Some Traditions Suck.
Review: Grimm – “Mommy Dearest”
Season 3, Episode 14
Air Date: Friday, March 7, 2014, 9/8c on NBC
“I am going off to a house and entering like a snake…I will devour their babes and make their hearts ache.”— Grimm
Somebody’s mom makes a visit to Portland but it isn’t who you think. “Mommy Dearest” is one of the best episodes this season, and I’m not just saying that because it’s Wu-centric. Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) has an experience like no other, shaking him to the core. There is a reason the elders of certain cultures tell their children tales about monsters but it’s a whole different thing when that tale comes to frightening, vivid life.
Did You See That?
“Mommy Dearest” finally gives us something I’ve been begging the writers for – more Wu. Not only that, but we get a new Wesen of the Asian persuasion. I am a little biased about liking “Mommy Dearest” so much because I’m Asian…well, half-Asian (or as we halfies say, ‘hapa’) but I’m not Filipino like Wu is. This new Wesen is called an “Aswang” and it attacks expectant mothers in a most vile manner. I was cringing, holding my stomach, and I’m not even preggers!
Many Asian cultures have traditions the firstborn children must abide by. To go against them or to try and change those traditions can be…unwise, to put it mildly. I grew up with a very traditional Korean mother and as a girl, I was expected to take care of my older brother. In “Mommy Dearest,” Sam (Alain Uy) is expected to fulfill a family tradition but things don’t go according to plan.
When Wu’s longtime friend Dana (Tess Paras), pregnant with her first child, is attacked in the middle of night, he is determined to help her anyway he can. But when she tells him it was “Aswang,” Wu is a bit unnerved. Lee does an amazing job in “Mommy Dearest.” You almost believe these people are his friends and that he’s absolutely perplexed by the whole unique and, let’s face it, weird situation. Wu wants to confide in Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) about his suspicions but he can’t. He thinks he’s going a little crazy. The only other human who could relate is Hank but I don’t think camaraderie is going to ease the pangs of a childhood nightmare becoming reality right before Wu’s eyes.
Keeping Grimm Secrets
Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) brings up an excellent point. If the culprit is Wesen, how are they going to keep Wu in the loop on the case? They’ll have to lie to him. Nick, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), and Rosalee (Bree Turner) are in agreement to not make Wu privy to Grimm-insider info but Hank isn’t so sure it’s the right thing to do. After the events in “Mommy Dearest,” what happens to Wu and where he ends up, I am having second thoughts about Wu being inducted into the Scooby Gang. I want Wu to be a human with no knowledge of Wesens and Grimms. But I feel for Wu—he’s suffering and I can’t stand to see him in this state. I don’t know if telling him will do any good or hurt him even more.
Again, Lee’s performance throughout “Mommy Dearest” is spectacular. His delivery is so convincing, you want to give him a great big hug at the end. The whole Filipino folklore about the “Aswang” is quite unnerving. The special effects crew and make-up department really up the ante with this Wesen. That long forked tongue and the ticking noises are enough to make your skin crawl; I know mine did.
- Meisner (Damien Puckler) helps Adalind (Claire Coffee) deliver her new bundle of…Hexenbiest? I’ve said before I have doubts about Meisner’s intentions with Sean (Sasha Roiz) and the whole resistance movement; I still have some but for now, he seems to want to help. Besides, if he did try to hurt Adalind, perhaps the baby will handle it. Again, the special effects team does an amazing job of making even a baby look…well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
- We haven’t seen or heard the last of Stefania (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and Prince Viktor (Alexis Denisof). Meisner seems sure no one knows where he and Adalind are hiding out but I’m not. I don’t think Sebastian (Christian Lagadec) will tell anyone where he drops them off but who knows what kind of powers Viktor or Stefania have.
- Still not sure if I’m digging Wu’s first name. Yes, the writers give Wu a first name. I’m still calling him Wu…for now.
- Some of the dialogue is a bit…lame. When Sam asks “What happened” to his wife, Nick replies, “Well, looks like your wife was attacked.” Really? You think? Come on writers, let’s get it together.
- When is Nick’s mom Kelly (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) coming back or is she? Wild Hair Theory: Kelly is somehow connected with Prince Viktor…or worse…Stefania.
“Mommy Dearest” is one of the best and most enthralling episodes this season, aside from certain dialogue. From the moment it starts, “Mommy Dearest” captivates you with a daring new Wesen, a terrifying new folklore, and interesting flashbacks to Wu’s childhood. We also meet some of Wu’s family in Portland. I can only hope the writers will expand on Wu’s back story, especially after the traumatic ordeal he’s been through.
So, what did you think about “Mommy Dearest?” Leave me a comment below or tweet me at @judybopp. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Tune into Grimm, Fridays at 9/8c, only on NBC.
For more on the show, go to the official site.