Grimm "Stories We Tell Our Young" Review: Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
After last week's surprisingly underwhelming (sorry!) "El Cucuy," this week's "Stories We Tell Our Young" seemed to have everything, swiftly putting Grimm back on track with its big theme for the season sans zombie-flashback-Nick. Renard is being all sneaky in Vienna while Hank and Nick hold down the fort Stateside. And "Stories We Tell Our Young" was another one of those old-ways-vs.-new-ways episodes, but since those tend to be so good, I don't really mind that out of six episodes this season, maybe like four of them have shared the same general message. I love it when Grimm delves deeper into Wesen and Grimm history, culture, and norms—the lack of which, in the past, had always stopped me from thinking of Grimm as a great show, rather than a merely good show.
Sure, it's not like we never got any insight in Season 1 and 2, but Season 3 is really packing in the cultural stuff. I feel like I've learned more about Wesen way of life in the last six episodes than in the last two seasons.
So there was this kid this week who tended to get a little homicidal when confronted with, IDK, booster shots and long division, and everyone thought he was possessed, except for Nick, who thought he was a Wesen and Rosalie, who thought he was a mutated Wesen with a bright future in breaking the entire world. At the very least, they had an eventual serial killer on their hands—or so Rosalie feared—and so did the Wesen Council. Back in the day, the council had a way of making these "Grausen" disappear, and to come across one and not report it was one of the gravest crimes a Wesen could commit. Unlike the rule about woging in public, this one wasn't designed solely to protect the Wesen community, but to protect the rest of the world as well. Apparently, Grausen grew up to be some pretty nasty buggers.
When Nick brought the details of this week's case to Rosalee and Monroe, he inadvertently put them in an awkward position, and for all of this season's emphasis on challenging the more unpleasant aspects of Wesen and Grimm traditions, often featuring Nick sweeping in with some grand new idea, "Stories We Tell Our Young" effectively pumped the brakes on all this modernization—and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It certainly doesn't make for bad TV, and in the context of the world that Grimm has created, it makes sense that even Nick's most loyal allies miiiight eventually find themselves faced with something they can't just hand-wave because Nick said so.
Even in the real world, change—even change that's obviously good and sorely needed—doesn't typically happen overnight. Fear is good for that (fear of change, fear of what could go wrong, fear of failure), and it was fear that motivated Rosalie to go to the council with her intel on the wee baby (okay, not really) Grausen. She was afraid of what the council could do if it learned that she and Monroe kept the boy a secret, but she was also scared, after growing up to terrible tales of the Grausen, of what the boy could become.
Lucky for him, not-useless Juliette theorized that the Grausen affliction could be an illness rather than a mutation, and a cure was conveniently found via accidental hypothermia. Nick called the council off and explained the findings and while they've now resolved to keep tabs on Nick in a move that will in no way end badly probably (wink wink), at least they're no longer executing children in the name of keeping the world safe. Like the assassin-dude said, "Fear isn't an easy thing to change." Baby steps and all that.
MEANWHILE, IN VIENNA...
Renard's safehouse proved to be less-than-safe, and Adalind met the new prince while Renard got stuck wandering through the yummy sewers for dear life. Not fair. I'd like to see this side of the story get more attention now that Renard is more deeply involved. It seems like all the action stays in Portland and we get maybe five minutes of Adalind reacting to something we can't see. At least all the Stefania/Frau Pech stuff was interesting. And gross. Lol, poor Adalind.
BACK IN PORTLANDIA...
I really liked that final bit with Juliette and Nick in the Bookmobile of Crazy, tag-teaming a new entry about their Grausen discovery. It was geeky and sweet and it's really nice to see Juliette being people this season. I also think that sometimes, the scholarly angle of the Grimm gets overlooked in favor of asskicking and BAMFy-ness, and it's important to revisit their booksmarts from time to time. Nick was thrust into this part of his life with little, if any, preparation for it, and if you'll recall, he wasn't entirely enthusiastic about it either. It's the little scenes like that with Juliette, stumbling over technical terms while adding to his ancestors' priceless archives, that truly display how far Nick has come and how he's grown comfortable in his role and made it his own.
In addition to its sweeping enthusiasm for Wesen culture wars, Grimm also has a touch of that age-old story about individuals figuring out where they belong and where they are happiest. Juliette and Nick are in a good place right now (for now) and even Monroe and Rosalie's halting and hilarious explanation of the Wesen birds-and-the-bees revealed an understanding that while their relationship may not be a conventional one by Wesen standards, both culturally and biologically (I think that's what was implied?), they wuv each other and they're comfortable with what they've got. I mean, Monroe still hasn't told his parents, but they're comfortable dammit.
NOTES FROM AUNT MARIE'S BOOKMOBILE OF CRAZY
– Really, REALLY happy that Rosalie vs. Nick wasn't some huge, drawn-out thing and that Monroe didn't get stuck in the middle.
– The Gausen baby was actually kind of cute in homicidal maniac mode. Aww.
– So Nick's zombie flashback thing... are we done with that?
What'd you think of "Stories We Tell Our Young"?
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