After rage zombies and murderous pigs, Grimm has something completely different in store for us this week with “One Night Stand.” For one, the episode opens on an unassuming bunch of mid-twenties-ish pretty people goofing off by a river. Now, this sort of opening usually indicates a procedural drama or a horror movie; fortunately with this show, you can take a little bit of both into consideration.
Jake and Dan, two good looking guys, are partying with Sarah and Anna, two good looking girls. When Dan and Anna get intimate in the water, the camera perspective gets a little funky, suggesting we are seeing through someone’s eyes and not just through the camera that frames any TV show. Sarah wanders off for a moment those eyes belong to Ellie, her deaf sister who has an intense infatuation with Jake. Ellie wants her sister to stay away from Jake, but she ignores the request, and walks out to the water while stripping off her bikini top. Jake follows her into the water and Ellie watches. Not only does she watch, she runs off and steals Jake’s phone. While she skims through his photos, the couples are getting it on in the water. In true horror movie fashion, penetration has its consequences. In this case, the scaly hand of a water monster grabs Dan’s leg and yanks him under. Jake freaks out and tries to rescue his friend, but the ladies just swim away as Jake gets dragged down too by another handsy creature. Cue a fade to black and an abbreviated credits sequence. Jake’s probably done for, right?
Of course not. The episode devoted too much time to Ellie and Jake’s weird non-relationship for him to kick the bucket now. Sadly, Dan’s a goner. Jake, however, is saved by Ellie who reveals she’s some kind of aquatic Wesen. It’s safe to assume the handsy water monsters are too. After saving Jake’s life, Ellie scampers away.
Now for some familiar faces. Rosalee, having accepted Monroe’s invitation to move in, has her share of stuff and it’s coming with her in the shape of towers of boxes. I really enjoy the more banal aspects of the characters’ lives, because it’s so easy for the stories to become over the top with Grimm-on-Wesen shenanigans. The couple goes back and forth about how to manage cramming two lives into the one house. Monroe reminds viewers he’s a clock nerd and Rosalee, and said viewers, love him for it. Although this scene is fun, Monrosalee are kind of on the bench this week. Sure, the move makes for a pleasant subplot, but what good are a Blutbad and a Fuchsbau going to do in water? This is only a minor disappointment though.
Next, the cute couple train makes a detour to Nick and Juliette’s, where the test results from Shirtless Running on a Treadmill Nick’s doctor visit last week is a subject of conversation. Clearly there’s a lot of trust in this relationship now, because Nick tells Juliette she can check his email for a response from the doctor. He then heads off to work.
Work, in this case, means the discovery of poor Dan’s body. Things quickly move to Jake’s apartment, because the traumatized young man had filed a missing person’s report on his now dead friend. Jake gives Nick and Hank the full story about what happened at the start of the episode, including the fact he and his buddy had only just met the sisters when they got to the river to fish. Nick and Hank pepper Jake with questions, both at his place and down by the river. In one of the cooler Grimm moments of the episode, Nick’s super hearing activates, because Ellie is snooping around yet again. Nick runs after, but she manages to get into the water and reveals her fishy heritage. After Jake confirms Ellie as his rescuer, a somewhat befuddled Nick and Hank return to the precinct.
Here’s where you Renard lovers will have to get your fix. Nick and Hank fill him in on what’s going on, after which he receives a text about an email containing a photo of Adalind in her hotel room. He gives his boy Sebastian a call and the two men proceed to talk Royal conspiracies in French. Renard soon realizes that the baby with Royal blood is, in fact, Adalind’s. This little nugget, like the Monrosalee move in, furthers the subplot, but leaves Renard (and Adalind, who only appears in a photo this week) on the sidelines of the story of the week.
Speaking of Monrosalee, Nick and Hank seek some Wesen advice at their place. Rosalee floats the idea that the mysterious girl is in fact a Naiad; a sentiment Monroe finds plausible. She also suggests Nick check his trailer for some back story. Monroe, puppy dog that he is, wants to join the guys for research. Rosalee, in turn, lets him go. I really enjoyed this scene, because it serves this week’s story while also reminding me why I enjoy Monrosalee.
Back at the trailer, Monroe reads the exploits of a Grimm working for the East India Company in 1755. The story explains how one of Nick’s ancestors encountered a Naiad and captured it after one of his friends onboard the ship they were on went missing. The Grimm pressed the Naiad for information, but she consistently refused. She eventually died of dehydration due to being removed from the water for so long. It’s been a while since Nick and company went all Buffy and the Scooby Gang in the Sunnydale High library in his trailer, so this scene was more than welcome. Some pretty cool illustrations on display here too.
Nick and Hank depart the trailer after their history lesson to meet with Wu and Jake; the police have tracked Jake’s missing phone to a marina near the river. As they make their way to a row of houseboats, Ellie spots the men and runs off to hide and spy. Nick, Hank, and Wu meet Abel—the father of the three Naiad sisters—who denies any knowledge of Dan’s drowning or Jake’s missing phone. Just as the cops find the phone, Sarah and Anna are making their way back to their home and get spotted by Jake. Things go downhill from here. The fish folk spin a lie or two about where they were and what they were doing, while two unpleasant fellows, Dominic and Jesse, show up to see what’s going on. Wu and Hank lay the hammer down on these guys and the two sisters are taken down to the precinct for questioning. Before he leaves, Nick has one of his patented “I know you’re a Wesen” interactions with Abel. It’s complete with a knowing smirk on Nick’s part and a terrified woge on the part of the Naiad. Have I mentioned I love these scenes? The confidence Nick has now when compared to when he originally started seeing Wesen provides this subtle sense of character evolution that I really dig.
After the Grimm and Wesen stare down, the show lingers with Abel just a little bit longer. He confronts Dominic and Jesse, who are also Naiads, and we soon learn they come from a traditionalist (and misogynistic) cluster of their kind. The appeal to tradition is a continuing subplot that goes back to the very start of the show and constantly informs what’s going on, but it doesn’t usually come to the forefront quite this much. It’s a good angle to take though.
Back at the precinct, Nick and Hank interrogate Sarah and Anna. Neither of the girls is cooperative and they both start to dry up. Although it’s subtle compared to some of the stuff that goes down on this show, the flaky fish skin is still pretty gross. Renard, justifiably in my perspective, refuses to let them leave just because their Wesen nature will likely kill them in their holding cells. Fortunately for his daughters, or so he hoped it would be, Abel shows up to confess to Dan’s murder. However, Nick and Hank know better and grill him until there are numerous holes in his confession. The two men plan on exploiting the confession to get Abel’s daughters to turn and reveal what really happened. Meanwhile, Jake is just getting back to his place to find that Ellie has broken in. Despite the whole scenario being a little unsettling, Jake rolls with it and even lets Ellie drag him to the pool outside where she reveals her Naiad nature to him. Unfortunately, he’s so distracted that he doesn’t realize Dominic and Jesse are there to kidnap Ellie and “cut” her. He’s left unconscious and they drag her away.
This leads to the most abrupt shift in the episode. Suddenly, we’re back at Monrosalee’s. The couple is still unpacking when Monroe finds, in Rosalee’s words, a butt ugly rabbit tchotchke from her brother’s apartment. Although the piece has a smidge of sentimental value for her, Rosalee isn’t a fan; Monroe, however, initially misconstrues Rosalee’s brief acknowledgement of the hideous knick knack to be worth a prime place on the fireplace mantle. The two bond over their shared hatred of the rabbit. While I enjoyed this scene, I wasn’t a fan of how it was randomly inserted into the larger story arc. Grimm usually handles things in a much more seamless fashion.