To close out 2013, NBC gave us two episodes of Grimm back-to-back this Friday the 13th. In the first hour, “Cold Blooded,” Nick confronts what I am sure is a collective fear of many – killer lizard people living in the sewer.
The episode opens a vaguely menacing shadowy sewer dweller dumping pilfered goods into a can. However, it quickly leaps across the ocean to Austria and Adalind. She’s meeting the brand new prince—unnamed as yet, but played by Whedon-verse repertory player Alexis Denisof—and it proves to be quite a chilling encounter. There’s talk of suspects for Eric’s assassination and hands placed on shoulders. I like how he calls Nick, “Nicholas.” Fancy schmancy.
Back in Portland, shadowy sewer guy is robbing a very nice looking home. Cue good looking young guy obviously home from college. If you suspect something bad is about to happen to the poor guy, then you’d be on the right track. The fact he uses “literally” correctly is more shocking. Still, you feel for the guy when this muscle bound criminal walks towards him, especially when the aforementioned criminal goes all Killer Croc and proceeds to slaughter him. Those are some convincing screams of terror, actor who plays this kid.
After a brief commercial break, Nick and Hank are on the scene. Poor college guy has been torn apart. Nick and Hank are quick with the Wesen talk. There’s an effective use of a season one flashback here, in which Hank was fighting with a Siegbarste—an ogre-like Wesen. However, evidence is inconclusive. The scene quickly leaps to the precinct and then the coroner’s office. Here, Dr. Harper explains to Nick just how the kid was killed. He was flailed about so much that it broke his neck. Yikes. Not a way to go.
Speaking of ways to go, when your genre show of choice shifts the scene completely and there are no familiar faces, you know someone is going to die. In this case, we have some maintenance workers exploring an issue in the sewers. A guy named Jimmy is hungry for a sandwich, but instead he has to do his job and get lowered down into the dark depths of the sewer. He finds a blockage and then he finds a Wesen. You don’t actually see him bite it, but when the cord attached to his safety harness goes wild, his co-workers reel him back in. Charlie, who was joking with Jimmy about eating his sandwich says to call 911, but I am pretty sure everyone, including these day players, knows the guy is toast. I wonder if the sandwich was toasted? Oh well.
Back in Austria, we have Renard packing major heat. I mean, that’s no surprise right? Still, he almost blows away Sebastien, but he doesn’t. Along with Meisner, they discuss their next plans and who might be the traitor that caused the attack on the safe house in last week’s episode. While they commiserate, Nick, Hank, and Wu are on the scene of Jimmy’s demise. Reggie Lee’s Sergeant Wu always delivers and when he gives his alligator in the sewer theory and shares how he used to pee in the bathtub because of it, you can’t help but be a little amused. Charlie guides our intrepid police officers down into the sewer, where they spot smears of blood and a sewage soaked backpack. Nick, Hank, and Charlie head off without Wu, which doesn’t bode well for our favorite sergeant. Nick’s super hearing activates, but is overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Wu finds Jimmy’s missing leg. Charlie declares, “It’s Jimmy’s leg!” And we all realize he fights crime as Captain Obvious by night.
Nearly half an hour in and the lack of Monroe, Juliette, and Rosalee becomes striking. However, before you fully recognize your longing, you’re immersed back in this week’s case. The trip to the sewer yielded evidence related to numerous robberies—the crocodilian criminal apparently likes souvenirs. Nick, Hank, and Wu try to piece things together from the junk, when Wu finds the first murder victim’s gym membership card among the evidence. Almost immediately after, Nick gets confirmation that the bite on the severed leg was like an alligator—just as Wu theorized. However, Wu quickly shoots down his own theory when he explains “alligators don’t rob houses.”
And suddenly there’s Monroe! Nick and Hank visit their Blutbad friend’s home for some of his encyclopedic Wesen knowledge, which leads to a name for the sewer dwelling alligator dude—the Gelumcaedus. Nick pitches going to the trailer to research in the books of Grimm lore. Monroe can’t go with them because he’s fixing dinner, but Nick and Hank lay on a subtle guilt trip and pretty soon everyone—including Juliette—while be having dinner at Monrosalee’s and researching the Gelumcaedus.
While Monroe cooks and Nick collects his books, Sebastien is returning to Renard and Meisner. Renard suspects that things aren’t quite right, but Sebastien has returned to tell them they need to escape. And they do. With that little diversion complete, it’s time another Wesen crime spree dinner party. Rosalee and Juliette are finally on screen. Research ahoy! Juliette spots an important detail about the Gelumcaedus. Apparently, the Grimms developed a weapon called a vambrace to deal with these Wesen. Hank is noticeably envious when Nick realizes he has one, but he’ll later brush it off. Don’t be jealous of Nick’s toys, Hank!
Nick and Hank pick up a map of the tunnels in a kind of boring—but important—back and forth. They then head over to the trailer to pick up a vambrace. When the blade pops out, Nick has a zombie flashback to the bar fight in the first episode of the season. I’m glad they’re back on that, because it was a plot thread left hanging there a bit lately. Once they are appropriately armed, Nick and Hank head to the sewer.
Nick and Hank’s sewer adventure drags a little at first. Nick tries to use his super hearing, but the echo hinders him again. The two detectives continue looking around and we get some pretty great close ups of Nick as he hears the ticking of clocks. Alligators and clocks? Why yes, this must be a subtle Peter Pan reference. They follow the trail of tick tocks and find the Gelumcaedus’s den. Gator face goes for Nick’s arm, but the vambrace protects him. He and Hank manage to subdue him and we get one of the show’s signature “You’re a Wesen; you’re a Grimm” exchanges. However, this time the Wesen drops a new name: Decapitare.
More stuff with Renard happens in Austria, but to be honest, it starts to feel like filler at this point. I love the character, but even for someone who has watched from the start and watches an episode multiple times; this stuff is becoming a little hard to follow. Nonetheless, I can pick up that Renard has allied himself with an older gent who once saved Renard’s mother. Fortunately, we’re back in Portland, where Nick and Hank are interrogating the croco-douchebag, rather quickly. Oh hey! His name is Gregorek! Gregorek has a decidedly unpleasant personality; he tells Nick and Hank to get a drink, because they’re wasting his time. Jerk.
After the interrogation, Nick gives Monroe a call. Once again our favorite Blutbad is busy, but Rosalee is able to answer Nick’s query about what a Decapitare is. It’s an old school word for a Grimm: “he who decapitates” in Latin. Unfortunately for Hank, Nick gets off the phone to see that Gregorek wasn’t acting alone. I say “unfortunately,” because another Gelumcaedus attacks. Before commercial break cliffhanger ahoy!
Nick gets to Hank’s place after a brief intermission to find him missing. Gregorek’s brother has Hank’s cell and gives Nick a call. He wants a trade. Nick, being more Grimm and less detective, drags Gregorek to their appointed meeting place. David Giuntoli’s acting in these scenes is pretty damn great. He plays angry, concerned, and unsure of what to do very well. He escorts Gregorek into the tunnels and the Gelumcaedus goes on about his childhood memories of stories about the Decapitare. Some would even say he throws shade Nick’s way.
Nick swaps Gregorek for Hank. However, Nick isn’t aware that in addition to him and Andre—Hank’s kidnapper—there is actually a third brother in the sewers. The bad guys woge and Nick proceeds to unleash his fury. He uses the vambrace to kill two out of the three brothers and delivers the episode’s best action sequence while doing so. Gregorek’s shock at the demise of his siblings is way more enjoyable than it should be.
As the episode wraps up, we find it bookended with another Adalind appearance. She’s rubbing the goop made out of Frau Pech’s insides on her stomach again and the new prince is watching with secret cameras. Gross and creepy! Back in Portland, Nick returns the vambrace to the trailer and reflects on this whole Decapitare thing. He’s digging it and so am I. While this episode definitely had some dips, it was still a solid showing and had delivered some great moments. I’m glad they’re reminding viewers of the Zombie Nick aftermath again, because it’s been a non-factor for the past couple of episodes. Once the episode ends, “12 Days of Krampus” picks right up, but I’ll save that for a review to follow.