The Wolf thought to himself, what a tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful... The Brothers Grimm, 1812
At a college in Portland, co-ed Sylvie Oster goes out jogging. As she runs through the nearby forest park, she sees a Hummel figurine on a log and goes to investigate it. As she examines it, something leaps out of the woods and throws her to the ground as she screams in terror.
Detective Nick Burkhardt picks up an engagement ring for his fiancée while his partner, Hank Griffin, takes photos of him with their new equipment and notices Nick eying a young businesswoman. Nick insists that he’s just observing her and makes several deductions about her relationship and business dealings. However, as they go, Nick briefly sees her face change into a hideous visage.
The officers are called to the park where the forest service officer tells them that a hiker spotted a woman’s body, ripped to pieces and scattered through the area. They can only tell it’s a woman because they found women’s Nikes. The forest service officer says that they only found a boot print. Nick notes that the same thing happened at Munson Creek Falls a month ago and then finds the jogger’s iPod. Back at the station, Nick checks the database for violent predators and suggests they check the Munson Creek Falls report. As Nick goes to his desk, he sees a perp under arrest and the man’s face changes into a bestial image.
An elderly woman pulls up to Nick’s house, towing her trailer, and looks inside the window.
Nick is unable to find a predator that fits the profile, while Hank gets a report on the missing Sylvie. They talk to Sylvie’s roommate, who has a photo of Sylvie and identifies her Nikes. Back at the station, they confirm the ID and then head out for the night. Nick drops the engagement ring and Hank gives it back to him, warning his partner not to blow it. Nick goes home and hears a dog barking nearby, and then goes inside. He calls out to his fiancée, Juliette, but gets no response. Nick makes his way to the kitchen and finds the elderly woman there: his aunt, Marie Kessler. Juliette is there preparing supper and Marie apologizes for the short notice. As they hug, Marie whispers to Nick that they need to talk.
As they walk outside in the street, Marie tells Nick that she has cancer and no one can tell how long she has. When he wonders why she didn’t come sooner, Marie says that she couldn’t and that there are things he needs to know about his family. She asks if he’s been seeing strange things that he can’t explain, and Nick admits that he has. Marie says that the misfortune of their family is passing to Nick and he has to break off his engagement to Juliette. Before she can explain further, Marie sees a man in a nearby car and says that Hulda is there, and draws a knife from her cane. Another man-beast leaps out of the bushes and attacks Marie. Nick tries to help but Hulda stabs Marie with his scythe, knocking her down. When he comes after Nick, Nick manages to shoot him and then watches as the creature reverts to a normal human appearance.
Nick runs to Marie, who apologizes for leading Hulda to her nephew and warns that they’re after her. She gives Nick her necklace with an amulet on it and tells him never to lose it. Just as she passes out, Marie tells Nick that his parents didn’t die in a crash, but were murdered.
Later, Nick calls in the police and tells Hank what happened. His partner tells him to go to the hospital to get checked up while he handles things at the crime scene. At the hospital, Nick draws a sketch of Hulda in his beast form. Dr. Rose tells him that Marie has recovered consciousness and Nick goes to see his aunt. She explains that their family has the ability to see the creatures for what they really are when they lose control, and the creatures from fairy tales are real. Nick tells her to get some rest, but Marie tells him that he is one of the last Grimms and everything he needs is in her trailer. She warns him that he’s vulnerable now and needs to be careful, and to never lose the necklace.
As Nick leaves the hospital, he examines the amulet and realizes that it conceals a key. He goes to the station and examines Hulda’s scythe, which has Latin writing on it. Hank comes in and Nick explains that the inscription means “Reapers of the Grimms.” His partner has learned that Hulda’s prints were found at several violent crime scenes across the county. Sgt. Wu tells the partners that Captain Renard wants to see Nick. Renard tells Nick that he shot the right guy and asks how he’s doing given it was his first shooting. Nick says he’s fine but the captain says that he’ll need to see the police psychologist and advises him to get some rest.
That night, Nick has a nightmare of Hulda chasing Juliette through the woods. He goes to Marie’s trailer and finds a cabinet filled with medieval weaponry. A book on the desk contains photos and sketches of various monstrous creatures, including the woman that Nick saw earlier. Juliette comes in, startling him, and he quickly ushers her out. As they go back to the house, Nick explains that Marie was like a mother to him since he was 12 when his parents died. A cat yowls, startling Nick, but Juliette insists that it’s nothing. As they go inside, something watches them from the trees.
The next day, Nick learns that the DNA from the boot print is inconclusive. Hank has identifies the boot print as belonging to an exclusive brand.
A postman wearing the boots drops off letters and walks down the streets. When a young girl walks past him, the postman turns and follows her.
Nick checks in on Marie, and Dr. Rose tells him that his aunt went into a deep coma and has nothing definitive to tell him. She notes that Marie’s body is covered in old knife wounds and wonders what line of work he was in. Before he can pursue the matter, Nick is called to the house where the young girl, Robin Howell, has been reported missing by her mother and grandfather. Robin was on her way to her grandfather’s house but never showed up. Back at the station, Renard mobilize a task force and splits his men up into teams to cover the path Robin might have taken. He notes that Robin was wearing a red sweater, and afterward Nick points out that Sylvie was also wearing a red sweatshirt. Renard hopes that it isn’t the same guy.
The postman drives away from the neighborhood.
Nick and Hank trace the girl’s route around the park to her grandfather’s house, but Hank figures that she would have ignored her mother’s orders and gone through the park. They split up and Nick hears something moving in the brush around him. Hank finds Robin’s backpack and calls Nick over. Nick finds the same boot prints and follows them out of the park to the street, and notices a man coming out to get his mail. When two young girls ride by, the man’s face briefly transforms into that of a wolf-creature. He sees Nick and snarls at him, and Nick comes after him. The man runs back into his house and Nick bursts in to tackle him, and then demands to know where he has hidden Robin.
Nick calls in the police and they search the house, but find nothing. Hank warns Nick that they have nothing on the man, Eddie Monroe, and wonders why Nick thinks that Eddie is their man.
That night, Juliette watches the trailer from the bedroom window as Nick goes inside and goes through Marie’s books. There’s a sketch of the creature that Eddie transformed into among the pages. Nick goes to Eddie’s house and watches him. Juliette calls him but Nick ignores her and follows Eddie as he goes to the back of his house and urinates on the fence. Eddie smells something, goes inside, and turns out the lights. When Nick circles back, Eddie assumes his beast form, leaps through a window, and slams Nick into a wall. He then reverts back to human form, chuckles, and invites Nick inside for a beer.
As they share a beer, Eddie admits that he’s never met a Grimm before. His parents used to tell him stories of Grimms to scare him when he was a kid, and Eddie points out that Nick seems kind of new at the job. Nick explains that Marie is in a coma and Eddie knows of her by reputation. He tells Nick that he doesn’t kill anymore and that he’s a blutbad, vulgarized as “big bad wolf.” Through a strict regimen of diet, drugs, and Pilates, Eddie controls his inner beast. Nick asks how he can stop seeing the real faces of the creatures, and Eddie tells him that’s who he is and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. Nick figures that another blutbad abducted Robin, but Eddie explains that he doesn’t know and that his kind go berserk when they see red. He refuses to help Nick against another blutbad, but Nick demands to know who has Robin.
The postman drives his VW van out to a cabin in the woods and hauls in a bag containing Robin. Hummel figurines are on the mantelpiece. He opens a trapdoor to the cellar and takes Robin down to a bed, and tells her that it’s all hers. When Robin says that she wants to go home, the postman says that she is home. He takes her red sweater and puts it in a closet with several others, asks if she wants a chicken pot pie, and then goes upstairs, locking the trapdoor behind him.
Eddie agrees to help and drives his Volkswagen through the woods, following the scent. He explains to Nick that the blutbad will spend some time fattening Robin up and then eat her.
The postman is checking his boots when he hears the car approaching.
Eddie pulls over and puts wolfsbane on himself to mask the scent, and tells Nick to do the same. The reformed blutbad then leads Nick around the back. They cross a stream and Eddie briefly loses control, but manages to retain his human form. They find the cabin but Eddie starts to lose control and warns that if he gets too close to another of his kind, he could go berserk. He runs away and Nick calls Hank to tell his partner that he’s found Robin.
Inside the cabin, the postman picks up a scent and goes to the window. Robin knocks on the trapdoor and asks to go home, and the postman tells her that he is home and slams the door shut.
Hank arrives and Nick puts some of the wolfsbane on him. He admits that he didn’t call for backup because the police won’t believe him again. As they go through the woods, Nick claims that he checked out the addresses of people who owned the particular boots. However, when he claims that he forgot the man’s name, Hank figures that something is going on. As they approach the cabin, Nick asks Hank if he trusts him and Hank says to do it.
As the postman covers the trapdoor, he smells something again. Hank and Nick knock on the door and he greets them, and they realize that the postman isn’t wearing the boots. He invites them in and then goes to check on the pot pies. Nick insists to his partner that they have the right guy, and they go into the kitchen to confront the postman. They ask where he was when Robin was abducted and say that they have boot prints that match his boots. The postman hums a song and invites them to look anywhere they want and they unsuccessfully search the place. Hank is ready to leave and Nick has no choice but to go.
Outside, Hank realizes that the postman was humming the same song as on Sylvie’s iPod. They break down the door and the postman, in his creature form, attacks them. He shoves them down and runs outside, but Hank shoots him in the back. Nick runs over and rolls him over, and discovers that he’s reverted to human form. When Nick asks where the girl is, the postman mutters “Grimm” and dies. They go back inside and Hank goes to call it in. Nick notices the water from a broken vase flowing down through the floor, finds the trapdoor, and rescues the girl.
Later, Nick sits at Marie’s bedside and promises to do what he has to. A doctor come in to give Marie an injection, but Nick realizes that it’s the woman/creature, Adalind Engel, that he saw earlier. They struggle and the creature injects Nick with the hypo. He collapses as she slips away through the employee entrance and gets into a car with... Captain Renard. Adelind tells him that Marie is still alive because Nick intervened, and he says that they’ll have to try and kill Marie again before she wakes up.
In her bed, Marie wakes up.