Spoilers ahead for “Tree People” because hey ... it's a TV Recap!
The short version: Nature gets even in this episode when a tree-like figure attacks a poacher and then drags the dead man off in front of his buddy. Nick, Hank and Wu investigate and discover two symbiotic creatures – one an eco-warrior who protects the woods from those who practice environmental degradation, and the other a Jubokko, a tree that survives on human blood and absorbs people leaving only their horrified faces etched into its tree trunk. Meanwhile, the gang takes mirror precautions by deciding that two people must be present when looking in a mirror. And Capt. Renard has another chat with his Skype buddy Dasha about Diana's drawings.
The good: Mirror madness, Eco Avenger, and a Vampire Tree
Krystal: The mirror legitimately had everyone shaking in their boots. I found it hilarious how they were all avoiding it like the plague. Nick and Adalind covered theirs with a towel. And Monroe was armed with a mallet in case Rosalee's got fresh. They weren't playing any games.
Kathie: While the gang fights wesen crime and its effect on the human race, it's good to see the moral question come into play. The Kinoshimobe is an eco-warrior that takes out anyone who wants to harm the woods, including poachers and toxic waste dumpers. The argument that these are not good people and what to do about a creature that is striving to save the woods is an argument they should be having.
Kathie: The questionable part comes in with the Jubokko, a bloodsucking tree creature. The Jubokko seems in a different category than the Kinoshimobe creature. Other than being a good place to hide the bodies, what does a vampire tree do for the Kinoshimobe?
Krystal: I really liked the idea of the Kinoshimobe, a woodland warrior who's dedicated to avenging nature. Let's be clear: The sight of tortured faces etched in tree bark is Grade A nightmare material. But it was still a refreshing break from the monsters of the week that are usually more 'super' than 'natural.' Also, am I the only one who had Guardian of the Galaxy flashbacks? "I am Groot" crossed my mind more than once. How could it not?
Kathie: I did like the special effects this week. The Kinoshimobe was very cool and unusual, and I agree that the tortured faces in the Jubokko tree trunk were spooky nightmare material. Do the horrified faces on the tree mean the victims are still suffering after death?
The bad: Bad judgment, Is a Wesen life worth less than a human life?
Krystal:How long have Nick and Hank been at this? This is the final season of the show and they couldn't give Ralph the benefit of the doubt? Under any other circumstance, I would suspect Ralph of foul play but this is the world of Grimm. Every case is more than meets the eye. Ralph was no innocent but there's always more to the story. The time they wasted on him could have been put to better use.
Kathie: The one other real issue here for me is the writers asking a good moral question and then putting it aside by putting Rosalee in danger when her car starts leaking oil and she becomes a target. Should they even be going after the Kinoshimobe? I would have liked to see them embrace the moral question and not turn it into a fight in the forest to protect the pregnant lady. What if Nick and the gang went after the Kinoshimobe and then stopped before killing it? Do the Kinoshimobe and its vampiric Jubokko pal have a right to protect the woods? What if Nick decided not to take an axe to the Kinoshimobe and let him go about his business? And what if the Kinoshimobe had shown enough intelligence to not attack Rosalee just because her car started leaking oil?
Kathie: Moral issues have been popping up a lot, especially this season. For example, the wesen who could see when babies were going to become murderers in the future. It would show an evolution in the show if the answer wasn't always human lives are worth more than wesen lives despite how bad those humans are. I like the fact that they're having the conversation ... but what I don't like is the fact that we only have FOUR episodes left before THE END is HERE.
Lingering questions: What's the endgame? Let's get on with it!
Krystal: The conversations between Renard and Dasha continue to feel out of place. Something big is happening. Diana's a part of it. The tunnel is special. And? What are they doing with this Diana storyline? What's the endgame here? They continue to present more questions than answers.
Kathie: Answering questions now with only four episodes left would be a good thing. There were no new answers this week, other than that Adalind thinks Nick looks good with stubble (so he doesn't have to use a mirror to shave). What's going on with the mirrors and Mr. Black Skull Green Eyes? And what does it have to do with the stick, the symbols and the tunnel? Eve suggested she needed to go to the other side to find out what's going on. Let's get on with it and get some answers!
Lines of the night:
"OK, we need a buddy system 'cause nobody can look into a mirror by themselves until we figure this out." – Monroe
"I just don't see how you can blame the Kinoshimobe for protecting its habitat, especially when it's doing it in an organic, all natural, free range kind of self defense." - Monroe
"This gives a whole new meaning to 'family tree.'" - Hank
"I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a blood-sucking Jubokko tree." - Monroe
"I'm just going to go out on a limb and say a womb with a view." - Wu
"You can't arrest a tree." - Hank
Best line of the night:
"Well, you couldn't ask for a prettier place to be brutally murdered." - Wu