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‘Grimm’ Review: “Mr. Sandman”

'Grimm'  "Mr. Sandman"
NBC

After a long run of episodes that have changed the playing field of ‘Grimm,’ we’re now in a stretch that can be considered one-off’s. These latest episodes aren’t driven by by big, life changing events for Detective Nick Burkhardt and crew, but are more about the monsters/mystery/procedural aspects of the show. And that’s not so bad.Tonight’s one-off is “Mr. Sandman” and it’s a solid little thriller.

The episode opens with the quote “‘Now we’ve got eyes – eyes – a beautiful pair of children’s eyes’ he whispered.” A car pulls up with new character Andre chugging pills and listing to the song “Mr. Sandman.” He goes into a church for a cancer support group, and is asked to speak. He tells a sad story about his late wife, and after the meeting talks to one of the members, Molly. Andre offers her a ride home, and the two end up having tea. But when she starts crying, he blows dust in her eyes and blinds her and then turns into a wesen and drinks her tears.

At Monroe’s house, Nick, Hank, Rosalee and Monroe are having dinner together, and talk about how Captain Renard is a royal. Monroe wonders why Renard lives in Portland, and they start discussing his heritage, and how as a part-royal, part hexenbiest, he wouldn’t be fully accepted by the royals. Which may mean he has big plans for Nick. Nick and Hank get called in to Molly’s place, where her body’s found, and Molly’s eyes are swollen. They go to check on the support group, but all the leader can tell them about Andre is that he’s got an accent. Meanwhile, Adalind meets with another hexenbiest to see the worth of her pregnancy. Andre pops more pills and goes to another grief support group. At the autopsy, Nick and Hank find that Molly was made blind by parasites, while Andre finds another victim.

But just as Andre is feeding, someone knocks at the door and scares him off. Nick confirms Molly never went to Africa, and then Hank gets a call about Andre’s latest victim. Juliette, who’s still having weirdness happening around her, goes to visit Rosalee and tries to figure out what’s going on with her. Both go to Juliette’s place, and Juliette asks what kind of spice shop Rosalee is running. Rosalee gives a good answer about alternative medicine, when Juliette hears something. Juliette sees a ghost and chases after it, but Rosalee can’t see or hear it, which makes Juliette think she’s losing her mind. Nick and company talk to the witness, and get a description of Andre’s car. They also find out that Andre’s targeting support groups.

Renard is having a nightmare when he wakes up and sees Juliette in bed with him, who then tries to kiss him, and then turns into a monster. The old wake-up-from-a-nightmare-only-to-still-be-in-a-nightmare fake out. Nick checks in his camper about Andre and finds out what type of wesen he is and finds that Andre’s type feed on the tears of the innocent. When he calls the doctor dealing with the second victim, Nick also finds out that the parasites in the living victim are growing bigger by the second. Nick and Hank go to the hospital and talk to the new victim’s sister, only for the new victim’s eyes to be completely eaten by the parasites, and those parasites start crawling out of her skull (making this one of the grossest things ever shown on network television). Nick and Hank get called in to a new support meeting as they’ve found the car, and they spot Andre, who runs. Nick, Hank and Wu chase Andre, but have to split up. Of course it’s Nick who finds Andre and starts cuffing him, when Andre blows the dust in Nick’s eyes. By the time backup arrives Andre’s escaped and Nick tells Hank to call Monroe.. Andre then steals a car.

Rosalee is looking in her book, and the parasites are nasty little critters. Nick is told the best thing to do right now keep his eyes open and look into bright light. But his sense of sound has grown that much stronger. Rosalee then finds the cure: They have to pull out one of Andre’s eyes while he’s transformed into a beast, and they have three or four hours to do it. The second victim’s sister goes back to her place where Andre’s been waiting for her.

Nick can hear everything, even conversations yards away, when Hank gets a phone call. Nick then figures out that Andre is likely at the second victim’s house. Which means Monroe, Hank, Nick and Rosalee are on the case. The sister hasn’t been attacked yet, but she’s been crying, and turns around and sees Andre. The two wrestle and the sister smartly covers her eyes. Nick and company show up, but Hank tells Nick and Rosalee to stay in the car, while Monroe and Hank check the house. As the sister and Andre wrestle, Nick can hear the fighting, while Hank breaks in, and goes to chase Andre. But Nick can hear the guy upstairs, and checks with Rosalee, but decides to face the guy on his own. He stumbles around a little and then gets into a fight with Andre, which — now that he’s Daredevil — he can do pretty well. Monroe scoops an eye out, but then Andre wakes up and goes downstairs, where he’s stabbed by the sister. Back at Juliette’s, she enjoying some tea when she sees another ghost, and when the ghost becomes visible it’s of Nick. Nick blindfolds himself and practices his ability to hit things based on his hearing, and as Monroe says it looks like surviving the worms gave him an added gift.

The preview for the next episode also looks like another one-off, so perhaps they’re going to save any big show mythology episodes until the close of season. But even though it was obvious that Nick wasn’t going to end up blind, this was a fun episode and probably the first time Sgt. Wu had more screen time than Renard. In cases like this, I wish they would let people who had no purpose in the story be kept out of the episode, but it was never distracting. This was a great episode for those who’ve felt the show’s been tame, as this season has featured some pretty disgusting images for non-cable. I’m impressed. with what they get away with. There’s still a couple of dangling plot points, and we hope Monroe and Rosalee actually get a date at some point soon, but this was a fun episode that gave the most interesting characters a lot to do.

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