TV Recap: 'Grimm' Episode 316 - 'The Show Must Go On'


Grimm Episode 316
“The Show Must Go On”
Written By: Marc Gaffen & Kyle McVey
Directed By: Paul A. Kaufman
Original Airdate: 21 March 2014

In This Episode…

We open on a carnival. Max, an alcoholic performer is fighting with his girlfriend Genevieve, also a performer. She wants to be done with the carnival life; he says they can’t afford to. He stumbles onto the midway and two giggly girls, front row of tonight’s show, see him and beg to know the secrets of the show. He tries to get away from them, but they throw themselves at him, offer him booze, and coerce him into their car. Back at the girls’ house, they dance and drink - then they want to know how he does his “trick.” (While it isn’t shown in the cold open, it is very clear that his “trick” is woging on command, under the auspices of “magic.”) They fawn all over him, one of them tries to take off his pants, and they beg to know his trick. Before the date rape can get underway, Max woges and reveals a very angry blutbad face. The girls’ screams echo into the night.

Nick and Hank discover the girls were at the Carnival Metamorphosia last night, so off they go. They are directed to carnival owner Hedig, who is starting his show, so Nick and Hank sit in. The show consists of Hedig revealing three otherwise normal people, but when he cracks his whip, they each, in turn, woge into their respective wesen forms. Max is the grand finale. He is brought out in a cage, whipped several times, woges, and escapes his cage by using brute force to bend the bars. He rushes into the audience, and Hedig uses his pistol to stop the animal before he can harm the spectators. After the show, the guys go with Hedig to get a list of carnies in his employ. Genevieve goes to Max, worried about what happened with the girls last night. He doesn’t remember.

As is usual, Nick and Hank tell Monroe and Rosalee about the carnival. This is a sad fact in their world: wesen being exploited for entertainment. Because it is being portrayed as a magic trick, the council lets them slide, but wesen are encouraged to intervene. The bigger worry is umkippen - when the wesen side takes control. So while Hank and Nick do their cop thing, Monroe and Rosalee pay the carnival a visit. Rosalee is mistaken as a performer there to audition, and is whisked away, leaving Monroe concerned. Max and Genevieve had it out the night before, and she cut her leg on some glass, so Hedig won’t let her perform. Rosalee’s “audition” consists of nothing more than a woge and a spin. She is hired.

Genevieve is in charge of getting Rosalee prepared for the night’s show, but she is less than warm. Genevieve says Rosalee looks like a nice girl - and this is no place for a nice girl. She is depressed and defeated, and admits to being more afraid for Max than for herself. Rosalee changes for the show, and Monroe pops his head in, determined to get her to leave. “It’s worse than we thought.” She insists on going on, so Monroe calls Nick. “We might be in over our heads here.”

Max, meanwhile, is deteriorating. He is having a hard time controlling his blutbad, and refuses to go on with Rosalee. Hedig starts the show anyway. When he gets to Rosalee, she freeze with sudden stage fright. Max can no longer contain himself and woges, pulling down the curtain around his cage. Hedig rolls with it, and Max roars into the audience. But this time, when Hedig fires his cap gun at him, Max doesn’t roll over and play dead. He starts rampaging through the audience, who quickly realize this is not part of the show and vacate the tent. When Max heads for Rosalee, Monroe woges to defend her honor. Rosalee separates them, reminding Monroe that Max is sick. Max goes human again, having no idea what happened while he was shifted.

Hedig, who sees the tides are shifting, runs into the funhouse (naturally) to hide from his angry performers. They catch up with him in the hall of mirrors, and Hedig tries to defend himself. The performers don’t want to hear it and the dragon wesen shifts and burns him alive. All that the cops find is a charred corpse. As far as Renard is concerned, that is justice and the case is closed.

Meanwhile, in the Swiss Alps, Adalind and Meisner are still hiding from Victor. The come to the place where Sebastian first dropped them off, with the intention of stealing one of the cars. Meisner is shocked to find Sebastian, badly beaten, in the backseat. A verrat sneaks up on him - but suddenly, he is aiming his gun at his own head. He pulls the trigger and drops, revealing Adalind, off in the distance, returning to human form. Sebastian insists the trio get out of here and leave him to take care of Victor and the rest of his guards. They drive off, and Meisner calls Renard. He has travel out of Zurich arranged for Adalind and the baby. Meisner is needed in Europe. When Victor and his men respond to the sound of gunfire, they are surprised to see Sebastian in the back of one of the cars - with a gun. He shoots the verrat, but when Victor comes up, he is out of bullets. Sebastian is dead.

Also: Rosalee asks Juliette to be her maid of honor; Monroe asks Nick to be his best man. They are both honored, but Nick starts having stress dreams about standing up next to Monroe, in a room full of wesen, and sees it end in much bloodshed and beheadings.

Dig It or Bury It?

I love carnival settings. They are always creepy, a heady mix of elaborate costumes, sketchy workers, the transient nature, clowns, junk food, and neon lights. Grimm did not disappoint in its portrayal of a carnival. I also liked the format of tonight’s episode. The procedural aspects of the episode were barely a footnote; the focus was on the more “human” aspect of exploitation. I liked that Rosalee had more to do in tonight’s episode than just be the slightly nerdy shopkeep. 

Fun fact: Sam Witwer, who played Max in tonight’s episode, is probably best known for his role as a vampire in the American version of Being Human.


When Grimm returns on April 4th, Nick’s mom is back - and she has brought Adalind and her baby with her.