As the third season of NBC’s “Grimm” kicks off tonight at 9pm ET/PT on NBC, life is not looking so sanguine for Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli). Poisoned into a coma, locked in a coffin and whisked away to parts unknown by his boss’s sinister brother, our resident Grimm is in no position to protect Portland’s citizens from crimes committed any malevolent Wesen, the drama’s name for the supposedly mythological creatures Nick hunts. This is especially inconvenient given that a small army of citizens, also felled by the same Wesen toxin that took down Nick, have risen as violent zombies and are wreaking havoc on the street.
The End of this particular Grimm’s tale? Hardly. Don’t expect Nick’s love Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), along with the couple’s Wesen allies Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Nick’s partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) to let him go quietly. As for what kind of shape our Grimm will be in when he’s found — if he’s found — you’ll have to tune in to tonight’s episode, ominously titled “The Ungrateful Dead,” to find out. NBC also has released plenty of photos like this one that give viewers an idea of what to expect.
But as executive producer Jim Kouf reminds us, “Grimm” is not merely a creature-of-the-week kind of series. “Our show is really about the monsters inside people,” he says.
Earlier this week we spoke with “Grimm’s” executive producers/co-creators David Greenwalt and Kouf to get an idea of what’s in store for Nick and his growing band of brethren holding the line between the Wesen and human worlds. “Everything gets bigger and badder, particularly Nick,” teased Greenwalt, who added, “People are going to have start choosing sides now, too.”
How big? How bad? For starters…
Nick’s undead experience will leave him significantly changed. Until now, Nick has done his best to keep his moral compass pointed squarely in the direction of good, striving to limit any collateral damage or casualties within his community. But the zombie toxin may shift a few things within him.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing in the long run. “It enhances his abilities in various ways,” Kouf explains. “It makes him a little stronger, a little more effective.”
But, Greenwalt adds, “He can’t just walk away from what he did, or from what’s happened to him. You’ll see remnants of this (idea) throughout the season.”
New players will be entering the arena. During season two, “Grimm” viewers found out more about the Royal houses and discovered Nick’s boss Captain Sean Renard’s connection to one house: Renard (Sasha Roiz) is the half-brother of Eric Renard (James Frain), who is more charming and ruthless than his sibling, and who is responsible for engaging the Haitian Wesen Baron Samedi to hunt Nick and create his zombie horde.
Although Frain appears in a few scenes in the premiere as part of a short recap of last season’s pivotal final frames, scheduling conflicts have prevented him from showing up this season. Instead, viewers will meet the Renards’ cousin Viktor Albert Wilhelm George Beckendorf, played by Alexis Denisof, who is just as sinister and dangerous as the rest of his family. Yes, “Grimm’s” world is expanding far beyond Portland’s city limits: On the European side of this chess board, Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee) is determined to get her Hexenbiest powers restored and will go through anything and anyone to make that happen. Shohreh Aghdashloo’s Stefania leads her through a series of trials to help her, even as Adalind’s pregnancy — presumably by one of the Renards — continues to progress.
As Adalind knows, her baby has great value attached to it. “A lot of people are going to want to get their hands on this child, ” Greenwalt says.
Get ready to meet new Wesen. The world of “Grimm” has a lot of myths and fairy tales from which to draw in order to create new adversaries for Nick. At least seven new creatures will be introduced over the 22-episode third season says Greenwalt, and possibly even more. Among them are Wesen based on the sewer alligators urban legend, which was previously announced, as well as beings Greenwalt describes as “mean, sexy mermaids” and a storyline based on the legend of the Mexican boogeyman known as El Cucuy. Season three also explores the ideas of possession and exorcism as it relates to the Grimm universe.
At the same time, Kouf explains, the producers intend to explore the existing relationships they’ve already established. “The characters are expanding. The more we write the characters, the more we realize how complex they are.”
To that end, as certain key characters grow closer, the writers have planned to give fans a wedding this season — and, given Adalind’s “delicate” condition, a birth. On the less sunny side of things, there will be a resurrection of the feud between the Blutbaden and the Bauerschwein, with Bauerschwein gaining the upper hand. “They’ve grown less meek,” Kouf explains. “They’re in a technological world where they can gain some more control.”
What about Wu? The only member of Nick’s circle who remains unaware of his colleague’s secret, Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) has overlooked most of the oddities present in Grimm-related cases because as Greenwalt explains, “he merely thinks that lots of strange things go on in Portland because Portland is weird.” That may change in a Wu-focused episode scheduled to air in the back half of the season that brings the cop in close contact with clues and crimes reminiscent of a childhood monster myth from the Philippines. Kouf and Greenwalt say it’s their creepiest episode yet. But first, let’s see how Wu and the gang wrangle those zombies.
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