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Grimm, Ep. 3.06, “Stories We Tell Our Young” highlights series’ strong characterization, relationships

Grimm, Ep. 3.06, “Stories We Tell Our Young” highlights series’ strong characterization, relationships

Grimm S03E06 promo pic, "Stories We Tell Our Young"

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 6, “Stories We Tell Our Young”
Written by Michael Duggan
Directed by Aaron Lipstadt
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC

This week, on Grimm: Capt. Renard goes to visit family, Rosalee calls the Council, and Nick learns how to spell eukaryotic

After last week’s delightfully straightforward fallout to the email from Nick’s mom, “Stories We Tell Our Young” gives viewers another episode that refreshingly bucks procedural conventions. When Nick and Hank look to be dealing with the closest thing the Wesen world has to demon possession, the answer to the bizarre phenomena they witness is unsurprisingly found in science, thanks to Juliette. Rather than Star Trek the explanation though, writer Michael Duggan adds complexity, starting with the basics and layering on scientific specifics. We don’t get a load of technobabble from Juliette which is then pared down so the simple folk can understand, she guides Nick and co. through the jargon, speaking to her audience rather than at them.

Throughout the episode Juliette feels like the scientifically-minded vet she supposed is, a rarity both on this show (though this episode hopefully marks a change in that) and in network or procedural television in general. When’s the last time a character on a genre show mentioned getting a sample of an odd or dangerous substance so it can be examined? It may have taken a while, but Juliette is finally being incorporated much more fully into the group (enough that this viewer is starting to get suspicious of tragedy waiting to strike- it’s too good to last). First the two-part premiere, then last week’s Juliette-friendly case (given her connection to Pilar), and now a biological hazard. Time will tell if the writers are just teasing audiences with to-be-wedded bliss for Nick and Juliette but for now, it’s great to see them work together.

The interactions between Nick and Juliette bring one level of reality to the characters this week. Hank’s hilarious reactions to several occurrences, most notably Daniel’s physical transformation when his Grausen parasite/infection presents, are wonderfully naturalistic and relatable as well. The CGI is effective and Gabriel Suttle is well-cast as Daniel; the kid is adorable, right until he’s not. It’s great to have a reminder that while our heroes have been facing dangerous Wesen and foiling dastardly schemes for a while now, they’re still just people and a little boy fitting the physical cultural description of being possessed is no less creepy or weird than it was before they knew about Blutbads and Fuchsbaus.

Grimm S03E06 promo pic, "Stories We Tell Our Young"Speaking of, Monroe and Rosalee may be a bit too precious with their We Know Wesen Terminology-ing this week, but their reaction to the news of Grausen is appropriately effective and it’s nice to see some differentiation between them; they’ve been very much a unit for a while now. Though he may not agree, Monroe respects Rosalee’s decision to call the Council and when he can’t not warn Nick, she reciprocates that by not interfering. In a year when several of the rare series featuring characters who all like, respect, and support each other have been cancelled (RIP, Ben and Kate and Bunheads), it’s nice to see these kinds of relationships. There’s plenty of television with snarky or bickering couples- here’s to Grimm for going another way with their central partnerships.

A world away, Capt. Renard is back in Vienna and dealing with his oh-so-pleasant family. Renard has been sidelined quite a bit this season; it makes sense to throw him in with Adalind and the rest of the brewing Royal Families trouble. It was a wise move, transitioning him from a shady, secretive antagonist to part of the Grimm Squad, but it’s left him with less to do. Hopefully that will change soon. While each of the characters on the show are entertaining, likable, and interesting in their own right, one can’t help the nagging thought that there are too many people on Team Grimm- they need an equal foe and while Adalind is a lot of fun, she’s not enough of a threat on her own to balance out Nick, Monroe, Rosalee, Hank, Juliette, and Capt. Renard (and the Royal Families aren’t cutting it either). Either something needs to change to give the baddies a leg up and keep our heroes occupied, or one or more of our protagonists are going to need to go- fingers crossed that it’s the former.

Next week brings the two-part Grimm midseason finale/holiday episode. Given the title of the second episode next week, “Twelve Days of Krampus”, it seems safe to say we’re in for an entertaining, comedic midseason finale, rather than the arc-heavy or emotionally draining approach often taken. We may be only a quarter of the way into the season, but it’s been a good year so far for the show, with plenty of action, some fun new Wesen, and a renewed focus on character. Here’s hoping they keep it up, both next week and when the show comes back next year.

What did you think of this episode? Was anyone else glad the Grausen didn’t swap hosts when Daniel splashed through that stream? Did the science talk work for you, as it did me? Think there’s smooth sailing ahead for Nick/Juliette and Monroe/Rosalee? Post your thoughts below!

Kate Kulzick