Episode 15: Mr. Sandman
By: Carlos Uribe
Grimm is a show about a man, Nick, who hunts monsters which look human.
This episode's Opening Quote: “'Now we've got eyes – eyes – a beautiful pair of children's eyes', he whispered,”-The Sandman by E.T.A. Hoffmann
This Episode's Monster(s):
Jinnamuru Xunte: A fly-like monster that launches parasitic red worms which can cause blindness and eats the eyes of the victims. The Xunte feeds off the tears of his victims.
If Grimm was a video game then this would be the level where the character gets a new superpower: superhearing. They would have one level to learn how to use the ability before being thrown into other levels where they will have to use it in combination with the other powers. This is all to say that Nick has superhearing now. It's an ability that was unlocked when he temporarily went blind. His sense of hearing was supernaturally heightened to the point where he could hear the other side of phone conversations from a room away. It's a good thing that he got this ability because he's the protagonist. This is a show about him and he needs be the one taking down monsters. He's able to do this because of his ability to hear and because the monster emits a high-frequency sound that gives him away. This superhearing sticks with him even after his vision comes back as is proven by the end scene when Nick is able to clobber every piece of fruit thrown at him while he was blindfolded. I'm willing to accept this as long as it's written consistently in future episodes but it does feel a little bit sudden. I understand there was a trigger but I believe this is the first time where Nick had gained an ability since the pilot. There has been nothing to indicate that he was going to be getting anymore supernatural skills. So there was nothing to prepare the audience for the possibility. This made it feel like the writers decided to just add this ability when they were writing the episode. This isn't a bad thing but it would have created a tighter narrative if they had spent time building up to the possibility of new abilities. Still, the direction and acting managed to sell it.
The actual weekly case was okay. The monster is based off the sandman but the writers named him Jinnamuru Xunte. The Xunte primarily causes his victims to go blind as he feeds off their tears. He'll go as far as to visit the family of his victims because he caused them grief. He leaves them alive but they're left blind. What's worse is that the worms will actually eat the eyes of the victims. Modern medicine doesn't really have a cure for this which makes it difficult for most victims to get rid of this problem before their eyes get eaten. Of course, there needs to be something that sets our characters on the trail of this men. The beginning of the episode accomplishes this in a long scene where the Xunte leaves behind his first victim. This character tries to navigate her room before accidentally causing her bookcase to fall and kill her. The detectives are called to investigate because they believe it might have been homicide. Once Nick is on the case, it doesn't take long before he realizes that a wessen is behind this. They're able to actually find the monster but then Nick gets sprayed by the sandman's red worms. He goes blind, the Xunte gets away, and they have to rush him to the spice shop. The hope is that since modern medicine can't help them then Rosalee can.
The good news is that she does find the cure. The bad news? It requires taking out the eye of the Xunte. Once they have done this, they need to rush and spread a special ointment on Nick's eyes. This ointment includes antibodies that are only found on the Xunte's eyeball. This involves having to wait for the police to give them enough of a lead to find where he is. They manage to figure out that the Xunte is going after the sister of the second victim and they rush to save her. Nick is able to use his new superhearing skill to fight and defeat him. It is interesting that he doesn't actually kill this monster. He just takes it out. It's up to Monroe to take out the eyeball but the person who kills it is the second victim. Since Nick was still able to beat up the monster, this manages to work without removing the focus from him. Nick does recover his eyesight but he's going to have enhanced hearing now. The weekly case was okay and it certainly had it's moments but that was largely due to the superb direction from Norberto Barba. He managed to sell every creepy scene and took what would have been forgettable and turned it into something memorable.
In other news, it looks like I might have been right when I said that her hallucinations are actually a visual way for her memory to be coming back. She's being haunted by a ghostly hunched-over individual for most of the episode. It gets to the point where she actually goes to Rosalee for help. Only Rosalee doesn't really know what's wrong with her so she can't do anything. The plot ends with a great cliff-hanger where Juliette demands answers from the ghostly figure only to see it form Nick. I can't wait to see where the writers are taking this plot but it's a smart move to start bringing her into knowing about the world of Grimm.
Mr. Sandman is a pretty good episode of Grimm. It's weekly case would be pretty standard but the direction elevates the writing to a stronger outing. Nick's new superhearing ability is only welcome if the writers remember that it's there. There's nothing more annoying than abilities that are written inconsistently or completely forgotten about. I can think of at least a few times where Nick's hearing ability should come in handy but it can't just be a plot device. Juliette's ghost situation is so-far interesting in it's promise of where it's going to take the character. I liked this episode even if it could have used a little more work making the weekly case a little less predictable and written it with a little more ambition.
Adalind is pregnant but whose the father-Renard or his half-brother? This is a decent question but I'm still not sure why I care. Renard might not be completely over Juliette as he dreams about her...but then she turns into an ugly witch monster as the dream becomes a nightmare.