Possibly the smartest decision Grimm made in its first season was the choice to add Bree Turner to its regular cast shortly after her first appearance. Beyond the fact that she’s an engaging and charming actress, the character of Rosalee adds something important to the show’s team. She’s engaged with the wesen world at a level that expands said world without constant trips to the Grimm diaries, and her level of empathy for those less fortunate helps drag Nick and his cohorts back from more ruthless approaches to problem-solving. Plus her appealing chemistry with Silas Weir Mitchell took a character who was already the strongest part of the ensemble to a new level, producing both the adorable Monrosalee moments and instances of raw emotion when this partnership is threatened.
So from that end, it makes perfect sense that a band of near-feral wesen orphans would decide to kidnap her and make her their mother. (Well, maybe not sense per se, but in context it makes a lot of sense.) “Lost Boys” puts Rosalee in the forefront of the story, and while on its own that would be enough to elevate the episode it winds up being only part of what makes it a great installment of Grimm. While it doesn’t exactly do anything new, it finds new spins on various themes Grimm has touched on before, and keeps the season’s momentum going in the right direction.
The orphans in question are a quartet of varied wesen children who have shunned foster care and are striking out for themselves, but haven’t abandoned childhood fully as they periodically kidnap women to serve as their “mother.” Leaving aside the groan-worthy obvious name choices (the leader of the orphans is named Peter and their previous hostage mother was named Wendy), it’s a strong setup. The casting of the child actors is exceptionally sturdy, with their leader hitting all the right beats of being too creepy for his age and the young girl going from sweet to clingy at the right pace. For a group of kids who’ll keep a woman captive for two years—and who it’s implied have done it more than once—there’s something eminently pitiable about their situation no matter how horrific their actions go to.
Those actions ensnare Rosalee after a botched robbery, and as expected Turner does great work with all of her adventure. She’s forceful if too soft-hearted for her own good when she catches the boys robbing her, adorably affectionate with Monroe before things take a turn, and when they do she never lets herself show any sign of panic. Grimm’s never even tried to make Rosalee a damsel in distress, and watching things play out there’s almost no fear for her safety during this adventure. If anything, it’s fun to watch how she weighs her circumstances and plans her escape, keeping her Fuschbau nature a secret from the group long enough to chew through her binds and then completely throw them off their game when it presents itself. (And then awkwardly embrace the Fuschbau member of the group when the girl thinks she’s found her real mother, one of the episode’s better moments.)
Rosalee’s empathy also allows the episode to approach an interesting idea, first introduced all the way back in “Let Your Hair Down”: wesen with a complete ignorance of just what it means to be wesen. These aren’t kids who have the advantage of a camp like the one in “Iron Hans,” all they know is that they have an ability they don’t understand and that terrifies people. It expands one of Grimm’s long-running ideas, the concept of alienation amongst the wesen world, and does so in an effective and genuinely wrenching way. As much as Rosalee wants to help them, she can’t, and they’re back into a system that has no idea what to do with them.
Or maybe it has every idea what to do with them. While the crime of “Lost Boys” has no connection to whatever’s going on with the mysterious Streak, it’s firmly tied in with the resolution as the orphans meet their new headmaster and hear the mysterious phrase from “Clear And Wesen Danger.” It’s an ending that packs a punch, as we’ve spent the full running time of the episode seeing that these kids needed help and they’re finding it in all the wrong places. It’s also a neat piece of storytelling that deepens the threat of the Streak without forcing exposition down the viewers’ throats, letting the audience know that whatever they are they’re entrenched in a very real way.
“Lost Boys” also makes some positive strides on other parts of Grimm by virtue of jumping ahead through time. While the decision to have Nick already moved out of his house is a bit jarring at first (and disappointingly deprives me of the scene I wanted where a realtor has to explain every act of violence committed within its walls), it’s a welcome step to keep the story moving. Now instead of dwelling on the past for a handful of episodes, we’re introduced right away to what we’ll dub the Fortress of Grimmitude, an abandoned paint factory rebuilt into an apartment loaded with security features. Between rooftop access, a hidden pathway to the tunnels, and steel shutters, this is a setting loaded with too much potential to stay hidden for long, and one suspects it won’t despite all of Nick’s best intentions.
Pushing the story ahead a few weeks also means that we get to move to the next stage of Nick and Adalind’s relationship, as they’ve spent enough time co-parenting and co-habitating that they’ve moved past early awkwardness. Their chat about being each others’ “first” borders on the flirtatious, and the end moment where Adalind admits she’d like him to just be close indicates how starved the two are for connection. David Giuntoli and Claire Coffee are doing a much better job than anyone expected in selling the reconciliation of these former enemies, and while a romantic pairing between the two feels inevitable it doesn’t feel unwelcome at this stage.
A happily ever after for the two appears to be out of reach for right now though, as the closing moments of the episode reveal Trubel’s location: locked up in Meisner’s prison, where he’s apparently been beating her up and only now choosing to release her. If advancing the action a few weeks put Nick in a state of domestic semi-bliss, it’s worked the opposite on Trubel, and it remains to be seen whether or not this is good news for his team or not. Rosalee couldn’t do anything for the orphans, and Nick hasn’t been able to do anything for Trubel. We’ll have to see if a similar hateful reaction is waiting for him.
- This Week In Portland: The tunnels underneath Portland that Nick references are indeed real, and given they’re supposed to be haunted it’s a wonder the show’s gone this long without referencing or using them. Additionally, when Adalind meets her former coworker at the law firm you can see the Classic Collections hat shop located on SW 4th and Oak.
- This Week’s Epigram: In keeping with everything else in the episode, it comes from Peter Pan, and is heartbreaking one even if some performances try to play it for comedic effect.
- Meisner reveals that Viktor was involved with the conspiracy to kill King Frederick, which puts him on the throne. This changes the royal dynamic considerably, assuming they can get Alexis Denisof back after he was hilariously removed from the show via ADR and a body double back in “Double Date.” And one wonders what Renard feels about the fact that bastard status aside he’s achingly close to the throne himself.
- I admit to being terrified that Rosalee wouldn’t be able to help herself and would wind up trying to adopt all four of the kids. It would change the show’s dynamic far too much for them to do it, but she’s so empathetic I was worried.
- Adalind’s explanation to Kelly about why she’s driving Juliette’s car is hilarious. Given how honest his parents are this kid is going to have some real stories to tell.
- “If this is where I’m supposed to ask what time are you going to be home, don’t worry.”
- “By the way, I was never here and you don’t know any of this. A little cliché, I know.”
- “I have two thoughts on kids. One, they are the future and should be cherished. Two, they’re lying little bastards.” “Are you really that cynical?” “Realistic.”
- “It was a wesen story, so of course there’s a Grimm at the end.”