Grimm season 3 episode 14 review: Mommy Dearest

Review Christine Horton 10 Mar 2014 - 08:12

Grimm might just have created its scariest monster yet. Here's Christine's review of the latest episode...

This review contains spoilers.

3.14 Mommy Dearest

After last week’s episode, fans of the show could be forgiven for thinking the title of this week’s instalment, Mommy Dearest, would relate to the imminent birth of a new royal heir.
Not so. While Adalind does finally give birth – in a log cabin with hitman Meisner playing midwife no less – the title refers to another scary mother, one that’s far more sinister than Adalind.

In fact, despite stretching out the pregnancy plotline since season 2, the birth of Adalind’s baby was strangely downplayed. The events in the Swiss Alps act as bookends to an episode that instead focuses on probably the most hideous Wesen yet, and the discovery by Sergeant Wu that some folktales are actually real.

But back to the birth: Adalind is now the mother to a baby girl – who is already displaying some pretty freaky powers. Speaking of powers, as soon as Adalind delivers the child her Hexenbiest powers return in full force, which judging by the self satisfied smile on her face, was her priority.

We should also prepare for the awesomeness that will be a protective baby daddy in the shape of Renard; when he hears about the birth of the little girl there is a definite softening, before he sets about making plans to extricate mother and daughter from Europe.
Keeping on the pregnancy theme, Mommy Dearest features a mother so scary she makes the original Mommie Dearest Joan Crawford look like Ma Larkin.

Many fans of the show have wondered when Wu will be brought into the Scooby Gang, and this week he drops the wisecracks when he gets involved with a Wesen-related crime against one of his friends.

This episode is rooted in Filipino folklore, and the Wesen is as horrific as we’re likely to see on the big screen. The Aswang is a terrifying demonic creature that climbs into the bedrooms of pregnant women as they sleep, and unleashes a long, black spiky tongue that pierces their stomachs and sucks the baby’s amniotic fluid out though the women’s navels (the tongues are reminiscent of the alien’s tentacles in the movie Slither.)

This happens to Wu’s childhood friend, Dana, giving us an opportunity to find out more about Wu’s background than we’ve had before, providing some character depth – as opposed to just being on hand to provide sarcastic comments during investigations.

Yet again Grimm’s tackling the issue of tradition versus the modern ways, a recurring theme this series; it turns out its Dana’s mother-in-law who expects to feed on her son’s firstborn child in order to prolong her own life. “You owe me this,” she tells her son. Yikes.
But more than any Wesen plotline, it’s a big moment for the series when Wu sees something he can’t explain.

However, despite Hank’s protestations, Nick and the gang decide not to bring Wu in on the secret. “I don’t want to drag him into this, not until we absolutely have to,” says Nick.
“Hearing the truth is not the problem. It’s seeing it and not being able to explain it that pushes you over the edge,” Hanks argues.”You leave him unprepared anything could happen.” LISTEN TO HANK, PEOPLE!

Wu can’t reconcile what he’s witnessed and checks himself into a psychiatric hospital – but even then Nick doesn’t tell him he’s not crazy. I understand the writers wanting to string it out a little longer, but the whole thing is just annoying – especially considering how comparatively well Hank and Juliette took the discovery. The ship of denial has sailed people, and not telling Wu now is just cruel.

Aside from all of that, we finally discover Wu’s first name: Drew. Yes, Drew Wu.
Let’s do more secret sharing next week.

Read Christine's review of the previous episode, Revelation, here.

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I don't get why there was a need to bring Wu "into the fold". There have to be some cops who don't know the truth, and I've always thought of Wu as the representative of those cops. It's not like he is missing out on important clues like Hank because he is not a detective partnered with a Grimm, he is a patrol officer who responds to crime scenes and takes witness statements.

Having said that, it is pretty cruel to not let him in on the game now that he has seen a Wesen face to face. Especially one that damn scary (when one jumped in his window in his dream I jumped out of my chair - I can't remember the last time Grimm made me do that).

I was shocked by the final scene with Wu in the psychiatric ward, and Nick not saying anything - but then it makes sense that not everyone who learns about Wesen accepts it as relatively easy as Hank and others have. Denial, breakdown, a defensive (and oftimes understandable) fear and hatred of these Wesen... all of these could be expected reactions. There's a reason the Wesen Council chose to hide their existence from humanity...

Aswangs don't usually attack their kin or even neighbors. Aswangs are known to attack people outside their home radius. And the thing about kins is that the dying aswang would pass this "Harry Potter gillyweed"-kind of thing to their chosen relative and that relative would then become the next Aswang.

I've been expecting a different interpretation of our very own Wesen. I just wished they'd stuck with the "passing-of-the-token" idea, it's somewhat more intriguing than giving birth to one.

Most Filipinos (I'm not sure about this generation) could easily accept their existence and adjust to the shock. Back in the day, Filipinos are more inclined to believe in such beings. It seems like living in the America has reduced Wu's open-mindedness (if ever he used to be one).

I'd probably accept that, if he hadn't been questioning everyone about the creature - but then again he seemingly turned it around and speculated to Nick that it was someone doing it to make it look like an attack from the creature.

If the situation that lead to his Aswang encounter was different, I always thought he'd say something like "Cool! I always wanted to see one in real life!"

I just wish he'd be back to his usual snarky self after he finally comes to terms with the Wesen's existence and not someone who's been terribly scarred and become a different person entirely.

He's bound to find out sooner and later just like Hank. I can't wait to hear him quip about Wesens!

Totally agree - we need him stronger and snarkier :-)

wu is filipino? wu is a Chinese surname not a Filipino surname. i am Filipino living here at manila and all my life i never encountered a Filipino named wu. i always thought of him as a chinese-american. well if the creators would write him as a filipino-chinese-american that can get away.

in Filipino folklore aswangs in their human forms are usually the strangers or outcasts in their given society. that is why the stigma stereotypical falls on the Visayans who are living in Luzon particularly in Tagalog towns as their Visayan culture is somewhat unfamiliar to the Tagalogs. and that difference gaveway to the myth of the aswang... that is why you are right, i was surprised that an aswang would attack her own daughter.

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