Mommy Dearest

Grimm tidings: monsters in the house

How I learned to love the melée of Portland's favorite TV monster mashup making mayhem outside my front door

By LAURA GRIMES

Trying to describe the TV show Grimm to the uninitiated recently made me hyper-aware that I sounded like someone after too many whiskies:

“She’s a hexenbiest and one-time lawyer who is pregnant by a royal prince, but she doesn’t know which one. One was killed by a car bomb, the other is a bastard son and a captain in the Portland Police Bureau. She lost her powers but got them back after eviscerating an old woman, and now she’s trying to sell her unborn child that has two hearts.”

And that’s just one character.

The NBC show, now in its third season, has filmed all over the Portland area, but it came to my street to shoot an episode, called Mommy Dearest, that will air March 7.

My family folk aren’t exactly monster-lovers. We don’t go for slasher movies. We aren’t into ghosts. We’re more wine-and-Downton Abbey types. But we’ve watched Grimm since the beginning, at first because we got a kick out of spotting the local actors and locations, and now because we get to type things like, “That hexenbiest is Adalind, the cunning kick-you-into-the-next-century monster babe who plays both sides for keeps.” We want to know what’s up with those powerful coins and how the royal family shakes down. How is it possible that that tiny trailer has an interior as big as a ballroom? Is that cache of weapons right out of the Inquisition? Is Adalind’s unborn baby possessed? What creepy characters are going to pop out next?

Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) draws a bead on the neighbor's house. NBC photo

Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) draws a bead on the neighbor’s house. NBC photo

In case you’re still among the unschooled: Grimm crawls with “Wesen,” characters who look like everyday humans but morph into a variety of fantasy creatures, some good and some scary-bad. Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is a homicide detective who has a special family knack for recognizing Wesen – his kind are called Grimms – and kicking their otherworldly behinds. As luck would have it, he and his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) get called to an inordinate number of out-of-the-ordinary murders. Scalpings and dismemberments, anyone?

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