Things were looking, well, grim for Portland’s resident cop-turned-monster slayer Nick Burkhardt when Grimm signed off last May. He’d unknowingly impregnated his enemy. His girlfriend, in an attempt to save his powers, was turned into a witch and eventually gave in to the dark side, betrayed him, and ultimately died in his arms. Her betrayal also led to his mother’s demise and the baby he was trying to protect being returned to the royals.
Unfortunately, Nick’s real-life alter ego David Giuntoli can’t promise that it gets better when the Season 5 opener, “The Grimm Identity,” premieres Friday. “Nick’s life gets even worse than it was in the finale five seconds into the new season,” he revealed during a phone interview from the Oregon set last August. He also teased new characters, paranormal parenthood, Trubel’s fate, and Nick’s all-consuming need for vengeance. “He’s gonna go off the rails and you can’t really blame him, can you? He’s lost the most important woman in his life.”
Say it isn’t so that Juliette is really dead and gone. I keep hoping that given this is a fantasy supernatural show she’ll get to at least return as a ghost.
Sorry to have to break it to you but we are several episodes into the season and there has been no sign of Juliette. She certainly haunts my conscience. I always play the despair card about having lost Juliette. Finding his mom’s head in a box, being betrayed by someone he loves, and having his girlfriend die in his arms gives Nick context for everything he does this season. It colors every word out of his mouth and powers his every move.
Has the loss of Juliette and in turn the loss of series original Bitsie Tulloch been hard?
We all miss Bitsie a lot. She’s awesome. It is not going to be the same show without Juliette or Bitsie, but the stakes had to be heightened. It was time to change things up and the only way to do that was to take a beloved character and make them disappear because it is juicy emotional fuel. It is terrible for everybody, but for the story it is quite the shaker upper.
How would you describe how this changes him?
In Season 1, he was 99 percent cop and 1 percent Grimm. In Season 5, he is 1 perent cop and 99 percent Grimm. He is angrier and more determined to get revenge for all of the terrible things to happen to him. He doesn’t have the capacity or time for the rule of law anymore. He doesn’t care. Heads are gonna roll.
Do you jump in where we left off or has time passed?
The Season 5 premiere is basically the Season 4 finale continued. We literally pick up one second later. Nick’s life gets even worse than it was in the finale five seconds into the new season. Season 4 ended with his dead lover and his mom’s head in a box, but something even worse happens next. It’s bad news for him, but exciting for the story.
Adalind was pregnant with your baby at the end of last season thanks to the spell that made her look like Juliette when she seduced you before Monroe’s wedding to take away your Grimm powers. Will Nick become a dad this season?
We will see Nick as a dad. And pretty quickly because as we saw last time Adalind’s pregnancies don’t work quite like human pregnancies. I have been working a lot with a beautiful couple of twins who are like 6 months old.
How does he feel about welcoming the bundle of joy?
It doesn’t make Nick happy, but it centers him. It’s new life and, after losing everyone he cared about in the finale, it’s a reason to continue. Without the baby, Nick would go completely off the rails. Every time I look at this kid it is a shot of adrenaline to keep going. He may not have consented to having this baby, but he does think it is his responsibility.
Adalind’s other paranormal pregnancy resulted in a magical baby. What does it mean when a kid has a witch mother and a Grimm father? Assume it won’t be your average tot.
We have no idea what’s going to happen with this kid, but as a hexenbiest-Grimm mix, we know he’ll be a child of great consequence and to expect big things. He’ll probably start a religion or something.
Given the strained relationship with your baby mama, co-parenting issues seem ripe for a laugh or two.
Oh my baby mama. The first several episodes are just a moment-by-moment custody battle. [Laughs.] There will definitely be some relatable parenting issues addressed. Adalind redeemed herself a little last season in trying to help fix Juliette, but the long sorted history between them is a lot to handle especially because newborns are stressful. It is definitely going to be an awkward living situation in a lot of ways.
Trubel was back in the finale. Is she sticking around this season?
Maybe we’ll hire her as the nanny. Actually, that question will be answered in the premiere. Here’s a hint. She’s the only living thing in the room with Nick when the show opens and I already said it gets worse for him five seconds later.
The number of folks who know Nick’s secret and about Wesen grew significantly in the last couple of seasons. There are two camps of thought on this: Some people love that people like Hank or Wu know and others think the Scooby gang is too big now. Your opinion?
I think it is nice to keep the element of some people being in the dark but he also needs help and you can only explain away all the weird stuff that happens for so long. We have killed off several members of the gang so that reduces the number of people who know and we will create that element again as we introduce some new characters, other police officers, who have no idea what the hell is going on.
Grimm airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.