Episode Title: 'Three Coins in a Fuchsbau'
Writer: David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Director: Norberto Barba
When a trio of thieves rob an antique store, the owner locks himself in the vault, opens a box containing three coins and swallows them. Moments later, the door to the vault is blown open by an explosion. Later, the thieves argue over who stole the coins they were after. The leader of the group returns to the store in search of the coins. Meanwhile, his two henchman are killed by a third party.
Back at the shop, Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) investigate the scene, while the leader of the thieves watches from afar. Back at the precinct, Nick recognizes the car in the surveillance video from the crime scene. Meanwhile, the man who killed the two thieves confronts their leader, identified as a Spaniard named Soledad, about the location of the coins. He claims not to know where they are.
After tracking the car from the crime scene to a residential location, Nick and Hank bust in. The two thieves leave but the third man, later identified as Farley Colt (Titus Welliver), gives himself up. Nick sees Colt transform into a creature. Outside the house, an officer is attacked by Soledad.
Nick and Hank learn that the victim swallowed three coins before dying. Dr. Harper (Sharon Sachs) reluctantly hands the coins over to Hank who is equally reluctant to give the coins to Renard (Sasha Roiz) to log as evidence.
Colt tells Nick that he and Soledad were both after the coins, which date back to ancient Greece. Farley explains that those who possess the coins become consumed with them and the quest for power. In fact, the coins are responsible for the rise and fall of some of the greatest dynasties and empires in the history of the world. The last known owners of the coins were Grimms from Rhinebeck, New York who were keeping them from falling into the wrong hands. When the couple was killed in a car accident, the sister took custody of their son. Nick realizes Farley is likely talking about his parents.
That night, Soledad goes after Harper while Nick does some research in the trailer. Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) stops by to help but winds up geeking out over Aunt Marie's collection of old German film projectors. Meanwhile, Renard becomes obsessed with the coins and calls a press conference to talk about the state of law enforcement in Portland.
After letting Colt go, the detectives go to his hotel room where they find a suitcase containing film reels and letters from Nazi Germany. Nick questions Colt and learns that the woman he was seeing was his Aunt Marie. He tells Nick that Soledad, who's already attacked Harper, is likely impersonating a cop in order to get to the coins.
Nick and Hank learn that Renard is holding the coins. After releasing Colt, the three find Renard in the parking garage where he's attacked by Soledad. Shots are fired leaving Soledad for dead and Colt gone. Later, Nick finds Colt in his hotel room where he confronts him about taking the coins from Renard. Nick retrieves the coins and watches Colt's film reel in Aunt Marie's trailer. The film shows Adolf Hitler transforming into a vessen while giving a speech.
Here we have a show with so much potential that just refuses to evolve. "Grimm" got off to a bad start, quickly improved and is now just stuck. We're thirteen episodes in and the game hasn't really changed much. In a show that deals with the kind of wacky, supernatural phenomenon that "Grimm" does, that just doesn't work.
Every week, I bitch about Hank and his "golly gee" reactions to all the weird stuff that goes on around him. Last week, we had a medieval "Fight Club" in Portland. This week, it's a set of strange coins that make people, Hank including, a little manic. That's not to mention all the previous cases the two have handled. What little interior logic the show has setup is beginning to crumble under the weight of its own believability.
On a positive note, we went a tiny bit deeper into Nick Burkhardt's backstory. We learned his parents were likely killed over coins by a Spaniard named Soledad. That still doesn't tell us much about Nick Burkhardt or Grimms in general.
For his part, Titus Welliver exceeds in the role of the mysterious power player, much like he did on "Lost," "Sons of Anarchy," and heck, even "Prison Break." He was certainly more compelling than any of the series regulars (except maybe Sasha Roiz) in this episode.
The idea that three ancient coins and their magical aura could drive nations to ruin isn't terribly original but its a fun premise. I'd be much more enthusiastic if it moved any of the character storylines even an inch forward.
I guess it really comes down to what kind of show "Grimm" wants to be. It can continue to keep Nick in the closet and function as a gruesome, supernatural procedural, but most of the fans who tuned in for a genre show will likely lose interest. And straight-up procedural fans will find the show too "out there" to tune in, week after week. Which means it's time to start taking chances on some real storytelling before it's too late.
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.