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, Bitsie Tulloch, 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, Nick and Hank investigates a homicide deep in the woods, and a missing person case is reopened.
“The enchantress was so hard-hearted that she banished the poor girl to a wilderness, where she had to live in a miserable, wretched state.”
Rapunzel is another ancient tale collected in the Grimm brothers’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen or Children’s and Household Tales book published in 1857 (Ashliman, 2011). In the original tale, rapunzel was a flower growing in an evil sorceress’s garden. Living in the home next to the sorceress was a man and his wife–who looked upon the garden everyday from an upstairs window. Each day she looked and longed for the rapunzel plant. But the plant and the garden was protected behind a large wall. She told her husband, that she absolutely must have the flower, or she believed she would die.
For the love of his wife, he went into the garden, and stole some of the rapunzel–which his wife ate. Her longing for the flower grew and her husband would steal into the garden again and again. Eventually, he was caught by the sorceress. Instead of killing him, she told him that he could give his wife all the rapunzel she desired–but he had to give up the child his wife would bare in exchange. Of course, the sorceress eventually got her child, then stole her away in a tower where she cared for her as her own, keeping her away from the wretched world.
From the quote above, was when the evil sorceress found that Rapunzel was keeping a visitor, the Prince, when she was away from the tower she housed Rapunzel. She cut Rapunzel’s hair and banished her to the wilderness for her betrayal where she lived “a miserable, wretched life.” The Prince returned, and called to Rapunzel to let down her beautiful hair, only to find the evil sorceress instead of Rapunzel. Distraught that Rapunzel was removed from the tower, and believing that he would never see her again, he threw himself from the window of the tall tower. He survived the fall, but his eyes were scratched out by the thorns and thistles that surrounded the base of the tower.
The year’s pass him by as he crawled around the forest floor, surviving on berries and roots, and crying for his beloved Rapunzel. One day, he heard a singing, beautiful voice that he recognized. It was his beloved. He crawled to her, and when the tears she shed for reuniting with her love fell upon his eyes, he was blind no longer. He looked upon the beautiful Rapunzel again–and the twin daughters he fathered with her.
I am guessing that many of you were unaware that Rapunzel and her Prince were parents. The revised tales in many storybooks today doesn’t reveal the entire truth from the original Grimm tale. I truly recommend reading the original, translated book Household Tales by Brothers Grimm; its a free download for the Kindle, if you use Amazon Prime. What you get are the unabridged versions of the tales–which are tremendously better than the modern versions of the Grimm tales.
Speaking of which, in the latest episode of NBC’s Grimm features a re-imagined version of the tale that provided viewers an engaging hour of television, which had nothing to do with evil sorceresses or prince charming’s. No, it had everything to do with one of society’s most horrendous truths–a Grimm version–of a child abduction. *Spoilers below!*
It’s becoming more apparent of the important role Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) plays in the series. He’s a key factor in this episode mainly because of his Grimm character profile as a Blutbaden, or wolf person, in the series.
A young couple was attacked and being held hostage by a drug dealer ransacking their camp deep in the woods. The dealer was growing a 3 million dollar crop of marijuana nearby, and thought that the campers were cops looking for him. Just when he held a gun to one of the campers head, execution style, he was yanked away and then attacked, by an unknown assailant. Later, Nick and Hank are on the scene–arriving via 4-wheeler–to investigate. They find the drug dealer, identified as Delmar Blake (Drew Barrios), with his neck grotesquely twisted. Nick notices a single brown hair, not from the victim (he’s bald), on the dead-man’s coat. After further investigation of the scene, he finds more brown hair–and also gives chase to an unknown individual–through the woods near the crime. When he finally catches up–the individual he was chasing revealed itself to be a Blutbaden. It seems that the murdered drug-dealer had family, and they are now out to find who killed their brother. They kidnapped one of the hikers, Dustin, and began interrogating him about who killed their brother.
I have to add that it is extremely refreshing to see that the series producers has allowed for Nick’s (David Giuntoli) character to progress into being more confident of his Grimm abilities. His creature discoveries are becoming seamless and is an effective quality of the series progression.
It was later revealed after lab testing, that the hair belonged to Holly Clarke (Mary Jon Nelson), who was abducted at 7 years-old, who’s been missing for the last 9 years. The news of this was a shock to Hank–he was one of the investigators on the Holly Clarke case. Hank (Hornsby) decides to re-open the files to see if there was something he might have overlooked. What he found was information on a “James or Jimmy Addison,” (played by local Portland resident Ted Rooney), who was a neighbor to the Clarke family during the time of Holly’s disappearance. We find out he was injured apparently the same day Holly disappeared. Coincidence maybe? But why did he drive 100 miles to a hospital, when there was one right there in town?
While Hank is busy tracking down Mr. Addison, Nick is being stalked by his refrigerator repairman from the last episode. Remember when Nick and Juliette’s (Bitsie Tulloch) fridge went out? Well, they hired a repairman who noticed that Nick was a Grimm–and is now at a local bar telling his friends all about it. His friends of course, did not believe him, so they held a stakeout near Nick’s home. When Nick arrives home, the repairman shouts “there he is!”, and they speed off before Nick could identify them. A little comedy relief for the show’s viewer’s perhaps? Or just episode fodder to ponder just in-case they decide to incorporate having a mob of characters following Nick around the series, I guess? A creature “fan club?’ 🙂
Nick consults with Monroe about what he’s seen in the woods, and asks for his help (of course, it seems that Nick can’t do anything without Monroe). Monroe began to pick up Holly’s scent–because she has been marking her territory. When they find her, Monroe and Holly does the “creature connection,” growling back and forth at each other. She ran away again, but this time she escapes to a tree house. When Nick and Monroe follow her–they find an injured and very ill, Holly Clarke. Monroe pretty much takes over at this point–she is a feral child and he could get through to her as a Blutbaden, which works. She trusts the two enough to help her. Nick then realized, that the tree-house she was living in had equipment in it belonging to someone by the name of “Addison.” He tried to use his cell phone to reach out to Hank, but with no signal he had to venture to the park trail. Leaving Monroe alone with Holly–and soon, the Blake brothers, who was still looking for their brother’s murderer.
Here is when the the show begins to elude to the possibility that Jimmy Addison lured Holly into the woods–and possibly attacked her. When Sgt. Wu and Hank track down Jimmy Addison, he was asked why did he go to a hospital miles away, when there was one closer in town? Hank suggests that he go to the station with them, and make a formal report. Once at the station, they begin to ask him about Holly and her family. During questioning, Addison began getting nervous. When the call from Nick comes in–stating that he found Holly Clarke, and that Addison’s equipment was also found with her, Hank notices that Addison began getting edgy, and starts flailing around, attacking Hank, then tries to run. He shout’s “Oh my God, keep her away from me–she tried to kill me!” Hank knew, unfortunately, that Addison abducted Holly from her yard when she was a 7 year-old little girl. His injury, as we understand it, was a result of her natural instincts–being a Blutbaden–she defended herself by attacking Addison those years ago.
Monroe, still with Holly, went out to get an herbal root he remembered when he was a cub scout that would help with Holly’s fever and pain. The Blake brothers spotted him foraging for the root and then followed him to the tree-house. They begin shouting for Monroe to come down, and they pretty much believe that he is their brother’s killer. Nick arrives just in time, and there is a stand-off between the four men. Then a morphed Holly throws out her long braided hair, gabbing one of the Blake brothers–snapping his neck in the process just a Nick shoots the other brother in the shoulder. Ending the stand off.
Holly is well and is returned to her mother. Holly, initially afraid of her mother–holds out her hand and show her mother a pink barrette, the pink barrette she was wearing when she was abducted. At the end of the show, Holly and her mother are taken to the police station where she fingers Addison as her abductor. Another successful end, to an emotionally riveting episode.
Let Your Hair Down was the most emotional of all the Grimm episodes. I am loving that the series is empathetic in retaining the ‘human’ effectiveness of the series. Allowing for the show to be more a personally reflective show, while raising real societal concerns. Yeah, there are a few imagined creatures here and there, but this is what makes the series successful. Pulling from every angle, utilizing every creative effort. The series isn’t perfect. But what ever is, all I know, for what it’s worth, it is a brilliant television series and I anticipate watching the show every Friday night.
♥ Ashliman, D. L. (2011, April 7). Rapunzel: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Retrieved from http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm012.html
♥ GRIMM: Season 1: Ep. 3 ‘Beeware’ – Review. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://aidyreviews.net/grimm-season-1-ep-3-beeware-review/