Season 1, episode 8: “Game Ogre”
Like many shows, “Grimm” took a break for the holidays. This episode marks their return to first run episodes.
The story line in this episode is straight forward and pretty simple. We’re following one story and one type of creature. Each episode opens with lines from a fairy tale of some sort. This week it’s a line from “Jack and the Beanstalk”. The interesting thing about this week’s story is that our main characters take on new dimensions. Hank shows a side that is not all good cop. He doesn’t always play by the rules. Monroe is given a huge shift in character.
The opening of this episode was shot differently than most of the previous episodes. This one does not do their usual misdirection shots. It’s very straightforward. You can tell what you are seeing and know immediately who the victim is and who the bad guy is.
This week’s show opens with a man, we later learn was a state judge, being brutally killed. The killer literally jumped through the window and attacked the judge. The intruder is huge and seems to be incredibly strong. The judge gets a shot off and hits his mark but it does little to slow down his assailant.
Sargent Wu and a female cop arrive on the scene find the judge dead with his gavel rammed down his throat. Thanks to the house security system they know what time the judge got home and what time the alarm was set off. Hank and Nick show up and begin their investigation. I don’t know if any one else noticed this, but I was surprised how much investigating Sgt. Wu said they had already done by the time Hank and Nick got to the scene. They had already questioned neighbors, checked his background, knew who was or was not living there at the time, run the serial numbers on the gun found at the scene and had the results of that check. I am not in law enforcement, but that seems really efficient to me.
We see the ogre taking out the bullet from his own chest. He uses liquor as an anesthetic. The pain that produces pushes the ogre to transform into his ogre state. We now know that this guy is a creature, and that he is going to be hard to take down.
One by one the ogre, with the last name Stark, kills those connected to his incarceration. When Hank finally puts it together he knows who the killer is and that he will be the next target. He tells this to both Nick and the police chief. The Chief immediately puts Hank under protective custody. And if you have been following along with the series you can imagine that this does not go over well with Hank.
This episode gave Hank a huge leap in character development. We saw facets of him that he has not shown us before. He has a long history with the police department that was before he ever met Nick. For the first time that I can recall Hank shares a secret with Nick and reveals that he has not always done everything by the rule book.
Nick leaves Hank at the station and heads home only to be attacked by the ogre in his own home. Watching the fight made me wonder what it is about Grimms that is supposed to make them so dangerous. Why do the “bad” creatures fear Grimms? This ogre is throwing Nick around like a large toy doll. If it were not for Juliette coming home and throwing boiling water on the ogre Nick might not have lived. But it seems that the ogre’s plot was to only injure Nick to draw Hank out of hiding. It works. Hank and the police crew set up a plan to ambush Stark. Problem is, Hank has no intention of following the plan. He has his own plan and honestly it’s not a very good one.
Luckily for Hank Monroe is around to save the day! Nick is in a pickle. He’s stuck in the hospital and needs to get to the trailer his Aunt Marie left him to get a gun and poison. So, who’s he going to call… Monroe, of course. Nick learns that what he is up against is an ogre. Monroe relates to him how hard it is to take out an ogre. Luckily for the story Nick has the necessary poison to calcify the ogre’s bones from the inside out and a gun specially designed for killing ogres.
Here is where Monroe’s character makes a huge shift. He goes from being a side kick to a Grimm to doing a Grimm’s job. He enters the trailer, a place that no creature has probably been. He see’s things that must make a Blutbod’s skin crawl. And just when you think he’s going to be totally wigged out and creeped. He declare’s it to be awesome. That was a stroke of character development genius. Declaring to his father’s spirit that he is doing the right thing shows us some of the inner pull that must be at play for him. Monroe has this profoundly centered moral compass. He is more grounded in this than Hank.
Hank left Nick’s hospital room after telling Nick that he withheld a piece of evidence in Stark’s trial. That he intends to try to kill Stark and that he is deliberately taking on Stark by himself and disregarding their Chief’s orders. That’s a whole lot of bad that Hank set up in a very short period of time.
Nick’s original plan was for Monroe to give Hank the ogre killing gun with poisoned bullets. I don’t know how they were going to explain all of this or any of it to Hank. But it doesn’t come up because Hank leaves the hospital before Monroe can give him the gun. Now Monroe is in his own pickle. He can’t just hand the gun to Nick and let Nick take care of the work of being a Grimm. And he can’t get it to Hank because he’s being too impulsive left the hospital too soon. Hank is driving off to the rock quarry where Stark killed the first time he and Hank crossed paths to end it where it started. Stark is following in a stolen truck to seek revenge. And Monroe is following in his VW beetle trying to work out what he’s going to do.
Hank makes his stand obviously at a disadvantage to the stronger Stark. Just as Stark is about to crush Hank’s head with a huge rock Monroe gets off the one and only shot he has and hits his mark exactly. Committing this act shakes Monroe and he quickly makes his get away. Oh and luckily for Hank the ogre drops the huge rock behind him not in front of him. It still would have killed Hank had the rock gone the other way.
The police Chief shows Hank the bullets taken from Stark and explains that it was an elephant gun that shot the bullets and the bullets themselves are more than a hundred years old. The Chief is someone we have seen has a bad side. He is definitely in cahoots with evil creatures and yet he does good things. He keeps Nick safe but he wanted his Aunt killed. He is in a unique position to be able to keep tabs on Nick and know exactly what he’s up to. I thought there would be more answers by this time in the series but I have not found them.
This episode worked well. It didn’t try too hard to be something it wasn’t going to pull off. Characters got to grow and develop new aspects. It wasn’t hokey in the lighting scheme. It stayed true to what it has set up before. It felt more at ease with its self. And I didn’t notice any glaring continuity errors. I enjoyed this one a lot. Thanks, “Grimm”!