Nick and Hank investigate the death of a man eaten by rats

By Benjamin Wood
Updated December 09, 2011 at 06:18 AM EST
Scott Green/NBC

Grimm

S1 E5
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Oh hey there Grimm fans, fancy seeing you here on a Thursday night.

Since tonight’s rat-centric episode finds us on a special night and time, I thought I’d mark the occasion by writing my recap in Writen? Kitten. If I get sidetracked or start giggling you’ll know why.

“Danse Macabre” started out with a quote from The Pied Piper of Hamelin: “Out they scampered from doors, windows, and gutters, rats of every size, all after the piper.” Once again I’ve got to hand it to Grimm for delving deeper into the stories we all think we know from our childhoods. The tale of the Pied Piper began as a semi-fictional explanation for the mass death of children in Hamelin, Germany during the middle ages. In time it evolved to include the Piper, who was hired by the citizens of Hamelin to rid the town of their rat infestation with his magic flute. When the townsfolk refused to pay him, he turned his magic flute on their children, luring them into a cave from which they were never seen again.

So let’s get started. Somewhere in Grimm‘s neck of the woods, a group of young adults were having a good time at what looked like a cross between a Girl Talk concert and an Energizer commercial. Someone at the party tried to reach their friend, likely wondering where they were, but they weren’t going to make it because they were tied up rehearsing with their string quartet. Their instructor cut them off in the middle of their piece, telling his student that it was a violin, not a saw, that he was playing. After a quip like that, you know that guy is going to die.

And die he did. After walking out to his car he was met by a lot of furry friends. I’m glad to see that NBC spared no expense for the Thursday special. The death by rat was easily the most unpleasant death we’ve seen so far on the show. The next morning a woman arriving at the school found the body, at least what was left of it, and called in Hank and Nick. Nick was at home, enjoying his weekly quota of girlfriend time with some innuendo-filled smoothie-making. “I’m just warming up first,” he said before going to get some ice and realizing the fridge was broken. Totally killed the mood. Before he could really deal with that problem he got the call on rat bait and scooted off to the school.

Hank apparently doesn’t like rats, which is fun in a kind of ironic way. For example, during the autopsy he’s fine looking at the corpse pudding, but show him one dissected rat and he loses his appetite? That’s kind of messed up. The guys found out that the victim, Dr. Brimly, had been rehearsing with the quartet the night before and headed out to question the students. Before they left, however, they noticed some discarded animal cages in the bushes with “Geiger Pest Control” written on them.

NEXT: Fast times at stuck up high

Nick and Hank questioned the students but none of them saw anything suspicious when they left their rehearsal. When they asked about the cages, the kids told them that one of their classmates, Roddy Geiger, was suspended from the Ye Riche Academy of Upper-middle-class Education. “He’s a very troubled boy,” one of the boys’ mom said. We find out later that Roddy got the boot after he started a fight, or at least that’s the way it went down on paper.

The guys pay a visit to Roddy and his dad where they find Roddy serenading a few caged rats with his violin. Fun fact, “Geiger” is German for “Violinist” and Roddy the Rat was a character on the animated movie Flushed Away. There’s probably a more influential Roddy the Rat that inspired both characters but I don’t know it off the top of my head. If you do, help me out in the comments. Roddy’s dad didn’t take kindly to the police insinuating that either he or his son had something to do with Dr. Brimly’s death. He got agitated, transformed into a rat in front of Nick and Roddy, realizing that Nick is a Grimm, ran off. Nick was able to catch him and after tackling him, managed to land a pretty decent right hook. Grimm = 1, Rats = 0.

Apparently Geiger and Son are a class of creature called “Reinigen.” Unless I’m missing something, that’s German for “Cleaner.” Don’t ask me, I just write what I hear. Reinigen — I also assume that is both the singular and plural form of the word — we learn, are generally peaceful creatures unless you make them angry. They are the Hulks of the Grimm world, except instead of turning green and having the ability to jump three miles, they have the ability to lure rodents with their musical ability. Just as cool.

Roddy admitted to being DJ Wretched Cat, the kitten with two turntables and a microphone from the beginning of the episode. His dad, on the other hand, was up a creek. His alibi was shaky at best — “in the mountains”? That’s really the best you’ve got? — he had motive for revenge after his gifted son got kicked out of school and his story about someone stealing rat cages two days before seemed a little convenient. Still, it’s not quite an open and shut case so they let Roddy go but held on to daddy-rat until they got some lab results back. There were car fibers in the murdering rats’ stomachs, which would point to the person that was transporting them before they went all Mouse Trap on Dr. Brimly.

Released from the police station, Roddy went to see the girl from the string quartet. They, apparently, had a forbidden romance once; she the misunderstood girl from the affluent family and he, the rat from the wrong side of the tracks. He told her he was innocent, that he was framed by her new fedora-wearing boyfriend and then stole a kiss before being thrown off the property by her mother like some kind of rodent.

NEXT: The lady is a tramp…and a monster

Back at home, Juliette was waiting while a plumber worked on the refrigerator. He was having a tough time and cut himself right as Nick entered the kitchen. Juliette went to get him a bandage for the cut and while she’s out of the room the plumber realized Nick is a Grimm, turned into a beaver-badger-looking-thing and ran away. Was it just me or did he recognize Nick before he transformed? Usually Nick outs himself with his reactions but it seems like lately the creatures have been able to sense that he’s a Grimm. I’m sure we’ll get more on this later. Speaking of later, just before the episode ended the plumber came back for his tools. He was terrified and Juliette was very confused but she became noticeably concerned when the plumber begged her to stop Nick from coming after him. I have a feeling this is going to have consequences later on.

Nick went to see Monroe (yay!) and asked him to go have a heart-to-heart with Roddy. You know, man-to-man, a beast-to-beast. Monroe was hesitant, after all the only bleeding heart he ever had was…you know…an actual bloody heart, but Nick won him over by appealing to his inner musician. Meanwhile, Hank went out for a drink with Sgt. Wu and right before he called it a night he crossed paths with our not-so-favorite Hexonbiest, Adalind Schade. What a pleasant surprise, right? He reminded her his name which, she admits, she should remember since he saved her life that one time. “I don’t suppose you’d want to save me again?” she asked, licking her lips and twirling her hair in her fingers. She was supposed to be meeting someone but they canceled and so she was all alone, in a bar. What’s a girl to do, after all? You really can’t blame Hank for falling for this. He’s got a few drinks in him and she’s got a table for two, an empty chair and she’s a demon in the sack — hey-yo, cymbal crash!

Obviously, she’s up to no good and that’s confirmed when the camera panned out of the bar to show Mr. Nastypants Renard in the car, scowling. After last episode I speculated that Renard may be THE Grimm Reaper but I must admit I was probably mistaken. Thank you Lisa for pointing out in your comment that “Renard” is French for “fox” and while there is no definitive tale by The Brothers Grimm about a particular fox, the animal as a general idea pops up in a number of smaller, vignette-type stories: i.e. The Wedding of Mrs. Fox, The Wolf and the Fox, The Fox and the Cat, etc. You could argue, as I suspect Grimm will, that the particularly high frequency of tales that involve “the fox” allude to a mysterious but significant character. Also, since we don’t have much historical background on The Fox, the writers of the show are free to take the character of Renard just about anywhere their imaginations want to go. Frankly, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do.

NEXT: If you’re the only person at a rave, something is probably wrong

Back to the matter at hand. After his chat with the wolf, Roddy got a call from the police station that his dad was injured while resisting police officers. This set him on a bit of a rampage where he trashed his house, started a small but structurally damaging fire and stormed off with his violin and his rats in tow. This, in essence, was him becoming the Pied Piper, bent on revenge and plotting to destroy the people who wronged him. In probably the coolest visual that we’ve gotten from Grimm to date we saw Roddy in a candle-lit underground warehouse space summoning the rats with his violin whilst wearing the creepy LED Cat head mask — sidebar: my furry companions on Written? Kitten are considerably cuter than DJ Wretched Cat. Also, does anyone else find it kind of cool that Roddy would select the visage of his natural predator for his hip-hop alter ego? He’s like the Batman of DJs.

While the rich kids from the string quartet were talking amongst themselves we found out that they did, in fact, get Roddy suspended and accidentally killed their teacher in an attempt to frame Roddy and get rid of him for good. One of the guys, the “witness” that claimed Roddy jumped his friends — prompting the suspension — showed the teensiest bit of remorse about all of this but shook it off when they found out that DJ Wretched Cat would be putting on a rave later. They picked up the Femme Fatale, lied to their parents about seeing a movie and then headed down to the abandoned factories by the river for some teenage shenanigans — oh, to be young again. There didn’t seem to be anybody else there, but they heard sick beats coming from a dimly lit basement and went downstairs. Roddy was there and he starts killing them softly with his song, summoning hundreds of rats with his amped-up violin.

During all of this, Nick and Hank heard back from the lab. Turns out the fibers in the rat stomach matched the seat covers of Fedora-boy’s BMW. They searched his car at his parents’ house, where they find a chewed up blanket and rat droppings. Then they got word about the fire at the Geiger home, saw that the house was trashed and assumed that something bad was going down. Luckily, Roddy’s whirly-girly left her phone at home and Nick noticed the text she received about the rave by the river. They got there just in time to save the girl, the murderers confessed and all four were taken away to face the music. “Really, you had to go there?” As for Roddy, nobody got hurt so Nick convinces Hank to let things go.

All in all, a well-paced, solid episode. I thought the visuals this week were especially good and it feels like the show has gotten comfortable in its groove. We’re heading towards a confrontation between Hank and Nick over his new lady-love Adalind, Juliette is starting to get wise about strange things being afoot and Nick’s Grimm-ness is starting to affect his life outside of his police work. And, lest we forget, we still have a lot to learn about what Nick’s new job as a monster hunter really entails, what Renard’s planning and who it is that is “coming.” Things are looking good, and the promo for Friday (tonight)’s Three Little Pigs episode look awesome. I’ll see you all soon.

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