Episode Title: 'Plumed Spirit'
Writer: Alan DiFiore & Dan E. Fesman
Director: Steven DePaul
Two men attempt to break into a warehouse containing copper, only to find the gate already open. Inside, they're soon burned to death by a kind of fire-breathing Vessen. Moments later, the Vessen is nearly hit by a car as he flees the scene.
At the scene of the crime, the arson investigator tells Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) that the use of human fat was involved in what he believes was an explosion. At the precinct, the witness who saw the man flee gives a description to the sketch artist. When the building owner is attacked outside his warehouse, Nick, Hank and Wu (Reggie Lee) return to the scene.
In the basement, Wu begins to cough from smoke and Nick tells him to run. As Hank takes Wu to safety, the Vessen emerges, breathing fire. However, Nick manages to escape, unharmed.
The man is identified as Trent Eberhart, a war veteran and railroad welder. Nick reaches out to Eberhart's daughter, Ariel (Danielle Panabaker) who works as a fire dancer at a nightclub. Nick goes to the club to talk to Ariel and spots Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) in the audience. Outside, Monroe tells Nick that Daemonfeuers like Ariel vaporize their own fat when they breath fire. He also warns Nick about a reaper who decapitated a Grimm in Antwerp.
Back in her dressing room, Nick asks Ariel about her father but she tells him he fell apart after her mother died and she hasn't had much to do with him since. Nick follows her home and sees activity in her yard. When he goes to investigate, she tackles and kisses him. As Nick explains himself, his phone rings. Ariel finds it on the ground and answers Juliette's call. Nick grabs the phone and tells Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) he can explain before she hangs up on him.
After Nick explains himself to Juliette, he reads about Daemonfeuers in the trailer. Meanwhile, Ariel tells her father she found someone who is going to make him better. The next day, Nick talks to Eberhart's old boss and learns about a series of railroad tracks that may lead to the Daemonfeuer's lair. He then gets a call from Ariel, who invites him to a special show at the club.
That night, Nick and Hank head to to Ariel's house but the home, which contains a massive collection of copper items, is vacant. The two detectives decide to call it a night but when Nick gets home, he finds Ariel in his bed and Juliette gone. When he confronts her, she breathes fire and flees. Moments later, Ariel calls him from Juliette's phone, telling him to "Grimm up."
With Monroe's help, Nick finds the Eberhart's lair. Inside, Ariel tells her father she found a woman like her mom and that he needs to protect her. Meanwhile, Monroe finds Juliette tied up and frees her hands. When Ariel returns, Juliette punches her. Meanwhile, Nick fights Eberhart and ends up stabbing him with a copper stake. Ariel tells Nick her father died with dignity. As he flees the cave, Ariel works herself into a trance and unleashes a tremendous burst of fire. Outside, Nick finds Monroe and Juliette.
On the way home, Juliette tells Nick she's not sure if she can handle anymore as he recalls the advice his aunt gave him to leave her, forever. Juliette takes comfort in the fact that Ariel is dead, However we learn that she's still alive.
"Plumed Serpent" might be a pivotal episode in "Grimm's" slowly-evolving mythology or just more of the same nonsensical charade. Right now, it's too early to tell.
This week's investigation into a fire-breathing, copper-hoarding homeless man continued to test my patience with Hank's obliviousness to things like magical coins, medieval fight clubs, and yes, fire-breathing homeless people.
It was only upon second viewing that I saw Hank run off with Wu as Eberhart spewed flames in their direction. Yes, technically both Hank and Juliette haven't seen a Vessen do their thing, full-on, but they've come more than close enough to start questioning things.
Which is why I assumed the scene in the car that closed out the episode would be all about Juliette demanding to know what in the hell that insanity in the tunnel was and Nick fessing up to not being like other guys.
Instead, we had Juliette question whether or not she can deal with the danger Nick's line of work puts both of them in. A fair concern but not the first question I'd be asking after an ordeal like that.
On a positive note, Monroe has officially crossed over to the other side with an introduction to Juliette as Nick's "sort of private detective" friend. I'm excited to see what direction that new connection takes the show in.
"Grimm's" cases and creatures are consistently fun and even pretty clever, on occasion. However, the problem remains with the show's character dynamics. Perhaps "Plumed Serpent" will mark the tipping point. There's so much potential here. Like Ariel said, it's about time for Nick to "Grimm up."
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.