Screencap from NBC's Grimm

Warning: Mild Spoilers

In its fourth episode “Lonelyhearts” written by Alan DiFiore and Dan E. Fesman, and directed by Michael Waxman, Grimm finally resolves the problem of how to be a dark fantasy/police procedural without sacrificing either genre.

Drawing from Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” we’re introduced to the Ziegevolk (Patrick Fischler,) typically a goatish lothario. This Ziegevolk is a little more sinister than your average player, to say the least.

In finally integrating Nick Burkhardt’s partner Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) into the investigation in a meaningful way, even without revealing Nick’s identity as a Grimm, the show stops feeling fragmented. As Nick (David Giuntoli) is supported by Hank and Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) in the hunt, the audience can see that Nick’s position as a police officer is a help more than a hindrance.

A woman running away from something unseen, obviously in the throes of drug-induced hallucinations, ends up dead. There are missing women in cages, and Nick’s powers let him know that something is very wrong in Portland. The trail leads to the Bramblehouse B&B, and yes: something is very wrong in Portland. There’s a stake-out and surveillance that offers some comic relief as even Eddie isn’t immune from the pull of the Ziegevolk’s pheromones. Most importantly, there is a very real sense of tension when Hank opens a significant door.

The subplot, of a Reaper (Henri Lubatti) seeking the Grimm, gives the audience a little taste of how the supernatural hierarchy works. Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) is revealed not just as a player, but as someone with power and influence beyond what we’ve already seen. It’s a scene that also has a little bit of a shout-out to Lubatti and Roiz’s francophone Canadian roots, as well as Bluebeard being a French fairy tale. It’s a nice touch that gives the episode extra depth, much as the typically germanic names for the creatures are a callback to the Grimm brothers.

This is the first episode of Grimm that I haven’t felt crossed the line between using the fairy tale theme either too bluntly or obliquely, and where the in-universe mythology of the creatures didn’t feel like it was slapped together at the last minute to fit a particular fairy tale.