Saturday, December 14, 2013

'Grimm' Recaps: 'Cold Blooded'/'Twelve Days of Krampus'

Courtesy NBC
BY MELISSA HARKNESS

"Cold Blooded"

Opening Quote: “But for the pit confounders, let them go, and find as little mercy as they show!”

Do you remember that old urban legend about alligators living in the sewers, lying in wait for hapless city workers? Well, they’re real! At least in the world of "Grimm" they are. They are also prone to grand acts of larceny and they don’t mind brutally murdering any witnesses. Like real world alligators and crocodiles, their attacks often result in ripping off a limb or two by brute force. In other words, they aren’t nice.

Nick and Hank get called to the scene of one such crime. A young man has returned home for a visit with his parents. Unfortunately, a very large man is robbing the family home at the time. The young man dies and loses an arm in the process. The blood splatter on the ceiling was impressive. They start piecing together other robberies in the area that may be related and the hunt is on.

Meanwhile, some hapless city workers are investigating some blockages in the city sewers. Jimmy leaves his lunch bag up above while he goes traipsing around in the dark. He finds a huge rat’s nest and then something kills him. When his friend Charlie reels his body in by the safety harness, Jimmy is quite dead and missing a leg. Looks like Charlie can have his sandwich now. This prompts the entire Grimm gang to enter the sewers to investigate. Poor Wu warns them about the alligators, but they dismiss his concerns. He reluctantly follows along. They really should learn to believe Wu. He’s always right.

They don’t end up finding any alligators, but they do find some cast-off stolen goods as well as Jimmy’s discarded leg. They gather the evidence and take it back to the station to sort through. Then the autopsy reveals the bite marks are most similar to an alligator bite. You see, Wu was right. They also stop by Monroe’s house to ask him what kind of Wesen they might be dealing with. He’s a little busy making dinner and tells them it’s probably a Gelumcaedus. He suggests they pick up some books from the Trailer and come back for dinner. So, they have another research dinner party at Monroe’s. They really need to find a better way to involve Monroe. I miss his "quippiness."

Gelumcaedus’ like dark damp smelly places, like sewers. So much so, that they were employed in ancient Rome to guard the aqueducts. Nick also discovers that he has a nifty vambrace especially made for gator killing. Neat. They eventually piece together a pattern of robberies that occur around outflow pipes from the sewers. This leads Nick and Hank to take another trip down below the city.

This time they find a room full of loot from our larcenous reptile’s endeavors. The reptile in question appears and they eventually subdue the very large man. He recognizes Nick as a Grimm, calling him Decapitare. Apparently it is a reference to the decapitating habits of Grimms. He doesn’t seem very concerned about his arrest though. Turns out that he’s not alone. He has a couple of brothers that kidnap Hank when he goes home for the night. A good old fashioned exchange is arranged. Suffice it to say, that the gator boys didn’t plan on leaving any witnesses, so Nick has to put his Decapitare skills to good use. His vambrace turns out to be quite handy as he dispatches the unruly reptiles.

Let’s check in with our friends in Vienna! Adalind gets to meet the new Prince Victor! It’s Alexis Denisof from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel." Oh, happy day! He seems kind of creepy, and Adalind doesn’t seem sure that she should trust him. He wants lists of names of all the people in Portland that might have had a hand in Eric’s death. Hmm, that list could take a while.

Also in Vienna, Renard and his bodyguard are in hiding after the Verrat tried to kill him. Sebastian shows up to give them the details of their next meeting with the Resistance. They’ve been trying to arrange a meeting with a man named "Tavitian." He seems to be a big deal in the movement. When they get to the meeting out on some country estate, Frenay is interrogating a prisoner. They found the traitor that betrayed Renard’s safe house to the Verrat it seems. He’s hauled off behind the barn and shot. Now all they need is Tavitian to finally arrive and the Resistance party can really get started.

"Cold Blooded" was immediately followed by...

"Twelve Days of Krampus"

Opening Quote: “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How steadfast are your branches…”

Before we get into the holiday cheer, let’s finish up the Resistance business in Vienna where no one appears to be very happy. Tavitian finally shows up after dispatching some Verrat assassins disguised as policemen and they get down to the business at hand. It seems that not all of the Resistance fighters trust Renard’s involvement. Ultimately, he makes an impassioned speech while wearing a fuzzy white sweater amidst the black clad Resistance fighters. They really get sold on the plan when he announces that he has a Grimm and he and Tavitian shake on it. I wonder how Nick is going to feel about that.

Business being concluded, Renard heads off to pay Adalind a visit. They break into her apartment and he finds her little jar of dead Hexenbiest flower goo. He also finds the cameras that have been spying on her for Prince Victor. He leaves her a note and a rose and saunters away. When Adalind gets home, we find that the note tells her about the cameras and advises her to meet with him. She smiles as the note instructs and goes to change her clothes for the meeting, she looks terrified. It would appear she is starting to realize that her position with the Royal family may not be so good anymore. Now it’s time for some Santa Claws back in Portland!

Here is the holiday horror story you’ve been waiting for folks! Grimm has delivered unto us Krampus and he is glorious. He’s also being played by Derek Mears, who has famously been Jason Vorhees, a Predator, and was recently the Golem in "Sleepy Hollow!"

We start the holiday season in earnest with some young men stealing Christmas presents from a car. They gleefully run into the night to divvy up the spoils of their work. Santa shows up and spoils the party though. They’ve barely begun, when a voice from the dark growls “You’ve been naughty!” and Santa steps out into the gloom. Only this Santa has big horns coming out of his head and a forked tongue. He grabs a kid named Quinn and throws him in his sack, and then lashes Derek with a whip before smashing his car in around him. He drops a lump of coal and clomps off with his spoils.

Can we really call Krampus a monster? I think he falls under the crime fighting vigilante title…like Batman. So what if he eats a few kids? They are criminals after all. Nick and Hank have very few clues at this point, except for Derek’s extraordinary terror over Bob the Plumber dressed up as Santa in the hospital.

It doesn’t take long before old Krampus has found himself another naughty little thief and stuffs him in his sack. Rightly so, I say! There’s a witness this time though. He describes a guy in a Santa suit with "a face out of his worst nightmares." While Nick and Hank search for this nightmare Santa, they assault a Wesen in a Santa suit selling brats. Thanks Nick, the kids who saw that are going to end up in therapy. Of course, the video makes it onto the news.

It turns out that Quinn’s father is friends with Bud the Ice Beaver. This gives us a nice excuse to see Bud again; he’s always entertaining. When he hears about the lumps of coal left at the crime scenes, he starts to panic immediately thinking about Krampus. But Krampus isn’t real, right? Oh, Bud. When Nick and Hank inevitably go to Monroe for help. He knows everything, and jumps straight to the Krampus legend. And, boy is he bad news. Krampus beats naughty children with a whip, hangs them from the tallest tree, and then eats them on the eve of Winter Solstice. It turns out that’s today, and once it’s over, Krampus will disappear. We then get a look at Krampus’ special tree. It has several baskets of naughty children hanging in it. I’m still not seeing a problem with this scenario. Go Krampus, go!

The Grimm gang is having some trouble figuring out just where Krampus’ tree might be. Until Bud shows up and assumes it’s at Council Crest. They decide to trust an Ice Beaver to know where a really tall tree is. Just as they find the site of the big feast, Krampus returns with a new naughty kid. At this point he and Nick jump straight to another holiday tradition, a fist fight. Nick’s new special Grimm zombie powers give him the upper hand and he punches Krampus’ lights out. As Hank and Monroe are trying to convince Nick to kill the monster, midnight strikes loud and clear and Krampus turns into a meek little 42-year-old photographer. He doesn’t even know he’s a Wesen and Monroe postulates that he has Seasonal Affective Disorder. Hmm, maybe that’s my problem too. Nick decides to hand the poor little man over to the Wesen Council. Who thinks the Council will just kill the poor guy?

Let’s not forget the holiday cheer though. In the midst of all this Krampus drama, Monroe tries to maintain his happy holiday. We’ve seen before just how much Monroe adores the holidays. Well, he has a special surprise for Rosalee since this is their first Christmas together and he rushes her out the door one morning. Little does she know that when she comes home, the house will look like all the ghosts of Christmas puked up lights and tinsel everywhere. You know how Monroe can go a little overboard.

Much to his disappointment, Rosalee lost her aunt and uncle in a car accident during the holidays when she was a child. That experience has ruined Christmas for her and all the decorations make her sad, which makes Monroe sad. Sweet Monroe waits until she falls asleep and then puts them all away by morning. Of course this makes her more sad and she seeks out Juliette for some counseling. She decides to try and make a new holiday tradition with Monroe. She puts all 42 boxes of Christmas decorations back out while Monroe is out helping Nick catch Krampus. Oh my, that’s a lot of lights, but if it makes Monroe happy I guess it’s okay.

So there you have it folks. Krampus is real and will eat all the naughty children if he ever shows up in your town. I wonder if he takes requests. Happy Holidays!

The next episode of Grimm, “Red Menace” will air Friday, January 3 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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