“Grimm” Season 1, Episode 9: “Of Mouse and Man”
Beast of the Week: Mauzhertz, a passive, rodent-esque bottom-feeder of the creature world similar to the rat-like Reinegens from the “Danse Macabre” episode, except they don't appear to listen to dubstep. This episode also introduces us to the Lausenschlange, an aggressive snake creature which, when transformed, resembles that lizard dude from the old Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, who I think once appeared in an X-Files episode. The '90s truly are back!
Source Material: Well, the opening quote is from Of Mice and Men, so I guess that's the inspiration. Does that mean John Steinbeck was a Grimm?
The Procedural: A body is found in a dump truck, a screwdriver lodged in his trachea. Hank and Nick do some investigatin' and identify the victim as Leonard Drake. He was apparently quite the asshole. On the night of his murder, he was involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, which was broken up by Marty, a meek junk shop owner who lives in the same apartment complex. Apparently, a lawyer named Mason Snyder (ooh, that just sounds slimy) also got involved, too. The detectives visit both at their respective places of employment, and both reveal their true identities to Nick: Marty is a mauzhertz; Snyder a lausenschlange, which, when pronounced out loud, sounds like the German translation of “dickhead.” Or “dick-lozenge,” which is an insult I now cannot wait to hurl at someone.
The next day, another body turns up in a Dumpster. This time, it's the owner of the Battery Xchange on Southeast Belmont and 20th, who has a tire iron sticking out of his chest. Much like Leonard Drake, people who knew the guy classify him as someone many people wanted to stab in the chest with a blunt object. Suspicions raised, Hank and Nick return to Marty's cluttered apartment, where they find his father's day-old corpse expiring in a bed. Meanwhile, Marty pays a visit to the slimeball lawyer and bashes his brains in with another blunt object. Mystery solved! Although, really, it was pretty obvious from the beginning who was committing all these murders, given that every time we saw someone killed, from the POV of the killer the victim would morph into an older, mouse-faced creature, which turned out to be the face of Marty's abusive dad. That was kind of a “dead” giveaway. Hey, I think I just came up with a Grimm episode title!
After disposing of Snyder, Marty steals his car and takes Drake's ex-girlfriend out on a date. At the restaurant, Marty punches a father he overhears at a nearby table bullying one of his kids, then jumps into the stolen Camaro with the girl, driving dangerously fast. She pleads for him to slow down as police appear in the rearview. “I've gone too slow my whole life,” he replies. Nick and Hank corner him at his junk shop, where he's holding the girl hostage. Seeing his reflection in a mirror, Marty sees himself turning into his father (sorry, bro, it happens to all of us). Mauzhertz that he is, he escapes into a crawlspace. Nick follows him and, in typical Grimm fashion, easily subdues him. Case closed!
Other Developments: As is often the case with Grimm, the stuff happening outside the Case of the Week is actually far more interesting, and this week there were two separate side plots. One involved Juliette being stalked by someone in a truck, who she sees taking pictures of her and Nick's house. She later tracks the truck to a house apparently belonging to a typical-looking Portland mom, who quickly corrals her kids inside when she spots Juliette observing them across the street.
Then, in our weekly Silas Weir Mitchell segment, Eddie Monroe gets called out to a clock repair job which turns out to be a setup. He gets beat down by a gaggle of Reapers, who leave a drawing of a scythe in blood on the hood of his car. Obviously, this is a message for Monroe to stop consorting with a Grimm, but Eddie basically says “fuck them Reapers” and vows to continue helping Nick, and the show ends with the two toasting to what appears to be an increased partnership. Hopefully this means more screen time for Mitchell, and also the end of him complaining every time Nick shows up on his doorstep looking for information.
Grade: C-. A just plain boring episode. As I've said before, the more Grimm resembles Law and Order or Criminal Minds, the worse off it is. It's not the show's strength, and certainly not that of the writers, who can't seem to a develop a case that actually leaves us guessing. For the audience who are tuning in every week because they're legitimate fans of the show and, unlike me, aren't getting paid for it, I'm presuming their enjoyment is derived from the interpretation of the fairy tales and the development of this creature world, not the whodunnits. Over the last few weeks, however, that supernatural edge has been an afterthought. Hopefully, as the show gets closer to the season finale and the focus shifts to all the loose narrative strands tying together the arc of the season—Capt. Renard's shadiness, Adalind Schade, the stalkers, etc.—the more intriguing it'll be become.