Grimm, Ep. 1.06, “The Three Bad Wolves”: Delving into Monroe’s past puts series back on track

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Monroe becomes involved in a bitter family feud when a fellow Blutbad’s house is destroyed in an explosion. An old flame of his returns and Nick has to use his skills as a Grimm to prevent more bloodshed.

Grimm Season 1 Episode 6, “The Three Bad Wolves”
Written by Naran Shankar and Sarah Goldfinger
Directed by Clark Mathis
Airs Fridays 9pm on NBC

After “Danse Macabre” being something of a disappointment, it’s nice to see Grimm back on form with this episode devoted to a retelling of The Three Little Pigs. This time around, the pigs have decided that the wolves richly deserve some payback. As the building safety experts of the Grimm world, all a vengeful Bauerschwein has to do is sabotage a gas pipe and…kaboom!…he can blow a Blutbad’s house down, whatever that sucker happens to be built from. The Blutbad in question, Hap, needs a place to stay now that his home is a collection of toothpicks. Luckily, he is a friend of Monroe’s and yes, Monroe has a spare couch. He also has a collection of memories from when he used to date Hap’s sister Angelina, and she’s about to come roaring in on her Harley, protective instincts aroused and ready for an all-you-can eat pork buffet.

The show has presented us with ‘Grimm as fantasy CSI’ several times, to the point where we’re almost expecting the obligatory, “something ain’t right” scene in the autopsy suite. It’s a smart move to shift the focus onto the Grimm creatures themselves and the Blutbads are the obvious choice, since we’re now familiar with Monroe and ready to discover more about his chequered past. This time, in contrast to the previous episode’s misfired Pied Piper update, this twist on the original story is appropriate and intelligent. Family is everything in the Grimm world and Blutbads and Bauerschwein have been at each other’s throats for centuries, picking each other off in a folktale version of The Godfather Part 2.

Some carefully chosen details elaborate the theme of houses divided: when the hotblooded Blutbads aren’t waging war on Bauerschwein, they’re lustfully chasing each other through the moonlit undergrowth, whereas the phlegmatic pigs find a cooling mudbath helps them to think. But the back story isn’t just entertaining- it gives us a glimpse that these characters have a history and into how their actions are motivated. There’s a whole world underpinning each adventure and this means that Nick’s job as a Grimm suddenly becomes much more interesting than just solving a crime a week. The implication is that he will have to get involved in resolving such feuds and in deciding which creatures are his allies in upholding Grimm-law and which are not. But we’re being lowered into the bath one toe at a time, probably on the basis that we need a firm link to the real world in case the whole thing becomes too whimsical. Next week we’ll probably be back to the usual formula and Monroe’s troubles will wait for a few weeks before we see them aired again.

The same goes for Hank’s dinner with Adalind Schade, evil Hexenbiest disguised as blonde hottie. There’s no mention of how it went, but the linkage between the Grimm world and the rest of Nick’s life is bound to play out at some point in the future (and probably not in the “getting to know you better” way that Hank has planned). We’re also waiting to find out exactly what part Nick’s captain, Renard, plays in all of this. Although he’s part of the Grimm world, the story has carefully avoided assigning a side to him, so he could be friend or foe. Or he could be something else entirely, which, based on his give-away name and what we’ve seen of Grimm so far, he probably is.

Cath Murphy

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