Episode Title: 'Danse Macabre'
Writer: David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Director: David Solomon
When a school principal discovers the body of the music program director dead in his car, Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) are called to the scene. Once they arrive, they learn that the teacher was attacked by rats while inside his car. In the woods nearby, the detectives find cages belonging to a local pest control company. They soon learn that the owner's son, a talented violinist named Roddy Geiger, was recently suspended for fighting.
Nick and Hank visit with Roddy and his father, who insists that his son had nothing to do with the murder. In fact, he claims that the cages were stolen and that Roddy was picked on at school because of what his father does for a living. When the elder Geiger becomes belligerent, Hank arrests him. Meanwhile, Roddy realizes that Nick is a Grimm and makes a break for it. However, Nick catches up with Roddy and arrests him, as well.
At the precinct, Roddy tells Nick he was at a rave, performing as DJ "Retched Kat" and wearing a giant cartoonish looking cat mask the night of the murder. When his alibi checks out, Roddy is released while his father remains in custody.
At the medical examiner's lab, the detectives learn that the music director died of a heart attack, suggesting the rat attack was not meant to kill him. Elsewhere, Roddy catches up with his ex-girlfriend, Sara and insists that he had nothing to do with the murder and he also implicates her new boyfriend, Carter. However, she's convinced that Roddy's the killer.
That night, Nick meets with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and asks him to try and talk to Roddy; which he agrees to do. Meanwhile, Hank is invited to dinner by Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee), who he runs into after having a drink with Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee).
Monroe stops by Roddy's trailer for a heart to heart. Afterwards, Roddy gets a call informing him that his father was injured while being uncooperative in jail. He quickly loses his temper and trashes the trailer.
Nick and Hank learn that fiber from inside one of the rat's stomach matches the inside of Carter's car. When they question his father, he tells them his son is at the movies. At Sara's, Nick checks her cellphone and learns that she's at a rave with Carter and the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, Roddy lets the rats loose and torches the cages.
Once inside the warehouse, the teens follow the music downstairs. There, they find DJ Retched Kat in a room filled with candles. He confronts them about killing the music teacher and starts playing the violin. They soon realize Retched Kat is Roddy. Just then, Hank and Nick show up to rescue the teens.
Outside, the kids admit to pranking their teacher with the rats, however they never intended to kill him. Nick tells Roddy that Sara wasn't in on the stunt.
Back the precinct, Hank questions how Roddy controlled the rats. At home, a panicked repair man who ran off when he realized Nick is a Grimm returned to get his tools, leaving Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) puzzled.
"Grimm" is getting better and I'm happy for it. That's in part due to the fact that I'll be watching two episodes of NBC's genre hit, this week. And honestly, I like it when bad shows get, well…less bad.
It's not quite there yet, but "Grimm" has definitely started to address several of the issues I have with it. In 'Danse Macabre,' there was an attempt to inject some much needed humor into the show and I caught myself laughing at the end when Nick pranked Hank with a rubber rat on the pizza. The show isn't a laugh riot, nor should it be but at least it's starting to loosen up. And Silas Weir Mitchell's scenes gave the hour some character, as always.
I'm also pleased to see Hank and Juliet finally begin to question what the hell is up with all this weirdness. Yup Hank, it is a bit odd that a teenage boy was somehow able to command an army of rats with his violin. And yes, Juliet there is no plausible reason the refrigerator repair man should be afraid of your boyfriend.
As a take on "The Pied Piper," I found myself drawn in from the cold open. Although the premise felt more than a little contrived at times, I kind of expect that from a show that tries to shoehorn fairy tales of old into modern times.
There was also some movement with the Captain Renard/Adelind Schade storyline. The set-up felt a bit forced here, with Hank lamenting his love life to both Nick and Sgt. Wu and then going to dinner with Adelind, who looks all of fifteen-years old. Still, I'm getting anxious to learn more about Renard's game plane and glad to see this storyline moving along.
A few other observations about 'Danse Macabre:'
- Was "Roddy the Pied Piper" some sort of tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper? Maybe I just want to think so.
- The detectives free a car full of rats in a school parking lot after they just feasted on the music teacher? Yikes.
- Monroe's awkward pep talk with rat boy was pretty sweet. More Monroe please.
I'm not ready to say "Grimm" is "good," just yet. But I'm kinda rooting for it, and NBC as a network which desperately needs a win. 'Danse Macabre' was a well-intentioned hour and a step in the right direction. Hopefully, this week's second episode follows suit.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.