Tying ‘Grimm’ to Halloween is such a no brainer that to not feature an episode with this holiday theme is like not having icing on a piece of chocolate cake. The writers must have thought so too because this week’s episode is based on the actual Mexican folktale, ‘La Llorona,’ about a woman who drowns her children in a river to get revenge on the man she loves leaving her for a younger woman. After realizing what she has done, she kills herself. She is said to now roam the earth kidnapping little children.

Which brings us to Portland when reports of missing children come in, it’s up to Nick to find them before it’s too late.  Now on to the recap….

“On many a dark night people would see her walking along the riverbank and crying for her children.”

The episode opens with a Latino father and son by the river bank getting ready to fish when the father notices a weeping woman in white walking into the water. He watches closely and realizes that she is trying to commit suicide as she continues to cry and walks deeper into the river. The father runs into the water to save the lady in white and as he goes underwater, he can’t find her. His son is calling out his for his father as the man tries one more time to find the lady in white. When he surfaces, he sees at a distance, the lady in white taking his son up the path. He quickly gets out of the water and chases after them but by the time he gets to the top of the trail, they have disappeared.

Halloween is such a fun time for Wesens and Monroe decks his home like some do during Christmas but with tombstones, skeletons and ghosts galore! Nick comes by to drop off a flail to accent one of Monroe’s pieces and the Blutbad tells him stories of the good ol’ days when Wesens would chase villagers through the woods and “scare the crap out of them… sometimes literally.”  Nick gets a call about a case and as he leaves but no before making Monroe promise no one will get hurt with his crazy Halloween decorations.

Detective Valentina Espinosa wakes up from her nightmare of seeing a drowning woman in white turning into screaming ghost. She looks at her work board that is filled with newspaper reports and sketches of missing killed children.

At the River, Sgt. Wu meets Nick and Hank to fill them in. Unfortunately, the missing boy’s father, Luis, speaks no English and Sgt. Wu’s Spanish is “no bien,” he tells the detectives he thinks the man is saying that someone took his son. After speaking to a few witnesses, one of them did get video of a woman in white walking away with a kid. Since the station’s translator is currently out of the country on vacation, Nick calls Juliette to see if she’d be willing to work as a translator for the time being.

At the precinct, the detectives fill Renard in and Juliette is brought to the Captain’s office. Renard and Juliette exchange a look before she is taken to Luis.

Meanwhile, detective Espinosa gets an Amber Alert hit indicating a missing child in Portland. Upset, she transforms into a Balam and books a flight.

The detectives head to Luis’s home for clues and as they look around, a neighbor woman comes in. Her name is Pilar, and she tells Juliette that she knows who took Rafael. She tells her it’s La Llorona but when Luis sees Pilar, he tells her to get out of the house saying that she is a crazy woman. The detectives show Pilar the video of a white woman talking Raphael and she confirms it is La Llorona.

As the police leave to canvass the neighborhood to find Rafael, Pilar sees the scratches on Juliette’s hand. She seems to know what happened to Juliette and tells her that someone caused the illness that hospitalized her. Juliette gets freaked out and tells Pilar she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Renard is on the phone speaking to someone telling them they need to find out if Duvall exposed any of their secrets. He saw the pictures and knows he was excruciatingly tortured. If Duvall did talk, it would jeopardize everyone.

Det. Espinoza arrives to the precinct and is brought to Reanard’s office. She tells him she has information about the Rafael case. She is brought to Nick and Hank who are trying to get any lead on Rafael. Espinoza tells them that she has been following the kidnapper for some time now and that this isn’t the first abduction as similar incidences have occurred in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The MO is the same: 2 boys and a girl are abducted on Halloween, taken where two rivers meet, and the ones whose bodies are found all reveal they have drowned. She shows the detectives a composite drawn from witness statements and Nick realizes it’s the same woman from the video. He shows the video to Espinoza whose eye change as she sees that it’s the same woman in her drawing. Nick notices the change and begins to closely watch her.

Meanwhile, La Llorona has taken another child…

Back at Luis’ home, Wu gets a call from the detectives about the second abduction. Before he leaves, he tells Juliette to let him know that they haven’t found Rafael and that another child was taken. Luis sees Pilar at his doorway and yells that he doesn’t believe in her ghosts and storms off. But is seems that Pilar is more interested in telling Juliette about her future. She tells her that her world is coming apart and soon she will have to choose between two people. Juliette tells her she is wrong but the words strike close to her heart.

The detectives head to the area of the second abduction. As they are looking around, Renard comes up and tells them that Espinosa is not who they think she is. The FBI wants to hold her on grounds of hampering an investigation and impersonating an officer as the Albuquerque PD states that the only Espinosa they had left the force 3 years ago. Espinosa is adamant that they must stop La Llorona but Renard tells him that the case is now in the FBI hands and to bring her in.

Nick holds her back as she tries to follow Renard and she turns into a Wesen. He tells her not to do anything she may regret. She informs Nick she knows he’s a Grimm and that he’ll probably kill her but he tells her he just wants to find the kids before anything happens to them.

Renard interrogates Espinoza and we find out that the reason she started following La Llorona is because her sister’s child was one of her victims. Espinosa was with her nephew the day he was taken and like Luis, tried to save the weeping lady who she thought was trying to drown herself. The only difference is that her nephew’s body was never found. She tells Renard that even with her locked up, a third child will still be taken. Renard tells her that she will be detained until the FBI are ready to speak to her.

The situation doesn’t sit well with Nick and Hank as they believe Espinosa. They head to Aunt Marie’s trailer and find information about La Llorona. None of his ancestors could put their finger on who or what La Llorona was. Realizing they may really be dealing with a ghost (or at least some form of Wesen), they had back to the police station to take Espinoza with them to capture La Llorona where the rivers meet.

La Llorona has three children and takes them to the river. She calls out for her dead children to come to her. Three ghostly kids emerge from the waters. She tells them she has three children to take their place and leads them into the river.

Nick, Hank and Espinosa run towards the kids yelling at them to stop walking but it looks like the kids are in a trance and continue walking towards the water. Hank and Espinosa grab the children to prevent them from going forward awhile Nick tackles La Llorona into the river.

They struggle underwater and La Llorona turns into a snarling ghastly creature. As they try to kill each other, La Llorona turns back into human form taking Nick by surprise. He lets go and she falls deeper into the water and fades away.

When he surfaces, he tells Hank he had her then lost her. At that moment, they realize it is one minute after midnight.

The kids are brought back to the precinct and are reunited with their families. La Llorona has managed to escape this year and Espinosa knows that she will have to start again next Halloween. As Renard tells the detectives how unhappy the FBI are about Espinosa, Juliette watches them at the doorway and remembers what Pilar told her about having to chose…

Episode Observations:

* I really like how they kept to the origin of the urban legend intact and used a lot of Spanish speaking actors in the episode. The heart of the legend came through by doing so. I also like the way the writers filled in the tale portraying La Llorona as a siren with the kids putting them in a trance.

*Little disappointed as this is the third episode since Rosalee left that Monroe has not been utilized except for minor sub stories. Silas Mitchell Weir is such a great actor and his camaraderie with Nick when they work a case together is much more enjoyable to watch than what we’ve been seeing lately.  I’m hoping Monroe will have a little more in the next few episodes beyond the comic relief stories we’re seeing him in.

* Who else thinks that the new intern, Ryan, is a bit too nice? There’s something about his enthusiastic handshake congratulating Nick on solving this case that was just a little too enthusiastic.

So what did you think of ‘Grimm’s’ Halloween episode? Would you have preferred a scarier story?

If you missed last week’s episode, ‘The Other Side,’ make sure catch up with the recap here!