Grimm (spoilers for Dec. 6 episode)

The December 6 episode of Grimm, “Stories We Tell Our Young,” has a number of good themes. It deals with a child who sometimes undergoes physical changes and becomes violent. In investigating this, Nick first thinks he’s dealing with some kind of Wesen (prounounced “vessen” — that’s the least of the atrocities the show commits on the German language). A priest thinks that the kid is demonically possessed and attempts an exorcism. The Wesen Council knows of a history of such cases and calls them “Grausen,” a German word meaning horror. It considers assassination necessary.

It turns out that the child is suffering from a non-supernatural brain parasite. Nick stops the would-be assassin and explains this to him; he’s convinced enough to abandon his quest. In resolving a seemingly supernatural event with a natural explanation, and in showing how people (including Wesen) can react to what they don’t understand by trying to destroy it, the show makes good points. (The Wesen are cryptids but still natural beings in the show’s terms.)

On the negative side, the story is resolved with a ridiculous cure for a previously unknown disease based on wild guesses, and the parasites flee out the kid’s nose. It reminded me of the miracle cures in so many Star Trek episodes. I suspect the writers had trouble wrapping this one up; TV shows can do horrible things to adults, but they get complaints if children die. Still, it was a very good episode for the way it dealt with the conflict between the Grimms and the Wesen, among the Wesen themselves, and between different ways of dealing with an unknown threat.

This helped to make up for the previous episode, in which Nick threatened to kill two witnesses if they didn’t talk. They were naiads who would die if kept out of water for too long, and Nick knew it as he said they’d be held until they gave him the information he wanted.

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