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Grimm Review: “Mommy Dearest”

(Episode 3.14)

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<i>Grimm</i> Review: &#8220;Mommy Dearest&#8221;

Babies! So fun, so adorable, so … creepy. Last night’s episode of Grimm (appropriately titled “Mommy Dearest”) teaches us that nothing will send you straight to the looney bin like a baby (born or unborn). Two very frightful pregnancies dominated the plot, and we also saw Sergeant Wu getting way too close to the Grimm lifestyle for comfort. Just as he was uncomfortably close to knowing about the other world, much of the audience had to be beyond uncomfortable watching this story unfold. If you grimaced though 80 percent of last night’s Grimm, you were absolutely not alone.

The episode opens with the creepiest of creep-fests in the forest: Adalind finally giving birth. As frightening as that was, this was the calm before the Aswang storm. Suddenly, we were back in Portland with another pregnant woman preparing to haunt our dreams. Dana, a childhood friend/former (maybe current) love interest of Wu’s, found herself the victim of practically every pregnant woman’s nightmare—she fell asleep and some gross lengthy-tongued being came into her bedroom and violently attacked her through the belly. Okay, maybe we don’t have this exact nightmare, but on a list of horrible, disgusting, horrendous things you can imagine happening to you while pregnant, having an Aswang Wesen use her tongue to stab an actual hole in your belly button so as to steal your amniotic fluid is definitely up there. And since this is exactly what we witnessed happening last night, “Mommy Dearest” was easily one of the best worst episodes of the season. A compelling story and a huge new development in Nick’s friendship with Wu made it an excellent episode, but all of that baby bump stabbing? The worst.

Early on, we learn that Dana’s husband is Wesen, but he’s hiding from something. Based on details about the attack on Dana, Wu’s memory becomes flooded with images from a story his grandmother used to tell him about a beast called the Aswang. In the Philippines legend, expecting women who were left alone were drugged by the beast, who then stabbed them with its tongues. Nick and Hank try their best to investigate without alerting Wu to the possible fairy tale factor therein. Rosalee and Monroe help out when they learn that Dana’s body had been full of valerian root, (AKA nature’s valium) something used by the Aswangs. A little trailer research tells them that these Wesen have a completely not-mortifying tradition of sacrificing the eldest son’s firstborn child so that the mother-in-law can live a longer life. Unwilling to embrace this tradition, Dana’s husband Sam had fled from his fellow Aswangs in hopes of having his child in peace. But his mama, getting closer and closer to death, isn’t having it. She was the one who attacked Dana, and she begs Sam to follow tradition and give her his first born. She argues that—while he can totally have other babies—he will only ever have one mommy. (And now, your mother-in-law’s not looking like such a hot, crazy mess.)

While the gang manages to rescue Dana from a second attack at the hands (er … tongue) of Mommy Dearest, Nick is unable to keep Wu from seeing the Aswang. He still refuses to tell Wu the truth, a decision that places a wedge between himself and Hank throughout the episode. And sure enough, after witnessing Sam’s mom transform from little ol’ lady to Wesen to dead little ol’ lady, Wu does what Hank feared he would, and completely loses it. We see him at the end of the episode sitting in a room with way too many neutral colors, staring into space with a little smile on his face, visions of Aswangs dancing in his head. Between this mental breakdown and his unrequited love for Dana, this episode was all about wanting to hold Wu in your arms and tell him that it was all gonna be okay.

Although we didn’t see much of Adalind postpartum, we know that she definitely got her powers back. And since her baby girl has these glowing, electric-blue eyes and some signs of telekinesis, we can expect the wild and crazy baby stuff to continue. But please, Grimm, no more attacks on the baby bumps.

Favorite Quote of the Episode: “I have an aunt and uncle, they used to eat their newborn’s placentas. You know, fry ’em up with a little butter and honey? But, I’m sorry, this is going way too far.” (Monroe)

Shannon M. Houston is a New York-based freelance writer, regular contributor to Paste, and occasional contributor to the human race via little squishy babies. You can follow her on Twitter.

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