Grimm's still dealing with the ripple effects of Juliette's amnesia; her memory has been getting a little bit clearer, if only because she can remember people that are associated with Nick and that in turn gives her a little bit of insight to her long-term boyfriend. Rosalee is out right now thanks to actress Bree Turner's pregnancy; that means that any budding romance between her and Monroe has been put on the back-burner until she returns, and that leaves Monroe manning the herb store.
And where's Nick at? Pretty much the same as he was, except he's trying to figure out what Juliette's problem is now that she's come out of her coma. He's also got Hank to deal with, who is still trying to pin this whole Grimm thing down. It doesn't help that Portland seems to be the hub of Wesen violence, nor is it any good news that Adalind has resurfaced to help Eric Renard try to bump of Nick. Everything's coming together, if slowly, and that means that both "The Other Side" and "La Llorona" are mostly focused on one-shot cases rather than long-term conflicts.
Still, they both tend to involve Juliette to some degree. "The Other Side"'s storyline about a hybrid Wesen killing off his high-school competitors in a Meeting of the Minds-style quiz competition manages to bring Juliette and Captain Renard together a little bit, putting Renard in a terrible state of mind after he breaks into Nick's house and observes Juliette in the shower. It's obvious the spell placed on him by Adalind's curse is getting worse, and the same goes for Juliette's attraction to him, and so to stop it, Renard seeks out Monroe's help with a mixture of herbs. The prognosis isn't good; Monroe says if the object of Renard's affection isn't brought in as well (and Renard doesn't want to reveal who it is for obvious reasons), Renard's obsession will grow so large that anyone getting in the way of it will be in serious danger.
Like always, "The Other Side" is a competent episode - there's nothing to write home about either way. It's not terrible, but it's also not doing anything other episodes haven't besides introducing a new form of Wesen that has been genetically altered.
"La Llorona", though, is different. Meant as a Halloween episode, it introduces the idea of a ghost-type Wesen to the show. Grimms obviously believe in the beasts that they are meant to slay, but apparently Nick is not ready to accept the fact that ghosts also populate the world. So when the Mexican myth of La Llorona pops up during an investigation of a missing child near Halloween, Nick's not ready to write it off as the work of a ghost until he investigates a bit more.
The episode is more freaky than usual for Grimm, and that's because the story of La Llorona is unsettling in itself. A woman near a river cries to herself about her children, and when someone tries to help her, she takes their kids to drown them in the river as an offering to bring her own children back. It never works, which is why she continues to haunt the edges of rivers.
The episode even furthers Juliette's dilemma thanks to a Mexican woman who senses that Juliette must choose between two men. She doesn't want to admit it, but she knows what the woman is referring to, and it scares her in a way that even La Llorona can't do. There's also some great special effects in the episode changing the face of a beautiful woman into the hideously decayed face of La Llorona; it's only featured once, but it's terrifying.
Two good episodes from Grimm, and they even attempt to move the major story arc along - at a snail's pace, perhaps, but still better than just leaving them behind altogether. And "La Llorona" is a great Halloween episode - it even allows Monroe to get in on the action, letting loose with his wild side after some kids prank him with a little holiday trick. Coming upon the mid-season finale, Grimm should be working towards some sort of middle ground before it kicks into high gear for the full finale.