Ding-dong! The Hexenbiest is dead!

As we return to Grimm for its fifth season on Friday (9/8c, NBC), it is with the delightful knowledge that Juliette is well and truly dead. Nothing against Bitsie Tulloch, the lovely actress who played Juliette, but she was a problematic and often annoying character who never had a clear role in the group other than Nick's (David Giuntoli) girlfriend. The best decision the writers made was to turn her evil enough through Hexenbiest-ery that she had to die. "A lot of people want her back and were angry that she died," co-creator Jim Kouf tells TVGuide.com, while fellow co-creator David Greenwalt adds, "But some people liked the move."

Whether you're down on or down with Juliette's death, we can all agree that it was a bold move for Grimm, which has put its core group of characters through the wringer for four years, without making them suffer lasting consequences until now. The deaths of both Juliette and Nick's mom at the end of last season finally created real stakes and revitalized the series going into its fifth year.

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Based on the first two episodes back screened for critics, the gamble paid off. We feel the immediate effects of Juliette's death, but another threat is also looming. "This year's theme is the coming storm," Kouf says. "A storm raises all boats and casts a lot of conflict and confusion on all the characters. If you pull one of those Avengers titles, it would be like, Grimm: Rise of the Wesen."

Check out what else you can expect this season:

Det. Nick Burkhardt A quick aside to note how Giuntoli has brought some very fine performances lately — the scene when he finds his mom's head comes to mind — and is really underrated. On a show full of wacky monsters and even wackier ways to die, Nick's reactions are always believable emotionally, even if they don't make sense logically. Well done.

The two women who mean the most to Nick — his girlfriend and mother — are dead, and this sparks such outrage in him that he'll be damned if anyone dares to harm one of his nearest and dearest again. Unfortunately, this means that the Grimm has gone wild and isn't always acting within the law. "He'll be reeling from the devastating losses of his mother and of Juliette and Trubel [who's now missing]," Greenwalt says. "And he's going to be a dad." Which brings us to...

Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee) The currently inhibited Hexenbiest is pregnant with Nick's potion-conceived lovechild and, as we reported previously, will want to give her baby a good life despite the unusual parenting circumstances. "She's trying hard. Nick's trying hard," Greenwalt says. "They're in an unusual situation, which is they've had a child, but ... their relationship [was] based on trying to kill one another. They haven't had a loving relationship. But now they have this kid, which is quite a quandary. She also eventually wants to go back to work and may have the opportunity to go back to being a lawyer."

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Monroe and Rosalee (Silas Weir Mitchell, Bree Turner) The couple starts out helping Nick and Adalind adjust to co-parenting, but sadly, that coming storm hits Rosalee hard. "Her past comes back to haunt her," Greenwalt explains. "There's this whole Wesen uprising going on that's beginning to merge, and she will be forced to go through a lot of terrible changes. It will threaten her life and her relationship with Monroe."

Capt. Renard (Sacha Roiz) The captain will have a tough time trying to keep Nick in line, but there will be another distraction. Greenwalt says, "He's involved in politics. He is going to endorse a political candidate where things are going to come to light." Kouf adds, "It's a whole different world where he can redefine his power and realize his ambitions."

Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) Sadly, the show's punching bag will continue to suffer. "He's going to go through real Heaven and Hell," Greenwalt says. "He's going to learn about the dark side of the Wesen world." Kouf confirms, "We love to torture Wu. He'll suffer a new kind of problem."

New Wesens At Comic-Con, we learned that we'll see the Loch Ness monster and meet gila monsters. Greenwalt adds, "We're going to do something called the Rat King, which is a giant rat that is in mythology quite a bit. We're going to explain that, we're going to tack on an adaptation of Peter Pan, and we'll do a maiden quest: three guys traveling to do a quest to try to win the 'princess' hand.' In this case, it takes place in the mob."

The keys Remember those keys from the first season? Well, they're back! "This is sort of a seminal year for us because it's our 100th episode around the 12th episode this season," Kouf says. "So leading up to that, we'll be giving more and more information and then we will actually show what the damn keys lead to."

Grimm returns Friday at 9/8c on NBC.

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