Grimm "Stories We Tell Our Young" Review: Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Dec 07, 2013

Grimm S03E06: "Stories We Tell Our Young"


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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  • Katerine_M Dec 10, 2013

    I forgot to mention one of my many favorite parts of this episode: the unnamed Council assassin-guy. :)

    Well, I don't love that he's unnamed. What's with not naming people on this show? Seriously, what's Monroe's full name?

    But otherwise, I really like the guy, and I really hope we see a lot more of him. Just in the first few seconds that we meet him, we see all sorts of layers to his personality. He hates that he's going to kill a kid, but he's going to do it anyway, because he believes it's the right thing to do. That's an interesting personality. And at the end, he was almost a believer, and was clearly happy to be given the job of "monitoring the boy... and the Grimm."

    I can totally see the guy becoming a sometimes-Scooby-except-he-reports-to-the-Council-and-everybody-knows-it, which would be a great dynamic to add, especially when Renard is also in the mix. :)

    But first, he needs a name. :\

  • Katerine_M Dec 10, 2013

    Oh, just checked the wiki. Apparently his name is Alexander No-Last-Name. He was in "Natural Born Wesen" as well.

  • JenniferHarri1 Dec 09, 2013

    I loved the birds and the bees talk wesen style. The episode rates up there for the season so far. It still feels like the writers are struggling with what to do with Juliette.. now that shes no longer a whiney millstone around nick's neck how do you keep her in the show without making her useful?

    Definitely interested in the Renard and Vienna story line but its sort of like watching Arrow and dying to see "the island bits" and realising that its going to take all season to make any progress but thats ok.

  • littlebitliz Dec 09, 2013

    Yeah. I agree so much with this review, and I loved this episode. I love that they're digging more into the wesen culture, I love that Juliette continues to be helpful and awesome. I also wish that we could get a little more of the Vienna storyline, especially now that Renard is involved in it.

  • nomaveck Dec 09, 2013

    Liked the episode well enough but despite the fact that I'm enjoying Juliette's integration into the gang and that she's actually proving to be useful, the scientific mumbo-jumbo she kept spouting had me rolling my eyes constantly.

    I mean, I think her explanations kinda made sense but I just don't think science and "magic" (as it were) should mix. I like my fantasy shows to be fantasy and my sci-fi shows to be sci-fi. It's the same problem I had with the latter parts of BSG where Starbuck suddenly became an angel or some shit like that. No thanks.

    Also, I think Juliette's smart and I like that she's a good vet but this sudden expertise in all things medical is as believable as Denise Richard's role in that Bond film where she was a "scientist". This may also be a failing in the actress. Bitsie Tulloch is good at the light fair but she's always had trouble with the more serious parts. I think she's got pretty good comic timing but not sounding ridiculous in grave situations is not her strong suit.

    This episode also seemed to shaft the other members of the Scooby Gang in favor of Juliette getting some spotlight. Which I'm totally okay with because she desperately needs it for further integration but I wouldn't be happy about it if it continues for the next episodes. The Nick and Juliette show is just not engaging. They both need to play against the more dynamic characters in order to be watch worthy. I've gotten used to the fact that Giuntoli has less charisma than pretty much everyone one of his co-starts except for Tulloch, especially since he's gotten so much better and so much more watchable by himself. But Tulloch is still the weakest link and constantly pairing her with Giuntoli is not doing her any favors. I find her most enjoyable when she's with Rosalee and Monroe. Or even with Hank. Or Bud.

    What else... Ah! I find that I'm still enjoying the weird détente that Nick and, to a lesser extent, Hank has with Renard. Though, I'm puzzled as to why no one has yet asked Renard the question: "Sir, did you by any chance have your brother killed?". Or why we haven't seen much reaction to the event from the people who were so gung-ho about going after Eric like Hank and Monroe. And considering all the wesen birds and bees talk, it makes me crazy that the writers didn't have Nick or Hank ask Monroe and Rosalee about Renard's heritage. I mean, when the hell are we going to find out what the Royals are exactly? Wesen, human, something else? Writers, answer this question soon, please.

    Also, lol at hiding Alexis Denisof. He has a very distinctive voice.

  • Katerine_M Dec 13, 2013

    Regarding why nobody's called Capt. Renard out on Eric's death...

    I previously figured that they probably don't know (After all, it's not like our press pays all that much attention to the politics of Austria. :) )... but on rewatching the scene, I see Nick asks, "does this have anything to do with your brother's death?" So, never mind. (hence the removed post). :)

    Now, I'm thinking they probably know. Or at least strongly suspect. But they've gotten used to speaking circumspectly. Not talking about it, is probably their way of thanking Renard. After everything Eric put them through... both Monroe and Hank almost flat-out said that they'd do the same, given half the chance. And then, suddenly, Eric is dead. And they're thinking, "yay!"

    So of course they're not going to mention that their captain might have had a hand in it, especially while in the prescinct. They're cops. If they say anything, then they're acknowledging that it might be true. And then they would have to do something about it.

  • Katerine_M Dec 13, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

  • Katerine_M Dec 13, 2013

    I agree with much of this post, but I have to disagree with the following:

    "I mean, I think her explanations kinda made sense but I just don't think science and "magic" (as it were) should mix. I like my fantasy shows to be fantasy and my sci-fi shows to be sci-fi."

    Perhaps that's true of LOTR and... most Disney fairy tales, but the entire premise of Grimm (and Buffy, Angel, the real-world parts of OUAT, etc.) is that it takes place in our world. Or at least, in a parallel universe that, except for the specific differences that are outlined in the show, is identical to ours. There's just a whole aspect of the world we live in, that the majority of people alive are completely unaware of.

    That's the premise. That's the world that this show takes place in. It's just like ours, except that throughout history, there have been non-human sentient beings who look human (probably as an evolutionary necessity), except to Grimms, people with genetic superpowers that enable them to see these other beings the way they really are. And then there are ancient royal families that have been having feuds for centuries, and in modern times, those feuds have become secret from most people in the world.

    That doesn't change the fact that the world of the show, like the world we live in, has had scientific advancements made over the centuries. And that the culture of the humans (kehrseite) in the show is largely centered around science and technology, just like in our world.

    If anything, Grimm is more real-world-based than it is fantasy. The protagonist is a cop. He deals with crimes, and criminal investigations, and many plots actually have to take human law into account. There's just this whole secret world that he has to deal with in addition to that, while still staying within the bounds of regular laws and morality. That's a huge part of the premise of the show, and a huge part of the appeal of the show, is that conflict.

    Also... what you're complaining about (the "protazoa" explanation for the Grausen's existence) is not really sci-fi. A Sci-fi story, is a story that is set a world that's centered around an advanced science that's created by the authors. Key word: "advanced." It's advanced, either because it's set in the future, or because it's influenced by alien technology, or because it's set entirely in an alien universe, or because it's a theoretical universe based on things that only exist as scientific theories at this time.

    Humans have known about protazoa for decades, in this world (I learned about them in high school, in the early 90s.) So a protazoa explanation might be out of place if it were not set in this world... but it is set in this world. So it's not out of place.

    (Although, I do agree in one respect... I have a hard time figuring out how an infection can explain a 9-year-old boy's ability to throw an adult man through a wall.)

  • vcivi Dec 09, 2013

    Loved this episode, that was scary...poor kid...
    Loved how Monroe and Rosalee tried to explain the whole having a kid thing when you are wesen...
    I really starting to like Julliette more and more this season, now she is a part of it.
    Loved how they showed the strenght Nick has now, with his hearing and everything..

  • flintslady Dec 09, 2013

    Bear with me please, because I stopped watching last season, and only recently came back, because so many of my shows are on hiatus and I'm going through some serious genre tv withdrawal.

    In the pilot of this show, didn't Nick become a Grimm because his aunt got killed. Didn't they set up this idea that your powers and abilities come into their own when the previous Grimm dies? Or did I miss something?

    So how is Nick's mom also a Grimm? I can accept that there are multiple Grimm's at a time? But within one blood line?

    Also before whenever Nick would encounter a wessen within moments he would know. Why isn't that happening anymore? Is that a plot point or a retcon?

    The mythology of this show seems a little all over the place, but that may be due to me missing something. Can someone clue me in?

  • tnetennba Dec 09, 2013

    I think that the "within moments he would know" thing was something they did badly. He can only see their wesen-faces when they get emotional. So it makes more sense if it sometimes takes a while. This is why Renard could hide his face for more than a season.

  • Laserwolf412_XL Dec 09, 2013

    They never said anything about the Grimm powers being passed down after death. They just develop them around a certain age. They seem to indicate that there are quite a few out there and he actually became a Grimm before she was even injured. As for him recognizing them, he only ever knew who they were when they changed after being aggitated or excited. Sometimes he meets them when they have no reason to be upset.

  • tnetennba Dec 09, 2013

    I think aunt Marie said explicitly that Nick is starting to see things precisely because she had started to die. I think she started to die from cancer or something some time before she ended up in the hospital.

  • nomaveck Dec 09, 2013

    I don't recall his aunt ever saying something like that. Though, I think I may remember his Mom saying something about it being passed down the line and that the males generally come into their heritage much later in life than the women.

    Of course the pilot episode was a long time ago. I may be wrong about that. Or they may just have retconned it.

  • JenniferHarri1 Dec 09, 2013

    Munroe mentioned it in the first episode "did someone in your family just die or something" given the fact that Nicks mum is alive and by that theory only one person at a time would be able to see things it sort of stuffs up Marie and Nick not to mention that for that theory to work then there would only ever be a set number of grimms its probably fallen by the wayside.

  • rpennycuff Dec 09, 2013

    Another great episode. Season 3 is turning out to be as good as Seasons 1 and 2. I have to say this episode was what keeps watching. I think this episode is another one that makes you think and can confuse you about the Wesen community at the same time. I really liked this episode.

  • MichelleHood24 Dec 08, 2013

    Great episode keep havering Nick use his super senses they just add to the show and his character. I think where going to see more of the council now that they will be keeping an eye on Nick which is good we haven't seen that accept of the Grimm universe as much as I'd like. I'm slowly warming to Juliette she has some purpose now and is becoming useful to the cases and spelling long words, but I still have a problem with her and Nick together as a couple. Loved the whole episode start to finish.

  • tnetennba Dec 09, 2013

    I have also been thinking that Juliette is a much better character now that she knows.

  • tnetennba Dec 09, 2013

    ...and now I have seen that everyone else is saying the same thing below.

  • ILoveTVandDDsBB Dec 08, 2013

    Man!! I need a wesen encyclopedia

  • Laserwolf412_XL Dec 08, 2013

    I love the frequent dinners between the gang, and especially that they don't get awkward halfway through (though I still cringe in anticipation of it thanks to Breaking Bad). However, Hank really needs a +1 if they are going to keep doing this.

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