GRIMM: Here Comes the New Big Bad Hexenbiest

     April 3, 2015

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Poor Juliette. Dating back to the first season of NBC’s fairytale-inspired supernatural drama, Grimm, Juliette has paid the price for Nick’s status as the monster-fighting detective of Portland’s underground paranormal community. And it looks like she may have finally reached her breaking point. Ever since Juliette woged into a Hexenbiest at the end “Chupacabra”, the stakes of the series have rapidly accelerated and evolved. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that Juliette’s heading down a dark path.

Back in February, I visited the set of Grimm in Portland, Oregon where the show films at a number of sound stages and locations throughout the city. While there, I had the opportunity to tour the stunning sets – from Aunt Marie’s trailer to Captain Renard’s office – and speak with the cast and crew about what’s coming up in the second half of season two. The common thread of the conversations was very clear – Juliette. Specifically, that her transformation is far from over and will wreak serious havoc on the gang.

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Image via NBC

I sat down with Bree Turner in Rosalee’s Spice Shop, one of many truly impressive and stunningly intricate sets they use on the show. Bottles of herbs, spices and bizarre objects line the shelves, and a musky, earthy scent fills the room. As I told series creators David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to being somewhere magical.

Before long, our conversation turned to Juliette’s transformation. “It’s not just the basic, ‘What do I do now?’ moment. Like I said in episode 4.10, the [Hexenbiests] that are made and not born are even more deadly. So this isn’t about Nick giving her his blood, and all is dandy in the world, this is really complicated. This is totally out of my area of expertise.

It’s also overtaking her soul. She’s losing herself within the darkness of this new development. It challenges everyone’s relationship with her. We don’t know where that’s going to end up yet, but I think it’s really cool to get a little ugly.”

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Image via NBC

Silas Mitchell Wier, who plays Rosalee’s Blutbod husband, Monroe, echoed that sentiment. “That’s going to get dark….I don’t think they’re pulling any punches, because they’re in some dire straights. We’re based on the Grimm fairy tales – you read those things, and it ain’t always happily ever after.”

Things are certainly looking, well, grim (sorry) for the future of Nick and Juliette’s relationship. As last week’s episode, “Double Date”, demonstrated, Nick is repulsed by Juliette’s new form, and boy does that piss her off. But there’s more to it than that. Bitsie Tulloch explained, “She’s scared. It’s unpredictable, and she doesn’t know how powerful she is. She’s afraid of inadvertently hurting somebody. She’s not a mean person, and this is definitely unwanted. As to whether or not she eventually grows accustomed to it and embraces it, that’s an answer that will come up later in the series.” And, of course, as Greenwalt and Kouf were quick to point out, Grimm and Hexenbiest are natural enemies.

Check out this clip from tonight’s episode, “Heartbreaker”, and it’s clear that the couple’s troubles are far from over. Clip via NBC.

And if you’re looking for a quick reconciliation, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. When I interviewed David Giuntoli on the set of Nick and Juliette’s house, I asked him about the future of their relationship, and he pointed out to me that all the furniture was rearranged. “That may tease something about our relationship,” He said.

So just how dark will Juliette get? Claire Coffee, who plays the show’s resident antagonist, Adalind, said, “She’s definitely further toward the dark side. She’s usurping Adalind as the big baddie, it seems. Her powers, we’re establishing, are much more powerful, much badder.” We’ve seen that already this season. She single-handedly took down a Manticore, for god’s sake.

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Image via NBC

Between interviews, I watched Tulloch and Sasha Roiz, who plays Captain Renard, film a confrontation. Renard is peacefully sleeping in his bed when the door slams open and Juliette storms into the room. She throws a spellbook on his bed and demands answers. She wants her life back, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes. And if he can’t help her, “Watch out!”, she sneers, spitting out the words. They do another take, and another. Over and over. And with each subsequent call of “Action”, Tulloch conjures more venom. “She’s on fire,” comments one of the crew members. Juliette, who is usually so composed and good-natured, is seething with menace.

During a break in filming, Roiz explained, “She’s kind of like this tornado that you’ve just got to contend with and no one knows exactly how powerful, or what she’s capable. I don’t think anybody else is aware of how dangerous she may be, including herself, that she could just blow her top off at any moment…you’re dealing with a child with crazy powers, they don’t know what they’re capable of.”

So will Juliette turn out to be the show’s next big bad? All signs point to yes, but we’ll just have to tune in and see. Grimm airs Friday nights at 8/7c on NBC.

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Image via NBC

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