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Hansel and Gretel Play a GRIMM Shell Game

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Season 1, episode 10: “Organ Grinder”

This episode is Grimm’s take on the tale of Hansel and Gretel. With just as gruesome a twist at the end as the original tale. There are a couple of interesting things about this episode. One is the way it builds tension and the other is that this is the first time previous episodes are referenced. It gives me a glimmer of hope that other loose ends might get tied up. Hank also comments more than once that things in the town are getting weirder.


Spoiler Alert

This week’s episode it titled “Organ Grinder”.  While it’s supposed to be Grimm‘s take on the traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel, it does not resemble Hansel and Gretel till near the end. The only parts that resemble the old story is the quote at the front and the a trail left to lead the way near the end of the show.

Our story opens with two half-naked young guys running through the woods. They are leaning on each other and seem desperate to make their way quickly. Then there are figures chasing the two half-naked young men. It’s hard for me to follow exactly what is happening in this chase sequence. (It maybe just me. I hate the fast cut style for chase scenes and fights. I think it’s a lazy way to cut footage.  You don’t have to get all the coverage you can piece together short bits and build it any way you want.) As best as I can tell there are creature people chasing on the ground and through the trees. The two young guys get to a river and I don’t know if the one guy pushed his friend in or if he fell in. But the second guy is caught by those chasing them. When the one that is in the water is bobbing along in the water we see in a medium shot one of the creatures change back to his human form. It’s a face we have not seen before. And it’s not like any particular animal that I can think of. The young man who is caught is taken to some place that evokes thoughts of the a concentration camp.  A skeletal body is thrown on to a fire as the young man is led, dragged past.

Next shot is in the morning.  We see the young man’s body floating face up in the river.  A crow lands on him and in a creepy touch pecks out his eyes. It grossed me out also. I noticed that the fake body double is not as believable in this episode as it has been. Maybe it was harder to do. Maybe the budget either money or time was cut short on this one. Or maybe there are different people working on this episode.

The next scene is Nick visiting Monroe and talking about sharing with Juliette who he is or what he can see. This is important to me because it’s the first time that they have referenced anything from a previous episode. He actually references more than one episode.  He recalls how his Aunt Marie told him that he needed to break it off with Juliette. That being a Grimm would put her in danger. He also refers to the ogre episode and the attack in his house when Juliette saved his life. Monroe thinks that his Aunt’s advice is the best plan of action. Especially since Nick’s plan involves having Monroe wolf out in front of her. Monroe explains that coming out like that is not helpful to relationships. He says that faced with that sort of information most brains go to mush.  I don’t think he knows Juliette but his advice is not without merit.

This episode has a lot of Monroe but he does not carry the same comic relief that he used to. That job seems to have been handed over to Sargent Wu. And while I enjoy Sargent Wu in the role (he pulls off one liners like he owns them), I miss Monroe having some of that.  Monroe has become much more serious. Maybe it’s the effect of having his friend killed and being attacked himself.

Back to the story; While enjoying his coffee with Monroe, Nick is called to the scene of the youth who has now washed up on the bank of the river. While Nick, Hank and Wu examine the dead young man, Nick notices two puncture wounds on the side of his neck. Wu makes a crack about vampires and while the comment is probably made in jest you get the feeling that Nick is really hoping it is not true.  A pukka shell necklace is found on the body. This type of shell necklace becomes a thread to solving the whole case.

The medical examiner shares with Nick and Hank her findings on the young man’s body. While the official cause of death is drowning she cites his loss of blood as leading to his drowning.  She says he had only about a fourth of the normal blood left in his body. She to mentions vampires in reference to the puncture wounds on the side of his neck. I wonder if this is setting us up for an upcoming episode. She also remarks that the holes are the right size to be from an I.V. needle.

Hank and Nick are called to an unusual car crash. A non medical vehicle has crashed while transporting what looks like a lot of human organs and blood. The driver is pried from the wreck and dies on the gurney but not before he transforms into a Geiers in front of Nick. When the DNA from the organs and blood being transported are checked a match is found between some of the blood and Steven the drowned teenager.  Our detectives find that Steven had a P.O Box in town. While checking the contents of his P.O. Box Hank notices another kid with the same type of necklace.  That leads them to a pair of street kids that sell, well trade, for the necklaces in a square.  Which leads them to find out that an other teen, Kevin, left the same day for a job as Steven and has not been seen since. Nick buys er, trades for one of the necklaces for Juliette.

Nick and Hank go to the free clinic but find out little from the director or the Doctor that treated Steven when he came in.

While having dinner at Monroe’s home Nick shares with him his confusion about  the human organs discovered at the scene of the wrecked vehicle. Monroe explains that to creatures like himself, human organs are used in much the same way that some humans use exotic animal organs. Nick gets Monroe to purchase powder made of human gall bladder at what looks like an old-fashioned drugstore. 6 ounces of ground human gall bladder costs $300. At the end of the scene Nick owes Monroe the $300. I hope he saved his receipt and got reimbursed for that.

After Nick gets confirmation from the police lab that the contents of the bottle really is human gall bladder, he makes a trip to the store himself and confronts the store owner. He gets the contact phone number from him and destroys his products, declaring that he is no longer selling human products.

Nick gives the necklace to Juliette and pitches his idea of taking the teen siblings out for a meal. During the meal Juliette takes the lead as the detective. She has a knack for reading the teenage girl, Gracie. As soon as the teens have finished their meal they head out into the night. Juliette and Nick are leaving when Nick’s phone rings. It’s police dispatch, he now has an address for the phone number supplied by the store owner.

There are some things about this show that make it feel like a very small town.  It seems so unlikely that all these things would fit together. There seems to be one free clinic that treats street kids. The dead delivery driver only called one phone number from his cell phone. That leads them to a guy who is drying human organs in a sort of hot-house type of set up. That guy can’t be questioned because the police chief took him out when he fires a gun. This is also the same address that Nick got from the store owner.  While the police discover the organ drying operation the dead man’s cell phone rings. Nick calls back the number and gets the free clinic.

The police raid the clinic. At the same time the two teen siblings are abducted by the clinic’s director and two others who stuff them into a large white van. They arrive at the same barn place that Kevin was dragged back to.

Back to the police at the clinic; Nick questions the only worker still there. He gets her in a room alone where he lets her know that he knows she is a Geiers. She realizes that he is a Grimm.

The police surround the property where the teens have been taken to. However, it is the trail of pukka shells that Hanson left behind as he and his sister were dragged to their fate that shows Nick and Hank where they are. Nick and Hank save the day. The doctor from the free clinic who was about to harvest Gracie’s organs dies in the bonfire. But, not before she and Nick fight and she leaves deep scratches on the palm of his hand from her talons.

The episode ends with the Captain Renard finding a gift on his desk. It’s a wooden box with a crest and a reaper scythe on the lid. Inside is an ear. Apparently it’s the same ear he sliced off a guy looking for revenge for the death of an other reaper of Grimms. Here is my hypothesis; I think that Renard is a sort of handler of Grimms. The official Grimm website says that Renard is a descendant of Grimm royalty. Renard gets a phone call that asks if he received his gift. It’s also a warning that the Nick has changed the balance. Renard points out that this Grimm has both a badge and a conscious. This is probably also related to Monroe being attacked and given his own warning. Renard says that next time his messenger should give his message in person. The reply is that they will.

This leaves me with hope that some of these story lines will be followed up on.

[Official Show Site at NBC]     [Previous recap: “Of Mouse and Man”]

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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