Director: Michael Watkins
Story by: Cameron Litvack & Thania St. John
Teleplay by: Naren Shankar & Sarah Goldfinger
Guest Star: Nick Chinlund
“The beasts were loosed into the arena, and among them, a beast of huge bulk and ferocious aspect. Then the slave was cast in.” - From the story of Androcles, and the later tale of “The Shepard and the Lion” by Aesop
Picture credit: Oregonlive.com
This week’s episode opens on a hunt as three men on horseback seem to be tracking something through the woods. One finds the scent of their prey before they ride off, before we cut to an older couple making dinner together in their cabin. Outside, a dog is barking – Ruby – and the couple wonder if she’s had another encounter with a skunk, before the wife good naturedly tells the husband he’s going to have to deal with her if she is. He goes outside looking for her, but is attacked instead. His attacker, which can best be described as a Wessen that is a snake on two legs follows him back to his cabin, kills his wife and devours the raw steak/meat she was preparing for dinner. The hunters eventually find the creature there, capture him and drag him off behind their horses. As they do, it shifts into human form and the man begins screaming in pain as the hunters take off again.
The next morning Hank and Nick are called in to the crime scene and the cops already at the scene identify the victims as identified as retirees. Nick and Hank wonder if an animal got in through the open door, considering the state of the husband’s wounds, but the meat from dinner is still left on the floor. Nick notes that it looks as if someone was gnawing on it.
Outside they both display some serious tracking mojo by accurately identifying and following hoof prints, until Nick finds something, which could be off a saddle by looks medieval.
They were boy scouts before they were cops, I guess. Boy scouts who rode horses a lot biggrin
Back at the station, Juliet calls Nick to confirm their anniversary plans for tomorrow, but he’s clearly distracted by the case. Meanwhile, back at the house, after the call and while putting laundry away, Juliet discovers the engagement ring Nick has had since episode 1 I think it is, and just never asked. She doesn’t realise how long he’s had it for, which will make for an interesting confrontation later I think.
At the station, Hank comes in with a hit on one of the prints at the cabin – Dimitry, a small time drug dealer. They put out an APB on him, before going to see his parole officer.
And Grimm scores another superb guest star in Nick Chinlund as Leo. Chinlund has starred in everything from The X-Files as Donnie Pfaster to Buffy and even Gilmore Girls makes his first appearance in this episode.
But back to Grimm, Leo reports that Dimitry was having a hard time on the outside since his parole. Leo also says he didn’t show up for this parole appointment this week and directs the guys to his job at a boxing gym where he works with his uncle.
At the gym, his uncle reports that he hasn’t seen or hear from Dimitry in a couple of weeks. He insists that Dimitri couldn’t have killed anyone. Hank asks him for recent photos of Dimitri, while Nick goes to talk to Brian, one of the guys working out who was close to him. As he does, we see that Brian is a rhino-like Wessen and when Nick appears shifts back to human form. He instantly recognises Nick as a Grimm and looks petrified even as he faces Nick insisting he can take him if need be. Nick plays it cool, tells him he’s just here about a double murder and Dimitri until Brian calms down and believes he isn’t here to kill him. Brian explains he hasn’t seen Dimitri since they went on a run a couple of weeks ago and offers to show the guys where they ran last.
Brian takes them to the beginning of their usual run route at Trapper’s Peak – which as it turns out is about six miles from their murder scene. Before they can go any further, someone calls and tells them that they found Dimitri’s car and that a patrol car is waiting for them.
In the woods though, a man on horseback watches Brian run.
All that is left of Dimitri’s car is nothing but a shell – literally. It’s been stripped bare. While there, Nick notices they are being watched and the patrol cop, Nick and Hank head into a warehouse where they find blood. Hanks directs the patrol cop to call forensics before he spots symbols and Latin lettering etched into the ground. Hank mentions it looks like an arena, possibly for bare-knuckled fighting. Nick finds huge symbols painted above the “arena” before he spots a strap, much like the piece they found outside the first murder scene at the beginning of the episode.
Outside, the patrol cop calls for them but they arrive in time to find him bloodied after catching onto their suspect for all of a few seconds before he escapes.
In the forest, Brian, with his headphones in, doesn’t hear the horses coming up behind him. The three horsemen lasso him much like they did Dimitri before they drag him off.
At the station, the guys go to Renard for an update and as it turns out to translate the latin inscriptons they found. They report on the state of their case and Nick points out their best lead it to track down the owner of the warehouse to find out who is behind the fights.
In a parking garage, a black SVU comes up behind Leo almost crushing him against a wall. Renard gets out of the SVU and orders Leo to stop his fights and in the ensuing conversation, a couple of things are clear – Renard helped Leo start the fights only if Leo agreed to stick to a list of drug addicts and criminals as his fighters. Leo got bored and didn’t consider them sport and started collecting supernatural creatures like Dimitri for his fights instead. Dimitri it seems has taken to the fighting more than Leo ever expected and despite Renard insisting that he end the fights, there is too much money and Renard is in too deep for Leo to end things so. Interestingly enough, Leo also refers to Renard as “Your highness” – as a way of mocking him, but that doesn’t make the title any less true it seems.
In the trailer, Nick goes through the weapons closet finding those that are similar to the ones he found in the warehouse. He finds references in her books to fights in arenas and as he’s looking, Monroe knocks at his door. Monroe comes in and completely fanboys everything in Marie’s trailer for the content’s historical value – typical Monroe LOLsign
Nick asks Monroe about Lowen and gladiator lowen. He doesn’t know much – other than they’re vicious killers, but he has enough contacts to help Nick find out if there are gladiator fights happening in the city currently.
That night, in the arena, Dimitri, in Wessen form kills Brian.
The next day Monroe goes to bar looking for his contact – Solly. The bartender points him to the back of the bar, where Solly ignores Monroe until he shifts into Wessen form and Solly does the same. Eventually, Monroe gets directions to a contact who would give him the directions to the fight at six that night and once outside he calls Nick. Nick tells Monroe to call him as soon he knows the exact address.
Hank arrives with information on the warehouse – the owner is deceased, which makes it perfect for someone to take over as the city is still trying to sell it. Renard comes back with a report that Brian is missing and that his car has been found at the warehouse where Dimitri’s was. He manipulates them into looking at Leo again, and orders Hank to talk to him again, at home and not at his office. Nick, however, is advised to go check on Brian’s car.
Monroe calls Nick just as he arrives to check on Brian’s car, telling him that he’s waiting at a highway for his contact. As their conversation continues, a truck and a horse trailer arrive. Monroe is giving Nick a running commentary on all this and when Nick hears about the truck with the trailer he immediately tells Monroe to leave, but it’s too late – someone knocks Monroe out. Nick rushes off to find Monroe and on the way there, finds someone driving Monroe’s car away. He arrests the guy, demanding to know where Monroe is.
Meanwhile, Monroe is being led to the arena, insisting that he isn’t a fighter. In the arena, Monroe finds himself thrown into a cage like other Wessen already there. Leo is there, and he ignores Monroe’s protestations that he isn’t a fighter. Once they leave, Monroe tries to convince Dimitri who is next to him to work together to escape this place. Dimitri though isn’t all there, and is pretty crazed. He can only growl and Monroe notices that something is wrong with his hand – there’s a nail in it. Dimitri doesn’t understand he has to remove the nail to be rid of the pain, so Monroe does it for him.
Next up is dinner – which happens to be Brian. Dimitri is lost, cannabalising his friend in Wessen form while understanding, and more than a little horror, dawns for Monroe. Later, Leo comes in insisting that Monroe is going to fight despite his protestations that he won’t. One of his guards then electrifies the cage, forcing Monroe to shift.
At Leo’s house, Hank finds a stable filled with horses, and weapons like they found at the warehouse. He calls Nick, who in the meantime has found the horse trailer that carried Monroe to the fight. He tells Hank where he is and to bring back-up.
Meanwhile, Monroe and Dimitri are thrown into the arena and as much as he tries to reach Dimitri, the latter is too far gone to understand Monroe. As this is going on, Nick finds the caged fighters, and follows the cheers to the arena and Monroe’s fight. He pretends to be part of the crowd, while in the arena, Monroe is getting beaten by Dimitri. Nick manages to make it to Leo, pulling his gun on him and ordering him to stop, but Leo doesn’t obey. He is as crazed for blood as Dimitri is in his own way and won’t let Monroe go until Nick offers to take his place. Only thing is, Nick gets stuck in there with Monroe and the latter isn’t let out. A little bit heavy-handed, because I expected Nick to force Leo in there with Dimitri – he’s the one with the gun keeping everyone at bay – but the aim was to stall until Hank arrived – but it does show what exactly Nick will do for Monroe at this stage in order to save his life.
In a church, Renard goes to confession and though he confesses about a parishoner who has strayed, it is pretty evident, that he and the priest are talking about Leo and his straying from the path and rules that Renard has set for him. Renard then surprisingly says he’s here for the priest’s wrath and the priest, looking extremely put-upon asks for a few minutes to change – and then his shadow, where there was a man previously, moves off.
Only, Grimm would go to a Church for “Wrath” that is is implied is a punishment/police for Wessen.
At the fight, Monroe tells Nick that Dimitri doesn’t have any humanity left and that Nick is going to have to rely on everything that is Grimm-like within him to win. Nick just wants to buy time for Hank to get there with back-up. The fight begins, but during it Leo escapes. Eventually, Nick gains the upper hand and tries to talk to reach Dimitri – but he can’t, and he settles for knocking Dimitri out. Monroe in the meantime has Nick’s back when he knocks out one of Leo’s guards who tries to sneak up on Nick in order to kill him when it becomes obvious he’s going to win. Hank arrives, with back-up and pretty much everyone is arrested and they realise Leo is gone.
At home, Juliet is waiting for Nick at their anniversary dinner. She blows out a candle as she finally accepts he’s forgotten. In their bedroom, she takes out the ring again and as she’s looking at it, Nick calls to tell her he’s on her way home. He asks tentatively if it’s not too late, and she very dejectedly tells him it’s fine. She hangs up on his as he tells her he loves her. Will we be seeing more obvious problems between them now?
Renard finds Leo at his stables, getting his money. Leo realises Renard is in part responsible for the end of his gladiator ring and threatens him, but Renard warns him that he is the one who will pay instead. As he walks off, we see something attack Leo in the dark.
Grimm doesn’t shy away from the gruesome and the bloody and this episode is no exception. In this story, Dimitri does not become friends with anyone, despite Monroe trying to reach him – in this world, there is no reaching the blood crazed and it is a deeply disturbing part of the Grimm world, as much as Wessen being refridgerator repairmen shows that Wessen are part of out normal human society, or in the last episode, Leila having a normal family-life, despite the biological need to kill.
Renard becomes even more mysterious, creating even more questions about him, but as the show is revealing more and more about Nick’s world, the questions are interesting more than they are frustrating.
Juliet seems – or maybe I hope – to have hit a brick wall with her relationship with Nick. She’s found the engagement ring and expecting a proposal at that anniversary dinner, instead gets Nick rushing to dinner late, without calling earlier either. All she is left with is the impression that she isn’t important enough for him to call or explain. I hope we see more development with their relationship – more tension than we’ve seen before.
This case was heavily focused on a case, and more disturbing parts of the Wessen that populate this world, it also highlighted Renard’s importance in this world and that eventually, Nick is going to run up against it. It also higlighted that Nick is losing Juliet because he’s lying to her – a running theme in the last few episodes. I do wish they’d do more to tie her into the mythology they’re setting up around Nick as a Grimm as Hank’s saving grace is that he is Nick’s partners on cases, which ties him much closer to overall episodes than generally Juliet is.