Grimm: “Danse Macabre” Review

Grimm: "Danse Macabre" Review

Oh, Grimm. Your bizarre choices of supernatural and fairytale creatures amuse me. Last time, it was a goat-like creature releasing pheromones. This time it’s a Reinigen, a rodent-like creature, who can lead rats with his masterful violin playing skills. Who knew Portland had its own pied piper?

In the most gruesome murder of the series so far, a music teacher is eaten alive by rats. And oh yeah, we get to watch. Kudos to them for not shying away from the gore. It can ingrain otherwise forgetful episodes into a person’s brain. Like mine. It also solidifies the crime procedural aspect of the show – just in case you don’t remember. When Nick and Hank investigate, they are led to a student whose father happens to own a pest control company. The student and father are said Reinigens.

The student is Roddy (played by Nick Thurston), an outcast who is secretly a popular rave DJ. I mean, why not? When we first meet him, he’s surrounded by rats while playing his violin. Clever. The ever earnest Nick thinks he’s innocent but sees that he’s a troubled teen. For some reason, he sends Monroe in to have a creature-to-creature, musician-to-musician pep talk with Roddy. It felt like, “Hey, we have to meet our Monroe quota for this episode, so here’s a random scene,” but I’m okay with it. I’ll take any Silas Weir Mitchell I can get. Monroe is the best character of the series, and he’s severely underutilized. He even made this awkward scene work.

Nick’s beliefs were validated. Roddy elicited a confession from his guilty classmates by commanding the rats with music and basically ordering them to attack. I don’t know if I would have chosen to go that route, but it was effective. Nick and Hank showed up in just enough time to stop another rat feast. Weirdly enough, Nick glosses over the extreme actions Roddy took. Before he learned about being a Grimm, it seems like he was the type to follow the rule book as close to the letter as possible.

Speaking of being a Grimm, he’s becoming more recognizable. Suspects call him out and so does a repairman. The handyman practically ran out of the house in fright, and Juliette is too smart not to be suspicious. He has to be wrestling with himself over telling his girlfriend and his partner, but we don’t see any of his conflict. It would give Nick an added (and much needed) dimension. Also, he and Juliette seem to have a solid relationship. I’m surprised he hasn’t at least tried to tell her or drop hints.

I like this digging into traditional fairytales and turning them on their heads. It definitely makes me think about the darker side of all those familiar bedtime stories, but something is still off. I can’t place it, but they’re missing beats. I think Grimm is a bit like the kid who has infinite potential but can’t seem to apply him/herself. It’s still an entertaining show, but it could be so much more.