Hank and Juliette received rare storylines in “Eyes of the Beholder,” which were connected through each character’s discovery of something new about someone they thought they knew. For Hank, it’s less about what he thinks of his physical therapist’s wesen-ness than about what she thinks of it herself; for Juliette, it’s also more about her friend accepting who she is than Juliette accepting her friend is more than who she thought. “Eyes of the Beholder” has a rare approach because wesens are never written from the side of the wesen. The story introduces a new wesen and then Nick and Hank must stop the wesen from committing crimes. They’re rarely more than a terrorizing presence, and the negative traits of the character transforms that character into more of a beastly character.
Zuri, Hank’s physical therapist introduced last week, is used to show a different perspective about the Grimm world we’ve come to expect formula and predictability from since it began. Last week’s episode involved changing the structure of the show a tiny bit and “Eyes of the Beholder” continues to subvert expectations. The surprise of the episode happens in the last act when Zuri kills a gang member who points a gun at her brother. She rips into his neck savagely before turning to Hank, changing back to Zuri he knows. The wesen-ness of Zuri doesn’t bother him. Hank’s dealt with stranger, more surprising discoveries in the past, highlighted by his romp with Adalind. Zuri’s more bothered by Zuri. She hasn’t reconciled her two selves into a harmonious union. Hank reconciled the two sides of Portland after a period of near-insanity. Juliette navigated her way through her own discoveries through amnesia and a magic kiss. Nick relies on a book and help from friends from within the world to aid him. Zuri, and Juliette’s ancillary friend, are isolated, individual, unconnected with the world around them that’s seemingly full of folk more like them than like Hank and Juliette.
Alicia’s story runs parallel to the A story. In the A story, Zuri’s brother is wanted dead by three guys who beat a rival gang member to death. In the B story, her abusive boyfriend wants Alicia, though he is barely a presence in the episode. Juliette feels more invested in connecting with her friend’s wesen nature. The abusive boyfriend aspect of Alicia’s story falls away until it conveniently resurfaces in a moment of hysterics wherein Juliette saves the day. The introduction of Alicia wasn’t great, and her extensive history with Juliette makes their friendship more forced. Juliette tells Rosalee she knows no one better than Alicia. Alicia didn’t bother to visit her during her coma. Juliette never freaked out to her or cried to her during the times with Nick she did not understand. Alicia’s the kind of character forced into the plot because the writers want to accomplish a vital thing for its regular character. David Greenwalt worked on Buffy during its early years when characters would come and go whom Buffy or Willow or Xander or Giles had significant attachment and then something would happen to build the character of one of the core four. Alicia’s boyfriend comes to terrorize her but ends up terrorized by Juliette, who kicks his ass.
Another connecting part of both stories is each woman’s discovery of Nick’s other self, the grimm. Both recoil in horror, panic, only to watch Nick treat them kindly as he explains his intention is not to hurt but help. It punctuates what’s been plain for two seasons or so: Nick is changing the way the underbelly, or whatever you call of it, of Portland works; rather, he’s changing the whole world wherein wesen live.