The face-off between Nick and Renard had been delayed since season one because of the writers’ fondness of Sasha Roiz. Season five has returned the most intriguing elements of Grimm’s early mythology, particularly The Keys. Perhaps the writers decided to give Renard vs. Nick a go to see where it would take them. “Bad Night” clearly sets them against each other. Renard took his son. Don’t take a man’s son in a David Greenwalt show. Wesley did the same thing in Angel’s third season, assuming it was for the greater good because of a scary prophecy. Angel wanted to kill him the same way Nick wanted to kill Renard. By the end of “Bad Night,” as Nick watched Renard introduce Adalind, Diana, and Kelly to Portland, he said, “They’re dead.”
Their conversation in the precinct concerned the concept of the greater good. Renard’s characterization suffers from marginalization. He’s always far away from the central group. Besides his negative reaction to Black Claw’s assassination of Andrew, he has ‘gone along’ with the motions of Black Claw without understandable motivations. His side of the story represents the first instance of Renard taking ownership of his role in the organization. He believes in the cause, and he pitched ‘minimizing bloodshed’ to Nick as the reason they should align in the organization. In other words, it’ll happen with or without him. Nick has the power to reduce the amount of innocent casualties during the rough part of the revolution. Renard’s not playing a long con in Black Claw. He’s one with the bad guys. Family marks the difference between the men. Renard fabricated his own. Nick slowly built it with his son and Adalind.
Nick’s the good guy; he’s the hero, the Grimm. Conforming to a deadly cause is the antithesis of his calling. He’s one of two Grimms in the world. His internal struggle in the episode concerns his primal rage about the loss of his son. He can’t make a deadly move against Black Claw due to the risk of putting Kelly’s life in danger. Instead he works with his friends to unravel the group’s agenda against Hank. They uncover Zuri’s duplicity after Tony blows his cover in her house. Black Claw works in the shadows. Despite the revolutions across the world no one knows they exist. Zuri and Tony represent the bland normalcy the group uses to accomplish their goals. Now, Nick seems to understand the workings of Black Claw. He now knows more about them than they know about him.
Midway in the episode, Nick showed Trubel the magic stick. He told her no one knew its location except for her, and that she’s one of few to know he has the stick. Eve’s constant threats to Adalind about Nick’s safety combined with the stick scene suggests Nick will fall into Black Claw’s control for next season; however, the writers never met an intriguing plot turn or a piece of foreshadowing dialogue they wouldn’t inexplicably drop. The full power of the stick remains a mystery.
“Bad Night” worked to show the tiny threads that knotted together the over-arching Black Claw plot. The stretch of stand-alone episodes re-introduced Zuri and introduced Tony, as well as the punk stalking Wu, as part of Black Claw. The characters didn’t know (we, the audience, sort of did). Grimm often seems like a disjointed, oddball of a show. It is, but those tiny threads, however delicately, hold season five together.
-Wu controlled his Neanderthal side, maybe not for good, but maybe enough to use it when the fight against Black Claw escalates in next week’s finale.
-Diana will, probably, kill Rachel next episode. I’m waiting for Diana to go off-script and mess up Black Claw’s plans. I hope the finale has something similar to the Meisner twist in the season four finale.
-Hadrian’s Wall showed Black Claw’s power structure. Renard’s near the top. I saw Lcuien and heard his name, which means he’s still around and totally not forgotten by the show. The group’s leader is a question mark. Let’s hope they cast Treat Williams, the ruggedly bearded version.
- Eve and Trubel conversed about Nick and Adalind, in another scene that emphasizes the obvious fact that Juliette and Eve are one in the same. It’s a way to rehabilitate the character. Eve’s opinion about choice gave the goat away.
-Sean Calder wrote the episode. Norberto Barba directed.