A half-baked The Exorcist rip-off nearly derails the latest Grimm until the case puts Nick squarely in the center of the Wessen Council’s sights. The result isn’t a complete salvage job, but it does tease a tantalizing new direction for the show.
Let’s bitch it out…As anyone who has been reading these Grimm reviews the last two years knows, I have a love/hate relationship with the case of the week format. When Grimm succumbs to its mythological trappings (often around the premiere, mid-season and finale episodes), the show fires on all cylinders. These episodes invariably deal with crazy reveals from the past or revelations about the larger world of the show. My favourite – and the favourite of many others judging from online comments – are those episodes that shed light on the mysterious Royal family and the strange laws that govern Wessen and Grimm behaviour.
‘Stories We Tell Our Young’ is a strange hybrid episode in that it spends a lot of time on a sick child who could be Wessen, or poisoned, or possessed. None of this analysis is fairly interesting (though the prominent role for Bitsie Tulloch’s Juliette suggests that the writers are becoming increasingly confident in when and how to use the character). Frankly I was ready to write off the entire episode until Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) get into a disagreement about whether or not the boy’s condition merits a call to the Wessen Council. And then my ears perked up big time…
See there are sets of rules governing Wessen behaviour. We’re learned a smidgen of this in the past, but the rules – and the punishments for breaking them – have never been really fleshed out. This case marks a new one: an agreement set out in 1602 between Grimms and the Royal Family to spirit away and destroy creatures like this child who could threaten the entire Wessen way of life. It’s a reactionary response, particularly when Juliette discovers that there may be a medical answer lurking behind the child’s aggressive behaviour – a parasitic protozoa that would have been impossible to diagnose before the advent of modern medical tests. The problem is that the Council’s rules aren’t modern; they’re positively antiquated. The dispatch of an assassin to abduct and kill the child to pre-emptively address the problem reinforces the Council’s doctrine, so much so that even when Nick (David Giuntoli) informs the assassin of the medical explanation, the man is non-plussed because this isn’t the way things are done.
The ending is foreboding not because of the Council’s decision to continue watching the child, but because of their acknowledgement that Nick is a different kind of Grimm. Different for these people may be a novelty, but it also threatens their methods of conducting business. Previously Nick wasn’t on their radar (although they were clearly aware of some of his unorthodox methods since they already know about him); the fact that the Council is now keeping an eye on him ominously predicts future conflicts.This likely means bad things for Nick…and great things for Grimm.
- In Vienna the action is also heating up. Ever since Renard (Sasha Roiz) had his brother assassinated, there have been rumblings about fighting among the Royal Family to fill the power vacuum. Add a pregnant Adalind (Claire Coffee) carrying a Royal baby and Renard realizes that he needs to high-tail it over there asap. This is an exciting development, to put it mildly. Not only do we have the promise of learning more about Renard’s family, but Adalind’s B-plot is swinging back towards the main storyline. Angel fans surely recognized the unseen man with the familiar voice who has taken over Eric Renard’s role as the head of the family, so my anticipation of next week’s reveal is dramatically increased.
- Renard’s guide, Meisner (Damien Puckler) stows him in a dank basement/ safe house. The location prompts Renard to reflect on he and his mother’s escape from assassination the last time he was in Vienna. The not-so-subtle foreshadowing anticipates an attack by Hundjagers (neatly dispatched) which sends Renard and Meisner on the run. Is this the work of Adalind’s mysterious new friend?
- This week in adorable Monroe and Juliette behaviour: their “birds and the bees” of Wessen relationships, which involves plenty of German words and lots of bemused looks between the new live-ins. Also chuckle-worthy: Nick and Hank’s (Russell Hornsby) corresponding exasperated looks each time another German word is trotted out to join the lexicon
- Finally, the episode ends with a significant milestone as Nick makes his first entry into the Grimmoire (with Juliette providing back-up support on the technical terminology). Our little boy is all grown up!
- Hank (after Daniel’s face morphs): “That was really weird”
What did you think of the sudden influx of Royal blood in this episode? Did you recognize the mysterious voice? Who has put the hit out on Renard? Should Nick be concerned that the Council has taken notice of him? And how did Juliette do this week? Comment away below
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC