Grimm, Ep. 1.08, ”Game Ogre”: Giants but no beanstalks

Grimm, Ep.1.08: “Game Ogre”
Written by Cameron Litvack and Thania St. John
Directed by Terence O’Hara
Airs Fridays at 9pm ET on NBC

So far in the series, most of the drama has centered around Nick and his problems in keeping the two sides of his life – the cop side and the Grimm side – separate. It’s fun to meet a monster every week, but to keep us tuning in, the writers have to find a source of tension they can sustain from episode to episode. They’ve done this by constantly putting Nick in situations where his status as a Grimm might be revealed – usually to his partner Hank – and this episode plays this card again, this time by once again involving Munroe in helping the two cops run down an escaped convict who is out for revenge and having Nick, Hank, and Munroe all have to interact with each other, with Nick and Munroe acting like the couple who are having an affair and Hank as the cheated on, unwitting wife.

It’s funny and could be a little kitsch, but once again the danger of softening up is averted by making the monster they are hunting the kind of guy who likes torturing his victims to death with their own woodworking tools. Dismembered tongues and hands remind us that being a Grimm is not a matter of waving a magic wand at someone, especially when the culprit you are seeking is a real life version of the ogres who eat children in the stories we were told as kids. The revelation that Hank hunted down this perp before and in so doing “lost” some evidence is a nice twist. Nick ends up in hospital because of Hank’s involvement and his partner’s confession that he bent the rules puts Hank on an equal footing with Nick’s other “partner” Monroe, who also has one or two incidents in his past which might not bear close scrutiny. Nick’s beating at the hands of the ogre also means he has to let Monroe in on the secrets of Aunt Marie’s trailer, even though he was explicitly warned not to do this. We understand that the trailer is crucial to being a Grimm – and that those opposed to Nick would be very happy to see it destroyed. Now that Munroe knows where it is, the safety of all the things it contains is much less secure.

The other plot strand worked on this week is the intriguing role of Captain Renard. Like Nick he’s also a part of the Grimm world, but his role is ambiguous. Even though in “real life” he’s a cop, that doesn’t mean he’s automatically on the side of right and Sasha Roiz imbues the part with just the right amount of wiliness to keep us guessing about Renard’s motives. When he gives Hank evidence which could help uncover Monroe’s part in killing the ogre, we don’t know whether Renard is doing this to cause trouble or help Nick out by getting Hank onside. My money’s on Renard as a good guy, but as the makers of the series know, not being quite sure is what’s going to keep me watching.

Cath Murphy

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