Grimm Episode 2.16 “Nameless”: A Wink to the Audience

Grimm Nameless Rumpelstiltkin

Grimm Nameless Rumpelstiltkin

Grimm Episode 2.16 ”Nameless”

Written by: Akela Cooper

Directed by: Charles Haid

Airs Friday 9.00pm on NBC

Did you find yourself screaming a particular name at the screen during this week’s episode of Grimm? A name that starts with an ‘R’ and ends with an ‘N’? And has the letters ‘UMPELSTILTSKI’ in between?

You weren’t alone. As Nick and Hank (and Wu and Renard and the owner of a computer game company) trawled through a list of names like ‘Skillet Nip Strum’ and ‘Kitten Slip Slurp’ without so much as a facial twitch to indicate they might have spotted the HUGE resemblance between them and the name of a certain fairy tale gnome, enough viewers must have been shouting the solution at them for the cries to be audible in space.

But that’s how Grimm works. The blindness that descends over the characters during moments of stress isn’t just the writers wriggling off the inevitable plot hooks so they can prolong the moment before Hank/Juliette/whoever gets to finally realize that Nick is a Grimm. It’s a wink to us in the audience. Yes, the writers whisper, we know Juliette should just ask Munro what he’s not telling her about Nick, but that’s not how this show works.

Fairy tales are like that, you see. Characters in fairy tales don’t see what’s right in front of their noses. They don’t spot the obvious (like that NAME for example). They don’t listen to their mothers. They go off with the wolf. They swap the cow for beans. They go into the candy house. And just as well they do, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any stories and the rest of us would be the poorer for that.

Grimm Nameless Captain Renard

So let’s all relax about those little plot absurdities and accept them as part of the show’s charm. Let’s concentrate instead on how nicely the tension is increasing, as Nick realizes he has– yet again – to tell Juliette about his second job, a revelation that didn’t go so well the last time. Let’s wallow in the mounting danger as Renard gets more and more embroiled in his brother’s plot to overthrow the alliance between the Wesen Houses. Let’s ask ourselves where on Earth Hank buys his shirts, so we can make sure we never shop there.

Grimm Nameless Russell Hornsby

Because the opposing forces of Good and Evil are lining up nicely. The original tales were all about that, but the one thing they lacked was an overarching structure. Grimm fills the gap and raises the stakes. Although it isn’t quite clear yet what will happen if the alliance folds, we can guess it won’t be good for the human or Wesen worlds (I’m thinking World War II reprised, only this time with fur and teeth). Enter Team Grimm – a carefully chosen mixture of humans and Wesen with complementary skills and knowledge – and it’s clear that this story will have enough momentum to fuel the show through at least another season.

Questions for the next show: why do Renard and all his contacts wear shirts with cufflinks? Is making clocks really the traditional occupation of Blutbads? When will Wu finally tumble to Nick’s unusual sideline?


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