Overall Rating: 8.7
High marks for the EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW! factor!
A missing street person turns up dead with most of his blood missing and vampire-like puncture wounds in his neck. He's also missing a few internal organs for good measure (lovely). Nick and Hank waltz through a very run-of-the-mill police procedural (stylistically), interviewing acquaintances of Steven (the victim) from the street that point back to a free clinic where the pieces of his life story begin to come together. He and a friend were evidently offered "jobs" and then taken off the street (never to be seen again, it seems). Nick offers significant money and food to his street friends for assistance (along with his fiance Juliette).
Meanwhile, a truck overturns in traffic after fleeing police. A driver turns up dead in the street - a scavenger beast called a Guyer. His cargo is human blood and organs - not on their way to the hospital. Nick gets the word on the street from Monroe that Guyers sell human organs and blood on the monster black market as aphrodisiacs and medicinal aids and leads Nick to a small time street vender. After getting a sample of pure gall bladder powder for analysis, Nick pumps the petty middle man for information that eventually leads...yet again...to the free clinic. His conversation with the bead-selling teens mentioned earlier also points this way. After searching the clinic and coming up empty, Nick tries an out-of-the-way address lifted from the dead Guyer's phone records, but it's a race against the clock as the bead-sellers have been kidnapped for harvest. Fortunately, the girl is a quick thinker and leaves a trail of beads that take Nick, Hank, and S.W.A.T. right to their workshop where Nick puts the kibosh on the operation and kills the clinic doctor/Guyer kingpin (inadvertently, but I think he can live with that).
It's also worth mentioning that in this episode, we learn that Nick wants to introduce Juliette to his Grimm destiny by showing off his blud-bat friend in his wolfy glory (hm...not sure that's a great way to keep your girlfriend while telling her the truth, Nick). We also learn that the chief of police - earlier seen cutting the ear off of a would-be hitman who was after Nick and proclaiming that Portland was his town in full reaper finery - is actually PROTECTING the Grimm, who he knows is a member of his PD. And hey...it's at great risk to himself as a Russian-sounding dude threatens to restore the balance if he won't. Both of these developments are *very* interesting if developed further. Eyes sideways.
As for the main events in this episode...Monroe continues to be awesome (even though he shops at human-organ-black-grocers...ew dude...ew) and Juliette is becoming more and more likable with time...I hope she does get let in on the secret and chooses to fight crime at Nick's side in her own way. But all of those things take a back seat to the strong formula employed in this episode. This is easily the scariest Grimm episode to date due to the nature of the bad guys and their particular business...and on top of that...it's a well-written police procedural. How many good police procedural stories have you seen that were both engaging (action-packed / creepy / suspenseful) and believable. There are no major plot holes, no missteps in logic, and the forensics even make sense. There's just...nothing wrong with the script that I can find...other than perhaps that it dragged just a bit in the first ten minutes before the creep-factor increased. Bottom line...don't let the kiddies see Grimm if it's going to be like this episode...at least not without supervision and not before the age of 13. Heavy horror-factor here...I like it!
Edge-of-your-seat suspense and quality police-work in the same episode...and a good mix of emotions in the quieter moments to keep you guessing.
I didn't see any hugely stand-out performances this week and the guest cast was only so-so...but there weren't any big flaws in the performances either, I don't think.
Nick is really making himself a shining light for fair play and real justice (rather than the gang warfare evidently employed by the Grimms, the Reapers, and the various beastly creatures that inhabit the Earth before Nick came along). I may be falling for Hollywood sap a bit, but I loved how Nick went about getting information from the street. He plied them with kindness, generosity and compassion. There are a lot of Cop shows (even CSI) where the homeless are simply asked to come down to the station for questioning...it seems harsh by comparison.