Basically, "One Night Stand" was Grimm's take on The Little Mermaid. Why does everyone seem to be doing a take on The Little Mermaid these days? IDK. But Grimm's was very good, so I'm okay with it. "One Night Stand" also continued Grimm's recent trend of contrasting the "old world" with the new one, particularly when it comes to Wesen tradition and specifically when it comes to the touchy subject of Naiad child-rearing.
So King Triton (a.k.a. Abel Mahario) lived in a house by the water with his three daughters who looked absolutely nothing alike (nice touch, Grimm casting people) because they came from three different baby-daddies. The reason for the multiple Y chromosome contributors was (maybe probably) that Naiad males are born sterile, and some of them are really sensitive about it and come from crazy backwoods fundie clans in Alaska, like the two random dudes who'd shacked up with the Mahario fam six months earlier.
Now, I will say, as much as I loved this episode (and I loved it a lot) there were a few details that detracted from my OMG THIS IS SO PERF sentiments. Namely, if two random dudes with alarming ideas about how the female members of their should behave—to the point where they would mutilate a woman for stepping out of line—showed up on your stoop, would YOU just invite them in? Okay.
NICK: "WE WANNA TALK TO ELLIE."
KING TRITON: "Well u can't cuz she's deaf."
I... what? Well okay then. Nick doesn't know sign language and apparently Ellie is some sort of untamed animal-lady prowling the woods of the Pacific Northwest, what with her complete and total inability to communicate with anyone ever. It's not like they could've asked one of Ellie's fluent-in-sign-language family members help, found a translator back at the police station, or, you know, handed Ellie a pen and paper. Accommodations are hard. Let's just call this whole murder investigation off.
BLONDE MERMAID SISTER: "Stop staring at the man candy and stop being something u r not!"
Were we talking about the deaf thing or the Naiad thing? Because if we were talking about the Naiad thing, then pot, kettle, black, sista. If we were talking about the deaf thing then that's kind of messed up. Maybe we were talking about how Blonde Sister apparently puts out on the first date and Ellie sticks more to petty theft and puppy-dog eyes?
Anyway, the bigger picture of "One Night Stand" managed to smooth over the episode's more concerning flaws by slipping comfortably into the complicated world of Wesen that Grimm has worked so hard to build. "One Night Stand" wasn't the first episode to feature forward-minded Wesen trapped by a system of traditions and customs that prevents them from living lives in the open—and hey, even if you're a Wesen who would rather keep to the old ways and avoid human contact, then that's fine, too... just cool it with the murder and stuff, you know?
It's a complicated debate: Should Wesen communities assimilate and live as "humanly" as possible, or should they stay away from mainstream society and keep on keeping on the same way they have for generations? It's a debate that isn't even exclusive to Grimm, and the fact that the series has recently started making this issue into more and more of an actual thing serves to highlight just how much Nick and his team and their weird(er) version of Portland have matured since the show debuted.
The third season of any TV series can often end up being the sweet spot; by that point, a show usually knows what it is, and what it wants to be. It's comfortable, but it's not old, tired, or overdone. There's still a lot to be explored. There are still new ideas to put to paper. Grimm is growing increasingly secure with embracing complicated and difficult ideas that go beyond a TV show. Real communities all over the world struggle with issues of identity, with balancing the needs and wants of a community versus the needs and wants of individuals. Assimilation can be a dirty word, but so can isolation.
Grimm has bitten off a lot in just a handful of episodes this season. While Hank and Nick swam with the mermaids, Sean made some alarming (for him, at least) progress with his Royal-watching, and Juliette thinks Nick's mom is a lady-on-the-side because she was reading Nick's cryptic email like a totally non-crazy girlfriend. At least we still have Monroe and Rosalee, whose shacking-up experienced some hiccups that they handled like the awesomely perfect people that they are. Mwah.
Basically, I can't believe this was only the fourth episode of the season. I feel like so much has happened! (In a good way.) How are you feelin' about the season so far?
– The "real" Little Mermaid: SparkNotes version: Once upon a time, this captain caught a mermaid and accidentally killed her because she wouldn't talk to him about things that were none of his business, and the fact that her face was flaking off in chunks didn't seem terribly important. *swoon*
– So Nick can stay underwater for stupid-long stretches of time. Best zombie-aftermath ever?
– Renard said no special treatment for Wesen criminals. Nick said the two Naiad dudes should've thought about the aftermath before they murdered Sexy Suitor #2. So... are they really just going to let those two dehydrate in a jail cell?
– Sometimes the Wesen look kind of weird in their Wesen form, but the Naiad were really pretty!
– During the opening scene, did anyone else think, "So many horror films start like this"?
What'd you think of "One Night Stand"?
AIRED ON 5/20/2016
Season 5 : Episode 22