Grimm Season Finale: David Giuntoli Breaks Down the Showdown With Black Claw

Michael Logan
Grimm, David Giuntoli Spoiler Alert
Scott Green/NBC

Spoiler alert! This story reveals key plot points from Grimm’s fifth season finale.

Hey, it ain’t every day that your mortal enemy saves your life. NBC’s Grimm ended its fifth season with a shock-a-minute finale that found Black Claw leader Conrad Bonaparte (Shaun Toub) performing a horrifying mind meld on detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), only to be stabbed to death with a sword by his cohort in crime, Sean Renard (Sasha Ruiz). Giuntoli broke it all down for us, and delivered a tantalizing and (grab your hankies, Grimmsters) pretty sad preview of things to come.

That was a killer season finale!
[Laughs] Literally. That was some crazy s—t!

Bonaparte has met his demise, but is this like an ISIS sort of thing? Cut off the head of the snake and another one will grow in its place?
This whole season has been an ISIS story, but I think the show is going to be moving away from Black Claw and on to a new direction where it will be much more about the core characters. Renard is going to be the big bad in Season 6. We’ll focus more on him and his rise to power and what that means. I don’t know this for absolute sure, but that’s the word on the street.

What’s Nick thinking when he realizes Renard has saved his life? He has no idea Adalind’s daughter made it happen with her voodoo doll.
Oh, not at all. There’s a pattern of behavior with Renard that’s well established by now. Renard is in love with himself and with power, so when he slays Bonaparte Nick isn’t going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s probably thinking “Am I next?” Or maybe, “Is Renard trying to use me for something here?” But in a way what happened isn’t so surprising. If Renard is so incredibly power hungry, why wouldn’t he stab the head of Black Claw in the back?

Grimm, Sasha Roiz

Scott Green/NBC

Renard is going to have some major Nick troubles in Season 6

But Renard did look extremely puzzled by what he’d done. Won’t Nick pick up on that? What’s his next move?
He’s face to face with Renard, so this could go two ways. Will there be a negotiation? Will Nick think this through? Or is he so furious at Renard for taking his child away that he’ll just go crazy? I would imagine the first scene in Season 6 will be a real melee with Nick and Renard. Of course, Renard is the one with the sword.

And Nick has his magical healing stick. Grimm could have ended the season with him getting shot through the heart and leave us wondering over the summer how he was going to get out of that mess, but it was revealed he was OK because of that stick. What was the thinking there?
First of all, we’re picked up for another 13 episodes, so it would be hard to believe that Nick would die. [Laughs] I mean, I guess I’m an adequate enough actor that the audience wouldn’t think I’ve been fired, right? Besides, we’ve done so many cliffhangers where it looks like someone might be dead—like a million of ’em. We have too much respect for the viewer to keep doing that at this point.

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How will the stick come into play next season? There have been hints that, for all its potential good, it could also be hugely dangerous.
Nick and the Scooby Gang are still discovering the potential of this stick, right along with the viewers. Nick survived a barrage of bullets through his chest and only he knows he’s invincible at this point. But we don’t know much more, like what kind of evil this stick could be used for if it falls into the wrong hands. He just puts that crazy stick back in his pocket. Is he going to tell the rest of the gang? We’ll see.

Grimm, Katie Eischen

Scott Green/NBC

What's not to love about Eve?

That stick saved Eve (Bitsie Tulloch) and, for a moment there, we got a glimpse of the real Juliette. How is Nick getting his brain around that?
I know, right? Is there a worse time in a guy’s life to find out your woman has come back? We’re all in the middle of being killed! On top of that, Nick is now in love with a Hexenbiest and they have a child. Nick’s also gotta be thinking, “Does Juliette know she killed my mother, when she was Eve?” And who is actually responsible for that death? If it was Juliette, Nick couldn’t forgive her. If it happened as a side effect from Juliette becoming Adalind—which she was trying to do for Nick’s benefit—then I guess he would have to forgive her. So all that is yet to be discovered. But, right now, it’s all too much for Nick to take in. He’s, like, “We can’t do this now!”

How’s he feeling about Adalind (Claire Coffee) at this point?
I think Nick knows she’s being played by Renard and Black Claw. He also knows she would do anything to protect her children. Her maternal concerns are everything, and they would trump anything she might do to protect Nick.

What’s going to happen to the police precinct now that Renard has been revealed to be a corrupt S.O.B.?
I’m certain there will be a series of reforms, which will be way too boring to show on TV. [Laughs] It’ll be like Grimm C-Span!

How will Nick handle the new Wu (Reggie Lee)?
Now that Wu has turned into one of the Great Apes, it’s a problem, but Nick knows that humans can turn into monsters and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are evil. He of all people is trained to know how to manage monsters. I’m guessing he’s probably happy to have Wu around, no matter what. He knows it was a constant battle for Monroe to keep his true nature in check. The poor guy did everything from going vegan to doing yoga and Pilates. I think we’ll revisit that same theme with Wu.

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You seem to be pretty confident about the direction of next season, much more so than in the past. What’s up with that?
Well, for one thing, I’m going to direct for the first time next season, so I’m a little more in the loop. It’ll be the first episode after we return from hiatus, though we’re shooting out of order so it will air as our third episode. [Laughs] Weirdly enough, they don’t trust me to do the season premiere!

What took you so long to make the move into directing?
I’ve been working my way toward it. I wrote and produced a film called Buddy Moon that opens in theaters July 1. I did it with a guy Flula Borg, who’s this German D.J. who is just crazy and hilarious. You will love this guy! A very cool actor. So that kept me very busy and, the truth is, it’s really hard to direct a series when you are also the lead. Directing takes two full weeks of prep time and I rarely ever have a day off. So it’s just impossible, really, unless you direct the first episode of the season. Also, it took me five seasons of observation to even feel capable enough to say, “OK, I got this!” But the opportunity is just irresistible.

What about that 13-episode renewal? What should the fans be reading into that?
First off, we don’t know the exact episode count for Season 6. We know we have 13 for sure but it could end up being between 15 and 18. What should you read into that? I would imagine this will be our last season. In network TV, six seasons seems to be what hit shows generally run. We’ve also heard we might do two more shortened seasons. But either way, we’re getting to the end. Nothing lasts forever. But here’s the exciting thing about that: Our writers will be able to give us a really cool ending. We have time to wrap it up in a wonderful, perfect way, for all of our characters. We will go out big and we will go out strong.