Spoiler warning: contains Grimm season 3 plot details.
NBC’s Grimm is a cop show with a difference. Detective Nick Burkhardt’s life becomes a lot more complicated when he realises mythical creatures live side-by-side with humans in his hometown of Portland. An even bigger headache for Nick is his discovery that he descends from a family of ‘Grimms’, which have a long history of hunting these creatures, called Wesen.
The show follows Nick as he tries to adjust to his new role while continuing to fight crime alongside partner Hank. As the seasons progress, Grimm delves deeper in to the age-old conflict between Wesen and Grimm, introducing a host of shady characters determined to cause trouble for Nick and his friends. These ongoing storylines simmer gently throughout the weekly entanglements, hinting at much bigger things to come.
Grimm takes age-old fairytales and updates them for a modern audience. In the spirit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it creates a world of dark, other-worldly creatures, good and bad guys duking it out with mediaeval weaponry and an ensemble cast of characters that provide the ‘aww’ factor alongside pithy one-liners.
Here are ten of its best episodes so far…
Season 1, episode 2: Pilot
Based on the Brothers Grimm fairytales, updated and set in modern day Portland, Oregon, the Pilot episode of Grimm sees us first introduced to Nick Burkhardt, a cop whose world is turned upside down with the discovery that mythical creatures – Wesen – live side-by-side with humans. What’s more, Nick comes from a long line of Wesen hunters known as Grimms. It’s a lot to take in.
This first episode plays on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, when a college student is murdered and all signs point to a Wesen attack. With his fiancée Juliette and partner Hank in the dark about this other world, Nick recruits reformed Blutbad, Monroe, to help him solved the mystery. It’s the start of a beautiful friendship.
Season 1, episode 22: Woman in Black
This is the episode where we’re introduced to a truly tough mother. The Season one finale provides plenty of action as the quest for the mysterious Coins of Zakynthos intensifies, with both Nick and Renard attacked by the ruthless Kimura, also a suspect in Nick’s parents’ murders.
Elsewhere Adalind isn’t playing nicely with others. In fact, she’s concocted a plan to dispatch Juliette – just as she was finally starting to show signs of curiosity about Nick’s secret double life!
But it’s the appearance of the mysterious woman in black (guest star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) that provides the big season finale twist, with her eventual unmasking forcing Nick to realise that everything about his parents’ death was a lie.
Season 2, episode 2: The Kiss
It’s double trouble for the bad guys as mother and son team up to take down the Mauvais Dentes.
With a lifetime of Wesen ass-kicking on her side, including eighteen years in hiding from those that tried to kill her, Kelly Burkhardt is one tough cookie. In fact, with her extensive fighting skills and lack of remorse she makes newbie Grimm Nick look like a bewildered schoolboy. The episode’s a great showcase for a woman of a certain age coming out victorious in some super-charged fight scenes.
The episode is also notable for the kiss between ‘Prince Charming’ Sean Renard and Nick’s girlfriend in a coma, Juliette. Can open, worms everywhere.
Season 2, episode 4: Quill
The episode with Monroe and Rosalee’s first kiss! Unfortunately for our favourite couple, this is Grimm, and something disgusting is bound to happen.
Out on a romantic picnic and about to share their first kiss, the two encounter a rampaging, plague-infested Wesen who completely ruins the moment. When Monroe and Rosalee get back to the shop, they finally kiss – however, Rosalee seems more than little aroused and Monroe realises (to his chagrin) that’s it’s not him causing the reaction, and that she’s actually been infected. Brilliant.
Don’t worry, after an attack on Nick with a pair of scissors, and being knocked out, Rosalee finally makes amends with Monroe… and the rest is history!
Season 2, episode 12: Season of the Hexenbiest
Season of the Hexenbiest sees the return of the wonderfully evil Adalind to Portland to wreak revenge on all those who have wronged her, namely Nick and his pals.
In an effort to find the key and deliver it to Prince Eric, Adalind manipulates Juliette into giving up valuable information, threatens Nick and blackmails Renard – all with an impish smile and a display of wide-eyed innocence. Later, in a display of cleavage and callousness she even has Hank beaten by a couple of Hundjäger.
Elsewhere, Renard and Juliette’s obsession escalates, and Nick decides to move in with Monroe, where he finally discovers who ‘the other man’ in Juliette’s life is.
As the name suggests, this is Adalind Schade’s greatest performance to date, and the episode in which she establishes herself as a true baddy.
Season 2, episode 13: Face Off
Love potions, jealousy, fighting and secrets revealed – Face Off has it all.
It’s an episode of ups and downs for Sean Renard, whose cursed attraction to Juliette leads to a half make-out session / half violent wrestling match as the two struggle to control their urges. (Juliette demonstrating more life under the spell than she ever has before or since, resulting in a nasty pistol-whipping for Renard.)
Renard goes on to be seduced by Adalind, who, of course, has her own agenda. Nick – having discovered the ‘other man’ in Juliette’s life is his boss – discovers too that Renard is mysterious Royal in Portland, leading to a much-anticipated fight between the two where we see Renard woge for the first time.
More importantly though, while we’re still unsure of Renard’s intentions it’s the first time we might consider him an ally in the fight against the Verrat. The episode finishes with Adalind holding a positive home pregnancy test, smiling.
Season 2, episode 15: Mr. Sandman
Mr. Sandman must rank as one of the most gruesome cases involving a Wesen – that of the Jinnamuru Xunte.
The episode isn’t for the faint-hearted, or if you’re squeamish about eyes, as it features a fly-like creature that feeds off human tears. In fact, the Jinnamuru Xunte stakes out grief counselling sessions for victims then blinds them with a red mist that injects worm-like parasites in to their eyes.
Furthermore, during the investigation Nick is attacked by the creature and blinded. (It’s the first time we see Nick with enhanced powers, as he develops super-hearing to compensate for his blindness.) However a cure can only be concocted by Rosalee if it includes the eye of the Jinnamuru Xunte, scooped out by a spoon when he’s fully woged. Yep, it is that gross.
Season 2, episode 22: Goodnight Sweet Grimm
Zombies run rampage in Portland in this Season two finale!
The Waking Dead saw a Cracher-Mortel called Baron Samedi re-animating the dead, bringing fear and chaos to the streets of Portland. This follow-up episode, Goodnight Sweet Grimm, sees his paymaster, Eric Renard (guest star James Frain), put the second half of his plan into action – to kidnap Nick and bring him back to Europe.
The zombies are the stars of this episode with a growing number of infected victims unleashing rage-fuelled assaults against the good people of Portland. The action culminates down at the port among a load of shipping containers where an old-school battle with the undead ensues.
Nick meanwhile finds himself on the receiving end of Baron Samedi’s poison, resulting in the season cliff-hanger that tips its hat to the classic zombie movie.
Season 3, episode 2: PTZD
While Portland starts the clean up in the aftermath of the zombie takeover, this installment focuses on the aftermath of Nick’s rampage as one of the undead. The episode is notable for a couple of things, most notably Nick’s complete transformation into a bad boy, and our first sighting of his new super-powers.
Alongside all the chaos at home, its Adalind’s efforts to get her powers back over in Austria that really ramps up the ‘ick’ factor. The hilariously camp Stefania directs Adalind through a series of gruesome trials – mostly involving the corpse of Frau Pech – that has the viewer almost feel sorry for our favourite Hexenbiest.
Grimm season 3 episode 12 review: The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt is an example of what Grimm does best: gore, action, romance and pithy one-liners.
The main story revolves around the forthcoming nuptials between Portland, if not TV land’s, cutest couple, Monrosalee. Of course the path of true love never did run smooth – not in the Grimm world anyway – and the two soon face a parents-sized challenge to their plans.
Grimm often addresses the struggles some Wesen face in adapting to the modern world, and here is another example of Wesen problems can be adapted to the viewers’ own lives.
Plus it features a serial killing Wesen who scalps his victims and sews the scalps into a cloak. What more could you ask for?
Grimm season 3 starts on Wednesday the 5th of February at 9pm on WATCH in the UK (Sky TV 109 & Virgin TV 124).
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