Grimm recap: Singin' the Blues

Nick and Hank hunt down a killer of women, who may or may not be a goat
Ep. 04 | Aired Nov 18, 2011

A LITTLE LIGHT READING Nick studies up on another breed of fairy tale creatures

Scott Green/NBC

My favorite thing about the classic fairy tales is how, in modern re-tellings, the more grisly and gruesome details have been systematically Disney-fied out. Like the part in Red Riding Hood when the huntsman butchers the Big Bad Wolf to itty-bitty bits after the aforementioned beast eats dear old granny. In my house, grandma is tied up and gagged in the closet and I don't think there was a huntsman at all. Or, there's the one about the nobleman with the blue beard that imprisons his wives in a locked cellar and then tortures and kills them.

Oh, you haven't heard that one? Well that, along with the song "Blue (da ba dee)" by Eiffel 65, are the inspiration for this week's episode of Grimm. Tonight's inscription -- There she paused for a while... But the temptation was so great that she could not conquer it. Taking the little key, with a trembling hand she opened the door of the room. -- was lifted from the story of Bluebeard by Charles Perrault, one of the godfather's of the fairy tale genre. That segment refers to Bluebeard's latest wife opening a door she promised not to, only to discover a room bathed in blood with the bodies of her predecessors hanging from the walls. Grimm, indeed.

After last week's Queen Bee, a few commenters wondered why the show had deviated from the Brother's Grimm catalog so without spending too much time on it. We should all remember that most fairy tales were liberally borrowed over generations and re-imagined by various storytellers, like a ye olde version of "The Aristocrats."  Needless to say, Grimm and Perrault were like Eddison and Tesla; all that matters is that somehow the lightbulb got invented.

But back to business, the show opened with another giddy-fun crime scene. We saw a woman running for her life, terrified by hallucinatory visions of objects around her coming to life and attacking her a la the stained glass knight from Young Sherlock Holmes or the razor blade butterflies from season 1 of Fringe. In her madness she's hit by a passing car and while the driver is busy calling for paramedics a shadowy figure arrives, gives the woman a gentle caress, and then suffocates her.

Next, a man enters a hotel room, speaks ominous things into his cellphone in -- I want to say French? It all happened so fast -- and then pulls a completely B.A. travel-size scythe out of his briefcase. We assume it's the killer but he's actually in town for Nick's head in order to avenge the death of his fellow-reaper, whom Nick disposed of in the premiere. He stops by the police station and captain "Nastypants" Renard sends him packing, but pays him a visit later. "First mistake, was coming to my city," Renard says. "Second mistake was not knowing who you have to kneel before." Apparently Nastypants is a really bad dude, the kind of bad dude you have to get permission from to step foot in his neighborhood. We've never been told explicitly what Renard is, but I feel safe assuming that he's a reaper, perhaps THE reaper, after watching him Mike Tyson the French guy's ear with some mad scythe skills. "Protecting a Grimm?" the Frenchman asks. Perhaps, perhaps not.

NEXT: Blue his house, with a blue little window

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