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Okay, there's this police detective in Portland, Oregon, named Nick Burkhardt. One day he starts seeing some people's faces change into, like, monster faces. Later that day, his aunt, Marie Kessler, shows up to explain things to him. She seems to be dying of cancer, and apparently that means... their family's gift/curse is beginning to be transferred to Nick. Before she really has time to explain, though, they're attacked by a creature, and she winds up in a coma. At least she tells him a little bit, like that he comes from a long line of "Grimms," and that the stories written about by the Brothers Grimm were actually true. And it turns out that the crimes Nick and his partner, Hank Griffin, are currently investigating were committed by one of the sort of monsters that Grimms hunt. He does, however, meet one such creature, a guy named Monroe, who at first Nick thinks is the perp. But Monroe explains that he's reformed, and Nick learns a bit about Grimms from him, and he helps Nick find the guy who's actually responsible for the crimes.
So, as the first season progresses, Nick gradually learns more about being a Grimm, and the creatures he's supposed to hunt. Collectively they're called wesen (pronounced 'vesen'), but there are a bunch of different species. Monroe is a Blutbad, a kind of wolflike wesen. The thing about wesen is, most of the time they look human to everyone, including Grimms. But if they want to, they can reveal their true appearance to anyone (the transformation is called a "woge," pronounced voh-ga). And Grimms can see a wesen's true appearance even when the wesen doesn't want them to, though generally that only happens when the wesen is emotionally worked up. Anyway, Marie soon dies, but she leaves Nick a trailer which is full of journals kept by herself and past Grimms, as well as tons of weapons and other things related to hunting wesen. Nick learns as much as he can from the journals, though mostly they're written in German (and several other languages). He also frequently calls on Monroe for help, but he has to keep the truth about all this from everyone else he knows, including Hank, and also his- Nick's- girlfriend, a veterinarian named Juliette Silverton. There's also Nick and Hank's captain, Sean Renard, who we soon learn is deeply involved in the world of wesen himself, though Nick doesn't know that. Another recurring character is Sgt. Drew Wu, who takes part in Nick and Hank's cases. And of course, the cases Nick and Hank investigate as police always turn out to involve wesen, so Nick has a hard time balancing his duties as a cop and as a Grimm, all while constantly hiding the truth from Hank and Juliette.
While the cases are largely episodic, there is a certain amount of serial storytelling, some of which involves a Hexenbiest (witchlike wesen) named Adalind Schade. She apparently works for Captain Renard in some capacity, but exactly what their plans are is unclear. There's also the fact that Nick's parents were killed when he was a kid, and he'll eventually learn that their murder was somehow related to wesen. And on the comic side of things, there are some harmless wesen who find out Nick is a Grimm, and fear him, though he eventually convinces them he doesn't want to hurt them. (The main one of these is a Eisbiber- or ice beaver- named Bud Wurstner.) Later in the season, Nick and Monroe meet a Fuchsbau (foxlike wesen) named Rosalee Calvert; she takes over her brother's spice shop after he's murdered. She'll help them out on some cases, and eventually starts dating Monroe (though that may not have been til season 2). And Nick eventually takes Adalind's powers away from her, making her human. Anyway, the first season leaves off with a couple of cliffhangers.
I thought the pilot was kinda meh, but not too bad. As the first season progressed, I grew more interested, but I was still never sure how long I'd keep watching. I think the world that has been created here is definitely interesting, and I remain eager to learn more about it, and its history. There are definitely some mysteries about the whole hidden society of wesen, particularly in Europe. But these days, most wesen are just living lives as normal people, fitting in with human society. The fact that they're hiding who they are doesn't seem like much of an issue, except when situations with Grimms or other wesen arise (and apparently most wesen have never even seen a Grimm, and think of them like the bogeyman). But most individual episodes' stories are of minimal interest to me, and I find most of the characters fairly bland. I do feel for Nick, being in such a difficult position. And while he started off pretty lame, he did take a level in badass by the last few episodes of the season. But I still find him kind of boring. Hank and Juliette aren't particularly interesting characters either, though I feel bad for them being constantly lied to. As for Wu... he's not nearly as amusing as he seems to think he is (for which I blame the writers, though it may well be intentional). Monroe and Rosalee are pretty much the only really interesting and likable characters, though I'm eager to learn more about Renard. And about something called the Wesen Council. And about seven keys that are supposed to lead to a very old hidden treasure, though no one knows exactly what it is. (That's the series biggest over-arching mystery, though we rarely hear anything about it.) And um... seven royal families, and a wesen group called the Verrat, who work for them. And about Laufer (aka the Resistance), who are opposed to the Verrat and the royals. (Sean Renard is a member of the Resistance, though he's also an estranged member of a royal family from Austria. And he has a guy named Sebastien secretly working for him in Europe, keeping him apprised of developments.)
Nick learns that his mother, Kelly, is still alive (actually, this happened at the end of season 1, sort of). And that she is a Grimm. Hank soon learns the truth about the existence of wesen, and the fact that Nick is a Grimm. (Incidentally, wesen call humans "kehrseite," pronounced ker-zy-tuh, while humans who know about wesen are "Kehrseite-Schlich-Kennen.") So it's nice for Nick not to have to lie to him anymore. Meanwhile, Juliette had been put into a coma by Adalind at the end of season 1 (which was definitely not part of Renard's plan). Renard manages to wake her up, but now she doesn't remember Nick at all, which is weird for both Nick and Juliette, particularly since they still live together (though he eventually moves in with Monroe). And... there is a strange connection between Juliette and Renard now, but that is eventually overcome. And then Juliette's memories slowly begin to return, which makes her think she's losing her mind. But by the end of the season, she remembers Nick, and they get back together, and she learns the truth about Grimms and wesen (so she's now a Kehrseite-Schlich-Kennen, like Hank).
For most of the season, Adalind is in Vienna, where she spends time with Captain Renard's half brother, Eric. And there are some other characters (Frau Pech and Stefania) involved in an ongoing plotline there, concerning Adalind's pregnancy. (Everyone's interested in the baby, because it will have royal blood, though it's unclear whether Sean or Eric is the father.) The plotline also involves the possibility of Adalind regaining her powers as a hexenbiest. But I had trouble following that storyline, and never got terribly interested in it. Which is odd, considering it involves royalty, which is one of the mysteries that I want to learn more about, but somehow I found most of that boring and frustratingly uninformative. (Though I'm sure throughout the series things have been explained that I've completely forgotten or simply failed to grasp.) Oh... and I should also mention that part way through the season, Nick finds out that Sean Renard is a "prince," but is at odds with his family. (And he's half Zauberbiest, which is the male equivalent of a Hexenbiest.) So the two of them start working together, though they don't completely trust each other. And the season ends with Eric Renard having a victory against Nick.
There are a few series of webisodes you might want to check out, one of which aired in the middle of season 2, one just before season 3, and one in the middle of season 3. But none of them are really important, they're just for fun.
So... Nick had been turned into a zombie at the end of season 2. And he was locked in a box and being flown to Europe along with Eric, but the plane goes down before it gets far, and Eric dies. So the new main royal villain this season will be Sean and Eric's cousin, Prince Viktor (played by Alexis Denisof; I don't remember hearing his full name on the show, and online I've found two different names for the character: "Viktor Albert Wilhelm George Beckendorf" and "Viktor Chlodwig zu Schellendorf von Konigsburg." I have no idea which is correct.) Nick survives the plane crash, but he starts roaming around all crazylike, and does some bad things. His friends find and cure him before too long, but the things he did while not in his right mind could have repercussions. Meanwhile, Adalind eventually has her baby (whom she names Diana) and regains her powers, but Diana has tremendous powers of her own. As such, the child will be very important to the royals, but also to the Resistance. Sean (who we eventually learn is the baby's father) manages to warn Adalind of the danger the royals pose to her, and he sends a member of the Resistance named Martin Meisner to help her escape from them. Eventually Adalind and Diana get back to Portland, but of course Viktor's people try to recover the baby.
Also this season, Kelly Burkhardt shows up again, in an unexpected capacity that I don't want to spoil (but I'll have to, next season). And at one point Sgt. Wu sees a wesen (an Aswang), and starts thinking he's going crazy. (It looked for awhile like Nick and Hank would have to tell him the truth, and he'd become a Kehrseite-Schlich-Kennen, but they continued to hide it from him, which seemed like a bad idea, to me.) And near the end of the season, Nick meets a young woman named Theresa "Trubel" Rubel, who turns out to be a Grimm. However, she's an orphan, and no one ever told her anything about Grimms or wesen, so everyone she'd ever talked to about the strange things she saw thought she was crazy, and she started believing it, herself. Nick now tells her the truth, and starts teaching her a bit about being a Grimm, while she stays with him and Juliette for awhile. And Monroe and Rosalee get married in the season finale. (Nick was their best man, which led to our finally learning, a few episodes earlier, how wesen can tell that a Grimm is a Grimm, but I'm not gonna spoil that.) And... a bunch of other stuff happens in the finale, which I think I'll hold off on spoiling until season 4.
So, let's see... time to reveal things about season 3. First of all, Nick and his allies, including Sean Renard, conspired to keep Diana away from both the royals and the Resistance. So she was taken by Kelly, but each side believes the other has Diana. Also last season, Adalind took away Nick's Grimm abilities, in a very disturbing way that I don't want to reveal (yet). And Sean got shot, so he starts this season in the hospital, on the edge of death. I should also mention that last season, Nick and Trubel met a man named Josh Porter, whose father was a Grimm (though Josh is not). His father was dying, and wanted to pass his belongings (including one of the seven keys) to Nick.
This season, Monroe and Rosalee postpone their honeymoon to help Nick and everyone, since Nick is no longer a Grimm. (They'll finally go, halfway through the season.) Trubel is investigated by the FBI, and one of the agents is a woman named Chavez (a Steinadler, or eagle-like wesen), who is part of some mysterious group that wants Trubel to consider joining them, when they discover that she's a Grimm. Viktor locks Adalind up in his castle in Austria, but eventually they'll work together to try to find Diana. Sean is healed by his Hexenbiest mother, Elizabeth Lascelles. She also finds a way to restore Nick's Grimm powers (a process that involves Juliette), which he's hesitant about, because he sees his current status as an opportunity to have a normal life. But he and Juliette decide it's necessary for him to become a Grimm again, in order to help Monroe and Rosalee, who have been targeted by a hate group called the Wesenrein (kind of like Nazis or the KKK of the wesen world), who object to intermarriage between wesen races. Josh returns to Portland for a few episodes, and later goes back home to Philadelphia, accompanied by Trubel. Nick and Hank finally reveal the truth about everything to Wu, who will become a valuable ally from now on. Juliette discovers that the spell that restored Nick's powers had a side effect of turning her into a Hexenbiest, which she kept secret for awhile, afraid of what Nick might do if he found out. She eventually tells Sean, who introduces her to a Hexenbiest named Henrietta, who he thinks might be able to help. However, Henrietta finds that what has happened to Juliette is like nothing she's seen before, and it can't be reversed. Nick finally finds out what's going on, and is determined to help Juliette, but she decides to leave him. Also, Viktor and Adalind return to Portland, and Adalind discovers that she's pregnant again (more on that next season).
Eventually, Viktor is recalled to Vienna, and in his place another prince, named Kenneth, comes to Portland and takes over the effort to find Diana. He's much more hands-on than Eric or Viktor ever were, and he's a major badass. Juliette finally decides she likes the power that comes with being a Hexenbiest, and doesn't want to go back to being human. She torches the trailer, destroying most of Nick's journals and weapons and stuff (but a few things are salvaged, which Nick and the others bring to the spice shop). Juliette also joins forces with Kenneth, and tricks Kelly into returning to Portland with Diana (who seems to have aged from a baby into a young child quite rapidly). Meanwhile, Adalind joins forces with Nick and his allies. Also, Sean has a series of nightmares, and he wakes up in strange places with no memory of how he got there. This ties into a case Nick and Hank have been investigating, but I don't want to spoil how. At the end of the season, Trubel returns to Portland to help out, but she's keeping a secret. And... some really bad things happen, mostly in the finale, which I'll hold off on revealing until season 5. (Seriously, though, I feel like I've already spoiled way too much. And I feel like this season the show totally went down the rabbit hole in a lot of very bad ways. Pretty much the only good thing that happened this season was Wu learning the truth.)
Okay, time to spoil things from season 4. Or actually, I'll start with something from season 3: the way Adalind took away Nick's Grimm powers was she used a spell that made herself appear to be Juliette, and had sex with Nick. Naturally, when Nick and Juliette found out about that, they were both disgusted. And in season 4, the way Nick got his powers back was a similar spell by which Juliette made herself look like Adalind, and had sex with Nick. So... she soon went back to looking like herself, but that spell is what led to her actually turning into a Hexenbiest. Also, Nick is the father of Adalind's second baby. And Adalind worked with Rosalee on creating a potion to suppress Juliette's Hexenbiest powers, but tested it on herself first, so Adalind is no longer a Hexenbiest (at least for now). But Juliette didn't take the suppressant, so she still is a Hexenbiest. And at the end of season 4, various people are all killed, including Kelly, Kenneth, Juliette, and King Frederick (the father of Sean and Eric and uncle of Viktor). We learn that Trubel is working with Chavez, and Diana ends up in Meisner's custody.
In season 5, Nick is frantic over the deaths of Juliette and his mother, and the fact that their bodies are both taken away, apparently by Chavez's group. So he wants to kill Chavez, but then discovers her group are the good guys, who are trying to fight a wesen uprising. But before Nick can learn anything useful, someone kills Chavez. However, we do soon learn that the uprising uses a claw mark as a symbol, and their motto is "Occultatum Libera" ("free what's hidden"). I think it's a bit later that we learn the group behind the uprising is called Black Claw. Meanwhile, Adalind gives birth to a boy, whom she names Kelly, after Nick's mother. Adalind and Kelly begin living with Nick, which is of course awkward for everyone. Before long, Nick decides to sell his house, and the three of them move into a secret, more secure location. Eventually, Trubel returns to Portland. She's now working for the group Chavez had been part of, which is called HW, or "Hadrian's Wall." And the Portland branch of HW is now being run by Meisner. I guess both HW and Black Claw are global groups, and a war is breaking out between them. (At one point, almost the entire Wesen Council is killed by a member of Black Claw.)
After Black Claw begins vandalizing shops and killing wesen (who refuse to join them) in Portland, Nick and his allies find out where they're hiding out, and plan to attack them, but it turns out to be a trap. However, our heroes are rescued by a mysterious person... who (apparently) turns out to be Juliette. However, they later learn that Juliette had undergone some kind of transformation, and now calls herself Eve. She's still a badass Hexenbiest, and she's working with HW. But while she has access to Juliette's memories, her personality is quite different from either the old Juliette or the evil Hexenbiest version of Juliette. (She now basically seems sort of emotionless.)
At one point, Nick's uncle Felix, who lives in Germany, acquires a trunk full of old books written by Grimms, and... through a chain of events I won't spoil, the trunk ends up in Nick's possession. But Monroe discovers the trunk has a hidden compartment that contains three of the seven keys. So now Nick has five of the keys, which is enough to put together a map that suggests the hidden treasure is in the Black Forest. So Nick and Monroe go to Germany, and find the treasure... which turns out to be a stick, which apparently has the power to heal people. They still don't know much about that, and Nick keeps it hidden in a tunnel that runs under the loft where he and Adalind now live. Speaking of which, the two of them eventually become lovers (without any spells or tricks involved). But after awhile, the suppressant wears off, and Adalind gets her powers back. It takes her awhile to tell Nick about this, for fear of how he'd react. But she's not a villain anymore, so when he finds out, it's fine. Oh, and she goes back to work at the law firm she used to work for, which is apparently made up entirely of wesen.
Also this season, a man named Andrew Dixon is running for mayor of Portland, and convinces Captain Renard to publicly support his campaign. The campaign manager is a woman named Rachel Wood, who soon becomes Renard's lover. Unbeknownst to him, she's part of a Black Claw plot to assassinate Dixon some time prior to the election, and set up Renard to catch the killer. This makes him a hero in the public eye, which is part of the plan to get Renard to replace Dixon as a candidate for Mayor. Renard eventually learns the truth, and rather than dropping out of the election, he gets increasingly involved with Black Claw. (Apparently because he believes there's no chance of stopping them, and he wants to be on the winning side of the war between them and Hadrian's Wall. However, I kept hoping it would turn out he was just trying to infiltrate Black Claw to take them down from the inside. But as of the end of the season, there's no evidence to support that hope.) Meanwhile, Black Claw manage to abduct Diana from the Resistance (or HW, whichever group had her, though at this point I'm not sure there's a difference). Black Claw use her first to secure Renard's loyalty, then to get Adalind to leave Nick (taking Kelly with her). And Diana has aged even more since we saw her last season; she now looks at least 8 years old, I'd guess, when she's really only like 2. And we soon see that she will use her powers to try to get whatever she wants. (She's definitely in full-on Creepy Kid mode, this season.) And while all this is going on, Nick and his allies become increasingly suspicious and distrustful of Renard.
Also, in one episode we learn about a disease called Lycanthropia, which only affects Blutbaden, and is the basis for werewolf myths. A Blutbad who has this disease scratches Wu, and over the next several episodes it becomes increasingly clear that he has been afflicted with some new form of Lycanthropia, even though he's human. So... he occasionally turns into a monster, and then doesn't remember it. But eventually he learns to control his transformation. And... eventually Renard wins the election. And Black Claw kills Meisner and I guess any of the local members of HW who were never really seen on the show. (So, not Trubel or Eve.) And the main Black Claw guy in Portland for the last few episodes is a guy named Conrad Bonaparte, who turns out to be a Zauberbiest (I think he's the first full Zauberbiest we've seen). Anyway, I don't think Renard particularly likes him, and Adalind certainly doesn't. Meanwhile, Diana wants her parents to be a couple, which neither of them want. Eventually, she kills Rachel to keep her from coming between Renard and Adalind. And um... lots of stuff happens. Bonaparte seriously wounds Eve, but Nick heals her with the stick he'd gotten in Germany. (Though it seems like something more than healing her wound happened; it's possible she might become Juliette again. We'll have to wait til next season to find out.) Also, Nick kills a bunch of Black Claw people, but he is nearly killed by Bonaparte. Until Bonaparte is killed by Renard, who was temporarily controlled by Diana.
And... yeah. That's it. I feel like I've said way too much, but I've also left out a lot of details.
Well, this is the final season of the show, so there's a lot to wrap up in just 13 episodes. It starts with Renard using his power as Mayor and police captain to make some serious trouble for Team Grimm. But, they manage to make trouble for him, too... including forcing him to resign as Mayor. Finally, they come to an uneasy truce. And Adalind and Kelly go back to living with Nick, while Adalind and Renard share joint custody of Diana. Meanwhile, there's more than just the stick's mysteries to figure out; the cloth it was wrapped in also becomes very important, for a reason I won't spoil. Also, Renard has hallucinations of Meisner... or is it actually Meisner's ghost? (I won't tell.) Also, Rosalee is pregnant. And in the midst of all the darkness going on this season, there's one absolutely hilarious episode that involves two separate stories, one with Team Grimm (the nature of which I won't spoil), and one with Renard and Diana and a cop who was angry at Renard, because before resigning as mayor, he had promised him he'd become captain, and that promise had been broken. But that episode was only a brief respite, and soon the darkness resumes, with Eve and Nick seeing a hella scary black-skulled creature looking at them from mirrors. Eventually, Eve finds a spell to turn a mirror into a portal to another world, where the skull guy (Zerstörer) lives, because she wants to kill him. She's later joined there by Nick, but they're no match for Zerstörer. Eventually they return to their own world, and for the last couple of episodes, the plot gets really dark, when Zerstörer enters our world. But Renard does eventually rejoin Team Grimm to help fight Zerstörer. And Trubel returns from helping HW defeat Black Claw, elsewhere in the world, so now she also helps fight Zerstörer. Oh, and of course throughout the season, there were a number of interesting "wesen of the week" cases to deal with, on top of the show's ongoing "mythology" arc. Anyway, there is, finally, a happy ending, though I don't want to spoil either the end itself, or the dark events that led up to it, or what we finally learned about the nature of the stick that Nick and Monroe had found in Germany. So I guess I'll just say, I'm glad it's finally all over.