Nick and Hank hunt down a killer of women, who may or may not be a goat

By Benjamin Wood
Updated November 19, 2011 at 04:43 AM EST
Scott Green/NBC

Grimm

S1 E4
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  • TV Show
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My favorite thing about the classic fairy tales is how, in modern re-tellings, the more grisly and gruesome details have been systematically Disney-fied out. Like the part in Red Riding Hood when the huntsman butchers the Big Bad Wolf to itty-bitty bits after the aforementioned beast eats dear old granny. In my house, grandma is tied up and gagged in the closet and I don’t think there was a huntsman at all. Or, there’s the one about the nobleman with the blue beard that imprisons his wives in a locked cellar and then tortures and kills them.

Oh, you haven’t heard that one? Well that, along with the song “Blue (da ba dee)” by Eiffel 65, are the inspiration for this week’s episode of Grimm. Tonight’s inscription — There she paused for a while… But the temptation was so great that she could not conquer it. Taking the little key, with a trembling hand she opened the door of the room. — was lifted from the story of Bluebeard by Charles Perrault, one of the godfather’s of the fairy tale genre. That segment refers to Bluebeard’s latest wife opening a door she promised not to, only to discover a room bathed in blood with the bodies of her predecessors hanging from the walls. Grimm, indeed.

After last week’s Queen Bee, a few commenters wondered why the show had deviated from the Brother’s Grimm catalog so without spending too much time on it. We should all remember that most fairy tales were liberally borrowed over generations and re-imagined by various storytellers, like a ye olde version of “The Aristocrats.” Needless to say, Grimm and Perrault were like Eddison and Tesla; all that matters is that somehow the lightbulb got invented.

But back to business, the show opened with another giddy-fun crime scene. We saw a woman running for her life, terrified by hallucinatory visions of objects around her coming to life and attacking her a la the stained glass knight from Young Sherlock Holmes or the razor blade butterflies from season 1 of Fringe. In her madness she’s hit by a passing car and while the driver is busy calling for paramedics a shadowy figure arrives, gives the woman a gentle caress, and then suffocates her.

Next, a man enters a hotel room, speaks ominous things into his cellphone in — I want to say French? It all happened so fast — and then pulls a completely B.A. travel-size scythe out of his briefcase. We assume it’s the killer but he’s actually in town for Nick’s head in order to avenge the death of his fellow-reaper, whom Nick disposed of in the premiere. He stops by the police station and captain “Nastypants” Renard sends him packing, but pays him a visit later. “First mistake, was coming to my city,” Renard says. “Second mistake was not knowing who you have to kneel before.” Apparently Nastypants is a really bad dude, the kind of bad dude you have to get permission from to step foot in his neighborhood. We’ve never been told explicitly what Renard is, but I feel safe assuming that he’s a reaper, perhaps THE reaper, after watching him Mike Tyson the French guy’s ear with some mad scythe skills. “Protecting a Grimm?” the Frenchman asks. Perhaps, perhaps not.

NEXT: Blue his house, with a blue little window

Back to the case. After a quick visit to the most boring coroner in primetime television, the guys head out to question the victim’s husband. He has a history of domestic violence and a paper-thin alibi but her Facebook page — 322 friends! Wowza! — seems to lend credence to his story that she headed out by herself to the Blue Moon Bar. Late that night she posted a phone pic of a charming garden which, thanks to the wonders of the internet, the guys discover to be at a charming B&B called The Bramble House.

At the Bramble, a blue house, the guys find the owner’s car, a blue convertible, and the owner himself — a dapper gentleman dressed in a blue shirt and blue vest. We don’t find out if the feelings that live inside him are blue, or if he ain’t got nobody to listen, but we DO learn that he is a magical creature after Nick witnesses his transformation into a blue goat-man. You would think that if you were so affected by a frog getting stepped on you wouldn’t leave them out on the sidewalk, but what do I know.

Without probable cause, the guys call it a day and Nick heads to his fortress of solitude — read: Airstream trailer — to read up on billy goats. But not before we catch a glimpse of little boy blue serving dinner to three women caged in his basement. Turns out that among the species in the Grimm-verse are a breed of Ziegevolk — German for “goat people” for those of you taking the weekly quiz — or “Bluebeards” as they’re commonly called. Their shtick is that even though they are visibly repugnant they tend to be total ladies’ men. Needing more answers, Nick pays a visit to, you guessed it, Eddie the Wolfman, this time interrupting his cello practice. “I feel like I should complain, but I’m just not in that mode right now.” Eddie fills in the gaps on the Ziegevolk; typically, they’re non-threatening. More often than not they’re just “that guy” that you hate for being a tool and tending to seek fame and celebrity. If they touch you, they own you, which makes them perfect for Hollywood with all the hugging. Speaking of physical contact, we take a brief time out for Nick and Lady to have their obligatory relationship moment in a grocery store, during which the word “integrate” is used as euphemism. Bad form.

Nick and Hank head back to Casa Azul to put a tracking device on Bluebeard’s car and stake out the joint. Beardy gives them a freebie by heading out right there and then so the guys split up. Nick tracks the goat to The Blue Moon while Hank investigates the B&B. Not wanting to get made, Nick enlists the help of Eddie to be his eyes and ears in the bar, via Bluetooth, where we see goat-man using his powers to pick up a cute young thing to lure back to his lair. Sidenote: having Eddie order a Double Dead Guy Ale was a nice touch.

NEXT: TV Crime 101, always go straight to the basement

Back at the Blue Boutique, Hank finds broken glass from a blue little window which is enough to convince him to take a look inside. After tip-toeing around for a while he makes his way downstairs where he gets fright-gassed. He hits his head fighting off an imaginary bedpost snake and passes out in front of the women’s cages. The goat and his prey arrive back home with Nick close behind. Nick loses track of Bluebeard while telling the girl to get lost and makes his way downstairs to find the trapped women and his injured partner. They manage to break out of the basement before the gas does any real damage and free the women, but the goat gets away in his car with the doe-eyed girl from the bar in tow.

By the time morning comes, Hank and Nick are still sorting things out at the scene worried that their guy got away. But wait? Is the tracker on his car still working? Alles gute zum geburtstag Hank. They track him down and cut his picturesque waterfall date short but he goes all Goat Parkour and, for a moment, gives them the slip. I hate to keep harping on this point, but I still feel like it’s unclear. This man IS a goat and if he completely transforms, much like mama bear two weeks ago, then non-Grimms would be able to see that, right? Maybe this wasn’t a full transformation and Hank merely saw an innkeeper performing surprisingly athletic physical feats but Goldilocks and her boyfriend should have seen that bear, or at the very least a naked woman running through the forest on all fours. Doesn’t make sense.

But I digress. In the middle of all that jumping around, goat-man doesn’t keep an eye on traffic — it’s what always gets ya — and is Meet Joe Blacked. The final shot is Bluebeard charming the pants off of the orderly loading him into an ambulance to the backdrop of ominous music. It’s a cute finisher, but no matter how good his pheromones are, he’s going to have a hard time seducing his way out of a trial and conviction.

All in all a great episode, in my opinion. It wasn’t trying to be flashy but rather just a solid example of what I assume we can expect the Grimm norm to be. I liked that we still got our Eddie fix without sidelining Hank and I’m glad that their feeding us some serialized elements with the Renard sub-plotline. Whatever his game is, he sounds like someone to take very seriously.

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Grimm

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  • 6
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