Grimm Episode 311
“The Good Soldier”
Written By: Rob Wright
Directed By: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Original Airdate: 17 January 2014
In This Episode…
A woman named Frankie is sitting outside a bar, grumbling. She carves something into her heavily-scarred arm before storming inside and confronting a man. He pretends not to know her - an obvious lie - and she dabs her bleeding arm on a napkin to “remind” him. He storms out of the bar and immediately phones a friend, insisting that “she is here” and “she is crazy.” He goes home, but Frankie follows him. An altercation in his front yard sends him inside to get his gun, but she is gone by the time he comes back out. Returning inside, the man hears movement. Before he can aim his gun, a wesen with a lion face attacks him and stabs him through the chest with a scorpion-like tail.
The dead man is Ron, a former soldier who now works in home security. Hank and Nick go to speak to Ron’s boss, Jim McCabe, who was also the last phone call Ron made. The details of the story unravel at a steady - but lengthy - pace, so I am going to spare you guys the back-and-forth minutia. Ron, Jim, Troy (the man who found Ron’s body) and another man, Bobby (who lives in Phoenix) all met in Iraq. Ron was in the Army; the others were part of a private security firm with a government contract. They returned Stateside about four years ago, but when Hank checks up on the fourth member of this clique, he discovers that Bobby was killed a week ago in the same manner as Ron: what appeared to have been a poisoned pole or stake shoved through his chest. While they wait until more than halfway through the episode to reveal the “deep, dark” secret that these four men share, it was pretty obvious from the first few minutes of this episode: the men gang-raped Frankie while on duty.
Troy is on edge, and he nearly loses it when he comes home to find Frankie chatting with his wife, Betsey. Troy goes to Jim, the ringleader, and says he wants to confess everything. He can’t live with the guilt, and tells Jim that he already told Betsey. True to his word, Troy goes home and gives his wife a hand-written confession letter. She is horrified by its contents, but agrees with Jim: no one can know about this. She tears up the letter and tells Troy to burn it. Troy is a little shocked by his wife’s callousness. Before he can set the note alight in his fireplace, he hears noises from the bedroom. He runs in to find his wife, dead like the others. The same fate greets Troy. Three down, one to go.
Nick and Hank turn to the team’s commanding officer, Colonel Adam Desai. He is being treated for stage four lung cancer, so he speaks to them via video conference. He knew about the gang-rape, and he reported it to his superiors, but they just swept it under the rug. Desai was frustrated because of the deal that the government made with the contractors: they could not be prosecuted for any crime. Period. He will never forget the date that Frankie was raped: November 11, 2010. Nick grabs the bloody napkin that he took from the bar’s garbage. The symbols correspond. Frankie was carving that date into her skin. Desai has to hang up, but not because the nurses were calling him. He is not in the hospital; he is in a Portland motel room and after his interview he helps himself to a tumbler of bourbon.
The toxicology report comes back and finds that all the victims were killed with a scorpion venom. While Nick reassembles the note, Juliette and Hank go through the history and decide they are probably dealing with a manticore. Nick finishes assembling the paper puzzle. Indeed, it is a confession to gang rape. And it looks like Jim is next on the hit list.
By the time cops show up to Jim’s workplace, he has been confronted by an irate but unarmed Frankie. The police take her into custody, and Jim smiles a silent victory. In the interrogation room, Frankie denies killing anyone. She came here to confront them because the pain was more than she could bear, but she maintains she didn’t kill them. Nick outs himself as a Grimm and knows that she is a manticore. But she is not. She reveals herself as a steinadler - a bird wesen - as proof. The only person she ever told was Desai; he was the only person who gave a damn. With the cops listening, Frankie calls Desai, who simply tells her he is getting her the justice she deserves. They triangulate the call, and trace it to the VFW bar.
Jim has also tracked down Desai to the VFW and they face off. Both are manticores, but only Bobby and Ron were killed by Desai; Jim killed Troy and Betsey out of fear that they would rat him out. It’s a reasonably epic wesen-on-wesen battle. Desai stabs Jim in the tail, forcing him to become human. Desai follows suit, and Nick and Hank walk in on Jim stabbing Desai in the chest with a knife. Jim surrenders but immediately tries to play the self-defense card. With his dying breath, Desai proudly declares, “You can’t arrest him for what he did to Frankie, but you can arrest him for what he did to me.”
Meanwhile, Rosalee received a letter from her mom, the first communication in seven years. She wants Rosalee to come visit. She is anxious about seeing her mom again, but the trouble is truly between her and her older sister, Dietta. Dietta is mad that Rosalee spent her youth “partying up and down the coast” while she picked up the pieces after their father died. It turns out that the true hatred stems from Rosalee never showing up for dad’s funeral. Rosalee admits the painful truth: she was in prison for shoplifting and didn’t even know her dad died until she got out of jail. This admission seems to help repair the rift.
Also: Adalind seems to be getting her powers back - but there may also be a problem with her pregnancy.
Dig It or Bury It?
Dig. I am glad that the show didn’t take the familiar - and easy - I Spit on Your Grave route, with the rape victim being the killer. It was just a nice little twist, and also nice that she had someone on her side, even if she didn’t realize it. Of course, I have a million different voices from my feminist film theory classes debating in my head which is a more offensive scenario. I am ignoring those voices and just saying that this is a nice deviation from the typical rape-revenge scenario.
…Manticore. We don’t get much info, other than that it has the head of a lion, tail of a scorpion, and come from Persia. They are lethal soldiers with no fear of death.
Monroe proposes to Rosalee, and his parents come into town. Dad freaks out when he discovers his son is friends with a Grimm.