Episode Title: 'Lonelyhearts'
Writer: Alan DiFiore & Dan E. Fesman
Director: Michael Waxman
Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) are called in to investigate the death of a young woman, hit by a car on a bridge. The driver tells the detectives that the girl was alive when he left her with a stranger to call the police. Nick and Hank learn that the woman suffocated.
After looking up the location of a photo the woman posted to her Facebook account, the detectives head to the bed and breakfast where it was taken. There, they meet the owner, Billy Capra (Patrick Fischler), who tells them the woman visited the inn that night but did not stay. When Hank steps on one of Capra's toads while touring his garden, he morphs into a goat-like creature, which Nick sees.
Back at headquarters, a man stops by, asking Sgt, Wu (Reggie Lee) to meet the detective who killed his friend. Capt. Renard (Sasha Roiz) tells Wu to send the man off. That night, Nick looks through Aunt Marie's book and discovers a kind of creature known to hunt and capture women. He recognizes the drawing as the creature Capra morphed into.
The detectives begin to suspect Capra, a newcomer to town, may be responsible for the disappearance of a number of women who also recently moved to the area. Outside his house, Hank places a tracking device on Capra's car.
Nick pays Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell) to follow Capra into a bar, where he's likely looking for new victims. Meanwhile, Hank finds a piece of glass in Capra's garden, which would explain the shards of glass embedded in the victim's skin.
Meanwhile, the reaper looking for Nick at the precinct meets with Renard. The captain warns him to stay away and then cuts off the man's ear with his own scythe.
Eddie tells Nick that Capra's found a new victim. Nick follows him home. In the basement, Hank, who fell under Capra's spell after he brushed against him in the garden, is attacked by a bedpost transformed into a snake.
After finding Hank and the caged women in the basement, the two are locked inside as Capra turns on the gas. They manage to break through the door, however Capra flees with his new victim. Using the tracking device on the car, the detectives find Capra and corner him after he gives chase. As he's taken away in an ambulance, he's treated by Renard's female Hexenbiest, posing as a paramedic.
"Lonelyhearts'" source material, the tale of murderous womanizer, Bluebeard, made for the best episode of "Grimm," to date. Still, that's not saying a lot.
That's because it wasn't the show's two stars, David Giuntoli or Russell Hornsby's screen time that bolstered this episode but rather Silas Weir Mitchell and guest star, Patrick Fischler. That's right, it was Phil from the Dharma Initiative who made "Lonelyhearts" hum. Or Jimmy Barrett from "Mad Men, take your pick.
Fischler, a great character actor, brought some flavor to a show that desperately needs it. Giuntoli and Hornsby both felt particularly wooden in this hour making Fischler and Mitchell's scenes welcome respites from "Grimm's" dull procedural paces.
And while other fables of old have felt shoehorned into "Grimm's" modern day Oregon setting ("Goldilocks" and "The Queen Bee" come to mind), "Bluebeard" was a much smoother transposition, though there was some wasted comedic potential. And that's taking into account Eddie's failed attempt to pick up Billy Capra's lady friend in the bar.
Regarding "Grimm's" over-arching storyline with Captain Renard, I'm baffled that Nick, once again, does not recognize Renard's blonde nurse/lawyer/paramedic/hexenbiest. Unfortunately, "Grimm's" approach to solving "the fairy tale of the week" is becoming tiresome. Nick sees a human morph into some sort of creature, Nick consults the late Aunt Marie's Grimm encyclopedia, Nick meets with Eddie, Nick then calls him for an assist, Hank is oblivious. Rinse and repeat.
I realize this show is still trying to establish itself while not alienating the new viewers it hopes to gain each week but something's got to give. It's time we start getting to know Hank and Nick as people, not just cardboard cut out TV cops. Also, there's nothing duller than watching the main character read aloud from a book, each week. Couldn't Aunt Marie have left Nick something a little more dynamic to consult, case after case?
All kvetching aside, "Grimm" is improving. But it's still got a long way to go for a fairy tale ending.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.