‘Grimm’ Review: “Twelve Days of Krampus”
The second episode of 'Grimm' tonight celebrates the holidays with a Christmas-themed Wesen and episode. Ho ho ho, hopefully it's a good one.
The episode starts with the quote: "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How steadfast are your branches..." It's Christmas in Portland, which leads some thieves to rob a car. The two criminals check their loot under a bridge when they hear noises. A wesen dressed as Santa Claus tells them they've been naughty, and sticks one of the criminals in a bag, while they other hides in a car and is left a lump of coal.
Back in Europe at the Austrian Alps, a Royal resistance member drives up to an accident with police about to stop him when he kills everyone there. It turns out that the victims were part of the Royals. The man comes up and meets with Sean and the other members of the resistance. Back in Portland, Rosalee asks Monroe is he's coming to the shop that day, but he says he's busy. Once Rosalee leaves, Monroe then rushes Juliette in. In Europe, Sean attends the resistance meeting and tells them that he's got a Grimm in his pocket and access to the people they need, and asks that everyone trust each other or the Royals will run them over. The group decide to go forward. Back in Portland, Nick and Hank investigate the crime scene with Wu. The kid who was hiding in the car, Derek, is still there and alive.
It turns out Monroe and Juliette are working together to decorate his house with Monroe's 42 boxes of decorations to surprise Rosalee. At the hospital, Nick and Hank talk to Derek's father, who thinks Derek should go to jail. Nick and Hank question Derek about the attack, and ask about the other criminal Quinn, but Derek freaks out when he sees a Santa. At the precinct, Nick and Hank find an address for Quinn, while in a park a skateboarder steals some presents, but the avenging Santa-wesen sees this, who then swoops in and puts the criminal in his bag... though a witness sees this.
Back in Vienna, Sean goes into a Adalind's hotel room and finds weird wesen-y things, then notices a security camera. He leaves Adalind a letter. Back in Portland, Nick and Hank go to Quinn's house and find Bud (yay!) who is friends with Quinn's father. Quinn's dad says he called the cops about his missing son, which is why he thought Nick and Hank were there, but the cops have to take off to investigate the most recent abduction. Monroe puts on music for Rosalee when she comes home and shows off the decorated house. Monroe is proud of his work, but Rosalee isn't as into it as Monroe is. She puts on a good game face, but reveals that she's not a holiday person. She then reveals that her favorite relatives were killed during Christmastime ('Gremlins' much?). Nick and Hank go to the crime scene and are told how the Santa looks, which is like an acid freakout. They check out the local Santas, and one turns out to be a former inmate and wesen. They have to subdue him, which leads to people nearby taking pictures of cops assaulting Santa. Monroe looks over all his decorations and seems to come to a decision.
In Vienna, Adalind gets Sean's letter which notes the hidden cameras in her hotel and suggests they meet elsewhere. Rosalee gets out of bed and finds that Monroe spent all night taking the Christmas decorations down, and is sleeping on the couch, while Juliette alerts Nick that the viral footage of Nick and Hank busting Santa is on the news. Bud shows at Nick's up hoping that Nick arrested the right guy, but when Nick mentions the coal, Bud realizes what it could be. At the precinct, Wu gives Nick and Hank the news that the coal comes from the North Pole, while Rosalee and Juliette have a chat, as Rosalee feels bad about her reaction to Monroe's work. Juliette suggests that Rosalee and Monroe create their own holiday. Nick and Hank show up at Monroe's and are surprised that there aren't decorations up, but the good news is that Monroe is understanding about Rosalee's condition. Nick asks about his open case and Monroe knows exactly what wesen they're dealing with -- the Krampus -- who may or may not be a wesen. The Krampus is planning to eat all his victims that night, so they've got a ticking clock, and the Krampus has at least four victims in his tree.
Bud shows up at Monroe's, and they all head out to the highest point in Portland (Council Crest). There they find tracks and spread out when Nick hears something. He leads them to the victims in a tree -- who are begging to be helped -- but then Nick hears the Krampus. The two fight while everyone else frees the victims. Nick finally knocks out the Krampus, but since he doesn't change shape, Monroe suggests Grimm justice. But then the Krampus does change into human shape. The Krampus' human shape has no memory of anything that happens when he's in Krampus form. While Nick writes it up in his camper, Monroe suggests that the Krampus has no idea what he is, and Nick says they should turn it over to the Wesen council. But when Monroe comes home, Rosalee has redecorated their place, and has fallen asleep from the effort, and has left Santa Claus a cigar and beer -- as is her family's tradition.
If this is slightly better than tonight's other episode "Cold Blooded," it's because the show always shines when it gives the supporting cast a lot to do. The Vienna stuff is starting to get interesting, and Sean's plan to work with a Grimm could finally come into focus, but why this episode is strong is because Rosalee and Monroe have something to do that is interesting and germane to the story. Not everyone loves Christmas, and this was a good vehicle for that storyline, but also it gave the two a chance to have conflict that provoked empathy for both viewpoints.
Bitsie Tulloch's Juliette hasn't had as much to do as she did last week, but this was a good episode for her, and there's a lot to like about this episode, which notes the holidays, but doesn't overwhelm the episode with it, indeed, the beating up of Santa Claus offers the right amount of irreverence. This was a fine holiday episode, but it will probably be more interesting to see what comes next.