‘The Grimm Variations’ Episode 5 “Town Musicians of Bremen” Recap & Ending Explained

Netflix’s The Grimm Variations brings back the folk tales by the Brothers Grimm. This episode takes inspiration from Town Musicians of Bremen and gives it a dark twist. Inclining towards the anime aspect of this modern rendition, this episode takes place in a cyberpunk kind of Wild West featuring anachronistically futuristic cowboys. The story hints at different themes, such as striking unlikely friendships, isolation, and oppression. 


Spoilers Ahead

What’s The Plot About? 

In the desolate town of Bremen, the Wade Brothers are a group of thugs notorious for violence and running a human trafficking ring. Meanwhile, Dog, a righteous sheriff, wishes to put an end to the Wade Brothers’ tyranny. However, when she accuses her superior officer of taking bribes from the gangs in the region, her status as a sheriff is revoked. She is ostracized by the other lawman for being an idealist, and he declares that her services are no longer needed. 


Dog’s strict sense of justice had earned her the name ‘Mad Dog,’ a name that struck fear amongst the criminals in the region. However, her same sense of justice distanced her from the other lawmen. Dog ends up striking an unlikely friendship with Donkey and Cat, two women who had also been discarded from society and now live a nomadic life. Their isolation had forged a bond among them, creating a sense of belonging for these three women.

What Is Rooster’s Story? 

Rooster was only a child when she was kidnapped by the Wade Brothers. They held her captive for ransom, but when her parents refused to pay ransom for her, one of the brothers offered her a job at their base at a local saloon. At present, Rooster works as a lookout for the gang and a barmaid living a gloomy life. Dog, Cat, and Donkey meet Rooster on their way to Bremen, who then points them towards the town. Rooster also warns Dog and her friends not to go near the saloon, which is a base for the Wade Brothers. Hearing of the Wade brothers, Dog has all the more reasons to go to the saloon. 


What Happens When Dog And Her Friends Arrive At The Saloon? 

When Dog, Donkey, and Cat arrive at the saloon, they’re met by the Wade brothers, who make derogatory comments about these women. When Tim tries to harass Cat, Donkey steps in and punches him away. Dog, not wanting any confrontation, tries to leave the establishment, but Roger shoots at her, prompting Dog to kill him. Dog reveals that she is indeed the infamous Mad Dog, which scares the rest of the outlaws in the saloon. They soon flee the establishment after Dog informs them that around thirty sherrifs are on their way to apprehend the Wade Brothers. Following the brief altercation, the saloon owners ask Dog and the group to leave, as violence is bad for business. 

Why Does Dog Intend To Fight The Wade Brothers? 

After the fight at the saloon, Dog, along with Cat and Donkey, approached Rooster to join them. Dog can resonate with Rooster’s loneliness, as she herself was in a similar situation once. Living life and moving from one place to another was never an easy choice for Dog and her friends, especially for Cat, who cared more about vanity. Moreover, Dog wanted a place for themselves where they could live comfortably and call it their own. As a result, Dog, Donkey, and Cat take a unanimous decision to put an end to the Wade Brothers and make their own home in the saloon in Bremen. Needless to say, they ask Rooster to join them and become a part of their group in this battle against the Wade Brothers. 


How Do Dog And Her Group Fight The Wade Brothers? 

Tim and Dan head back to their elder brother, the head of the Wade Brothers gang, who is infuriated. More so, knowing that the Mad Dog is no longer a sheriff, he is furious at his brothers, who bought the Mad Dog’s lies. Henceforth, to avenge Roger, the boss and the rest of the gang head for the saloon to kill Dog and her friends. Meanwhile, Dog, who knows that the Wade Brothers are on their way to kill them, returns to the saloon with her friends. A direct assault wouldn’t win them this fight, which is why Dog comes up with a plan to set a trap for the Wade brothers. She reveals that the sheriffs aren’t coming as she no longer has their support and asks the uninviting owners to allow them to set up an ambush at the establishment. 

As expected by Dog and her friends, the gang walks into their ambush, leading to a violent fight that eliminates most of the gang. Soon after Cat kills Dan and Donkey kills Tim, the boss asks for Rooster’s help to win the battle. Aware of the fact that Rooster wants a family, the boss offers to treat her like his family if she shoots Dog, but Rooster turns it down. After an intense battle that practically turns the establishment into rubble, the Boss is overpowered by Dog, and it comes down to Rooster to shoot him. However, Dog doesn’t want Rooster to have blood on her hands. Dog deals the final blow in a gunslinging showdown by violently stabbing the boss in the head with a pistol. 


What Happens To Dog, Donkey, Cat, And Rooster? 

Following the violent battle that resulted in the deaths of the Wade brothers, peace finally returns to the town of Bremen. The news of their deaths at the hands of four women spreads like wildfire. Dog, Donkey, and Cat find a new home in this quaint little town. They never had a play they could call their own, but having gotten rid of the criminals, they have a safe haven for themselves now. Moreover, the people were accepting of them as they brought peace to the town. In the aftermath, Dog, Cat, and Donkey, along with Rooster as well, set up shop at the saloon, which now gets a lot of customers. 

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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