Overall Rating: 7.2
Wow...the vescin aren't just a biological fact, they're a RELIGION! Or rather...were at least. Well now...that makes things interesting (but risky).
When an elderly human couple are brutally murdered by a vescin named Demitri (an ex-con who did some drugs and is on parole), Nick and Hank discover an undercover vescin fight club where vescin (and sometimes humans) are captured and forced to battle to the death. Monroe pursues a lead on the location of the fight club ultimately leading to his capture by the gladiator ring. Nick and Hank talk to Demitri's parole officer and at first all is well, but their boss, who is the local mob boss for the vescin (you may recall), knows better. He puts them back on the parole officer (who turns out to be the ring-leader of this club). He also pays the guy a visit and warns him to get back in line and stop capturing vescin, rather than just ordinary descent criminals, but the guy no longer respects the chain of command. He believes our mob boss has lost control and the higher ups will respect the money more than the traditional hierarchy.
So the parole officer uses Monroe in a fight (which is quite ungood since Monroe is a peacenik and a vegetarian, not a fighter) and Nick arrives in time to offer himself in Monroe's place. A very interesting choice, considering he's just a human (albeit a Grimm). Monroe then coaches him through the fight and he gets Demitri on the ropes and in position for the kill, then offers to let him go, saying he's not his enemy, but the fighting has removed all humanity from Demitri, and Monroe has to step in and knock him down after he tries to charge Nick. The cavalry from Portland PD arrives to break up the fighting just in time before the angry crowd (who don't like that the fight ended up two against one) attacks them.
Meanwhile, in order to get permission to break down the fight club, the police chief approaches his parish priest in what is evidently an old vescin religious order and asks for his help to restore order (which he agrees to do). After the fight club is broken up, the ring leader is brutally killed by the clerics and their hitmen. Verrrrry interesting - although it's a risky decision to make the old religion parallel Catholicism. We'll see how they do with that going forward. Also note, Juliette finds an engagement ring in Nick's sock drawer and at first is elated, but when Nick misses yet another important romantic dinner (their third anniversary), she has second thoughts.
As we get more and more information about the vescin and Grimm world and the key actors in Nick's district (including, of course, Monroe)...the characters are finally starting to become more interesting. I don't think this particular episode is anything special - it's a set-up piece that certainly gets my attention, but, all in all, it's still living by the formula and hasn't yet started to take chances yet, other than the decision to treat vescin traditions like a religion and a mob at the same time - this is potentially dubious and we need to see more before any judgment is made.
An interesting script and an engaging episode despite the standard formula at work.
Monroe continues to be awesome, as does Juliette...the rest kind of fade into the background, although we did get some interesting work from our police chief/mob boss.
Too soon to tell whether the religious angle will hurt this show or help it.