“Danse Macabre” is the first of a special two night event of ‘Grimm’ and this episode was definitely not for the squeamish. Nick is called onto a scene when a beloved high school music teacher’s body is decimated by rats. I think you can already tell, we’re not dealing with Stuart Little.
The episode opens at a rave where DJ Retched Kat is spinning the techno tunes. One of the partygoers sends an “Omg, wish you were here” text to her friend who is at school practicing a classical violin piece with other violinists. One of the students, Carter Brimley, doesn’t play his part properly prompting the music teacher to chastise him and threatening them all that they will practice all night if need be for their performance on Saturday.
After the rehearsal, the music teacher heads to his car. As he starts the engine and turns on the radio, he notices a rat on the car’s floorboard. He looks in the rear view mirror and sees a horde of rats coming in off the back seat. Freaking out, he tries to get out of the car, but the rats begin to bite at him. He screams in agony as the rats descend upon him. The next morning, the principal arrives at the school and sees the music teacher’s car. She moves towards it to investigate and when she gets closer, she lets out a blood curdling scream as she sees his face has been eaten off.
Nick and Hank are called to the scene where they identify the teacher as Paul Lawson. Sgt. Wu tells them the car was locked and was left that way as there was some evidence inside the car that they didn’t want to get away. When the guys look in, they see a couple rats still eating away at Mr. Lawson. (Ewwww!) Nick orders the car to be opened up and when it is, rats come scampering out. Wu also tells them that cages were found in the bushes labeled Geiger Pest Control.
Nick and Hank decide to question the four students who were at rehearsal the night before. When Hank mentions that cages were found near the parking lot, one of the students, Trey, informs them that a student named Roddy Geiger has a father who is an exterminator and was suspended from school a couple days earlier. Other than that, they knew nothing that could help with the investigation.
Because of the obvious link to the case, the guys decide to give Roddy a visit. Unlike the mansion they were at while questioning the students, Roddy lives in a trailer home. As Nick and Hank head towards it, they hear violin music coming from a rundown building nearby. Inside, Roddy is beautifully playing the violin to caged rats. Before they can question him, Roddy’s father comes rushing in angry that the police are there to question his son about the murder. As he continues to yell at Nick and Hank, Roddy tries to slip away but Hank grabs his arm. Mr. Geiger demands that he unhand his son and as he’s getting worked up, turns into a creature. Nick is briefly stunned but is still able to prevent Mr. Geiger from injuring Hank as he throws a punch towards him. During the struggle, Roddy manages to run. While Hank handcuffs Mr. Geiger, Nick goes after Roddy and tackles him to the ground. Nick tries to assure Roddy that he doesn’t want to hurt him but Roddy knows he’s a Grimm and that Grimms want to kill creatures like him. His face changes and as he charges toward Nick, Nick sucker punches him in the face saying that he doesn’t want to kill him but if he keeps it up, he will get hurt.
At the precinct, Hank questions Mr. Geiger who insists they had nothing to do with Lawson’s murder. Hank brings up Roddy’s suspension. Mr. Geiger tells Hank the kids at the school tease Roddy because they know his father catches rats for a living and they don’t let him forget it.
In another interrogation room, Nick questions Roddy about the fight and his suspension. He can tell Roddy is considered an outsider and was bullied at school. Roddy tells him that the other students jumped him and he was defending himself, but they lied and blamed him for the fight. Trying to get to the bottom of it all, Nick asks him where he was last night and Roddy tells him at a rave. Sgt. Wu verifies that Roddy was at the rave under the alias of DJ Wretched Kat so his alibi for the night before is good. They decide to let Roddy go but hold the dad in custody until they can check his alibi.
Nick and Hank visit Dr. Harper, the coroner, who tells them that Lawson died of a heart attack but there was no guarantee that the rats scared him into it. Harper then tells them about the second autopsy she did for the case (on a rat!) and found fibers in the rat’s stomach that didn’t match the victim’s.
Meanwhile, after being released, Roddy heads to Sarah Jennings house (the female violinist). He can’t believe she thinks he committed the crime. He tells her he knows she still loves him but she tells him that the relationship can’t work because she can’t keep sneaking out to be with him. Part of her thinks he did kill Lawson and asks Roddy if he didn’t kill him who did? Roddy suggests it’s her boyfriend, Trey, who did it to keep Roddy away from her. Just then, Sarah’s mom walks up and demands to know why Roddy is there. She thought their relationship was over and commands Sarah to get in the house. As Roddy walks away, she warns him to stay away from Sarah and her family.
Later, lab reports from the fibers found in the rat’s stomach indicate that it came from car carpeting found in BMW’s, Audi’s and Porsche’s. As Hank is relaying all of this to Nick, Mrs. Jennings (Sarah’s mom) comes in and demands to know why Roddy is not in jail. Her snobbish attitude conveys the fact that she thinks Roddy comes from the wrong side of the track and doesn’t belong in her or her daughter’s world.
Since Nick knows he’s dealing with creatures, he decides to give Monroe a visit. Monroe tells him that the Geigers are the type of creatures that are considered at the bottom of the barrel. Nick confirms, however, that they are normally nonviolent unless provoked. Impressed, Munroe asks why he is there if he already knows about them. Nick asks if Munroe will at least talk to Roddy since Roddy obviously doesn’t trust him. Nick doesn’t believe he killed Lawson but does realize Roddy needs help. Munroe agrees.
After work, Sgt. Wu and Hank are at a bar. After a few drinks, Hank announces he has to leave as he has a big day planned and needs some sleep. As he’s leaving, he sees Adalind and remembers her from when he served as her body guard. She tells him that her dinner business meeting got cancelled and wondered if he would have dinner with her. Hank says yes and as they go towards the table, outside Captain Renard is watching. When he sees that Adelind has managed to latch on to Hank, he gives a slight smirk and drives away.
Monroe visits Roddy and as he gets closer to his trailer home, he hears the violin. Inside Roddy is playing a Brahms concerto much to the delight of the rat on his bookshelf. Monroe, awed by his talent, complements Roddy on his skills but when Roddy finds out that he’s a friend of Nick’s, he tries to shut the door. Monroe grabs it and his hand turns hairy showing Roddy that he, too, is a creature. Monroe tells him that Nick is no ordinary Grimm and that he sent him to talk to him. He tells Roddy not to throw away his talent and before he leaves gives him his card in case he needs anything. Once he’s gone, Roddy gets a phone call telling him that his father was injured for resisting to get into his cell and is in the infirmary with a concussion. Upset that his father is being held for a crime he didn’t do and is hurt, Roddy flies into a rage and begins to thrash the trailer home.
Still enraged the next day, Roddy frees all the rats that were in cages in the rundown building next to his home. Once they are all freed, he sets the building on fire and walks away with his DJ Kat head in his hand. Nick and Hank are able to narrow down the possibilities as to where the fibers in the rat’s stomach may have come from and they inform Captain Renard. The car involved belongs to Carter Brimley (one of the kids involved in the fight with Roddy and a violinist). An examination of his SUV confirms what the duo has concluded. They decide to gather the violin students but then get a call telling them that the Geiger house was burned down. Concerned, Hank and Nick head over to Sarah’s house but her mom states she went to the movies. At Nick’s request, she calls Sarah’s phone and finds out she left it at home. Nick looks at the phone and sees she was invited to a rave hosted by DJ Retched Kat, a rave where all the violinists were invited to.
That evening, we see Roddy walking along the river bank on the way to the rave. Behind him is a slew of rats following his footsteps. In an abandoned building, Roddy sets up lights and candles for his revenge. At the top of a loft, he begins to play and as he does, rats begin to assemble throughout the floor space.
When the violinists reach the rave site, Sarah decides to confront Carter about the murder and Roddy’s suspension. She asks him if he and the other boys had anything to do with the incidences but Carter denies it all. They head down to the cellar and begin to hear techno music. Nick and Hank also arrive at the abandoned building and go in. As the kids get closer, the music gets louder and they begin to get excited as they are nearly at the party scene! When they reach the rave area, they realize they’re the only ones there.
Roddy, wearing the Retched Kat trademark cat head, confronts the boys and tells them he knows what they did. He announces that is now their turn and beings to play the violin. That’s when they realize it’s Roddy. As Roddy plays, multitudes of rats begin to come out of hiding and start to attack the kids. They freak out and begin to run but Sarah trips and falls to the ground (feel free to insert your own cliché comment here). The rats descend on the fallen girl as the boys run away (insert sexist comment here). Nick and Hank hear the screams and head towards it. Roddy sees that Sarah has fallen and stops playing. Just then, Nick and Hank arrive. Nick fires off his gun scaring the rats and causing them to scurry into hiding. As he gathers Sarah off the ground, Nick sees Roddy walk away from the scene.
Outside, the boys confess to the crime. Nick finally catches up to Roddy who is calmly sitting in a tunnel. He tells the boy that Sarah had nothing to do with what the other boys did and knew nothing about it. In the end, Nick asks Roddy if it was all worth it. At the station, Hank is trying to find out what to charge Roddy with, but Nick discourages him. He explains to his partner that Roddy was just an outsider that was pushed too far.
This was a great re-telling of the classic ‘The Pied Piper’ story set against the issue of bullying. While I’m sure the writers are not condoning revenge, it was nice to see the underdog get his justice. What impressed me the most was the shuddering amount of rats used in this episode. The two most visually impressive moments were when Roddy was walking along the river bank with the rats behind him and the one in the cellar lit in candles and lights filled with rats as he played the violin. The former was a realistic replica of what I’ve seen in storybooks and the latter had almost a romantic feel with rats. I’m sure some CGI was used as, if you haven’t got the gist of it yet, there were a boatload of rodents! (Shudder!)
Another new episode airs tonight and will be a twist on ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ In the meantime, if you missed the last episode, you can read my ‘Grimm: Lonelyhearts’ recap.