by Faith-Ashleigh Wong
What if fairy tales really did exist? And what if it wasn't all "happily ever after"? Grimm explores these "what if's". We are introduced to a world where fantasy and reality share the same space and what happens when they collide.
In the opening scene, we see a lady in a red jumper on what looks like a routine morning run. The song she is listening to on her iPod – Eurhythmics' Sweet Dreams – permeates through her earphones and becomes the background music. Pretty soon, just like the hypnotic beat of the dance track, we get entranced to the rhythm of the music and the scene.
How this scene was set up and executed is brilliant. What it managed to do is lull us in to a false sense of normalcy and security. And just as we are settling in it goes in for the kill – literally. What a perfect way to set up the tone of the show. This is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Nick Burkhardt is a homicide detective and the series' protagonist. We get to know very soon that he seems to possess some sort of supernatural vision where he sees people's faces transform. He seems shocked by this ability so at this point it looks like we know as much as he does.
He and his partner, Hank Griffin, are called to a crime scene which turns out to be where the lady in the red jumper was...except now she is in more places than one. Whoever was behind this is clearly vicious and certainly not human, although the boot prints seem to indicate otherwise.
Elsewhere, a mysterious bald lady who looks to be carrying the world on her shoulders travels to a house and judging by her behaviour it's not hers and her arrival is not expected. We start to wonder, who is she and what is she doing there? The plot continues to thicken.
I thought the way the suspense was built up in this episode was done masterfully. The music, in particular, set the mood perfectly, creating this steadily increasing uneasy tension. It kept us at the edge of our seats, building our curiosity with each minute.
We find out that the bald lady is Marie, Nick's aunt who adopted him as her own when his parents got killed in a car accident. Her surprise visit has everything to do with that incidentally. She confesses that Nicks' parents were actually murdered and subsequently reveals a secret that she has been keeping from him all this time.
Nick is actually a descendent of the Grimms, hunters who keep order in the world by fighting supernatural creatures (called Wessen) that aim to upset the status quo. The news has barely sunken in before things take a violent turn. And so Nick's journey as a Grimm begins.
The following day, we follow the predator as he hunts for his next victim. A young girl, also in a red jumper, catches his eye and soon she is reported missing.
Nick exercises his newly discovered Grimm "powers" and this leads him to Monroe, a reformed Wider Blutbad, or in layman terms –a former werewolf. Monroe is soon established as Nick's mentor and sidekick who aids Nick on his Grimm duties. Through some unorthodox detective work and blind faith from Hank who arrives later to help, Nick succeeds in not only locating the girl but killing his first Wessen.
What a way to start the series! The way the world was established and how the story unfolded was well written and well paced, the camerawork was excellent and what a fantastic use of soundtrack. The bar has been set very high and time will tell if they can keep this momentum going.