No one can accuse Grimm of going out quietly Friday night.
The Season 3 finale, "Blond Ambition," was chock full of emotional highs (the Wesen wedding worth woging for) and lows (Juliette can't stop the mental image of Nick in bed with a magically disguised Adalind in her negligee), women scorned, and shocking cliffhangers. Has Nick lost his powers for good? Will Trubel be Portland's new demon slayer? Will Juliette and Nick stay together and will he ever give her that damn ring already? Will Captain McChesty survive his GSWs? Will Wu finally get to be an official member of the Scooby Gang now that he's seen the creature catalogs? What will Adalind do when she deplanes and realizes that Viktor does not have her magic moppet? Will Monroe and Rosalee get a reception refund?
With so many burning questions left unanswered, it's bound to be a long summer for fans of the fantasy procedural series. To help tide you over, Yahoo TV spoke exclusively with executive producer Jim Kouf about the "supercharged" finale and where the show is headed next fall.
How much of this season's end was planned out before you knew you were renewed for another season?
Before we were renewed? Not much. We have a unique approach to how we write the show, which is that we come up with ideas of what we want to do for an episode but we let the characters develop as they naturally would develop as we flush out an episode. So sometimes like with the ending we had, we don't know exactly how it will happen until we sit down to write the ending.
But there were so many storylines that have been woven throughout the season — Adalind and the baby and the Resistance versus Royals — that it seems like…
We did a lot of pre-planning. But we really didn't. If you develop your characters well, they take on a natural development and they need certain things to happen for them. They all have their own driving force. We discover a lot of things as we go along and we try to make good use of them. Originally the end of the season was going to be Adalind giving birth, but that became the mid-season. We knew we wanted Rosalee and Monroe to get married this season, but we didn't know exactly when it was going to come [within the season]. It just unfolded that way naturally.
Would the ending have been different if you weren't getting another season?
Yes of course. It wouldn't have been full of questions because that would just be cruel. But there was no indication from NBC that they weren't going to give us another season so we did not have a plan for that scenario. No we did not. We did the first year when we didn't know if we were going to get more than 13 episodes. That finale was going to be Hitler. We were going to say he was the biggest, baddest Blutbad of all time. But we got to keep going.
I loved the juxtaposition of the beautiful wedding for Monroe and Rosalee, complete with his parents' acceptance and blessing of their union, and yet another roadblock courtesy of Adalind in Juliette and Nick's journey. Will Nick and Juliette ever get their happy ending?
The reality of that relationship is that there are highs and lows to dating and living with a Grimm. Being with someone who can see the monsters within people doesn't make life easy. Their lives are always in jeopardy. He can see things she can't. He can't always put her first because he has his Grimm calling. We try to be as real as we can with their complicated relationship. Personally, if they can stay together, I think they should get married but then they have other issues. Do they have kids? Will they take the chance of having a kid with Grimm powers? Do we want to bring a child into the world?
Watch a clip from the season finale:
And, of course, the culprit was Adalind again.
This is a woman who has lost her child and she will do anything to get that baby back. You never want to cross a mom. Nobody knew that by taking Adalind's baby, which they believed they were doing for the right reasons, they essentially put in play Adalind trying to get her baby back by whatever means necessary and that had unforeseen consequences.
The last couple of episodes and the finale all had a lot of debate about whether being a Grimm was a blessing or a curse and in the finale Juliette even said she wasn't sure she could keep living like this. Then, bam, his powers are taken from him. Is there a chance that Nick could choose to stay "normal?"
If he can get his powers back. First, he has to deal with the loss and then he will have to deal with what it means for him to know what he knows and not have these powers and then he'll have to decide whether it is a good thing or bad thing that he is no longer a Grimm. These are all things we will deal with in Season 4. We'll pick it up right where we left off because there are too many threads left untied. We have to go back and examine everything we set up. We dug a lot of holes for ourselves.
Could Trubel step in and take over Portland's Grimm needs?
She's gotta be Nick's eyes for awhile. She's become even more valuable to him. It's like somebody who used to be able to see that cannot see anymore, but it doesn't make his life any easier. He knows the world works differently and now he is just not connected as he was so he has to rely on Trubel.
Does this increase the chances that actress Jacqueline Toboni will stick around for a large part of next season?
That's definitely a possibility. Everybody has fallen in love with Trubel and Jacqueline. It is a big thing to be plucked out of the University of Michigan with no real warning and be thrown onto the front line. She fit right in with the cast, the physicality of the role was not an issue for her as an athlete with three brothers, and is an incredibly confident young woman with a good sense of humor. She already lasted longer than our original plan. It was supposed to be three episodes and that was it. We hadn't thought about writing her into the finale, her fourth episode, until we wrote the third episode and realized we couldn't get rid of her yet. She turned into an integral part of the finale. It was natural for her to stay which led to her being in the house when the Captain got shot which led to her going to the wedding where everything came apart. There is also a possibility that [Roland's son] Josh will start to see because he is a descendant of a Grimm. Just because he hasn't seen anything yet doesn't mean that he won't become a Grimm.
You shot Captain Renard. Is he in real jeopardy?
He's definitely in jeopardy yeah. [Laughs.] It depends on Sasha's contract.
I can't fathom a Season 4 without shirtless Renard.
I know. We have too much fun with shirtless rage. We really threw it in there at the end, didn't we? We were gratuitous with shirtlessness for just that reason. Just in case he dies.
In the hunt episode, it was alluded to that something worse was coming?
That was the baby. The baby will change the world. There will be a lot of handwringing about where did the child go next season. Viktor wants that child. The Royals want the child. Adalind wants her child. No one is going to give up on finding that baby.
So we haven't seen the last of the baby?
Well, you haven't seen the last of the search for the baby. It becomes a very practical issue. You don't want to go to a child that can't say anything for three scenes when you have so many other things to get to. The action is with the people trying to find out where the child is, not so much with the child eating its first solid meal. It's going to be more important when it is about 5. So Season 9 we will get back to the baby.
Sgt. Wu sees the books in Nick's house and realizes that maybe the Aswang wasn't all in his head. He also knows where Adalind's storage locker is. Does Wu get to save the day next season and/or become an official member of the Scooby Gang?
Well, we definitely gotta deal with his issues. Now that he walked into that room and he's seen the books, he's going to have a lot of questions and it will be a lot harder to ignore them. It's gotta unfold naturally. If it gets to the point where they just can't avoid it anymore, somebody will have to say something. We try not to pre-think these things too much or force anything too much just because we want it to happen. We prefer things to happen as the characters need it or want it. If it makes sense for Reggie's character to finally be confronted with this other world, then we're going to do it. There's always a possibility that he will start to see.
Nick now has two keys to the map and the Royals were a huge part of this season. Will the Royal mythology story be increasingly important next season?
Yes. They will keep pushing. They want the child. They want to establish their power and getting rid of the Grimms is an important part of their agenda. We try to advance the mythology a little every episode as well as give it the procedural elements.
This season had some great Wesen from Aswang to Krampus and Zauberbiest. Do you have any new beasts planned for next season?
There's another Spanish one we'd like to do and another Filipino one. We'd like to do a Chinese story this year. It is important to us to keep expanding the universe and pull from fairy tales and legends from all over the world.
Is next season's opener planned?
Yes. Broad strokes. David and I need to know the basics when we regroup in June. We need to have a good idea with what we are dealing with before we send everyone off on their way to start coming up with new ideas.
Can you give us a few teases?
The best tease is to just really look what we have left them to deal with. You have a police captain being shot in a detective's house by an ex-FBI agent whose head was cut off by somebody staying there, and you have Wu looking at the books which is going to trigger his issues. You have Nick without power and a wedding full of people who saw a new Grimm. You have Adalind on a plane going to see her baby that Viktor doesn't actually have. We are picking it up right from that moment. We can't avoid any of that.
There is a lot of emotion, a lot of problems and a lot of issues. It is all super-charged and it is a better ride if your characters have to deal with all their problems. NBC has been great because they don't make us shortchange everything. They really give us the room to explore what these characters need to go through.
Grimm returns this fall on NBC.