Scott Green/NBC
Emily Rome
August 13, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Grimm has kicked off its sophomore season, and it’s out to prove that it knows how to handle a thickening plot and isn’t afraid to toss the fans a cliffhanger. [Halt if you haven’t seen tonight’s episode. Here there be spoilers.]

There was a lot packed into this episode between Nick getting some unconventional mother-son reunion time, Juliette still stuck in a coma, Renard and Catherine being devious, a vicious Mauvais Dentes (that’s French for “Bad Teeth,” the title of the episode) ripping apart Portlanders, and Hank being largely absent but still freaked out about his recent Wesen encounters. All that was juggled well in this episode, but that unfortunately meant not much screen time for Monroe (but really, can there ever be enough Monroe on this show?).

I would have loved to see more Monroe, but while he was there, he was awesome. Our favorite Blutbad can always be counted upon to talk plainly about any awkward situation, making it all the more awkward. “And uh… sort of nice to meet you,” he says to Nick’s mom, a Grimm who’s none too pleased to see her son mingling with a pair of Wesen.

Oh boy, Nick’s mom. We learned a lot about what really happened the night of that fateful car crash, some of which the Comic-Con crowd got to see when the first act of this season 2 premiere was screened at the San Diego convention. Nick is still getting to know his mom, Kelly Burkhardt, who for 18 years he’s believed dead, but he does get to see her do a mix of typical motherly things (making breakfast, tidying up the house) and Grimm mom things (“Did you threaten to kill her? Want me to take a crack at her?” she says – with a hint of pleasure at the thought – after Nick questions Adalind’s mother.)

This episode also gave us the closest we’ve gotten to a definitive answer about the perpetually semi-mysterious Capt. Renard’s motives and what the hell is up with his fascination with Nick. He tells Adalind’s mother, Catherine, about his fears of Nick quitting Portland’s police force were anything to happen to Juliette and reveals, “I have put too much time and effort into him to let that happen.” Mama Burkhardt helps fill in the blanks as she explains that the Wesen once fought for the Royals and that “the Royals needed the Grimms to control them, as they do now.”

Now how much longer do we have to wait to find out just what Renard’s plans are for Nick, and how long until Nick finally figures out that his boss is a Royal?

I also can’t help but wonder how much longer Nick is going to be able to keep up with his police duties. When he got the call about the murders at the shipyard, I had a moment of “That’s right – he’s got a job to do on top of this ‘my mom who I thought was dead is alive and my girlfriend’s in a witch-induced coma and I have my father’s murderer to contend with’ mess.” It’s not going to get any easier for Nick to separate his cop self from his Grimm self. How much longer can he follow the rules and take care of these monsters through the legal system? It’s starting to feel like he’s bound for the route Harry Potter took in Deathly Hallows – quit school and make defeating Voldy a full-time gig.

But if Nick were to drop his cop duties in favor of saving the world from Wesen, reapers and ill-meaning Royals, that would of course obliterate a key aspect of the show. As much as I love Grimm, I’ve always wished there were more to set it apart from other mythic creature-filled shows like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time. The one really unique thing it has going for it is its mix of cop procedural with fantasy elements.

It’s a serious question for the writers to think about. But onto more light-hearted things. This show can be so endearingly goofy, so there’s no way I can get to the end of this post without putting a spotlight on some of my favorite adorkable moments:

— Kelly Burkhardt on those troublesome coins: “Return them to the Island of S’Gintos where they were forged. It’s the only way to destroy them.” Blatant nod to Lord of the Rings – check. (By the way, I have no idea if I spelled that island name correctly. In fact, I’m sure I spelled it wrong. I do often think about recommending this show to my brother who’s studying German and French – and then I always come to the conclusion that knowing how to say a bunch of mystical creatures and lands in foreign languages might not be all that helpful to him.)

— It is so sweet to see how proud Monroe and Rosalee are to be Nick’s friends: “And we’re friends with him,” Rosalee pointedly tells Kelly. Getting his word in about Adalind, Monroe says, “A Hexenbiest that Nick destroyed with our help, by the way.”

— As he processes the news that both his mom and his aunt let him believe that his alive-and-well mother was dead, an angry/hurt Nick chokes back tears and lets out a few gasps, trying to stay stoic. Am I a horrible person for enjoying seeing our hero like this? No manly tears of doom, but we were close.

So Grimm fans, what did you think of Mama Burkhardt? What kind of quest do you think Nick and co. are headed toward with all these coins and keys? Are you relieved or dismayed that Kimura was killed off, also effectively killing off any hopes for a revenge plot against all four of the now-dead Wesen who caused Nick’s father’s death? Who’s counting down the days until a flashback episode with Aunt Marie and her sis going out on their first hunt? Sound off in the comments section below.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

Read more:

‘Grimm’ DVD exclusive: Watch David Giuntoli’s audition tape

‘Grimm’ Comic-Con panel: Footage from season 2 premiere reveals what’s up with Nick’s mom

‘Grimm’ season finale: Bosses talk big reveal and what’s coming up in season 2!

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