Finally! After two episodes of CG monster face of the week, Grimm is back and getting its hands dirty! I was genuinely surprised and highly entertained by the route and translation of this week's fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Instead of a cannibal witch hungry for the flesh of little boys and girls, Nick must fight an underground organ harvesting gang who get off on the screams of their victims! This was easily the best episode of Grimm yet.
The episode titled "Organ Grinder" had a lot of great things going for it. For one, it was actually pretty scary. After a dead teenager is discovered floating down a river, the death is connected to a black market organ trafficking operation that preys on homeless teens. Or at least the cops THOUGHT it was organ trafficking. What Nick discovers is a clan of Geiers, monsters who rip out and sell dried-up human organs for monster sex-making etc. — "like powdered rhino horn." The best part, they like to cut open their victims while they're still alive. Nasty little beasties.
The Geier brood had a pretty clever, running the town's free clinic, thus giving them the pick of the homeless teen litter. Valerie Cruz cameoed as the "evil witch." And as a nice nod to the source material, she meets her end in a giant pit of fire while fighting with Nick. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Another quality cameo in this episode was, Daryl Sabara who played Hansen, brother to Gracie. GET IT? You get it. Sabara is a brilliant up-and-coming actor in Hollywood. If you don't believe us, go watch World's Greatest Dad; he's absolutely insane in it. It's a good day whenever we get to see Sabara on screen, and he played protective brother very well.
Based on a puka shell necklace in the victim's pocket, Nick and his partner track down Hanson and Gracie (ha!), the sellers of the ancient 90s wares. The two kids reveal that a bunch of their friends have gone missing, after a lovely double date with Nick and his girlfriend Juliet. Happy to see Juliet being utilized to fight crime and getting a little bit of character development at the same time. Meanwhile Nick's Grimm powers must have finally kicked in, because the human form of Princess Eric spent the better part of this episode ordering around and threatening various magical creatures. About damned time. What's the point of being a terrifying Grimm if you're never going to cash that check? We did a cartoony spit-take when Nick smashed up the apothecaries stash of human bits. Absolutely amazing. And the fun didn't stop there — later on Nick threatened one of the Geiers with this excellent line, "Look at me, very closely. I know what you are...I'm not asking you as a cop so don't expect me to behave as one!" Good for you Nick! We'd rather he break the law this way, as opposed to his usual "entering with out a warrant" antics. Be the bad ass Grimm.
Meanwhile, Pilates Wolf finally called out Nick for being a selfish piece of garbage. It's about time.
Yes, we know this whole scene was more or less a funny "oh look they're just like a married couple" bid, and it was cute. But the lasting impression we got from this interaction was that Nick might be a shit friend. Nick is our point of reference for Monroe, the best character on the series. And when we know oh so very little about the only reason for tuning in each night, that's a problem. I'm glad someone said something, even if it was unintentional. Nick constantly asks Monroe to put his life in danger. He could stand to be a little nicer to Monroe or at least pay him back the $300 he owes him. Anyone else think Nick might be a little weird about money? Let's not forget he made sure to mention to Juliet that the necklace he bought her was a whole $20!
In the end, Nick saved the day (thanks to a trail of puka shells Hanson scattered in the woods), there was an excellent fight, and Valerie Cruz was burned alive. But not before a few more ghastly shots of the Geirers throwing naked dead teens into the fire pits, yikes.
And after all that amazing work, a fantastic fight scene, a lovely and clever fairy tale translation, and even a little bit of Juliet character building, Generic Partner Cop tries his hardest to flush it all down the toilet with one "Yeah, this town definitely is getting weirder," quip. This is his big takeaway? This is what he thinks while eyeing the jarred remains inside the human body shop? There are piles of burning bodies not 15 feet outside the front door, weird doesn't even begin to describe this horror. This guy has just got to go, or find better things to say ASAP. Everyone else is kicking it up a notch, Nick found his inner Grimm, the Big Bad Police Chief appears to be coming back into the fray, raise the bar Generic Partner Cop or die a terrible death at the hands of your boss.
Overall, "Organ Grinder" is best episode we've seen from Grimm. Fairy tales are horrific; murders are horrific, and for the first time, it felt like Grimm was shooting for real horror, and hit the mark.