“The beasts were loosed into the arena, and among them, a beast of huge bulk and ferocious aspect. Then the slave was cast in.”
A poor old couple is murdered in their forest home in the middle of the night by some creature being chased by men on horses. Fingerprints next day match a Dimitri Scantos who has a record of coke possession. Nick and Hank go talk to his parole officer who points them to a boxing gym where he works at for his uncle. They meet Dimitri’s friend Brian, who Nick sees his true rhino-like form as he works out. He brings Nick and Hank to where they usually go out for a 10mi run.
As Brian runs ahead on the path, Nick and Hank find horse manure, just six miles from the murder site. After getting a call, they go take a look at Dimitri’s car found by an abandoned warehouse. It’s been completely stripped. Nick notices a guy checking them out from a nearby building and they follow him. Following a trail of blood they arrive at the center of the warehouse where “weird-ass symbols” and Latin have been painted on the walls and floor. They see old, medieval weapons hanging on the wall as well. The cop that called them there yells to them that he’s got the guy running. They eventually lose him.
Meanwhile, Brian, still on his run through the forest, starts getting chased by men on horses. They tie him up then drag him away, just like Dimitri the night before.
Juliette calls Nick to ask what he wants for their anniversary dinner tomorrow. She puts away their laundry and excitedly finds a ring in the drawer.
Back at the station, Nick and Hank figure it’s some kind of gladiator fight club. They bring the Latin over to Renard who translates for them, then he chases down the parole officer in a garage. I gave you a list, he says, and not to deviate from it. Renard tells the guy to “shut it down before your greed and stupidity” does them both in.
“I don’t know if it’s your call anymore,” the parole officer says. He calls Renard, “your highness” and warns him “royalty ain’t what it used to be.” He counter-threatens Renard before Renard warns him to clean up the mess.
Later that night, Nick heads to Aunt Marie’s trailer, looking at all her collected medieval weapons and researching through the books before Monroe arrives. Monroe gushes to Nick about how amazing the trailer is, a Smithsonian load of Grimmology.
Nick fills Monroe in and asks about Lowen. All Monroe knows is they “rip your face off and eat it,” but that the gladiator lowen are fueled by generations of bitterness from back in the Middle Ages from being forced to fight in arenas.
Speaking of, Brian is fighting in the Lowen cage. His opponent has got him pinned down and he looks at the parole officer who gives the thumbs down, a signal to finish Brian off.
Monroe goes to see Sully, a bookie who might know anything about the “Lowen Games.” The bookie gives Monroe an address where to meet someone who’ll give him the exact details of tonight’s fight.
After Brian has now been reported missing, his own car is found by the same warehouse as Dimitri’s. Monroe, waiting for the informant, calls Nick and just as he is detailing his situation, Nick realizes it is the same M.O. as Dimitri and Brian and urges Monroe to leave right now. But it’s too late, Monroe gets knocked out and dragged into a horse trailer. Nick hurries over to where Monroe says he was waiting and he runs into Monroe’s car being driven away, but stops the man driving and demands to know where they took Monroe.
Meanwhile, Monroe is taken into a cage right next to Dimitri. They feed them raw meat… human! meat, likely Brian’s. Nick arrives at the horse trailer and follows the trail to the fighting barn where the parole officer, Leo, has thrown Monroe into the ring with a crazed, human meat eating Dimitri.
After calling Hank and telling him to bring backup to the address, Nick holds a gun to Leo’s throat to stop the fight. But Leo gets ready to give Monroe the thumbs down death sentence anyway. Nick then offers himself to take Monroe’s place in the fight.
Nick heads into the ring and grabs a shield and some mallet-type of thing and fights Dimitri. He gets hurled around the octagon until Hank and the backup arrive.
Meanwhile, Renard goes to visit a priest. He starts confession, but the priest knows that’s not why he’s there. Renard talks about one of the flock going astray and that he needs the priest’s help, not for forgiveness but for his “wrath.”
The priest says to give him a minute to get ready and they finish this “confession” with…
“As it was before…”
“So shall it be again.”
Nick calls home to tell Juliette that he’s on his way for their anniversary dinner. But Juliette appears to not be as excited about the dinner or a possible proposal as she was just the day before.
Renard pops in as Leo is taking his wads of Lowen Games money from a safe and sics some kind of creature (the priest?) on him before walking away.
Lots of things going on in this episode. First, the case of the week was pretty crazy. Those scenes of the Lowen Games/fight club were well done. And Monroe telling Nick about all the humanity bring stripped from Dimitri is very interesting in terms of how Vessen live their human lives.
Then there’s those two scenes of Juliette and the engagement ring. Though it is kind of sudden to have these “I can’t be married to cop” feelings, I still, personally, would go with the idea that Juliette actually knows Nick is a Grimm or something along those lines.
And finally, this interesting religion/cult/group that Renard is in. Whether it be the priest or Leo, the parole officer, or his Reaper friends, the fact that we’re finally digging deeper into this group of people/Vessen that may be go up against Nick in the future is very interesting.
I think this episode was a good balance of case of the week procedural and greater mythology. Plus, more awesome use of Oregon. Loved those pea soup/fog scenes and the forests were used to their creepiest once again.