Director: Holly Dale
Writer: Nevin Densham
Wait!’ the troll said, jumping in front of him. ‘This is my toll bridge. You have to pay a penny to cross.'”: from The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Nick opens his weapon’s cupboard and takes a good long look at the weapons there and looks pretty intimidated at everything it contains. Next we see him walking through the woods, a pack across his back just long enough to hold some of the weapons in the cupboard. He pauses, hearing something before someone attacks him, a Blutbad. Nick pins the Blutbad and we get to see it’s Monroe, who is here to help Nick with his Grimm skills – which I’d love it if the show would be more specific about said skills, because thus far all that seems to be is his training as a cop.
What follows can best be described as…boys and their bonding over their lethal weaponry.
Then, at night we see a car pull up to another guy waiting at a construction site under a bridge. The man who gets out is an elderly man, Robert who refuses to pay the man waiting for him, Sal the protection money. Robert wants to go to the DA, but then Sal punches him and Robert doubles over in pain. Thus far we can see that Robert is an Eisbiber, a beaver Wesen and Sal is a Hasslich – think troll-under-the-bridge Wesen. Unbeknownst to them both, there is a construction worker who is still on-site. He is talking to someone on the phone he is meeting for dinner, it seems, when he hears something and sees Sal drowning Robert in a vat of cement. He manages to call 911 but it’s too late because Sal is dead. In his horror, he accidentally knocks into some tools and when he does, he realizes Sal could have heard him. Sure enough, Sal is not with Robert’s body any more, and is instead standing in front of the construction worker. The worker takes off, running for his life, and manages to make it to his truck and drives off.
A man has fallen asleep in front of his TV, in what looks to be a family home. He hears something and takes a poker from his fireplace to investigate the noise. He goes downstairs to his basement and the construction worker appears behind him and scares him into shifting into an Eisbiber. The man and the construction worker, Arnold, know each other and Arnold, it seems is going to tell him what happened.
The next morning at the crime scene, Wu brings Nick and Hank up to speed on the case and that the witness, who didn’t leave his name, definitely saw everything go down. When Hank sees the body, he comments on how old school mob-like it is, while Nick calls in for an ID on the witness’ phone. The guys investigate Robert’s truck and find his cell phone, with a calendar up showing an appointment late the night before with “SB”. Dispatch calls back and IDs Arnold for the guys, along with supplying an address.
The guys find Arnold’s place empty and unlocked. They enter and find his place filled with whirly-gigs. Nick finds a photo of Arnold and two of his friends on a fishing trip – the two friends? His Wesen refrigerator repair man, Bud, and his friend, who he met when he went investigating the people who had been watching his house and Juliet some time ago.
At home, Nick is working on the case when Juliet comes up behind him and notices the word “Eisbiber” on one of his documents. He brushes the word off as a possible witness before she asks him to invite Monroe over for dinner as a thank you for saving her life. Nick tries his best to get her off the idea of inviting Monroe anywhere, but she isn’t easily dissuaded. She’s happy to have a picnic if Monroe doesn’t want dinner, but it’s obvious she wants to meet him and thank him and there’s no way Nick is getting out of this. The scene makes me curious as to how much Nick has told her about his friendship with Monroe.
I’m also, however, bummed that he and Juliet seem to be back to normal as if she didn’t just refuse his proposal. Their problems are there, but unfortunately seem to be whipped out only when the episode seems to need them instead of having deal with it a little bit every week, which in other ways and other plot points, Grimm tends to do pretty well.
Nick tells Monroe about the invitation and Monroe it seems is pretty pleased about it until Nick points out there is no part of their relationship that Nick can be truthful about with Juliet. Monroe wants to accept the invitation and isn’t above guilting Nick into agreeing with it, in true Monroe fashion. I think the scene shows just how well Monroe knows Nick. Nick finally gives in and agrees to the invite but only if they come up with a simple story they stick to. Monroe agrees and adds that the best lies are also the truth…
Back on the case, Nick and Hank are interviewing people at Robert’s company. His secretary explains that she doesn’t know who Robert was meeting the night before, and that he’s been having trouble with someone at the planning commission – Mr Buttrell – Sal.
He’s next on the guys’ list to visit and Sal seems open to answer the guys’ questions about Robert. They ask him about his alibi, explaining that they’re checking out everyone who has contact with Robert. Nick brings up the appointment they found in his phone calendar and at that Sal shifts into his Hasslich form. He says that he and Robert were trying to set up an appointment at 9:30 this morning and suggests that Robert put it in his phone wrong. A co-worker comes in and he confirms Sal’s alibi about being at the poker game. Once the guys leave, he calls in another guy and tells them they have a problem – a Grimm.
Next up Nick visits Bud, his refrigerator repair guy to ask about Arnold. Bud however isn’t much help because he hasn’t seen Arnold in weeks. Nick shows Bud a picture of Sal in Wesen form and Bud explains that no one in touches bridges without Hasslichen getting a cut. As most of the construction companies in town are run by Eisbiber and they have to pay the troll, the Hasslich. Bud thinks he might know where Arnold is and will call if he finds Arnold…I get the impression Bud might be a little bit more old-school Wesen than he seems!
That night, Monroe comes for dinner and he and Nick find a new level of awkward just saying ‘hi’. Juliet is bemused or curious at their behavior, but Monroe and Nick think they’ve succeeded in appearing ‘normal’ friends. During dinner THE question comes up – how did they meet – and their story is as Monroe described filled with more truth that lies. They explain that Nick found a boot print when the little girl (Episode One) was kidnapped and that Monroe noticed his postman wore the same boots, and he turned out to be the bad guy Nick was after. However, Monroe gets a little bit carried away and lets slip that he accompanied Nick to the postman’s cabin, when Juliet was under the impression that Hank was the one that did that. What follows confuses everyone until Monroe starts babbling a little about the fabulous recipe Juliet used for their vegan salmon dinner and insists on getting it from her immediately.
Poor Juliet. I hope she knows exactly who Monroe is and is secretly laughing at the two of them as they try to pretend to be normal.
Bud goes to John’s house – the friend Arnold went to after he saw the murder. He knows that John is hiding Arnold and together they try to convince Arnold to go to Nick to help him put Robert’s murderer away. But Arnold is afraid for his life and for their lives because the Hasslich will have no problem killing them in order to make their point to Eisbibers at large – don’t rock the boat. They finally agree to take Arnold and his story to the ‘lodge’ and to put the decision about what to do to a vote because it’s going to affect everyone in their community.
Here, Bud is most interesting to me – he realises that with a Grimm on their side, things are considerably changed, which reminds me of the history lesson last week, about Grimms traditionally being on the side of the Royal Families. Granted, this is a very specific situation and Sal might not be linked to the Royal Families at all, but this is just their sort of corruption, it seems.
Sal and his two fellow Hasslich are in an empty café discussing Nick and what to do about him and their situation. Sal decides to send Reapers after Nick – his great-uncle was one after he cut off the head of a Grimm in Copenhagen. Does that mean Reapers are made only if they kill Grimms? One of his Hasslich minions looks afraid when Sal mentions this and equates this to going nuclear.
After dinner, Nick asks the OTHER big question – what does Juliet think of Monroe? She says he’s one of the strangest people she’s ever met, but he saving her life means she loves him. It’s a relief for Nick and he teases her a little about whether he should be jealous. She decides he should be, but before the teasing continues, Bud calls and invites Nick to a lodge meeting the next night.
He is such a fan boy of Nick’s, it’s endearing.
And now we switch to Mannheim, Germany. The only reaper we’ve met and who lost an ear to Renard walks into a bar and is told to go back to Portland by another it seems more senior reaper. He voices his concerns about Renard, to which the Senior Reaper tells him Renard will not be on the lookout for two reapers, and gestures to the other Reaper waiting at the bar.
The next night Nick arrives at the meeting and Bud is there to meet him and to explain that Nick has to urge the members of the meeting to take responsibility against the threat the Hasslich represent.
Sal is at his café when a Reaper calls from Portland and asks for a meeting to which Sal quickly agrees.
The meeting seems to be of all the Eisbiber in Portland, and they are divided into those who want to keep the peace with the Hasslich and those who know that things have to change. The Speaker of the meeting calls Bud, who introduces Nick – as a detective and not a Grimm, though from the whispers, it seems the Eisbibers know who he is. Nick explains that he wants to help them change things, but they need to help themselves too and asks that they tell Arnold – who is hiding at the edges of the crowd – that if he comes forward he will help Arnold put an end to the Hasslich. However, a woman doesn’t want her husband and her children to become ‘messages’ of the Hasslichen to the rest of the Eisbiber community, but another woman points out that they have a Grimm on their side now and the Hasslich should be afraid of them. It’s becoming more apparent just how big of a change having a Grimm on the side of the Wesen can be.
The Speaker puts the question of whether Arnold should come forward to a vote to the lodge at large, but to Nick’s disappointment the lodge votes against Arnold coming forward. As Nick leaves, Bud apologizes again but Nick thanks him for trying. He thought that if Bud could be brave enough to come back to see Nick and fix his door and bring him a pie and a quilt, the rest of the Eisbiber could be as brave too.
Sal arrives at the meeting to find the ear-less Reaper waiting for him and acting as a distraction before the other Reaper attacks him from behind and puts a plastic bag over his head. It’s not obvious if Sal dies or not.
At John’s place, he and Bud are discussing the meeting and John, much to his surprise, says he wouldn’t be surprised if Nick never talks to them again. Bud in turn tells him that at the meeting he saw his fellow Eisbiber through Nick’s eyes and for the first time in his life, he’s ashamed to be an Eisbiber. Unbeknownst to them, Arnold is listening to their conversation from the steps leading down to the basement.
Sal wakes up bloodied and bruised to find two Reapers with scythes over him and needing him to answer their questions – something he wants to do.
At the station, Nick and Hank report back to Renard about the case, and that Sal has three people who can vouch for him on the night of Robert’s murder, and no word about Arnold. Renard thinks finding the witness should be their priority because without him they have no case. The guys agree to go ‘rattle some cages’ but as they head back to their desks, Bud and John…and Arnold walk in. Arnold introduces himself and says he’s ready to help.
For some reason, the Reapers think Sal is a friend of Nick’s and demand that Sal deliver them the Grimm or die. Sal denies this, but then Nick calls asking him to come to the station to answer some questions. The Ear-less Reaper holds a knife to Sal’s throat and Sal quickly arranges a meeting with Nick at his club in 10 minutes. At the club, Sal allows himself to be arrested and taken away, with the Reapers watching everything from a car.
At the station, Arnold identifies Sal in a line-up. After, Nick warns him to lay low, and Bud and John suggest the lodge. Nick offers to drive him there just to be sure he is safe. Outside however, the Reapers are waiting and follow Nick when he leaves with Arnold. Bud, who is following Nick and Arnold in their truck with John, eventually realizes they’re being followed and John calls Nick to warn him. At the lodge, Nick tells the three to go through to the lodge while he takes on the Reapers. Armed with his bag of Grimm weapons and his gun he tries to take them on. He loses the gun quickly, but manages to hold his own – sideways full body spin, hello, can we learn more about these abilities, please? – be he manages to get the ear-less Reaper to decapitate his partner and while he’s howling in frustration at what he did, Nick shoots him with an arrow with hemlock in the arrowhead, I think.
He calls Monroe, interrupting his cello practice, and Monroe clearly expecting one of Nick’s usual calls for his help, comes SO close to rolling his eyes at Nick’s predictability before Nick asks him to bring a shovel.
They meet at the lodge/dam and Monroe is suitably impressed that he took out two Reapers. Monroe translates the writing on one of their scythes – “Reapers of the Grimms” and Nick tells him he’s finally realized that he’ll never be free of the Reapers and that they’ll always keep coming for him. He thinks he has to send them a message and Monroe agrees, saying two heads are better than one, before he swings the scythe and cuts off the second Reaper’s head.
Nick goes to see Sal, realizing that he must have called them. He questions Sal to see if he’s surprised to see him alive, and for the first time, Sal’s confidence wavers. When Nick walked in he was almost smug, knowing two Reapers were waiting for Nick, but when Nick walks out, Sal looks broken.
Nick heads home and finds Juliet waiting on the porch, a gobsmacked expression on her face. Instead of explaining, she takes him inside and shows him their living room filled with – pies, preserves, croissants, quilts, flowers – everything you can think of, it seems to be in their living room as thanks from the Eisbibers. Nick just puts it down to doing his job.
In the same bar in Germany, the Senior Reaper is having a beer when he receives a huge box. The note with the box says: Next time send your best – and inside are the two Reapers’ heads.
Grimm has a great knack for taking what seem to be straightforward cases and tying them into the greater Grimm mythology in small but significant ways. Here, we see Nick influence at least one Eisbiber to change, but also face down the population of Eisbibers in Portland and out himself as a Grimm to them and earn their respect after saving Arnold and doing exactly what he promised he would – getting rid of the Hasslich threat. He also manages to establish himself as a threat to the Reapers – which might not be good in the long run, I’m guessing, but he has effectively established himself as someone not to be trifled with.
Having a Grimm on your side changes everything, but where do the Reapers fit into this? We know there are Seven Royal families who hold the power in the Wesen world, but are corrupt. They once had the Grimms on their side to tip the balance of power on their side, but the Reapers are Reapers of the Grimm and outside the power of the Seven Families. Renard had no problem warning them off and cutting off an ear of one. Do they represent the greater evil at large in the show? Someone or something who does not abide by the rule of the Seven families?
In other news, Juliet and Nick are pretty normal. If you’re going to NOT have an engagement, I’d think there’d be some fallout from it, but thus far, there’s not a peep. And this from a show who is actually pretty superb at continuity and taking small moments and having them mean something – case in point, see Bud through the whole series thus far.