TV Recap: 'Grimm' Episode 309 - 'Red Menace'


Grimm Episode 309
“Red Menace”
Written By: Alan DiFiore
Directed By: Allan Kroeker
Original Airdate: 3 January 2014

In This Episode…

A Russian faith healer named Boris has rolled into Portland to offer his services. He is something of a celebrity amongst the Russian population. He lays hands on the ill and takes away their suffering, and wants no money in return. This isn’t some act; Boris is sincere, but each heal takes a toll on him. Of course, he is also a philanderer (and he doesn’t try to hide it) which does not sit well with his wife Olga. 

The family of Boris’ most recent patient holds a celebratory dinner in his honor at a local Russian restaurant. Boris excuses himself to the bathroom, where he is set upon by a man named Alex. The men fight, and Alex withdraws a switchblade. Boris is cut, which enrages him. His eyes glow green, his hands get glowy and translucent, and a sudden burst of energy sends Alex out the window. Boris returns to the party while Alex returns to his motel. His skin is starting to blister where Boris held him. He makes a phone call to a mystery person, professing his love and apologizing for failing.

Portland police are called in when, the next day, the sous chef discovers the body of a waiter in the walk-in freezer. Hank and Nick’s investigation shows that Alex killed the waiter to steal his uniform so he could sneak in to attack Boris. But they suspect Alex is working with a partner, so Boris isn’t safe. Alex, meanwhile, is getting worse. The blistering pustules have spread over his whole body, and he is just a walking pile of gross. Housekeeping comes in and discovers him, dead and bloated in an overflowing bathtub. Nick, Hank, and Wu come in, as does the department of public health, who fear they are dealing with radiation poisoning. Sure enough, their Geiger counters are going crazy. Alex is not actually dead; he lurches forward and clings to Hank - who gets freaked out. He is taken to quarantine, while the guys are checked - they are radiation free.

Between Nick, Renard, Monroe, and Aunt Marie’s books, the guys figure out that Boris is a koschie, a Russian wesen who can heal or kill. Boris used to use his talent as an assassin for the Russian government. He killed with radiation poisoning, and no one could figure out how he did it. Now he uses his healing power in hopes of finding absolution. The guys bring Boris in for “questioning” but Boris is very forthcoming about his past. If someone comes to kill him, he won’t fight it.

Back at home (or the home where he and Olga are staying while in town), Boris and Olga fight. He wants her to go back to Russia; she wants him to stop whoring around. His answer to that is to grab a bottle of vodka and the pretty maid and chase her upstairs into the bedroom. Now, the vodka has been spiked by unseen hands, and we are supposed to think it is Olga, but it wasn’t - it was the maid, and she is annoyed that, after downing half the bottle of vodka, Boris still isn’t dead. She reveals that Alex is her brother, and Boris killed their father when she was only 10 years old. Boris begs her forgiveness and swears he is not the same man he once was. The maid takes no comfort in this and stabs him with a pair of scissors.

Nick, Hank and Renard show up. They have figured out what is going on and are there to make sure nothing bad is going down. Clearly, they are a little late. Boris and the maid come downstairs; Olga is enraged at seeing her husband injured and shifts into whatever kind of wesen she is. I don’t recognize it, but she has tusks and uses one to gore the maid. Renard tries to stop the bleeding but the injury is too severe. Boris creeps over and with his last bit of strength heals her. This kills Boris.

Also: Juliette’s friend Alicia is being abused by her husband. She finally gets the strength to leave, and Nick and Juliette are happy to take her in. Nick learns Alicia is a fuchsbau but doesn’t tell Juliette. Towards the end of the episode, Joe the husband tracks Alicia to Portland. He sits in his car watching the house, and changes into an enrage wesen (I don’t recognize the kind).

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode reminded me of an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series (my favorite TV show of all time). The episode dealt with a man who positioned himself as a faith healer. He had a glove that could heal, but he must pass on the illness to another person or succumb to it himself. Like Grimm, the victims would all get these ghastly, bubbling pustules that would take over their body and kill them. 

Big Bad…

…Koschie. A Russian wesen, the koschie have the ability to both kill and heal. When they kill, it is done by passing on radiation poisoning. This likely explains the koschie’s appearance: their skin goes translucent, and their eyes and veins glow a radioactive green. They are difficult to kill because of their ability to heal. Rasputin, the Mad Monk, was a koschie. 


Wesen are forming street gangs and terrorizing Portland.