Overall Rating: 8.2
''Ash nazg durbatulûk,
Ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk
Agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.''
A robbery goes wrong as three vescin attempt attempt to acquire some valuable coins from a jeweler. But these aren't just any coins. When they turn up in the dead jeweler's stomach after his autopsy, everyone who touches them or even looks at them too long winds up enthralled by their new prrrrrrrecious. It turns out the gold on which the swastika and lion's head imagery were struck is laced with impurities that make them very toxic, and very capable of causing neurochemical reactions that lead to delusions of grandeur, enhanced confidence and a whole lot of homicidal tendencies should the user be parted from his prrrrrrrrecious. As a matter of fact, these coins have a long and bloody history that can be traced from the fall of Greece to the insanity of Claudius and Nero, to the collapse of China's Han Dynasty to the madness of Adolph Hitler (and explain why his third reich chose a swastika as its emblem!). Most recently, the Grimms, who are less susceptible to the corrupting influence of the coins, being kindly little shire folk (LOL), have taken to defending the coins. Unfortunately, the last Grimm to defend the coins was...Nick's mother. D'OH! And one of the men planning the heist was in fact partially responsible for his parents' deaths.
Also unfortunately, the police chief (and vescin royalty) seizes the coins as "evidence" (after they've already nearly caused Hank to lose his mind), and never turns them in to the evidence locker. Instead, he likes to hold his prrrrrrrecious while he dreams of ruling Portland like a God-king. He goes slightly loony with confidence and power and calls a press conference to boast about big changes coming to the Portland PD in the wake of the most recent murders and makes himself a very easy target for the vescin who are after the coins. After a nasty fight, Nick and Hank manage to save the day and Nick grabs the coins before they drive either of his colleagues nuts. He hides them in his Grimm-mobile for now. A notable side-plot involves Juliette getting pulled into the investigation of one of the murder suspects (and one of the ones partially responsible for his parents' deaths). This has potential implications down the road. Juliette may not be a fighter, but she is good with research and investigation and if she accepts Nick's real job...she could prove very useful indeed.
Three coins to rule them all,
Three coins to find them.
Three coins to bring them all,
And in the darkness, bind them.
(cue Lord of the Rings theme or Mordor march)
Alright alright...so this episode is totally TOTALLY ripping off Tolkien...but who hasn't wanted to put themselves in that universe for a few minutes...it's fucking awesome! In all seriousness, this episode is pretty engaging, and I loved that the video in the Grimm-mobile that Nick had to hand crank to view turned out to be of Hitler with the coins in his lapels and this WASN'T the big scary reveal...nope...the big scary reveal was that Hitler was a vescin! AWESOME bait and switch there. Very cool, guys...very cool.
I do wonder how much lasting brain damage those coins did to the chief of police or to Hank for that matter. And I wonder whether the Grimms' resistance to the coins is really total, or whether Nick should find a place to get rid of those suckers and pronto before he starts feeling the burden and thinking about being naked in the dark with only the wheel of fire for company. :) Chief Capone also stupidly made promises of big change in Portland...I wonder what he'll do now?
All in all, though, I still feel that each of these episodes stands alone and lacks a ton of potent character building strength as of yet. This was well-made police procedural stuff yet again...and it was very engaging to boot...but I still am not hooked on this franchise. Let's see what they have for us before the season ends.
David Greenwalt wrote many episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...but is not principally credited with very many of the ones I liked the best...it's rather like drafting 9th in a ten man fantasy baseball league...you're gonna get a good player, but he's not going to be Albert Pujols. :) Greenwalt is a good solid writer, but he's no Marti Noxon or Joss Whedon.
The guest cast actually out-performed the regulars this week, I must say. It wasn't a bad performance on the whole...but it wasn't mind-blowing.
This still isn't going out of its way to make any greater points about society, our fallen nature etc...they don't have much moral ambition yet. We'll see how that develops going forward.
2 point bonus for the final scene. Had to do it...because it was awesome and the rule of cool applies.