OpinionTelevision & Film

Oh, the Tangled Tale GRIMM Wove




Season 1, episode 7: “Let Your Hair Down”

The title of this week’s episode is “Let Your Hair Down”. The show loosely references the tale of Rapunzel. A young maiden left in the woods, her hair grows very long and she uses it as a tool. That’s about as far as the similarities go. Unlike previous episodes ,this one did not use misdirection or much foreshadowing.

I was surprised that the characters that look like victims are, and the ones that look like bad guys are. “Let Your Hair Down” also stuck almost exclusively to one story line. Even so, it still left parts of the plot line hanging.

Monroe’s character is changing. He is being used much more like a second police partner for Nick and much less for his comic genius. Sgt. Wu is getting more of the comedic lines. His role has grown and it adds more depth to the show. Nick needs to divulge more of himself or tips from his past. He’s like a clean slate. We know so little about him. I have no idea what makes this guy tick. It is obvious that he has great hair product. His hair never moves but it still looks soft, not stiff. How does he do that?

Spoiler alert
This week’s episode opens with a young couple, Dustin and Lauren, hiking through the woods. They kiss and turn to face a scary guy with a huge gun. He has been growing his own marijuana to traffic. Being a drug dealer makes him paranoid character. He thinks the young couple are cops and his solution is to interrogate and then execute them.

Suddenly there is movement in the brush behind Delmar. This distracts him from executing Dustin and Lauren. He walks into the shadows and is yanked by the throat off his feet and into the bushes. It looks like an odd brown rope that was used much like a whip. This part is really hard to follow visually. I presume that was done on purpose so the audience can’t really follow it either. There are a lot of quick cuts, dark lighting, shadows and frenetic movement.  A couple of things are clear; Delmar is not going to kill the young couple.  Some one is ransacking the campsite. Dustin and Lauren escape and run for it.

Next scene, the cops are swarming in the woods. The marijuana is being cut down. Delmar is dead with a very broken neck. The marks on his neck look like he was strangled. Nick finds a strand of brunette hair on his neck. Nick checks out the surrounding area and finds buck shot in a tree and some more hair strands on a broken twig.

One of the investigating police officers informs Nick that there have been reports of campsites being raided for food and gear in the area. Which is similar to what they find in Delmar’s campsite. All his food and gear are gone, but the drugs were left untouched.

Back at the police station Nick and Hank interview the hikers about the events in the woods. They don’t learn a lot from them. They do get a DNA match on the hair found at the scene of the crime. It matches a girl abducted from her home some nine years ago. She was just seven when she went missing. It appears that the now sixteen year old has been surviving on her own in the woods all this time.

Nick barges in on Monroe, who has transformed his home in to a wonderful Christmas wonderland. He is setting up his antique model train layout,which looks amazing. He tells Nick “Wait till you see me in my Santa suit”. ( I can’t wait to see that!) Nick dismisses the idea of a Blutbad Santa. But Monroe counters that he is not as good as the real (something in what sounds like German) Santa. Monroe argues that who else but a Blutbad could survive “up there”.

Nick attempts to understand what the young girl in the woods may have been going through. He suspects that she is a Blutbad and that is how she has survived all this time. He asks Monroe if he knew when he was born that he was a Blutbad.  Monroe describes discovering he’s a Blutbaden like one might describe going through puberty.

Nick and Monroe make plans to try and locate the girl, Holly Clark, the next morning. Nick deliberately does not tell his police chief that he is taking Monroe with him to search the woods. This bothers me. Maybe it’s my experience backpacking and Scouting, but common sense is that you need to let some one know where you are going and who is in your party. Not only is Nick putting Monroe’s life at risk he also does not tell any one else. If they went missing the police would only be looking for Nick. And this is not the first time that Nick has done this. He does similar things in other episodes. He takes  Monroe along on his adventures and no one knows that Monroe is along for the ride. It’s just one of those very un-police like things that the police in this show do.

Delmar Blake’s two thuggish brothers set out for vengeance. They abduct Dustin and take him to a basement where they interrogate / beat him up. For reasons I don’t understand, they leave him tied up and head to the woods to do more investigating there.

Monroe tracks Holly’s scent, has a growl off with her, and then they track her to her tree house. She is injured, took a blast of buck shot in her side. She is weak and feverish which probably helps explains how Nick and Monroe are able to connect with her and treat her wounds.

Nick decides he has to go get help for Holly. He leaves Monroe to tend to Holly and rides the four-wheeler that they came in on to the trail head. There is able to get a cell signal and call Hank. He also notices the Blake brother’s truck parked at the trail head and knows this probably means trouble.

Meanwhile Hank and Sgt. Wu have tracked down, James Addison, a former neighbor of Holly’s and he quickly becomes a suspect.

Back in the woods the brutish Blake brothers find Monroe digging up burdock root near where Delmar was killed. They follow him to Holly’s tree house and then demand that he come down. He does, there is a tense stand-off that Nick joins. From the shadows Holly attacks one of the brothers which allows Nick to shoot the other to defend Monroe.

Holly is reunited with her adopted Mother after nine years. It’s a tearful reunion that one hopes will lead to a better more normal life for Holly.

The episode ends with Holly identifying James Addison in a police line up.

Some plot points left unfinished: There are a couple of scenes with the refrigerator repair man in a bar with friends bragging about seeing a Grimm and living to tell the tale. The buddies head out in what has all the feel of a childhood double dog dare. These thrill seekers act like teenage girls stalking Nick, a Grimm. With probably less consequence than most teenage girls experience.  Dustin left in the basement by the Blake brothers. It is pretty clear that regardless of what they find in the woods they will return and kill him. My question is after the brothers are killed what happened to Dustin? Is his friend Lauren still okay? Did the Blake brothers not know about her or do they only pick on guys?

This week’s continuity lapse; it’s raining only in the coverage shots of the moron brothers. No rain in the close-ups of Monroe. How did it get to be night so quick? Nick is talking to Hank on the phone at the trail head, day time shot. Next time we are in the woods it’s night. It just seems convenient for the next scenes.

My main peeve with Grimm is that it leaves too many things unanswered and does not return to them in later episodes. You get started in one direction and the next show takes you in another and you never go back to finish up the first plot line. It’s like the story is written by a group of ADHD writers who can’t focus long enough to finish up their plot lines. In many ways this show is settling into its own skin. I still want more from Nick’s character and story lines to be continued from one episode to the next.

[Official Show Site at NBC]   [Previous recap: “Three Bad Wolves”]

Maia Ades

Maia Ades resented the demanding schedule of first grade, as it interfered with her afternoon TV schedule. Now she watches TV for "research" and in order to write show reviews. She is currently involved in independent film production, and enjoys creating fine art.

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