David Giuntoli (Image: NBC)

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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  • I elected to reserve judgment on last week’s two-parter until I saw the second half, only it turns out we’re not done yet. Part two of three sets the stage for a final showdown, and for a setup episode this is pretty great: mayhem, murder, and the genuine feeling that we could be standing on the eve of destruction. (No, not that one.)
  • While I still think it would have been interesting to see more of Zerstörer and the Other Place throughout the season, “Zerstörer Shrugged” does a lot to make the Destroyer live up to his reputation. His entrance heralded by a flock of dead bats, diving through a mirror in Olympic style, human beings swatted away as if they were less than said bats, a flood of terrifying analogies in the Grimm diaries, Diana genuinely terrified for the first time in her young life: the sense of dread and impossible odds builds well over the episode’s run time.
  • After six seasons of largely keeping its central characters safe, Grimm swings the scythe as both Hank and Wu fall to Zerstörer’s staff in the closing moments. It’s genuinely shocking in the moment, though it loses some import when you remember resurrection of the main cast is more the norm than the exception. Then again, with one episode to go, if you’re going to play the one true death card now is the time to do it. Eulogies are TBD.
  • The origins of the Splinter of Destiny finally come to light, as it’s revealed to be part of Zerstörer’s potentially artifact-level staff which the Grimms of old hid away to limit his power. Worth six seasons of buildup? I’d say yes. It feels right that after all this time, the Splinter isn’t some grand world-conquering power as the royals hoped, but something that was buried for a reason where Team Grimm did more harm than good exposing it.
  • On that vein, while the prophecy feels like a bit much of a setup, Zerstörer needing Nick to come through the portal is a good touch. The worst villains are always the ones that use the heroes for their bloody ends.
  • Adalind and Nick have their emotional “I love you” moment in the shadow of Diana’s sanctuary, the cabin where Nick wrapped up his first wesen case. I know there’s some lingering dislike of this relationship over the body-swapped sexual encounter in the season three, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t genuinely moved and rooting “Say it, you fool!” up to the big moment. Julievette repeatedly says that none of them are the same any more, and this relationship is organic proof of it, one-time enemies left broken by the battles and somehow finding a refuge in each other.
  • So, Renard doesn’t appear to have any treasonous aims, and Nick doesn’t have any problems that he’s helping them. Okay then, moving on.
  • Julievette’s Hexenbiest side is apparently taken from her as a result of traveling between Portland and the Other Place. All they need to do now is give her amnesia again in the finale and they’ll have successfully taken away everything they did to make the character interesting.
  • Trubel’s back! Glad to see Jacqueline Toboni appear for the home stretch, even if it’s with no explanation. She also wins the award for Most Laughably Overt Dismissal Of Plot with her matter-of-fact pronunciation “Black Claw’s done, the war’s over.” Way to sweep a massive international conspiracy under the rug because you don’t want to deal with it any more.
  • Diana’s gotten a lot of mileage out of her creepy innocence, which is what makes her terror and her fear for her family all the more affecting. And what do we make of the fact that Zerstörer wants Kelly too? Is it just to lure the Grimm out, or is there a power wound up in this little tyke that the creators have kept hidden?
  • Zerstörer’s human form is played by Wil Traval, better known as Will “Nuke” Simpson from Jessica Jones. It’s good casting, as his toned and blonde appearance matches interpretations of pre-fall Lucifer, further strengthening the Zerstörer-as-devil connections. And he’s clearly enjoying the mimic way that the beast communicates, only able to parrot the words of others in a nonsensical word salad.
  • “I thought the devil carries a pitchfork.” “Well, technically it’s a trident. He’s not a farmer.”
  • “Okay, this is one big existential migraine.” I love that the constant influx of mythologies has finally built to such a head that it’s even exhausting our main characters.
  • “Well, that was before I had a baby with you. Or you.” “Simpler times.”
  • This Week In Portland: Zerstörer appears at a Space Age gas station, an Oregon-based petroleum supplier. And it’s not just a slow night and full service courtesy that leads the owner to pump the gas: you’re not legally allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon.
  • This Week’s Epigram: “You shall break them with a rod.” Grimm goes biblical as it heads to the finish with Psalm 2:9, and shatters the main characters like earthenware.
  • Know Your Wesen: Zerstörer doesn’t bring anything else back through the portal with him, but if this show ended with a sea of wesen pouring out to take the world by storm… well, that would be an ending I could respect.
  • Final chapter next week, guys. I’ll be back to full review strength discussing the episode, the season, and the series as a whole.

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