“I thought of making myself a beautiful marionette. It must be wonderful, one that can dance, fence and turn somersaults.”
A reference to Pinocchio? We shall see.
We open with the main subjects of this week’s story – a group of teenagers (Brandon, Pierce, Jenny and Kevin) practicing for a major quiz competition. After a few moments it’s quick to see that the questions are pretty hard and far beyond the scope of most people’s general knowledge and that these kids are very bright and very knowledgeable. Afterwards, the group wants to go to Zells, a café, to relax though they have to talk Pierce’s mother, Dr. Higgins, into it since she seems very protective and rather pushy. At the café they’re clearly good friends and there’s a lot of friendly teasing and competition going on, with Pierce jokingly referred to as cheating because he gets his brain from his super-intelligent, prize winning geneticist mother.
As they go home, most of them choose to walk, which leaves Brandon walking home on his own. During which a Wesen – a Lowen (a lion-wesen we’ve seen before) attacks him. We have the week’s murder.
In the world of Nick he and Juliette are still superbly acting the awkwardness of living an intimate life when only one of you remembers the intimacy, the eagerness of wanting to get back what they had without pushing and all the frustration and difficulty that comes with it. I still think the amnesia storyline has gone on too long, but it is well done. They’re going to a major function at Nick’s job, where Captain Renard has won a special award. At the mention of Captain Renard, Juliette becomes lost in thought for a moment.
At the function, Renard makes a long speech and he and Juliette have an eyes-meet-across-the-room moment that briefly distracts him. He recovers quickly and after his speech he joins them at their table with Hank and Sargent Wu, who is there to provide ongoing excellent snark. Look. I love Wu’s snark – his snark is awesome and amazing, but it’d be nice for him to do more than just snark, y’know? At least it’s quality snark.
But their night ends abruptly when Hank and Nick get a call to a crime scene – Brandon’s body – and they’re forced to call it early. Since Hank walked, Nick needs his car so Juliette receives an offer of a life from Renard, which she accepts.
Hank and Nick go and find Brandon’s body with his throat sliced – through he still has his wallet, money and ID. They even find his phone - which is ringing with a call from Jenny.
They go to interview the quiz kids and find Pierce and Jenny (Kevin is too upset and we never see him again… I’m bemused why the writers included him) as well as Dr. Higgins. They tell Hank and Nick about the quiz group – that it’s not a team, they’re actually competing against each other and whoever wins the national award is guaranteed a place in a college of their choice. After discussion which points to them all being friends they leave and Hank asks if any of them were Wesen – Nick says none of them showed it – but it doesn’t mean anything (if they don’t Woge, Nick wouldn’t notice) and that he doesn’t know whether they’d be able to tell if he’s a Grimm or not.
While outside they do get buttonholed by Don Anchor, the coach from the high school (and coach of the quiz team). He instantly berates them to do their very best and warns them that if he catches the person who did it first he will kill them himself. Hank tries to warn him off such talk and calms him down, while Coach Anchor Woges – into a Lowen. The coach calms and apologises and goes inside to check the kids. Hank asks what he was – recognising Nick’s “I see Animal People!” face. Nick tells him he’s a Lowen – aggressive, competitive and prone to violence.
Naturally, this puts him at the top of the suspect list and they check his background. They find 1 speeding ticket and 1 restraining order from his ex-wife and nothing else to indicate a murderer of quiz-whiz teens. They take this to Renard for a search warrant and he, rightfully, tells them they have nothing to go on, especially since he’s a teacher and the accusation could easily ruin his career. They concede but Hank and Nick both notice something… off about Renard.