Season 1 of Grimm didn't do much in the way of developing Nick into a fighter. One of the episodes had a few scenes of Nick training so that by the end he was a stone-cold fighter. The Grimm doesn't inherit supernatural fighting skills like Joss Whedon's Slayer did. Grimms learn to fight and learn to kill specific kinds of creatures. Since the training episode, Nick's kicked a steady string of ass without training scenes. One assumes Nick trains off-screen, between cases. "The Sandman" adds a rather convenient skill-set for Nick. The bug Wesen transfers a bug's senses to its victim. Nick's temporarily blinded by the villain of the week during a fight. Slowly, his senses change. He hears sounds he shouldn't, like Rosalee talking about him in the other room in a quiet and secretive tone. Later, he hears the sound of the suspect's car as he enters, drives off, stops driving, and exits the vehicle. Previous research provided helpful information. Without his eyes, though, he's still a threat to the creatures. Grimm doesn't touch on the idea of coincidence versus fate, so it doesn't seem like Nick's temporarily blindness was part of a Grimm's journey. So, what he gains is coincidental, but a rare benefit to a terrible pain, and really cool.
Kafka's "Metamorphosis" came to my mind during "The Sandman." The initial concept of the case is dark and uncomfortable. Andre, the buggy Wesen, doesn't sexually assault his victims, but he preys on their vulnerabilities. Andre's initial abuse, before the painful blindness thing, is cruel. Molly, his first victim, is sad about her recently deceased brother in the teaser. Andre understands and offers to drive her home. Molly wants to talk. They talk at her place, but she's crying and she's angry she's been taken back to her place of deep sadness and grief. Molly wants to stop crying. Andre pounces once she speaks those words. Pain begets more pain. In both instances, Molly is the victim. Molly's the victim of a drunk driver who took her brother's life when he took the wheel of his car, and she's a victim of a man who preys on her grief to feed. Andre does the same thing later, but his second victim doesn't die. The victim's sister comes home to save her, but she doesn't save her sister's eyes. Buggy Wesen (it is LATE and I don't remember the name....hell, I'm surprised I'm even awake writing this) return to the family to finish the job, as it were. Andre attacks his second victim's sister, but he fails. By then, Nick and Hank are well on him, as are Rosalee and Monroe. Nick's nifty abilities/skills get better by the second.
The Buggy Wesen's eventually tracked down, cornered and killed but by the second victim's sister. His killing's quite visceral for Grimm, but this story deals with more than simple 'villain needs tears.' Andre's deserving of his fate. "The Sandman" mostly tells the sandman story; however, the teaser of the episode has a second scene in which Nick, Hank, Rosalee and Monroe, eat breakfast and talk about Renard, and in which they unearth the theory that he's basically the bastard of the Royals. The Royals are rarely seen and mostly heard about, and what the characters and the audience hear about is the power of the family. The writers wouldn't give Nick the bug ability if it wouldn't come in handy with the Royals. Adalind has a small scene in Austria in which she tells an older woman about her pregnancy.
Renard has a bizarre dream about Juliette which shows he's dealing with the effects of their potion just as Juliette seemingly is. Juliette takes her problem to Rosalee. Juliette's problem seems less to do with the potion and more to do with her memories. The ghost in her house isn't a ghost but perhaps a memory of Nick the one he time he held a light and walked toward her. The apparition of Nick disappeared before Juliette made sense of what she saw. Renard's dream turns dream Juliette into a sort of molten rock. There are more questions than answers, though.
"The Sandman" is a solid episode of the show. Grimm's really good at showing the dark side of a fairy tale. Grimm doesn't usually follow its epigraph, but their stories tend to deal with the darker side of things, which is way more appealing than the crap Once Upon A Time is putting out weekly. The case-of-the-week goes to a dark place, but "The Sandman" is notable for adding another thing to Nick's arsenal. Grimm's been adding to its mythology and its personal Grimm. That's a good thing.
-Happy Saturday morning. I started the review at 1AM, went to sleep, woke up, and finished before 9AM. I'm sure anyone reading now feels that their weekend can officially begin.
-Andre was South African and complimented anyone who didn't mistake his accent for Australian. I'm now worried I'll mistake a South African accent for an Australian.
-Alan DiFore wrote the episode. Norberto Barba directed it.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK