December 16th, 2011 10:00 am | by MATTHEW SINGER Movies & Television |

"Grimm" Recap: Rats Entertainment! And It's a Pig-Man, Jerry, a Pig-Man!

grimm1Grime fighting - NBC

Hey, we've been busy, so here's a two-fer. A new episode of Grimm airs tonight.

, Season 1, Episode Five: “Danse Macabre”

Beast of the Week: Reinegens, a race of working-class, bottom-feeding rat people who disguise themselves in human society as plumbers, exterminators and, lowest of all, dubstep DJs.

Source Material:The Pied Piper of Hamelin," as well as the lesser-known legend, “Deadmau5 Was Sick Last Night, Bro!”

The Procedural: A teacher at the prestigious (and totally made up) Von Hamlin Music Academy is found dead in his car, eaten alive by rats. “I can't stand rats,” says Hank, which, after the last few weeks of being attacked by bees and gassed by rape-goats, ensures he'll find himself in the company of several hundred rodents before the end of this episode. He and Nick don't have to search long for their first clue: They find cages casually tossed in the bushes, helpfully labeled as the property of Geiger Pest Control. That takes them out to a trailer underneath the St. Johns Bridge, where they find Roddy, a violin prodigy and, as Nick soon discovers, a reinegen recently suspended from the music academy for fighting. He recognizes Nick as a Grimm and takes off running. Eventually he and his father are apprehended and brought in for questioning. Roddy's alibi: “I was at a rave down by the river!” Indeed he was, because in the cold open we saw him don a pink mask and drop some totally sick bass on a warehouse glowstick-waving teens under his nom de dubstep Retched Katt (looks like somebody on the writing staff went to a Deadmau5 show and got an idea).

An analysis of fibers found in the killer rats' stomachs reveals the little bastards were chewing on the carpeting of an automobile much more expensive than the one the victim was found in and much fancier than a lowly son of an exterminator could afford. Hank traces the fibers back to a German SUV belonging to Carter, a rich douchebag violinist who also attends the music academy. This leads to one of those expository scenes where the perpetrators of a crime stand around and, for no reason at all, recap to each other exactly what they did and why: Carter was jealous of Roddy's musical talents and his girlfriend, so he and some other students got him suspended from school, then tried to frame him for murder. What a bunch of no-goodniks those classically trained musicians are!

In a rage, Roddy burns down his trailer, saving only his violin and his cat mask. He leads a rat parade to Front Street, where he's convinced Carter and the gang there's going to be a rave that night. When they show up at the warehouse, they find Retched Katt alone in a candlelit room, playing violin in the DJ booth. Soon, hundreds of rats descend upon them. Hank and Nick, who learned of the rave after paying a visit to Carter's girlfriend's house—where she conveniently left her cell phone—bust in soon enough to scare off the rats and bring everyone into custody. And...that's pretty much it, except for Hank getting fucked with once again this week, as Nick scares him with the old “plastic rat in a pizza box” trick. Poor Hank can't ever catch a break.

Other Developments: Hank grabs a drink with Sgt. Wu and on his way out runs into Adaline Schade (the Hexenbiest, remember?), who seduces Hank into getting dinner with her. Meanwhile, Captain Renard sits outside and does what he's done for most of this season: stare inconclusively. What does it all mean?!?

Best Line of the Week: “I've never been much of a do-gooder, Nick. The only bleeding heart I ever had...well, that's in the past.” — Eddie Monroe, who was otherwise useless in this episode outside saving us another trip to the Magic Winnebago of Knowledge and Mystery.

Worst Line of the Week: “He's the biggest raver in Portland!” — Sgt. Wu talking about Retched Katt. I'm not sure if this was meant to sound as stupid as it came across, but it sounded like someone on the writing team didn't cross-check that bit of phrasing with their kids.

Grade: C. Very little supernatural activity this week, as this played out more as a “ripped from the headlines” Case of the Week from a generic cop show. I do like furthering the idea proposed in the “Beeware” episode that not all creatures in the Grimm universe are inherently evil, and modernizing the Pied Piper story by associating it with raves and electronic dance music was a decent touch, but overall: Meh. Oh, something I just noticed: Roddy “the Pied” Piper? Nice one, writers. That almost makes up for the “biggest raver” line. Almost.

Grimm, Season 1, Episode 6: “The Three Bad Wolves”

2010 called: it wants its Internet meme back

Beast of the Week: Bowerswine (or something like that), vengeful pig-folk locked in an eternal blood feud with Blutbaden, a.k.a. “Big Bad Werewolves.”

Source Material: “The Three Little Pigs,” although considering its inversion of the original fairy tale, this might have been the actual inspiration. Unfortunately, Rambo does not make an cameo appearance.

The Procedural: We start with a Shake Weight gag, which, much like the flash mobs from a few weeks ago, seems like a dated reference now. Regardless, it gives an excuse for Hap, this episode's contentedly tubby protagonist, to escape his home just before it explodes in a ball of flame. When Nick and Hank show up, he reveals his brother's RV got blown to shit about a month ago, only he wasn't lucky enough to have been retrieving his Shake Weight after accidentally flinging it out a window. “He's totally dead, bro,” he tells the detectives. At the station, Eddie Monroe shows up to retrieve Hap, who, like him, is a blutbad in recovery. Nick and Hank go to arson investigator Lt. Orson (played by Daniel Roebuck, who is apparently a Lost alum; I was never a fan of that show, so I didn't immediately recognize him) assuming there must be a connection between the explosions at the two brothers' homes, but Orson suspiciously insists it's just a coincidence and both were accidents.

Meanwhile, as Hap and Eddie uneasily shack up together in Eddie's house—Eddie likes fine wine, Hap wants Peppermint Schnapps and an order from 24/7 Pork (oh, if only that existed)—we meet Angelina (Jaime Ray Newman), Hap's wild child of a sister and a former flame of Eddie's. She tempts Eddie into taking a “run in the woods,” which leads to a hot blutbad bone session. Unfortunately, their tryst leaves Hap unprotected, and he winds up getting shot and killed in Eddie's doorway by a vaguely pig-like gunman. As Nick and Hank pull Angelina in for questioning, Hank notices she has blood on her tank top, which she proceeds to rip off and toss at him. She leaves wearing nothing but a bra under her leather jacket a la Sue Ellen Mischke. A DNA test reveals it's only rabbit blood (wow, Eddie is kinkier than I imagined). Attention then turns back to Orson, whose two brothers, Nick and Hank learn, were killed in Eugene a few years earlier. From there, everything comes together: Angelina snuffed out Orson's pig bros, and now he's taking revenge for bowerswine everywhere (as with most suspects on this show, his name should've given away his true identity from the beginning). Nick confronts him in the police department stairwell. “Our families have never been enemies,” Orson tells him.

This leads to Nick barging into Orson's house and, in maybe the coolest image the show has yet devised, we see Orson, in full-on pig-man mode, slowly rise out of a bathtub full of mud. Like the climactic scene at the warehouse full of rats, candles and a guy in a pink cat mask playing violin from the previous night's episode, this is clearly the image that started the concept for this episode; the writers must've just written backward from there. Angelina then busts into the house, bent on vengeance. As the blutbad and the bowerswine wrestle around, Nick once again finds himself holding a gun and contemplating moral quandary: Does he act as a cop or a Grimm? He chooses to jab Angelina in her tramp stamp area (the blutbad Achille's heel, apparently). That distracts her long enough for Orson to fire a gunshot off, but Angelina escapes in the fray, which means we'll probably see her again at some point—which is good, because she's fairly hot, but also bad, because she's kind of a shitty actress.

Other Developments: Nothing, really. No appearance from Schade and no development regarding Captain Renard, nor any mention of Hank's dinner with Schade from the previous episode.

Best Line of the Week: “The huff-and-puff days are over!” — Lt. Orson to Angelina.

Worst Line of the Week: “The cat beat up the dog.” — Detective Nick, in the obligatory moment of domesticity between him and his veterinarian wife. He walks in on her stitching up a neighborhood dog who got attacked by a cat, which makes the lightbulb go off that perhaps the hunters are becoming the hunted in his own case. It was just so obviously telegraphed, corny and unnecessary, like every other scene between Nick and Juliette.

Grade: B+. Hey, what do you know? An entire Eddie Monroe episode leads to one of the better episodes of the season! Again, this episode expanded the mythology the show is working under, establishing it's not just supernatural beings vs. humans but that there are creatures who have agendas and rivalries with other creatures, and it's interesting to see how Nick navigates through that (even if David Giuntoli remains the worst part of Grimm). I am, however, disappointed they didn't further expand the overarching Hexenbiest storyline by at least having Hank acknowledge to Nick that he had dinner with Schade. I'm presuming that's coming, but I'd prefer if every episode managed to mesh together the Case of the Week with the season's primary narrative arc.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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