Director: Holly Dale
Writers: Sarah Goldfinger and Naren Shankar
Picture credit: FearNet
The enchantress was so hard-hearted that she banished the poor girl to a wilderness where she had to live in a wretched, miserable state – Rapunzel
A couple is hiking through the woods to a lake, when they are captured by a gunman and taken to his camp. They inadvertently stumbled onto his drug crop and just as he is about to kill them, he hears something in the woods. He follows the sound when suddenly a vine twines around his neck, and coupled with some serious growling he is killed. Back at the camp, the couple see someone ransack the drug-dealer’s tent, coupled with more growling. They take their chance to escape, fleeing the campsite.
What I can appreciate about this show, and something they consistently do well and better, is the atmosphere the show builds. Coupled with the quote, which is familiar enough to tug on a viewer’s memories of childhood tales, but it precedes the contemporary setting which throws any assumptions a viewer might have out the window, the opening scenes are always well done, setting the scene for something unexpected.
The next day, Nick and Hank, on off-road bikes arrive at the camp along with police and DEA agents who are culling the crop. Nick and Hank though head for the body, that is being examined by a DEA agent. Delmar’s, the drug-dealer, neck is broken, twisted around it looks lik. He is being examined by a DEA agent, who tells Nick and Hank they’ve been looking for Delmar for three years. Nick finds a hair on his body, which can’t be Delmar’s because he’s bald. Hank suspects there might be a girlfriend around. Back at the camp, another cop tells them the camp was raided for Delmar’s supplies and food, but not the drugs, something none of the cops or agents have heard of before.
Leaving Hank to talk to the agents some more, Nick heads back to the body, where upon examining the barrel of the gun, he finds something he bags, and which leads him to a tree, and to a broken sapling where he finds another hair. Something drops down behind him and begins to run alerting him to someone else’s presence and takes off in pursuit.
Which is about when he sees that he’s chasing a supernatural creature, with a face that looks suspiciously like a Blutbad’s and happens to be a teen.
Hank and Nick interview Dustin and Lauren next, the couple who had been taken hostage by Delmar. They retell the story of their capture, with Lauren adding that whoever attacked Delmar saved their lives. After reporting on the interview, and that Dustin and Lauren seem incapable of killing Delmar, Wu informs them that Delmar’s brothers, Randall and Micah, have arrived. They are standoffish and demand to see Delmar’s body. The guys agree to meet them at the morgue for a viewing, where the brothers are angry that Delmar has been autopsied when it’s obvious he’s been strangled. Hank and Nick ignore that particular remark, which is actually a good question. The brothers don’t care what Delmar was doing in the woods, they very obviously want revenge.
A background check of these brothers come up with a list of priors, none of which are drug-related. Wu arrives with the lab report on the hair, which led him to a case Hank knows and worked – the abduction of Holly Clarke, who at 7 years of age disappeared from her adoptive mother’s backyard. Hank calls the case one of the most depressing he’s ever worked and it is clear it still affects him. Hank wants to be sure of her ID and asks Wu to bring up all the case files. Nick heads off to check on Delmar’s whereabouts the day of Holly’s abduction.
Instead, Nick heads to Monroe’s, interrupting his impressive Xmas decorating. The inside of his house is gorgeous! I love how Monroe takes joy in simple things like Xmas decorating and train tracks!
LOL, so it appears that Santa is alive and well in the North Pole in the Grimm world!
Nick tells Monroe about Holly, and he points out that at 7 years, her Blutbad instincts would have taken over to ensure that she survived in the wild for 9 years. Nick realizes that Holly might not know who or what she is, if her adoptive parents never realized she was a Blutbad and didn’t know how to understand what she was going through. Eventually, Monroe agrees to go with Nick, but only in daylight.
Oh, wow, continuity! The refrigerator guy of two episodes ago is having a beer with his friends and telling them about being in a Grimm’s house. They clearly don’t believe him, and one bets him $50 that he’s lying. I love this scene – aside from continuity, it sets the scene for the Grimm world beyond Nick’s POV and beyond Monroe and whatever and whoever Renard really is. It isn’t one of beings skulking in the dark, waiting to do commit crimes or be the episode’s bad guy – it’s one of regular people, sharing a beer and talking about things that happen to be supernatural in nature.
Dustin heads home from work, only to be knocked out by Randall & Micah and kidnapped again basically.
Meanwhile, the three guys from the bar, are watching Nick arrive at his house. They flee in terror when he does but he goes inside and thinks nothing of it. In bed that night, Juliet and Nick are talking about Holly and she cannot imagine how Holly must have survives. It seems Nick hasn’t told Holly’s parents yet either. The next day, Hank and Nick are reporting back to Renard about their case, and Hank reiterates that before they tell anyone, they have to be 110% sure of her ID. They’re going to split up – he’s going to try and get further confirmation of her ID, while Nick is going to head back out to the woods to find more evidence.
Nick and Monroe head back out to the site and Nick explains what happened. Once they gear up, they head deeper into the woods, with Monroe and his nose leading the way. They stumble onto a boneyard, literally a graveyard for the bones of the animals Holly has killed, a spiritual way of honouring the life that was taken.
Next, they stumble onto her marked property and once they do, she breaks cover and starts running from them. Monroe runs after her, fanging out (his term) and giving her a chance to see she’s not alone, but she doesn’t care, she still runs. They continue following her, but they eventually lose her, despite Monroe still being able to smell her. He can’t tell where its coming from until Nick sees a metal spike in a tree and looks up to see a tree-house (this Rapunzel’s tower), pretty much. Monroe offers to head up first.
Meanwhile, Hank visits Holly’s mother and asks her about Tillamook Forest, and her family’s connection to it, without explicitly telling her Holly is alive. She tells him they went camping there a couple of times, but can’t help him on the details of the spot. She says they borrowed equipment from a former neighbour, Jimmy Addison, and though he moved away years ago, he might know the exact spot of their former camp site.
Inside Holly’s tower, Monroe sees that she is passed out, and heads inside to try and help her, Nick close behind. The vine from earlier, that broke Delmar’s neck? Her hair, yup.
Just as Monroe sees the extent of her injuries from her encounter with Delmar, she wakes up and transforms, or rather her eyes do to a glowing red. Monroe does the same, and the stand-off lasts only for a few seconds before she lapses into unconsciousness again.
Back at the station, Wu tells Hank about Addison’s alibi for the day of Holly’s disappearance – that he was in the hospital, after a dog bite he had when he was hiking in the woods near Mount Hood. Hank realizes, the hospital that he was recorded at being treated at, was a 100 miles or so from the site of his attack as he reported it and Addison becomes a viable suspect. He and Wu begin their search for him.
At Holly’s tower, Nick attempts to clean Holly’s wound, but that action brings her back to consciousness – water on raw skin, from buckshot will tend to do that, I guess. She wakes up, and when Nick is unable to reach her, Monroe makes an attempt, by transforming to his Blutbad-self and back again. She listens, and once her instincts are kept in check, Nick shows her a pink barette, one that a 7-year old would have used. She remembers then who she was.
Meanwhile, Randall and Micah have tortured Dustin for information on what happened to Delmar, before they leave him and head to the woods to find out what happened to their brother.
Hank and Wu finally find Addison and ask him about Holly’s disappearance. He is still walking with a cane, from his bite injury. Hank asks him about the possible Clark family campsites that he might remember, but he doesn’t recall any. Wu tells him they’re trying to establish if there was any unusual activity in the neighbourhood that day, but Addison reminds them he was hiking. Hank finally asks Addison why he drove a 100 miles away to a hospital from Mount Hood when he could have got treatment sooner, and Addison gives an excuse that his doctor worked out of the Beaverton hospital, though he can’t provide a name. Addison insists he’s done nothing wrong, which gives Hank and opportunity to ask him to come to the station to give a formal statement, which sets Addison on edge.
In Holly’s tower, Nick realizes he can’t get all the buckshot out of her, and wants to get help to take her to a hospital, but Monroe isn’t sure that’s a good idea as Holly doesn’t know who or what she is. As Nick is looking around, he sees a trunk with the name Addison on it, which makes him more determined to get them to leave despite Monroe’s concerns about Holly. Nick leaves Monroe to tend to Holly, whose fever is getting worse. He leaves Holly to go get some Burdock root, a plant he found earlier that he knows will help her pain.
At the beginning of the trail into the woods, Nick sees the Randall and Micah’s truck when he calls Hank to update him on things. He confirms he’s found Holly, just as Hank and Wu are escorting Addison into the station. He also asks Hank to check into the name Addison, unaware that Hank has been following his own lead to Addison. When Hank confront Addison about the name on the camping equipment in Holly’s tower, Addison finally crumbles saying that Holly bit him and attacks Hank and Wu, before Hank manages to stop him.
Randall and Micah are searching the woods where Delmar died, finding the spot where he died still marked. They hear someone digging, and it’s Monroe looking for the Burdock root. They follow him to get everyone who they think killed their brother.
Inside Holly’s tower, Monroe gives her the root and just as they begin communication, Randall and Micah start shooting at the tower in an effort to get Monroe down. Nick hears the shots and starts heading for them as well.
Monroe climbs down from the tower and the brothers assume he’s been living in the woods, and killed their brother. They have no problems killing him, but they’re interrupted when they hear something from the tower and realize someone else is up there. Despite Monroe’s protests that he is the only person who was in the tower, one brother goes up to check the tower and recognizes Delmar’s sleeping bag and coat.
Climbing down, the brother is more convinced than ever that Monroe killed Delmar, but Nick arrives creating a standoff. Somehow, though Holly is on the ground as well and she attacks one brother with her hair, yes her hair, while Nick shoots the other.
Monroe goes to check on Holly who has collapsed from the effort of saving her life.
Hank returns to Mrs Clarke’s house and is finally able to give her good news that her daughter is alive. Nick drives Monroe home, and he leaves Holly, reminding her that she’s not alone before Nick drives her home to her mother.
Two days later, Renard gives a press conference on recovering Holly, and Holly finally identifies Addison as the man that kidnapped her and took her to the woods.
I don’t know why, but this feels like a rollercoaster of an episode and I feel pretty drained after watching it. Perhaps it’s a mixture of a child abduction story and the hunt for her – both to help (Nick, Hank and Monroe) and to kill her (Randall and Micah). Holly is a tragic figure, fanged out when she was kidnapped and no idea how to turn back to human, when she is able to escape Addison. Addison, in the meantime was a hunter of a different kind, a non-threatening, friendly neighbour Holly would not have thought twice about trusting as a 7-year old (I do have to wonder about the appearance of another set of brothers in a storyline by the show).
What I loved most of all about this episode though, is the small bit of continuity with the fridge repairman talking to his friends about being in a Grimm’s house. It is a scene that would not be unexpected if those characters were just human, talking about someone they simply don’t like. There were only 2 scenes in this episode, but it is a beginning that tells us about the world Nick finds himself in, and emphasises that nothing is clear-cut in this at all. This world of Grimm is complicated, and I hope this means the show is willing to take their time and delve into these complications as the season progresses.