NBC’s GRIMM is a new drama series inspired by The Brother’s Grimm classic fairy tales. The series, written and jointly created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf stars David Giuntoli,Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, and Sasha Roiz. Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (Giuntoli) finds out that he is from a long line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms.” He quickly finds that it is his destiny to maintain the balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world. In this episode, a beloved high school music teacher’s body is destroyed by rats and the investigation leads Nick and Hank to a troubled teen.
“Out they scampered from doors, windows, and gutters, rats of every size, all after the piper. “
The story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is one of the tales in German folklore collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, that has an actual account in their book Deutsche Sagen, with an unsettling truth to it. If we were to truly look into the tale, the story reveals a dark, and mysterious ending. Sometime in 1284, in the German town of Hamelin–or as it is known now, Hameln–suffered from an infestation of rats. The rats ate everything in their path, and the people of Hamelin did everything they could to try and rid the town of the rodents. One day a strange man appeared wearing colorful clothing, and carrying a musical pipe. He told the mayor of the town that he could rid the town of the rats–for a small fee. Of course, fed up with the infestation, the mayor and townsfolk agreed.
The piper began playing is pipe and lured the rats away from the town. In the end, as in the tale, the strange man did not receive payment, and as a punishment to the town, he led the children away, and sealed them behind a wall in the mountain. According to the Grimm brothers, the townspeople of Hamelin recorded the occurrence in the town’s registrar:
“In the year 1284 after the birth of Christ
From Hameln were led away
One hundred thirty children, born at this place
Led away by a piper into a mountain.” (Ashliman, 2011)
No one in the town knew what happened to the children, but it is believed that this tale was derived due to the incidence of the bubonic plague that ravaged all of Europe during those times. Imagine, that the piper’s pipe, or music, that lured the children away was the “music of death,” as a result of the plague.
Well, enough of that. Let’s dig into my Danse Macabre spoilers. Remember, you can still catch the full episode on NBC!
“Danse Macabre” takes us into an illegal rave–a warehouse filled to the brim with pulsating lights and a drove of teenagers, flickering lights, and DJ Retchid Kat–a tribute to Deadmau5 –listen to the video, turn up your speakers NOW :)– orchestrating the music for the event. Meanwhile, as in the beginning of each episode of Grimm someone had to die. First I thought one of the teenagers was about to meet their untimely demise–but this time, it was a music professor. Mr. Lawson (Theodore deChatelet) left a rehearsal at Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, because one of his students errs a note. He goes to his car, and before he can start the ignition, he turns on his radio, and feels something brush his feet. It was a rat. Hundreds of rats and they were everywhere. He tried to make it out of his car–he died in his car from cardiac arrest, and then eaten by rats. It wasn’t until the next morning his body was found–fleshed ripped from the bones; rats still dangling from the corpse.
Nick and Hank are now on the scene and after viewing the body of the half-eaten professor, began combing the scene for evidence. They found several rat cages near the crime scene with the name “Geiger Pest Control” on them. After speaking with Sgt. Wu (Lee) about the evidence at the scene, Nick and Hank questions the group of teens who were the last people to have seen the music professor alive. They tell them that a student was suspended for fighting, “Roddy Geiger,” who’s father owns Geiger Pest Control.
The detectives find the Geiger home, a run down trailer near a river. As they approach the trailer, they hear a beautiful violin playing a sad melody. Following the sound, the witness Roddy playing for an attentive audience of rats in cages. When they interrupt and question Roddy about the professor, the rats, and where he was the night of the incident–his father comes to his defense, telling his son not to respond to anything Nick and Hank asked because they were being singled out because of what he does–catches rats for a living. Also, Nick notices Mr. Geiger (Russell Hodgkinson) morph into a reinigen–Roddy notices it too and runs off with Nick in hot pursuit. Hank, already stressing out because he was surrounded by rats–he hates rats–arrests Roddy’s father for attacking him.
This episode took on a more important societal concern: bullying. A reinigen by the name of Roddy Geiger (Nick Thruston). Reinigen’s are the lowest creatures of the Grimm creature categories. They possess the ability to captivate lesser rodents due to an unique musical ability, and are generally nice unless provoked. Roddy, is a popular teen, only at raves, that is–he is DJ Retchid Kat. No one knows this because he preforms using a guise, a large cartoon-like cat head with lights in the eyes and on the whiskers.
With his father in police custody, and Roddy in for questioning, he admits to being DJ Retchid Kat and therefor has a solid alibi as to his whereabouts. His father on the other hand, alibi is sketchy. He told Lt. Hank that he was “in the mountains” at the time of the attack on the music professor. I mean, the mountains? Come on–you have to have something better than that. Let’s lay out the evidence against him:
♦ His son was suspended–kicked out of school for fighting.
♦ He attacked two police officers investigating the murder of his son’s music professor.
♦ Those were his cages found near the scene of the crime.
Somehow, I don’t think he will be released on his own recognizance anytime soon.
Eventually things begin to come to a head. Roddy visits his uppity ex-girlfriend Sara (Amelia Rose Blaire), to express his innocence, and to tell her that he believed her new ritchie boyfriend framed him and his father. He steals a kiss before the girl’s mother (Judith Hoag) runs him off her property. You know, it was at this point I started feeling really sorry for Roddy. Bullied out of school, now bullied away from the girl he loved by her mother. To make matters worse, her boyfriend shows up just in time to make Roddy feel worse about himself, however, his luck is about to change…for the most part.
After the autopsy of Mr. Lawson, Dr. Harper (Sharon Sachs) also autopsied a rat that tagged along with the body–stomach contents contained a nylon not found on the body of Mr. Lawson, and not on or around Mr. Geiger and his son. The material instead, came from an expensive car. Hmm…I wonder?
Let me be brief about this: earlier in the episode, Juliette intended to make strawberry smoothies when she and Nick found that the refrigerator hadn’t made ice cubes. Blah, blah, blah, call a repair man, he later shows up and notices Nick is a Grimm. He ran off like a scared little beaver because that is what he was–well, a beaver-like human Grimm creature thingy, afraid that a Grimm would chop his head off. Anyway, I completely do not understand Juliette’s part in the series. Hopefully, we get something soon.
Now for the meaty bits–we know that Roddy is a gifted violinist. So does Nick. Nick asks Monroe (Weir) if he could pay a visit to Roddy, you know, and give him a pep talk. Monroe was hesitant at first, but we all know that he is going to help out, because he is a nice guy and I must add, the best character on the series. Monroe can do no wrong! He visits Roddy and gives him a pep talk, inspiring him to remember his talents and to grow from them. He also handed Roddy Nick’s card–in case he needed anything. See, Roddy, not all Grimms are out to get you.
Meanwhile, Hank and Sgt. Wu are having a night out when Adalind Schade, the Hexenbeaiest Hank protected in the Beeware episode, sees him in the restaurant, and offers him to sit with her for dinner–and of course he did. But Hank needs to watch himself, as she is up to no good.
Roddy got a call from the police station that his dad was injured, and he could not visit him. This incensed Roddy, he trashed the house, grabbed his violin and mask, his rats following behind him. He is out to get revenge on the ones who started this mess in the first plac,e and Nick and Hank find out that the undigested fibers in the rats stomach, came from a BMW. What happened was this, the rich kids picked a fight with Roddy and got him suspended. To get him expelled from the school, they planned to scare Mr. Lawson so that Roddy could be gone for good. When Nick and Hank further investigate the car, they find a chewed up blanket, rat droppings, and a dissatisfied father. Now they have to act fast, because it seems that these misshapen few were on their way to a rave–and a mob of rats.
They have to hurry. Roddy sends a text stating that a rave was on by the river, and DJ Retchid Kat is playing. Stoked, they all pile in and head out to the warehouse, and notice that no one else is there. But they hear music, so they are lured to the depths of the warehouse. When the music stops, a violin began to play. They all realized that DJ Retchid Kat is indeed Roddy. Soon, the rats swarm in–at the same time, Nick and Hank make it there just in time to rescue them all, get a confession, and Roddy–well, he will be alright.
Extremely solid and well paced episode. The music, the plot, Monroe–all were awesome. I think GRIMM has found it’s groove. But I foresee chaos on the horizon. And it may have a lot to do with that Hexenbeaiest, Adalind.
Ashliman, D. L. (2011, June 09). The pied piper of hameln: And related legends from other towns. Retrieved from http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hameln.html
Image source: Spoiler TV