NBC’s cops-and-monsters show Grimm is about to begin its second season, so if you need to get caught up (or are already a fan who wants a refresher) the complete first season is now available on Blu-ray. The 22 episodes are consistently entertaining, but the show still has plenty of untapped potential. Hopefully the second season will establish more of an overall story arc, because the first season is frustratingly episodic. That said, there’s a lot to like about Grimm, which takes its inspiration from the fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm, first published in the 19th century.
In the pilot, homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) begins seeing things that he can’t understand. The faces of seemingly random strangers are morphing into those of fierce, beastly monsters. Nick’s aunt (Kate Burton) reveals to him that his ancestors were Grimms, hunters of a wide variety of creatures known collectively as the Wesen. They are aggressive, blood-thirsty, and strong individuals. Only Grimms can see their dual form, as they switch between apparently normal humans and their true selves, such as the pig-like Bauerschwein or wolf-like Blutbaden. Unfortunately, Nick’s aunt has little time left as she is dying from cancer. It’s up to him to adjust to the onset of his Grimm-related abilities.
And adjust he does, as suddenly every case he works has a supernatural element as he chases down Wesen with his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby). Hank doesn’t know about Nick’s Grimm heritage. They get a huge assist from Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Blutbad who has trained himself to ignore his violent instincts and assimilate with ordinary humans. Given his intimate knowledge and experience with the Wesen, Monroe is invaluable to Nick. When stuck with tough cases, Nick seeks Monroe’s advice and gets him increasingly involved in the crime-fighting process. Monroe is reluctant at first, given that the Grimms have hunted down his ancestors for many generations, but since he has refocused his lifestyle to embrace mainstream societal values, he agrees to help.