Director: Norberto Barba
Writers: David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Guest Starring: Titus Welliver
For me there are neither locks nor bolts, whatsoever I desire is mine.” (from The Master Thief, a Norwegian fairy tale. The Brothers Grimm included a variant of this in their own tales.
You know how some stories start with it being a dark and stormy night?
That never happens in Grimm, episodes always start with a gloomy, dark depressing night. Or a murder happening in the dead of night. I guess I should be grateful for that!
This particular episode opens on a non-descript house, before we see inside that three men are preparing an arsenal to attack, rob or do something to someone. Two are arguing, shifting to their Wesen (Schakal – think jackal) form, while the third irritated at the other two, tells them to shut up, or he’ll kill them both.
Well now, that settles that!
Their intended target is a jewellery store, where the owner, an old man, is just quick enough to hide in his huge safe when they burst in. In there, he isn’t worried about anything else in the safe save for a box of three coins. We see him take the box of coins out of another safe within the huge walk-in on he is hiding in, and in the next instant he is looking on fearfully as the robbers drill through the safe but he’s holding an empty box this time.
Could he have swallowed the coins? Too big and too painful to contemplate, to be honest. The door explodes, and that is the end of him.
Nick and Hank arrive at the scene, and Hank realises he knows the store as he bought his second engagement ring here. Wu explains that the owner, Samuel Bertram, was found dead in his safe and Hank is genuinely overcome seeing the body of the jeweller. He calls him “Sam” as if they were friends. Looking around at the scene, Nick notes that the robbery was done by professionals, but it’s Hank that elaborates why – Sam was known to be a collector of coins and only coins were taken.
Indeed, the robbers are looking through the coins they stole searching for something they can’t seem to find. The third turns on the other two (the arguing ones from earlier) and accuses one of stealing the coins. He’s been searching for them for several years, through different countries and seems to be the mastermind behind their gang. He turns on one of the other Wesen, certain that as he was in the back seat with the coins, he must have them but the guy doesn’t. He leaves to head back to the scene of the crime to look for the coins, leaving the other two behind. They bicker like an old married couple each certain that the other is out to double-cross him until they hear a noise and realise their third guy is back. They search through the house, but don’t see anyone – but the audience does – tall, dark and creepy with red eyes watching them, herding them together to a point where the robbers eventually shoot each other.
The creature reveals itself – birdlike and creepy, it’s a Steinadler, (think mean looking eagle) and definitely not the third robber.
The third robber is at the crime scene watching it being cleared and realising he still can’t get in there to look for the coins. He shifts into Schakal form, presumably because he can’t do what he wanted to, but Nick catches sight of him, and he of Nick. He hurries off around the corner to his car, with Nick behind him in time to see him drive off. Later, Nick sees the security cameras in front of the store that captured the robbers’ arrival and the same car. Wu manages to get the plates from the cameras, and though they suspect the plates might be stolen, the decide to run them. Harper calls then with something interesting to add to the investigation.
The third robber returns to the house only to find the Steinadler there, in human form. They’re both after the coins, and have been for some time and the Steinadler drops a hint as to what the coins can do – “they make people do strange things”. The robber has no choice but to explain what brought him to Portland looking for the coins.
Harper explains to the guys that Sam didn’t die from blast, and as she was trying to figure out what did shut his system down, she found the coins. Harper shows them to the guys, flipping over one to reveal a swastika. Harper isn’t sure what could have caused Sam’s system to shut down like it did, because gold can’t cause such an allergic reaction and the tox screen isn’t back yet. Hank decides to take the coins, even as Harper protests. The conversation is cut short when Nick gets a call saying the BMW has been found. They leave, not really interested why Harper is still trying to get their attention.
At the house, a patrolman reports that the car is parked in front of the only house on the block and that no one has been in or out. Hank is immediately gung-ho about going in, leaving behind as he orders the patrolman and his partner to cover the back. Nick senses something is wrong with Hank as he hurries to catch up, but Hank insistents he’s fine.
Inside the Schakal and The Steinadler are still arguing about the coins because the latter thinks the Schakal is lying. The Schakal points out he went back to the jewellers to find the coins, but couldn’t do anything as the cops were there. He’s irritated, set to attack the Steinadler, until he points out the cops are advancing on the house. The Schakal escapes through the back, escaping the patrolmen there easily, but the Steinadler lets himself be arrested. Hank is particularly rough with him, and short with the patrolman after when he learns he let the third robber get away. Later, we see the same patrolman’s neck snapped on the street, but not by who.
At the station, the stick the Steinadler in an interrogtation room before they report to Renard about the robbery. Hank is obviously on a high of some sort, in his report about taking down the suspect and when asked in particular about the coins, he tries to deflect attention away from them to the guy in interrogation. Renard though, isn’t as easily swayed. He insists on seeing them, and it’s obvious that he knows what they are, while Hank reluctantly hands them over. When he does, he looks bewildered, like he’s just waking up from a sleep. He tries to convince Renard to give him back the coins, but Renard pulls rank ordering him home while Nick takes on the interrogation. Hank is still bewildered as Nick herds him out of the office.
Outside, Hank is still stuck on Renard having the coins, and Nick keeps urging him to go home, but Hank agrees too easily. Meanwhile Renard places a call to someone in Paris to tell them that the coins, “the coins of Zakynthis”, have come across his desk. The person asks him if he’s sure, and he says he will be soon. But as confident and pleased as Renard sounds, the person on the other end of the line warns him to be careful. Renard hangs up.
In the interrogation room, Farley Colt, the Steinadler is unconcerned about being arrested, and readily admits to following Flynn, Hans and Soledad, the Spaniard that got away at the house for a long time. He is even eager to talk to Nick off the record about the coins, and reveals that the reason he is there after the coins, is because of a Grimm. The coins, Flynn reveals, were mined on a Greek island and stamped with a swastika for good fortune (as Renard had mentioned earlier) and a lion’s head which symbolised wealth and power. This image of this particular lion though, was the one slain by Heracles – the Nemean lion. The lion’s claws were thought to be stronger than human swords and whose golden fur was impervious to attack. The humans who then wielded the coins had a charismatic influence on other people. The coins travelled from the Greek to the Roman to the Chinese empires before disappearing for several centuries and reappearing in the Third Reich. After the defeat of the Nazis, the coins disappeared, with only the Grimms aware of their location because they were stronger than most in resisting them. Flynn explains then, that 18 years ago, the last Grimm with the knowledge of the coins’ location was murdered, and the woman he loved left him to go raise her sister’s son.
First place my mind goes to is that this is Nick’s past, but Farley doesn’t seem to realise this, though he knows Nick is a Grimm, which I guess is more evidence to how many Grimms there are out there. Nick’s reaction could be labelled as shock, I guess I was hoping for a little more than the same expression the story of the coins garnered considering Flynn is talking about Marie and his mother.
Interestingly though, his Grimm heritage comes from his mother, so does that mean we are going to learn more about his father’s family at some point?
Flynn wants to be free, to help Nick find the coins but Nick has no intention of doing so. Flynn warns him that the coins can get hold of him, and that he will fight to the death to keep them. Wu interrupts their conversation, reporting about the missing patrolman from the crime scene at the house. Wu has already reported this to Renard, who it seems is on his way to evidence.
Finally, we get to see some sort of reaction from Nick in regards to his news about his parent’s death. He doesn’t seem to know what to do next, and instead pulls up a report about accidents in Rheinbeck as Flynn described. Could he not know Flynn was talking about his parents?
At the morgue, Harper is leaving for the night. She drops her keys, only to have Soledad pick them up. Is this the end of Harper?
At the trailer, Nick is researching Steinadlers and Schakals when Monroe appears. Turns out, the diaries he was trying to read were in German and Monroe is his translator. There is nothing quiet like a giddy Monroe who lands somewhere between history-nut enthusiasm and reverence, when faces with anything Grimm-like. He genuinely loves the stories they hold despite the actions of the Grimms. He explains that Schakals are “bad ass baby-eaters”, or so were the ones described in the diary, but that Steinadlers are heroic, though he advises Nick to trust his gut when dealing with them. He describes them as two sides of a coin, which gives Nick a chance to explain about the coin robbery, but Monroe finally knows nothing about something – the coins mean nothing to him. He prepares to leave, but notices a camera – very old and very retro – that distracts him. An Akely to be exact. Monroe explains that his mother’s great uncle worked as a newsreel camera man in Berlin and when he died, Monroe’s mother got all of his old stuff, which is how Monroe knows about cameras. Nick peeks in the reel in the camera, but we don’t get to see what he sees in there.
At home, Nick tells Juliet about Farley and the story, and we see he does suspect that Farley might be talking about him, but he either can’t quite believe it, or doesn’t want to. His reason for not asking Farley if he was talking about Marie? He’s a cop, he didn’t want to bring his personal life into his professional life and give Farley information on him. Instead he asks Juliet to find out if Farley was living in Rheinbeck, where he was born, when his parents died. I’m not certain what that proves though, an address doesn’t have to mean anything, especially if you are a Wesen.
Renard is getting up close and personal with the coins and his naked self in his apartment – and no, not in that way, but the coins have definitely got a hold over him. Soledad in the meantime is threatening to kill Harper if she doesn’t tell him all the details of the autopsy on Sam, until she finally admits the police have them. When he hears a noise, he knocks her out and escapes instead of killing her.
The coins have REALLY got a hold of Renard because he’s having dreams of Reich-like adoration from his city, with people holding flags with a lion’s head on them. Is this the Nemean lion, or a hint as to the Wesen Renard is?
The next morning, Hank seems to be back to normal. Nick brings Hank up to speed on the case and they head off to Farley’s hotel to investigate it. Renard arrives dressed in uniform and clearly taken with his dreams of city-adoration, because he calls a press conference to which everyone in the precinct must attend and the topic? The very broad, very grand “present state of law enforcement in our city”.
Soledad is in a hotel room of his own, changing his appearance before he strips the uniform off the dead patrolman he killed at the house the night before. At Farley’s room, the guys find enough evidence to make them wonder if Farley has something do with Black Operations, but they also find and old reel of film and two top secret documents – a German letter from the Reich and one from the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the current CIA. The letter gives a background to the coins when they were found in that era, including a warning for people not to touch them because of their toxicity. It’s enough to make Hank admit now that something was wrong with him the day prior, that he was pumped. Nick reminds him that the Captain has the coins now and Hank looks worried for Renard, but further discussion is stalled when he gets word of Harper’s attack the night before. They realise it was Soledad and that he’s going after the coins.
Nick finishes up at the room, before heading to the evidence locker to get the coins, but it’s not there. Instead, he finds the empty box Sam used to hold them, and under the felt on the lid of the box is a stamp of the Nemean lion. The guy in charge of the box kicks him in out in time for Renard’s press conference.
Hank is already there when Nick arrives at the press conference. Renard uses Sam’s murder as the centrepiece of his press conference, speaking to people who are suffering from crimes in their homes and businesses and the crowd eats up. Soledad is there too, but no one recognises him. Hank and Nick try to get to Renard and the coins, but he is too busy answering questions from his press conference and ignores them.
Juliet calls and confirms that Farley spent five years in Rheinbeck and left the same year his parents died. He asks her to continue checking, and tells Hank he’s going to talk to Farley. He confronts Farley, who admits he was engaged to Marie, which didn’t make either side of their families happy. Nick admits Marie was his aunt and Farley immediately realises Marie must be dead.
Farley insists he can help Nick stop Soledad, and tells Nick that Soledad was one of the many involved in the death of Nick’s parents. Hank calls and tells Nick that the patrolman was found, stripped of his uniform and that Renard was leaving the office.
Soledad is in the parking garage, destroying the lights in order to wait for Renard. However as soon as Renard leaves, Hank ducks into his office looking for the coins – is he still under their spell?
He’s caught when Nick and Farley walk in and jumps back from Renard’s desk guiltily.Nick tells Hank that ballistics did clear him and that he’s going to help them find Soledad. Hank doesn’t look all that happy about that.
The three follow Renard to the parking garage, where Farley’s Wesen senses tell him that Soledad is here. They are In time to shout a warning to Renard as he is attacked by Soledad and in the ensuing gunfight, Farley pulls Renard out of the line of fire. He deamands answers from Soledad about his parent’s death, but he dies before he can give him any. However, Hank overhears everything Nick was demanding of him.
Nick doesn’t explain – this is an emotional reaction – and goes off to check on Renard who is losing it without the coins. Farley is long gone by then.
In his hotel room Farley enters, heading straight for the briefcase he hid under the bed, but Nick is there hiding in the bathroom. He demands the coins, but Farley won’t give them back and in the fight that follows, the coins fall out. Nick grabs them before Farely does, and leaves, also leaving Farely alive and still caught in the the thrall of the coins.
In the trailer, Nick is handling on of the coins, a pleased smile on his face, before he shakes his head as if waking up from a stupor and looks afraid before he hurriedly puts them back in their box and hides them in the weapons cupboard.
He takes a look at the reel he found in Farely’s suitcase and it’s an old reel of Hitler addressing members of the Reich, two coins set into the lapels of his coat. As Nick watches, Hitler shifts into a Wesen.
I’m a little torn about this episode – on the one hand, the case involving the coins was superbly and extremely riveting. I love how the writers weaved the coins into history and had it make sense. Their power is extremely alluring as well, and something I can imagine people will be seeking Nick out for. Renard was the perfect vehicle to showcase their power and he, let loose, will be frightening.
Also, SCORE on the casting of Titus Welliver who played Farley perfectly – his genuine earnest desire to help Nick, to give him the truth about this past and the coins was something you could believe in as a viewer, until the double cross in the end.
The addition of Nick’s past in this episode was excellent as well, but I did come away with the feeling that Nick hasn’t really thought about his parents before now. His reactions felt hollow in a way. When Farley was recounting his past in interrogation to Nick, I thought he had to know he was talking to the son Marie left him for. And in the end Nick lets Farley go – his only connection to the fact that “alot of people wanted his parents dead”? Is this closing the book on his parent’s death now that Soledad is dead? It’s confusing as emotional as it was to watch. It’s answered some questions about his past, but left more in their wake and for the first time I’m a little frustrated at how they’ve handled it. This feels like an important episode for Nick, but I still feel like it was emotionally unsatisfying.