Grimm: Writers Promise Answers in Season 2 Premiere

By Karen Moul

When we left Grimm back in the spring, Nick's world was going to hell. He had confessed his true identity to Juliet, who didn't take the news very well. But before she could have Nick committed, Juliet fell into in a Sleeping Beauty-like coma, courtesy of Adalind and her pretty kitty. As Monroe and Rosalee tried to find a cure, Hank was having his own personal breakdown after seeing Monroe transform into a blutbad.

If that was not enough to deal with, Nick's mom appeared out of nowhere and saved him from a Wesen assassin. Ordinarily that would be a good thing, unless your mom has been presumed dead for the last 18 years. So where did mama come from? What has she been up to for the last two decades? Was she watching over Nick or does she really just want the coins?

Scifi Vision recently spoke with series co-creators David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf. The pair were cagey but promised the answers will come fast and thick in the first few episodes of the new season.

"We’re not going to continue to tease people," promised Greenwalt. "Why is his mom back? That’s all going to be explained in the first episode. [Nick] wants his questions answered and quite a few of them will be answered."

In tonight's season premiere, Nick is also "going to face something unlike anything he has ever faced before," Greenwalt added. "It will be bigger, and badder, and more dangerous, and more vicious."

The new creature is called a mauvaises dentes. That's French for "bad teeth," but in Nick's universe it’s a sabre-tooth tiger.

"He’s just a killing machine," said Greenwalt. "He could take out a whole village. This is a very rare creature that requires a lot of support and backing to get him thrust into Nick’s life and making Nick’s life a living hell."

What else can fans expect this season?

"You’re going to get a lot about Renard," Kouf promised, "really early on." Fans will learn more about his family and how his activities in Portland relate to what's happening in Europe.

Now that Mom has returned, and she presumably has a different perspective on Grimm-Wesen relations, how will her presence affect Nick and Monroe’s relationship?

"You’ll see a clash between Monroe and the mom," admitted Greenwalt. "You’ve got all kinds of conflict going on and the mom does not approve of fraternizing with the Wesen, so to speak."

"And we’ll also reveal some more of the deeper history with the Grimms," added Kouf, "and tie it to some more real events in the past."

Meanwhile, eveyone's favorite blutbad will have his own problems.

"Monroe’s going to have some romantic complications with his relationship with Rosalee," hinted Kouf, "because of his past. The road gets a little rocky."

"He’s also going to be faced with some life and death issues," Greenwalt continued, "because of his relationship with Nick."

"And he’s going to have another relationship with another officer," added Kouf.

And what about Hank?

"Oh, he’s got some real issues coming up in the first three episodes," said Kouf.

"Yeah," echoed Greenwalt. "He’s seen some stuff that he can’t explain and it’s going to start throwing him into quite a tizzy."

Grimm premieres tonight at 10 pm on NBC. The two part-season premiere concludes next Monday, August 20.


NBC Conference Call with David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, co-creators of Grimm
August 9, 2012

QUESTION: I rewatched the finale last night and you really left us with all these questions. So could you address why Nick’s mom is back and is Juliet dying or not dying? And what is going on with the coins?

DAVID GREENWALT: This is David, and that was Jim saying, “Wow.” Is Juliet dying? Well, you’ve got to stay tuned to find that out.

JIM KOUF: What about the coins? Well, you really have to stay tuned to find that [out.]

DAVID GREENWALT: But why is his mom back? Well, that’s all going to be explained in the first episode and she’s been on a long quest and they have lots of issues to work out. One with the other. And boy does he have a lot of questions he wants answered. You think you want your questions answered? He wants his questions answered and quite a few of them will be answered.

We’re not going to continue to tease people. But in the first episode, and in the second episode, too, a lot of these questions will be very clearly answered.

QUESTION: One of the things that you said at the round table at Comic-Con is that Nick is going to get stronger and better at what he does. Can you address that or if you can’t address that can you talk about the theme for the season?

DAVID GREENWALT: In the first episode Nick is going to face something unlike anything he has ever faced before. It will be bigger, and badder, and more dangerous, and more vicious. And Nick is growing into his own and part of that is learning more about his past from his mother and coming to grips with a lot of the emotional things that have happened to him. And the theme for the season is...

JIM KOUF: We’re still deciding that.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. We don’t have a theme - the first year he kind of came to grips with all of this. The second season, it is going to be him coming into his own, but he’s going to be challenged on so many levels. Not only with all these things he learns from his mother, but with complications from Juliet. And there’s a lot of bad critters now coming to Portland just for Nick. Because he is becoming known now. So...

JIM KOUF: And we’ll also reveal some more of the deeper history with the Grimms and tie it to some more real events in the past.

QUESTION: I love the show and I was happy to see Bree Turner be added as a series regular. Are we going to see more of a romance develop between her and Monroe this season?

DAVID GREENWALT: We certainly are.

JIM KOUF: I think so.

DAVID GREENWALT: Well, of course there will be an attraction there. They each have a past and...

JIM KOUF: The road gets a little rocky.

DAVID GREENWALT: ...the road, yes, the road gets a little rocky. And challenges will have to be faced and met.

QUESTION: David, you were heavily involved with Buffy and Angel. And Jim you were also part of Angel. And those shows had such huge followings. Now in comparison to Grimm we also see a big cult following happening here. Did you guys always think that Grimm would go that way as well or has it just been a pleasant surprise?

DAVID GREENWALT: Well it’s wonderful to have the quote-unquote “cult following” and we had a really nice presence at Comic-Con, for example. But I think in these kind of shows, and particularly, Grimm is designed to be what we call a hybrid show so it’s part procedural, part genre show.

And we were hoping to have a slightly broader arc for this show than for those great shows Buffy and Angel that you mentioned, thank you. We were hoping to have a broader arc so that a few more people could come into the tents for this. So if you just like a kind of a Law and Order solve a crime, you can watch this show. If you like mythology and critters you can really watch this show. So we’re pleasantly surprised at anything that gets on the air and is a success and that’s a wonderful thing for us and for America.

JIM KOUF: The world.

DAVID GREENWALT: The world.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Kelly Burkhardt (Photo by Scott Green/NBC) QUESTION: I just finished this morning reading the big story in the new TV Guide where they talked to the two of you about the upcoming season. And it sounds like Nick is pretty pissed at his mother and it hadn’t come up until now. I think David said that. Is it going to be a rough relationship? Are they finally going to resolve the issues? Is he going to be a little mad at his Aunt Marie because she never told him? And is the dad ever going to show up? Even though his mother is telling him no, he’s dead for sure.

DAVID GREENWALT: Well, those are all questions that we promise will be answered in the first episode. He has all kinds of feelings about the mother. He has loss and grief and yes, some anger. And a little bit of ennui. He’s got to go throw - you can just imagine and that question about the father will be answered. We promise. We’re not going to keep that as a big tease. But they’re going to have to deal. This is something, to be gone for that long of time.

QUESTION: Why David [Giuntoli]? What made him the guy that would work as Nick Burkhardt? I’m sure you saw thousands of people. What was it about him that really jumped out at you all and made you think, “This is the guy we need for this?”

JIM KOUF: He had a powerful presence and yet a vulnerability and kind of an astonishment that he could deliver. Because this is a guy who is rediscovering what he is, you know? And facing a lot of mysteries that he never knew existed. And you know - these guys win it in the room. In front of the networks and all the people who are involved with making the decision. So you really don’t know until the last moment.

DAVID GREENWALT: He had this everyman quality which you can really project on to him as if that was happening to you. In a way it’s one of the tougher parts in the show because everyone else is a little more quirky. Some are partially evil. Everybody seems to have a real specific point of view and Nick is the one, or David’s been totally playing Nick as the one all this is happening to. And I find it really easy to identify with him. Plus he’s got a very, very, weird sense of humor.

QUESTION: This morning I was at my gym therapy and I was laying on a table in the middle of about six older women over 50. And a commercial for Grimm came on and a lot of them went, “Mm-mm, nah.” And I started asking them questions about it and they really didn’t know it was based on the Grimm fairy tales and I don’t know if that’s our fault as press for not getting that story out there enough. But once I explained to them what it was about they went, “Oh wow, we want to watch this now.” So is it our fault for not going out there and publicizing the fact that it is the Grimm fairy tales? Or is enough not on the show about that? Or what do you think?

DAVID GREENWALT: Well, it does say "Grimm."

My experience on some previous shows, like Buffy, was that more and more people of varying ages came to the table and just our anecdotal experiences that the audience is really broad for this show. About 12 years old to 60s and even in the 70s. If someone watches the show I think they will enjoy the show and like the show. And I just remember when we were doing Buffy all the soccer moms were like, “I have to find out what’s happening next.” And you would think that was such a teen angst kind of a show. I think there is broad appeal here, for sure.

QUESTION: At the end of the first season, Nick comes out and tells Juliet what he’s doing. And also you have Hank who sees Monroe transform. What is the balance of bringing in the characters to know what’s going on and then maybe keeping some characters still in the dark? And how do you plan on balancing that throughout the second season?

DAVID GREENWALT: We plan on balancing that really well. We’re going to do a good job of that. What’s happening is Jim and I really try and have the show grounded in reality. And this is what would be happening. Hank, as Nick’s partner, would be exposed to stuff that a normal person wouldn’t be exposed to. And eventually he’s going to start asking questions and thinking he’s a little crazy.

And the girlfriend/fiancé/potential wife is going to feel like a secret is being kept from her. And in 1.22, that last episode of the first year, Nick is having to tell her as the only way to get her to go see a doctor and she has been living in the dark for so long that he sort of has to tell her. Now what will happen with all of that remains to be seen. She didn’t take it very well. She thought he was crazy when he was telling her. Which had been his fear all along.

JIM KOUF: Yeah. We try to let these characters tell the story - their own stories for us. So we don’t have to work as hard.

QUESTION: Then how, with Captain Renard, are we going to get more insight earlier in the season? Or is he going to remain a mystery throughout the second season? 

JIM KOUF: You’re going to get a lot about Renard really early on.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. There’s going to be some big questions answered and some new problems posed. And he too is going to be faced with a lot of conflict.

QUESTION: I wanted to find out if you perhaps would talk a little bit about what have been some of the biggest challenges from both the production standpoint and also a writing standpoint with season two so far?

JIM KOUF: We always are thinking we are making movies every week and we find that on a TV schedule that’s really difficult. So we’re always pushing the limits of what our current crew can actually accomplish in eight days. Because we write big action-based stories.

DAVID GREENWALT: And we like to write little short scenes where something big happens in almost every scene. And if we were doing an animated show we could get away with it really well but we’ve got this amazing crew and amazing cast and they are working very hard to bring all this to life.

JIM KOUF: We have a big special effects team that works on trying to get all these characters morphed. And all the special effects we do it’s a challenge as well getting them done on a television schedule.

QUESTION: Besides the budding romance that Monroe has coming up, [is there] anything else you can speak of developmental-wise for that character this season?

DAVID GREENWALT: Well, Monroe is going to be faced with some issues from his past that are going to come up. He’s also going to be faced with some life and death issues for being...

JIM KOUF: Because of his relationship with Nick.

DAVID GREENWALT: ...because of his relationship with Nick, that he refuses to give up. There’s a lot of forces in our world that do not like the idea of cooperating with what we call Wesen, which are the critters.

JIM KOUF: And he’s going to have another relationship with another officer.

SCIFI VISION: If season one was all about Nick’s journey then in some ways Monroe was his guide on that journey. Now that Nick’s mom has appeared, and she presumably has a different perspective on Wesen than Monroe does, how is her appearance going to affect Nick and Monroe’s relationship?

JIM KOUF: Oh, that’s a good question because we have to deal with that, and we do, and it’s a little ugly.
DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah, very early on, in the first episode, you’ll see a clash between Monroe and the mom. And Monroe is like, “Who is this insane person?” And Nick is like, “Well, it happens to be my mom.” And so you’ve got all kinds of conflict going on and the mom does not approve of fraternizing with the Wesen, so to speak.

SCIFI VISION: And what has Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio brought to the role? What’s it been like working with her?

JIM KOUF: She’s brought great strength, and warmth, and emotion to the role.

DAVID GREENWALT: And she really looks like she’s been on a quest for a long time, you know, she’s not June Cleaver.

JIM KOUF: She’s physical and tough. Which is great.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. Yeah.

SCIFI VISION: Will we get to see her beyond the season finale? Is she a recurring character? I mean the season premiere, will she reoccur?

DAVID GREENWALT: She will reoccur in the season premiere.

QUESTION: What are some of the creatures we have to look forward to as we go into this new season?

DAVID GREENWALT: Well there’s something called a mauvaises dentes. Which is our version, that means actually bad teeth, and it’s a sabre-tooth tiger kind of creature. That would be interesting - a couple interesting things about the mauvaises dents. One is that he’s just a killing machine and to be feared. He could take out a whole village. And two, animals or critters, or creatures that are extinct in our world are not necessarily extinct in the Wesen world. But this is a vA mauvais dentes (Photo by Scott Green/NBC) ery rare creature that requires a lot of support and backing to get him thrust into Nick’s life and making Nick’s life a living hell.

JIM KOUF: And there’s the (ceiling guterd).

DAVID GREENWALT: There’s the (ceiling guterd).

JIM KOUF: Like, good natured people. Then there’s...

DAVID GREENWALT: There’s something called the (nuclea veve) which is almost like a horse like creature except with translucent skin. Who’s definitely coming after Nick.

JIM KOUF: He’s more mythologically-based.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah, he’s not just a typical animal creature of ours. We have all kinds of things happening...

JIM KOUF: We have more blutbads coming back.

DAVID GREENWALT: We’ve got a sheep and wolf story. Oh and a spitting cobra. All kinds of stuff. You know, bigger and badder creatures this year.

QUESTION: Are there any teasers, that you haven’t told us yet, that you’re willing to tell us?

DAVID GREENWALT: You mean literally the teaser of the show or just teasers?

QUESTION: Just teasers of what’s coming up.

DAVID GREENWALT: Well. he’s going to have to work out a lot, he - Nick is going to have to work out a lot of stuff with his mother. And there’s going to be all kinds of feelings around that.

JIM KOUF: Monroe’s going to have some romantic complications with his relationship with Rosalee, because of his past.

DAVID GREENWALT: Who knows what’s going to happen to Juliet but...

JIM KOUF: She’s got a lot to deal with.

DAVID GREENWALT: She’s got a lot to deal with should she ever come out of that coma.

JIM KOUF: And the Captain is going through some suffering as well.

DAVID GREENWALT: He’s going to be full of surprises and early on a lot of stuff about the Captain is going to be answered.

QUESTION: If I have the timeline right, you all found out around March that you all had been picked up but you all needed to come back really quickly after the Olympics...

DAVID GREENWALT: We didn’t have to come back because we never left.

QUESTION: So there was no hiatus period?

JIM KOUF: No.

DAVID GREENWALT: We’ve done, we will have done, 37 of these in a row by the time we get to November, end of November.

QUESTION: So as veterans of this kind of thing, does that work in your favor? Has it been a pain in the butt? Or a little of everything?

DAVID GREENWALT: They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. They actually came to our offices, “they” being the big brass at NBC. And when they come to you it’s like a doctor. This will be either really good news or really bad news. And they explained what they wanted to do with pushing us to the Olympics and how great it was going to be. But we had to be on the air by this coming Monday. And we actually were told to sleep on it.

Because for us the writers, there really was no hiatus. The actors got a little bit of a break. But not much of one. I think it’s worked out well. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and we all stayed in production and I think the actors like to just keep working. But it’s been a challenge too.

JIM KOUF: We babble a lot now.

QUESTION: You did mention Captain Renard, so we will find out more about the Royals and how they all figure into the picture?

JIM KOUF: Oh yeah, and his family and the relationship between him and his people in the family and his network of what’s going on in Europe and all the things...

DAVID GREENWALT: That’ll be throughout the whole season you’re going to be learning more and more about his family. Why he’s in Portland. Why he’s not in Europe. And lots of castle intrigue, if you will.

QUESTION: How is the balance different this season with keeping the show accessible but also going deeper into the mythology and the characters? Is it a different approach for season two?

DAVID GREENWALT: Well some shows have a little more mythology than others in them. But the show is still designed to be a hybrid between a procedural and a genre show. You can watch the show without having all of the history of the show. But if you’re an avid fan, then you will see more things in the show.

JIM KOUF: You will see more growth of the characters over the show. That’s what we try to do, let the characters develop in a real natural way.

QUESTION: And how will Nick be different this season? Based on the reactions or understanding from those around him as compared to season one?

DAVID GREENWALT: We’ve been thinking of parting his hair on the other side, that would make him really different. He’s just going to have to deal with - his partner has seen a lot of crazy stuff. He’s fessed up to Juliet about everything and she did not take it well. But now she’s unconscious and who knows what’s going to happen there.

JIM KOUF: He’s got to deal with his familial legacy and his mom, and he will learn a lot more about his past and his family...

DAVID GREENWALT: And Nick does business in a different way from most Grimms. In that he’s got a Wesen buddy, Wesen being the word for these critters, and he cooperates with them. He doesn’t just shoot first and ask questions later. Historically Grimms are like, “If I see a Wesen I’m cutting their head off.” And that’s not Nick’s approach. So his life is going to be both richer and more complicated. Because of him, because of who he is.

Grimm S2 cast: (l-r) Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin, Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, Bitsie Tulloch as Juliette Silverton, Sasha Roiz as Cpt. Renard, Bree Turner as Rosalee, Reggie Lee as Sgt. Wu (Photo by Michael Muller/NBC) QUESTION: Well how will Hank’s journey be different in season two? Is that...

JIM KOUF: Oh, he’s got some real issues coming up in the first three episodes.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. He’s seen some stuff that he can’t explain and it’s going to start throwing him into quite a tizzy.

QUESTION: Okay, so you wouldn’t tell me about the coins but what about the key? Are we going to find out what the key opens this season?

JIM KOUF: Yes and no.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yes and no, yeah. You’ll get the real explanation of what is involved and how deep this history goes. So that’s coming up in the first couple. So it will be a lot answered about the key in the first couple of episodes. And the coins are still incredibly dangerous and must be dealt with. And a lot of people still want to get their hands on those coins.

QUESTION: Okay. And one other thing that you had said at Comic-Con also is that you want the critters to look as human as possible? Can you expand upon that?

DAVID GREENWALT: In general, what we want is to see as much humanity in a so-called critter, or Wesen our word for it, as is possible. Because we think that makes them actually frightening and more accessible. But sometimes they’re so hideous or there is a reason that they would be more - or look more monstrous I guess would be the answer and less human. But usually we want to see the human within this monster because we all have these crazy emotions inside us. And we’re playing with what’s in humans.

DAVID GREENWALT: And we were also really drunk at Comic-Con so I don’t stand by anything we said there.

QUESTION: So also with these Grimm fairy tales, do they begin where the real fairy tales go, “And they lived happily ever after.” Is this like expanded the myth?

JIM KOUF: Not many of the Grimm’s fairy tales ended happily ever after. There was a lot of death and destruction in those.

DAVID GREENWALT: We did do Cinderella last year. Which was a year after the “happily ever after” and it wasn’t very happy. But we just want a whiff of the fairy tale and we want to do something new and fracture it. So it’s all different versions of these...

JIM KOUF: Yeah, and we look for fairy tale elements in real life things as well.

DAVID GREENWALT: And also our (conceit) is that anybody who wrote fairy tales all over the world had this sort of profiling ability and were telling a kind of truth.

QUESTION: So did you watch the Fractured Fairy Tales that were on Rocky and Bullwinkle?

DAVID GREENWALT: Of course.

SCIFI VISION: You guys had some great guest stars on season one playing some of the Wesen and I’m wondering if you could spoil a little bit on what guests we’ll see this year.

DAVID GREENWALT: Well you’re going to see a wonderful actor, James Frain, as a - well you’ll just have to stay tuned. But he’s going to be reoccurring.

JIM KOUF: Mark Pellegrino is going to be in it for one.

DAVID GREENWALT: Mark Pellegrino is one.

JIM KOUF: Trying to think...

DAVID GREENWALT: Who else do we have? We just write them, you know, we barely watch them.

JIM KOUF: There’s no time. I can’t remember who else we’ve got set up.
DAVID GREENWALT: Well of course, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, will be coming back as the mom and she’s marvelous. I think some other goodies that we’re not remembering right now...

JIM KOUF: (Back track) Bud is back.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. He’s special in our hearts. The beaver.

SCIFI VISION: We all love him.

DAVID GREENWALT: Yeah. He comes back a lot.

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