen friends. 

The Royals have several brands of goons working for them.  The Verrat seem the most organized and powerful.  Agents of the Verrat are now spread out worldwide and have infiltrated most organizations with influence, including political, industry, and organized crime.  They are also connected to a Japanese secret society called the Dragon’s Tongue, which is directly connected to the attack on Nick’s parents.

The Grimms’ connection to the royals is a little undefined. At one point Grimms worked for the royals and helped keep the wesen in line.  This tipped the scales of power in the royals’ favor.  However, the Grimms obviously didn’t fully trust them because they chose to hide away something so powerful that whoever had it could control the world.  What that object is remains to be seen. Nick inherited from his Aunt Marie one of seven keys that make up part of a map to its location.  We’re told there aren’t many Grimms left, and the only ones we’ve met are Nick and his family.

The wildcard - Capt. Renard
Renard is a bastard son of a royal.  His mother was a hexenbiest (a witch-like wesen).  He and his mother were driven away from the family by his father’s jealous wife when Renard was still in boarding school.   Renard is still in contact with his half-brother Eric, who lives in a European castle (possibly in Vienna).  On the surface, Renard appears to be cooperating with the family - who wants the key - but repeatedly stalls them and protects Nick.  Renard’s motivations and plans are unclear, although he seems to be cultivating his relationship with Nick for some purpose that the royal families don’t share.  His relationship with his family seems strained at best, and outright confrontational at times (he killed his cousin), and there was even a hint that Renard might be working with the resistance.

In season 1, we were introduced to the coins of Zakynthos, forged on the Greek island of that name, and said to give power and influence to those who possess them.  Previous owners have included Roman caesars and Hilter.  However, the coins are highly addictive, and the possessor of them eventually ends up dead.  Renard  briefly had them and felt their influence.   Grimms are said to be capable of possessing them without being strongly affected by them.

Nick’s mother, Kelly, also from the Grimm bloodline, was in possession of the coins when she supposedly was murdered.  We learned later that it was actually her friend who was killed in her place – and that she is very much alive.  But Nick’s father was killed in the attack and the coins were stolen by a group of wesen that included a man named Akira Kimura, a fierce fighter with ties to the Dragon’s Tongue.  Nick got back the coins and later gave them to his mother to be brought to the Greek island where they were made to be destroyed.

So that leaves us starting the second half of the season with ….

Unanswered Questions

1.  Where is Kelly Burkhardt (Nick’s mom) and what is her agenda?  We last saw her giving Nick the slip when she was supposed to be boarding a bus that would take her out of town.  She had told Nick she would go to Greece to destroy the coins.  So what is her real agenda?  Did the news of a royal being in Portland change her plans, or did she always have a different agenda?  If she is still in Portland, she’s been doing a very good job of staying out of Nick’s sight.

2. What is Renard’s agenda?  He’s only marginally cooperating with the royals and seems to have his own team.  At one point, a man he who warned him of a threat to Nick told Renard that if the royals learn he had been warned, “it will jeopardize us and everything we’ve been working for.” So what is he after?

3. What does Renard want with Nick?  We know the royals (and Renard) want the key, but it appears Renard has been cultivating a relationship with Nick for some time – since long before Aunt Marie gave Nick the key.

4. How did the royals know that Marie had the key and gave it to Nick? Also, Kelly Burkhardt wanted to interrogate Kimura to find out who had betrayed them to the Dragon’s Tongue.  Is there a mole somewhere from Nick’s family’s past?  Someone close to Marie maybe?

5. Why exactly did Grimms ever agree to work for royals? Are there still some out there now still loyal to the Royals?

6. What is it about Portland anyway? Nick’s home is also where Renard also landed, it’s where the coins ended up after they had left Kimura’s possession (circumstances of that are unknown), and Rosalee’s brother who worked for the resistance was based there.  Is this all coincidence to keep the story focused locally, or is there a significance to the city?

7. What hidden secret do the keys/map reveal?

8. Is Adalind’s cat really dead? We never actually saw it die.

9. What exactly is a royal? Are they special somehow?  What is it that makes them royal?

10. Will Nick and Renard at some point team up? They certainly have some issues to work through, with Renard being a royal, Renard being currently under an obsession-spell with Nick’s girlfriend, and Renard’s role in Marie’s death (which Nick doesn’t know about yet, but which is bound come out).  Nick is a cop, but will he continue to be one if that means working side-by-side with an enemy?

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