Grimm recap: Identity Crisis

A mysterious killer questions Nick’s devotion to his Grimmness; things start picking up pace for Juliette and Renard
Ep. 10 | Aired Nov 2, 2012

HISTORY LESSON Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) gets Nick (David Giuntoli) up-to-date on the history of a ruthless group of Grimms that dates back to the Fourth Crusade.

Scott Green/NBC

Oh, boy, Grimm, way to get so… grim. In what may be the show’s darkest episode yet, Nick learns more than he probably wanted to about his ancestry, and things heat up between Juliette and Renard.

The episode, titled “The Hour of Death” (I told you this was a dark episode), starts off with Hank and Nick in the middle of the search for a missing girl. They track down the kidnappers, but someone’s already gotten to each of them before they do. They’ve both been tied up, tortured, killed and branded with a symbol that looks an awful lot like the letter G (Nick, did you really not pick up on what this might mean before Monroe told you?).

Well, he gets a pretty clear picture of what’s going on when Monroe fills him in. Monroe, who can make a Music Man joke even in scary times, explains what the symbol means and who uses it. “Geeh is for Grrrimm!” he says, and tells Nick and Hank about a group of utterly compassionless Grimms who would go on mass Wesen-killing rampages. He says these Grimms would “kill men, women, children, pets – you name it.” Pets? So does that mean they’d kill Wesen’s domesticated animals just for the heck of it, or is there a such thing as a pet that can Woge?

Monroe urges the detectives to find this guy fast before he tarnishes Nick's reputation as a compassionate Grimm who knows not all Wesen are evil. Indeed, we get a taste of what it’s like for Nick when all of Portland's Wesen know there’s a Grimm like this in town. Bud tells Nick it wasn’t easy to calm down all the Wesen at the lodge and convince them that Nick’s not the killer, and the second kidnapper won’t stop going off about how Nick’s going murder him, which makes questioning him very difficult.

Nick gets a few chilling phone calls from this ruthless Grimm, who hides his voice with a voice changer. “Who is this?” Nick asks the unknown caller. “Someone who’s doing what you should have done,” says the Grimm who doesn’t see the shades of Wesen gray Nick does.

Just in time to save an about-to-be-branded Bud, Nick and Hank catch up to the extremist Grimm – it turns out to be Ryan, the young intern who’s been with the Portland Police for a few weeks. But even if you guessed it was him before Wu figured it out (his much bigger presence in this episode than his others’ even before his reflection showed up on that window was a rather glaring clue), you probably didn’t guess what this guy really looked like. When Nick catches up to him, Ryan is babbling about how much he admired Nick (i.e. obsessed over him, as evidenced by all the photos and newspaper clips on his bedroom walls), but then he morphs into a slimy lamprey-like creature. Through his round mouth lined with sharp teeth, he moans, “I’m not this. I’m not what you see. I’m a Grimm.”

So Ryan is in major denial about the monster he truly is. In this episode, we don’t see Nick discover what kind of Wesen he is, but the Grimm website clears up the mystery for us: He’s a Lebensauger (German for “life-sucker”), who are known to “experience self-loathing and identity crises” due to their grotesque appearance.

I’m a little disappointed that Ryan turned out to not be a Grimm. I would have liked to see Nick struggling more with the realization that he is part of a tradition that can be so twisted in its morality. He already knows from the writings about his ancestor who traveled with Darwin to the Galapagos Islands that his family has a darker, merciless side to its history, so why is he so convinced, even before Ryan morphed, that Ryan isn’t a Grimm?

Granted, we saw the poor guy struggling plenty as he learned more about this group of Grimm from a supposedly bygone era and as he saw Ryan’s victims. Did you see the horror on his face when he walked into the room with Murdoch’s body?

While Wu shoves a handcuffed Ryan into a cop car, Bud showers thanks upon Hank and Nick, giving each of them a big hug. Nick just holds his arms out awkwardly at his sides, but doesn’t hug him back. Nick always seems so put-off by Bud. Seriously, Nick? You can’t reciprocate the hug from a man grateful to you for saving his life? Are you just too cool for that?

NEXT: Renard and Juliette, sitting in a tree...

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