The pilot episode last week sourced the familiar Little Red Riding Hood, but this week, “Grimm” gives us a modern twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The first scene opens up with Gilda (Amy Gumenick) and Rocky (Alexander Mendeluk) breaking into a house in the woods. The scene ends with Gilda escaping while an unseen beast mauls Rocky off-screen. Gilda goes to the police to report that Rocky is missing, and Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) begin investigating.
Over the course of the episode, Nick (David Giuntoli) learns that the house is owned by a family of “Jagerbars,” or bear people. Their son Barry (Parker Bagley) has turned 18, and it looks as if he is planning to hunt Rocky as part of the “Roh-Hatz” ritual, a rite of passage from boy to man. Nick learns much of this after he calls on his new Blutbad friend Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell), who is quickly becoming an unwilling supernatural adviser to the fledgling Grimm. Nick is able to convince the Jagerbars to abandon the ritual, especially after they suffer a casualty.
Meanwhile, Police Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) is still plotting to kill Nick’s aunt Marie (Kate Burton). Marie has woken from her coma, but she is still in critical condition. Knowing her time is short, she is trying to impart as much wisdom to Nick as she can before she dies. When the captain tells Nick he can no longer assign her a security detail, Nick asks Eddie to guard her. In the end, though, Nick is unable to protect her, and she dies in his arms.
Points Of Interest
There are more references to the original fairy tale in this episode than there were in the pilot. One of the best is the fact that the family of bears is named “Rabe,” an obvious anagram for bear. The opening scene is a unique twist on the tale, when Gilda and Rocky eat the bear’s food, drink their liquor and have sex on their beds.
The characters of Eddie and Marie have done quite a bit of the heavy lifting when it comes to explaining the mythology of the “Grimm” world. Between this episode and the pilot, it seems like they filled in most of the important backstory elements. As a result, this episode proceeds at a more leisurely pace than the pilot, and it ultimately amounts to better storytelling without that extra baggage.
Eddie continues to be my favorite character. He provides comic relief, and he can certainly hold his own in a fight.
What Didn't Work
Some of the effects look low budget. The bears’ heads are not very realistic looking, and the scene where Eddie rips off the arm of his assailant lacks realism as well.
After all the effort Nick puts into keeping Marie alive, it seems strange that she suddenly dies, even though she is successful in fighting off her attacker, killing him in the process. As far as I could tell, he didn’t even wound her. I feel that her death would have had more gravitas had she been mortally wounded.
Some of the characters have little to do in this story. This is especially true of Nick’s partner Hank and his girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch).
I was never clear on how Nick and Hank, two homicide detectives, got involved in a missing-persons case.
The downside of the leisurely pace is that the episode lacks the suspense and eeriness of the pilot. Overall, this is not as strong as the pilot, but I still feel like the show has potential.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Grimm” stars David Gluntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch and Silas Weir Mitchell. “Bears Will Be Bears” was written by David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, and was directed by Norberto Barba.
“Grimm” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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