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Grimm, Ep 1.10, “Organ Grinder”: Grimm gets grimmer

Grimm, Ep 1.10, “Organ Grinder”: Grimm gets grimmer

A homeless teenager is found dead with most of his blood missing. Other street kids have also disappeared and Nick suspects they’ve fallen prey to one of the Grimm world’s least attractive inhabitants: the Geiers.

Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 12: “Organ Grinder”
Written by Akela Cooper and Spiro Skentzos
Directed by Clark Mathis
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on NBC

Grimm works best for me when it steers clear of whimsy (I can get enough of it to rot my teeth from Once Upon A Time) and concentrates on the dark side of fairy stories. If we imagine whimsy as a tank full of custard and Jello, then in the last episode, Grimm didn’t dip a toe into the mixture- it fell in head first to emerge, fifty minutes later, slimy and dripping.

A message to the writers: never ever base another episode on a mouse with psychological problems.

I’m happy to report that this week’s story not only avoids the Jello and custard, it takes the tank, fills it with a mixture of blood, tissue, and assorted human organs, dives in, and takes a nice long swim in that instead.

The arrival of the Geiers on the Grimm scene finally makes it crystal clear why Grimms in the form of paranormal cops might be necessary. According to Aunt Marie’s Big Book of Beasts, Geiers not only remove body parts from humans, they like to do it without the benefit of anaesthetic. As Sergeant Wu points out when he and the rest of Nick’s team find the organs being dried in preparation for further processing, this isn’t cannibalism, it’s capitalism. Wu doesn’t know how the Grimm creatures use the ground up preparations, but he does get that this is big business, the way that rhino horn and bear’s gall bladder are valuable commodities in traditional Chinese medicine.

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There’s a balance to be struck between the two worlds. Grimm creatures can be harmless, but some of them prey on humans, just like the original stories suggest, and Nick’s role is to maintain that balance. His problem is maintaining the balance in his own life. He wants to tell his girlfriend Juliette (if I didn’t say this before, Bitsie Tulloch is excellent in this part) about his work as a Grimm, but as his Blutbad friend Monroe explains, ordinary humans are liable to blow a mental gasket if confronted by the reality of Grimm world (that’s why we have the stories, to break us in to the idea gently). Without proof, how likely is Juliette to believe Nick’s story that some of the people around her are actually magical creatures?

What makes Nick’s dilemma work so well is that we can see how involving Juliette would be a huge advantage to him. She’s sympathetic, kind, smart. She loves Nick but, like the partners of all driven men, feels a little shut out from his life. She’s vet for goodness sake. In a world of part-human part-animal creatures, how much more qualified as a Grimm assistant could she be? But it’s going to take an episode or two more before that particular problem gets solved, although I predict that one show out from the season finale, this story line might form the hook for the next season.

The other candidate is the involvement of Captain Renard in the Grimm world. Munroe has already taken a beating for helping Nick out too much. In an earlier episode, Renard showed the door to a Reaper who had come to town with Nick in his sights. Now Renard is receiving dismembered ears in the post, Blue Velvet style, and being warned by men with strong Eastern European accents that he needs to back off and allow events to take their course. Which way will he jump? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Cath Murphy