Grimm Season 1, Episode Seven: “Let Your Hair Down”
Beast of the Week: Blutbaden again, except this particular one has a killer dreadlock or something.
Source Material: “Rapunzel,” although frankly the connection is loose at best.
The Procedural: Two horny hikers in Tillamook State Forest (seriously, their dialogue at the opening of the show sounded like a leftover Passion Cove script) inadvertently wander too close to a hillbilly pot farmer's crop, which is the Oregon equivalent of the Icarus myth. Naturally, they're taken hostage, but just as he's about to put a bullet in their brains, a shadowy creature comes out of the forest and breaks his red-neck (ha!) with her whip-like hair (eat your heart out, Willow Smith). Nick and Hank ride out to the scene on some sweet ATVs and discover the only items missing from the scene are the hick's camping supplies. As Nick explores the vicinity, he notices strands of hair clinging to nearby plants. He then spots what looks like a lurking Blutbad and gives chase until the creature manages to lose him in the woods.
Back at the station, the victim is identified as Delmar Blake. His equally backwoods brothers show up, demanding to know what happened to Delmar and making not-entirely-vague threats to take matters into their own hands, which the cops apparently don't think enough about to keep an eye on. DNA tests from the hair samples Nick found at the scene reveal they belong to Holly Clark, a girl who went missing nine years prior and was never found. At this point, the investigation splits up, Hank exploring the Holly angle (for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it's his “Rebecca case”), Nick once again employing the knowledge and skills of his buddy Eddie Monroe, who—as we gather from our weekly visit to his house—is a big fan of Christmas decorations. (Another interesting tidbit Monroe casually drops on us: Santa is also a supernatural creature with a garbled German name.) Meanwhile, the brothers Blake make good on their promises of vengeance, kidnapping one of the hikers (who owns a “doggy wash” in Beaverton—I'm not sure why everyone kept saying “doggy” rather than dog) and locking him in their basement.
Hank's sleuthing leads him to an old neighbor of the Clarks named Jimmy Addison. Addison's alibi is that he was bitten by a wild dog while hiking at Mt. Hood on the day of Holly's disappearance, but Hank and Sgt. Wu are suspicious of the fact that he apparently drove to a hospital in Beaverton rather than get treated at a closer facility. When they track Addison down, he protests too much and gets dragged down to the station. While that's going on, Nick and Monroe cruise out to the woods (again on those sweet ATVs), where Monroe picks up Holly's scent. He tracks her to a tree house, where they find the girl on the verge of death via buckshot wounds. After spending so many years in the woods, she's apparently forgotten how to speak English (even though she was about 7 years old when she went missing), so Hank comforts her by growling. Nick notices a camping stove with “ADDISON” scrawled across it, then leaves the tree house to call Hank about it. As Hank announces to Addison what Nick found, Addison freaks out, leading to him getting throat-chopped by Hank and hauled off by the other cops. In my book, anything with a good throat-chop in it is worth an automatic C+ grade.
Back in the woods, Monroe is out collecting a medicinal root for Holly when he's confronted by the Blake Brothers, who are convinced he murdered Delmar just because he's wandering in the general vicinity of where he was killed a few days earlier. Nick shows up, leading to a standoff at gunpoint, but then one of the brothers gets hair-whipped, allowing Nick to shoot the other one. Then we trot to the finish line as Holly is reunited with her mom. In the final scene, she fingers Addison in a lineup as the man who abducted her years back, as her eyes glow wolfily. And we never do find out what happened with the kidnapped doggy washer in the basement.
Other Developments: The plumber from last week's “Danse Macabre” episode informs his buddies that there's a Grimm in Portland. They don't believe him, so they clandestinely drive up to Nick's house and collectively recoil in fear when he gets out of his car. Not sure what the point of this was other than to continue confusing me about why some creatures can identify Nick as a Grimm while others can't.
Best Line of the Week: “Fifty bucks says you're full of tree sap!” — One of the plumber's bar buddies about his assertion of Nick being a Grimm. Something about the way he delivered the line was just delightful.
Worst Line of the Week: “See if you can pin the tail on those donkeys.” — Hank referring to running a background check on the Blakes. Not bad-ass at all, Hank.
Grade: C+. On the one hand, Eddie Monroe appears to be becoming a bigger part of the show, which is good. On the other hand, this episode featured no further developments on the Adalind Schade-Captain Renard front, didn't have a true antagonist (the brothers weren't in it all that much, and Addison was just some creep), and it did a terrible job of incorporating elements from “Rapunzel.” I've said I liked how Grimm is establishing moral ambiguity in the creature world, but there hasn't been a real “big bad” for several episodes now, and the show is dragging because of it. On the other hand, this episode did have a throat-chop, so, y'know, it wasn't all bad.