November 21st, 2011 | by MATTHEW SINGER Movies & Television |

"Grimm" Recap: The Women Who Stare at Goats

grimm-104-lonelyhearts2Russell Hornsby in hot pursuit at Multnomah Falls - NBC
Grimm, Season 1, Episode Four: "Lonelyhearts"

Beast of the Week:
Ziegevolk, a.k.a. rape-goat. Seriously, it's a serial-rapist goat-man.

Source Material: Taking a detour from the world of the Brothers Grimm, the rape-goat of “Lonelyhearts” is based on the French folk tale “Bluebeard,” about a wealthy aristocrat with a penchant for marrying women who “mysteriously” disappear.

The Procedural: A woman in a nightgown is found dead on a bridge. She's been hit by a car, but the coroner tells Detective Nick she didn't die from being run over: She was asphyxiated, which we already know because we saw a shadowy figure cup her mouth after she was accidentally struck by a motorist while in a state of fleeing panic at the top of the show. Hank and Nick pay a visit to the victim's abusive husband, who admits to being a violent asshole but denies any involvement in his wife's death. He does drop that she's a Facebook addict, so Nick checks her profile and sure enough, she posted a pic of a storybook-worthy garden the night she died. He traces it to a bed-and-breakfast called the Bramble Haus, run by a creepy-looking innkeeper named Billy Capra (played by Patrick Fisher, “That Guy” in a bunch of TV shows—including a recurring role on Mad Men—but who I mostly associate with this fucking scene from Mulholland Drive). It doesn't take long for Capra's true identity to reveal itself to Nick, as Capra turns into the rape-goat after Hank accidentally steps on a CGI frog while touring his garden (to which Nick reacts with a quick eye-roll that says “Great, another goddamn demon?!”). After the detectives leave, Capra consumes the crushed toad, which we later learn helps him give off pheromones to attract female victims. Suspicious, Hank and Nick do some research and find reports of women from other Oregon cities who'd recently gone missing after relocating to Portland (cases which the department presumably would've already solved, had it not been for Occupy Portland),  and decide to further investigate Capra—who, in the next scene, is shown serving nicely arranged plates of food to three caged women in the Bramble Haus basement. Not really the accommodations I'd personally look for in a bed-and-breakfast, but to each her own.

From there, it's stakeout time. Hank takes a tip from Breaking Bad's own Hank and puts a GPS locator on Capra's car; unfortunately, seconds after doing so, Capra leaves his house on foot and strolls down to Blue Moon. Nick follows him, while Hank checks out the house and, like a moronic teenager in a horror movie, decides to go down into the dark, foreboding basement, where he's overcome by the gas Capra uses to keep his women disoriented (poor Nick—stung by bees last week, gassed this week). Meanwhile, Nick calls up Eddie Monroe for our weekly dose of Silas Weir Mitchell. Monroe tracks Capra into the bar, where Monroe observes him working his goat magic on an unsuspecting single white female. (In a localized touch, Monroe orders a glass of Double Dead Guy Ale and calls the bartender “barkeep.” I love this guy!) Eventually, Capra starts walking back to the Bramble Haus and Monroe is off the clock, so he stays behind and grabs another drink. I really would rather the rest of the episode follow Eddie around as he tried to pick up chicks in the Pearl, but I guess they're obligated to wrap up this week's case.

Anyway, the tension builds as Capra approaches his home with Hank still tripping balls in the basement. Nick heads him off and drags Hank, who's hallucinating snakes and agitated doorknobs, to safety, while Capra grabs a few wads off cash and takes off with the woman he met at the bar. At daybreak, the GPS locator leads Hank and Nick right to Capra, who for some reason has stopped off at Multnomah Falls. He tries to escape using his, uh, goaty jumping powers (can goats even jump? I don't know), but, in an ironic callback to the beginning of the episode, gets nailed by a shuttle bus. Case closed.

Other Developments: In this episode, the B-storyline produced the single best scene. At the top of the show, a black-clad man with a French accent shows up in Portland—specifically the Joyce Hotel—brandishing the same kind of scythe Aunt Marie's would-be killer attacked her and Nick with in the pilot. He goes to the police station trying to find Nick but gets sent away by Sgt. Wu. Later, the man returns to the hotel to find Captain Renard in his room. Renard chastises him for coming to “his city,” demands he KNEEL BEFORE ZOD, then, in one swipe of the scythe, cuts the dude's ear off. Call me a vampire, but I enjoy when this goofy little show has bursts of extreme violence, a la episode two when Eddie ripped a guy's arm off.

Also, there's a moment when Hank and Nick first visit the Bramble Haus when Capra bumps into Hank's shoulder, and the camera lingers on Hank's face long enough to suggest something. I'm not sure if that's foreshadowing isolated to this particular episode, or if it's supposed to hint at Hank possibly knowing more about these supernatural goings-on than we're being led to believe.

Best Line of the Week: “He's hitting on a girl, she's buying the full-toad, what more do you need to know?” — Eddie Monroe, re: the Ziegevolk. I'm going to use “buying the full-toad” next time a friend of mine looks to be closing the deal at a bar. At least I'll say it to myself. And maybe on Twitter.

Worst Line of Week: “How about we get done shopping and go home and integrate?” — Juliette, making awkward sex talk with Nick in a totally superfluous scene at a supermarket.

Grade: C+. After last week's episode successfully weaved together the Case of the Week and the bigger narrative arc threading through the season, this episode felt tossed off. Capra never seemed like a real threat to Nick or Hank, and there was no real tension once we knew for sure that Capra was the killer, which happened in the first, like, 10 minutes. I am intrigued by what the Captain's deal is, though—I'm not sure what side he's truly on, and the inability to predict at this point is a good thing for the show as it continues. And Silas Weir Mitchell continues his hot streak. Let's get that Eddie Monroe After Dark: Blutbad on the Prowl spinoff rolling soon.  
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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