Grimm delivered yet another superb episode last night (seriously, we're seven-for-seven now? LOVE it!), this time tackling the story of Rapunzel in a wonderfully unexpected manner. I've always considered Rapunzel one of the "princess" stories, a romantic fairy tale, and in keeping with this show's history (i.e., expect the unexpected), Rapunzel becomes a missing persons case, one that hits unexpectedly close to home for Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell).
When two hikers in the woods stumble upon a marijuana growing operation, they're almost killed until something -- or is it someone? -- enters the camp and attacks Delmar the oh-so-not-classy gunman, giving them an opportunity to flee. When Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) arrive on the scene, they're struck by the unusual markings around Delmar's neck -- it's as if an unusually thick rope snapped his neck. While searching for evidence, Nick catches a glimpse of a wild child in the woods -- a figure with the face of a blutbad, and a ridiculously long rope of hair wound around its arm. And therein lies the episode's strength -- anyone familiar with the Rapunzel story knows that she lived in isolation, under the thumb of a powerful enchantress -- it takes the story to a whole new level of spine-chilling and creepy to turn the girl in question into a feral child, isolated by her lack of human contact and in this case, wolfish blood.
DNA tests prove that the hair belongs to a Holly, a girl at the center of a cold case missing child investigation from nearly ten years ago. I loved the fact that Hank had worked teh initial investigation -- this gave us an opportunity to really see his heart and commitment to his work, letting us see a bit more of what makes this supporting character tick. So, while the inisght into Hank's character was welcome, what really made this episode for me was Monroe. After last week's episode delving into Monroe's wild past, and now this week's episode driving home what an adorable softy he is, good grief the show is spoiling me. *wink*
What interested me most about Nick recruiting Monroe in an attempt to get through to Holly was what this told us about what it means to grow up as a blutbad. Since Holly was adopted, the ramifications of discovering one's wolfish tendencies (?) without any sort of support system is positively horrifying to think about. It also makes a whole lot of sense regarding why she spent nine years isolated, living in the woods. I LOVED watching Holly and Monroe connect on a blutbad level, and her realization that she's not alone, that there are others in the world like her was just brilliantly played. But more than that, I loved how Monroe had to really step out of his comfort zone to connect with one of his own kind. He spends so much time and energy suppressing his blutbad-self, that I think using that part of who he is to connect with Holly, to really make a difference in her life was a huge experience for him. It's a fascinating way of incorporating Monroe into Nick's work and life as a Grimm, and I hope the show explores this type of dynamic more in the future -- the whole creature-working-with-a-Grimm thing really flies in the face of the "rules" of the fairy tale vs. real world, and I love that.
This episode wasn't without a few issues, but nothing that detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The whole subplot about Delmar's brothers hunting down anyone that they thought *might* have killed their brother felt like a little much -- and that's saying something in a show where werewolves and killer bees is the norm. *wink* I also thought that the resolution of Holly's storyline was a bit too neatly tied up. The revelation that she attacked a male neighbor -- one can only assume that he'd made some sort of disgusting advance that triggered her transformation -- and then lived in hiding for years made so much sense in the context of the show, I couldn't believe that they wrapped things up by taking her straight home to her mother. This is a girl who can barely speak, who has lived a feral existence for over half her life, and Nick takes her straight home to mom -- no doctor's visit, not nothing. Monroe's a better therapist than I would've given him credit for, hmm? :P
The Grimm take on Rapunzel was yet another strong episode in the series, less heavy on the mythology of Nick's anscestry and as such speaks to the longevity potential of this series. If they keep this balance up storytelling-wise the possibilities are endless. :) There are hints that Nick's life could get very difficult now that he is so easily recognized as a Grimm -- the refrigerator repairman from two episodes ago is spreading the word about Nick's presence in Portland, and I have to think that it is this type of indiscreet discussion that is going to either get Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) asking questions about Nick's life, or it is going to put her life in danger -- either option offers some intriguing story possibilities.
Grimm returns January 6th with "Of Mouse and Man," when a man is found dead in a dumpster, the investigation leads to a sly snake and timid mouse. Can't wait! :)