Pilot written by David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf
Once upon a time: It’s a cloudy day into Portland, Oregon. College girl Sylvia Oster leaves her dorm in pink Nikes and a red hoodie to go jogging in the woods nearby. She’s got Eurythmics on her iPod and she’s booking along until she sees a Hummel figurine just sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere. She stops to examine the tchotke and wham…out of nowhere a werewolf bowls her over (don’t you hate it when that happens?) and drags her deeper in the woods to devour her.
Cut to downtown Portland where detective Nick Burckhardt is picking up an engagement ring from a jewelry store as his partner Hank Griffin films the moment and gives him a hard time for giving a pretty blonde the eye. Nick’s just human after all, but the blonde? Not so much. As he ogles her, Nick is startled to get a glimpse of a demonic face beneath her lovely outward appearance.
He’s still pondering what it means when he and Hank are called to a crime scene in the woods. A hiker has found the girl’s remains…in several different places. The assumption is that an animal attacked her, but the only prints leading away from her body are boot prints. Really big bootprints.
As the detectives wonder if the case is related to the “Munson Creek” incident, they discover Sylvia’s iPod, still playing “Sweet Dreams.”
They return to headquarters and split up—Nick to do some archive checking for violent predators while Hank to take the iPod down to be processed for prints.
Except that Hank and Nick didn’t take the iPod at the scene but left it in situ.
As Nick is heading for his desk, he glances at a perp and again sees a demon face. It’s unsettling.
Meanwhile, Marie drives her airstream trailer down a Portland street and pulls in at a house. Bald and bright-eyed, she clearly has cancer and something on her mind.
Nick and Hank head out to the university to talk to a girl who reported her roommate missing. She has a picture of the dead girl. Positive ID.
Hank says what he and Nick are both thinking. They hope the girl died fast.
Nick goes home and as he walks up to a creepy old house, thunder rolls and animals yelp.
It’s dark inside the house and he comes across Marie cutting vegetables with a big scary knife. He knows her—she is the relative who raised him after the death of his parents—and hugs her warmly as his soon-to-be fiancée Juliette looks on. But this isn’t a social visit and Marie tells Nick she needs to talk to him.
Leaving Juliette to finish cooking dinner, Nick and Marie go for a walk. She tells him that there are things he needs to know about his family and asks him if he’s seen any strange things lately. She tells him she knows he loves Juliette but that he needs to end it with her and never see her again because it’s just too dangerous. As Nick is trying to process this, Marie is attacked by some … thing … brandishing a sickle. Marie counter-attacks with a strange knife but it’s Nick who kills the thing, emptying his gun before it goes down.
Marie, who is badly wounded, tells Nick that what he killed was a supernatural creature that’s been tracking her. She also tells him that his parents didn’t die in an accident. She gives him a silver amulet and tells him never to lose it.
Hank shows up to handle things while Nick accompanies his aunt to the hospital.
She tells him she’s sorry to have to dump things on him so abruptly but that she’s run out of time with her cancer. She asks him if he saw the true nature of their attacker and when says “yes,” she tells him the story that he is one of the last Grimms around, and the “misfortune of the family” is now passing to him because she’s dying. What she’s telling him is that fairy tales are real and that now he knows that, he’s vulnerable.
Back at police headquarters, Hank and Nick discuss the scythe Marie’s assailant was carrying. It is engraved with the words, “Reapers of the Grimms.”
The fingerprints on the dead man link back to killers in half a dozen places.
Before Nick leaves he gets word that Captain Renard wants to see him.
Renard is a sympathetic boss who tells him to make sure he sees the department shrink. It’s protocol after an officer-involved shooting and he hopes it helps.
That night, Nick wakes from a bad dream and goes out to his aunt’s trailer. She’s told him all the answers are there.
Looking through it, he finds a stash of medieval-looking weapons and a large book. He’s looking through the book—trying to make sense of it—when Juliette shows up and asks about the stuff in the trailer. He tells her he’ll leave it for another day and they head back to bed as a cat yowls and some other creature growls.
Note: even though the trailer contains a priceless cache of weapons and a hugely important magic book, Marie apparently left it unlocked.
The next day, while the lab is processing DNA, the detectives get a “hit’ on the boots. They’re work boots, just like the ones the Postman wears.
The Postman is making his rounds when he spots a little girl in a red sweatshirt walking on his street. He makes a U-turn and follows her.
Nick goes back to the hospital and the doctor asks him what kind of work Marie does. Apparently her body is covered with scars—knife wounds. His aunt is a librarian, Nick tells her.
Nick and Hank get called to the scene of a possible kidnapping. The little girl in the red sweatshirt has been reported missing by her mother and grandfather. Back at police headquarters, the captain hands out assignments to canvas the area and Nick and Hank finds the child’s backpack in a park. They also find bootprints. They head to the residential street on the other side of the park and Nick spots a man whose face hides his inner werewolf.
Nick insists they search the house but they find nothing. “What do you see in this guy we don’t?” an exasperated Hank asks Nick; but he’s not ready to reveal the secret of his GRIMM-vision to his partner.
Nick goes back to his aunt’s trailer and leafs through her book. He sees a picture of a wolf-man like the one he saw that afternoon and goes back to stake the guy’s house out.
Although his name is never mentioned in the episode, the wolfman is named “Eddie.”
When the wolf-man goes outside to mark his territory, he smells Nick and attacks him. He’s thrilled to meet a Grimm (he’s heard about them all his life) and has heard about Marie.
Eddie is a “blutbod,” but he’s reformed thanks to drugs, therapy and Pilates. He’s a clockmaker and insists he has no idea where the missing girl is. But he agrees to go sniffing around (literally) and leads Nick to a cabin in the woods where the Postman has the little girl hidden in a basement room.
Nick calls Hank and the two cover themselves in wolfsbane (so the suspect won’t see them coming) and knock on his door.
The mild-manner Postman (he does needlepoint and makes his own chicken pot pies from scratch) has burned the tell-tale boots, so when Nick and Hank don’t find anything they leave.
Oddly, Nick’s GRIMM-vision fails to reveal the wolf beneath the sheepish visage of the effeminate Postman.
Hank realizes the man was humming “Sweet Dreams” and they go back into the house where the lights have been turned off. The suspect runs, in wolf form, and is killed. As he’s dying, he looks up at Nick and whispers, “Grimm.”
Nick finds the little girl tied and gagged in the basement.
Later he goes to the hospital where a woman attacks Marie and leaves him on the floor. She goes out to join her accomplice—Captain Renard. He tells her they’ll have to try to kill her again before she comes out of her coma.
Nick’s GRIMM-vision fails to see Captain Renard’s demon self.
Marie’s eyes open.
Things to watch out for: Pay special attention to the sound design in the episode—it’s very layered with growls and snarls and scary animal sounds. The use of Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” at the end is particularly nice.