Episode 3.13 “Mommy Dearest”
[photos: Scott Green/NBC]
It was good to see Grimm not trying to cram too much into the episode. This was pretty much a Wu centric story. There was also Adalind giving birth to the overly protective demon child.
This was an episode I had to watch during the day. I saw the online promo and knew I didn’t want to watch this right before bedtime. Have I mentioned that I’m not a fan of horror and gore? As a mother it was even harder to watch this one.
Briefly, there’s the Portland story and the Vienna story, or now the Swiss Alps. Deep in the night Adalind is in active labor. Apparently the unborn baby is expressing its dislike with the birth process; books and other objects fly across the room. As soon as the baby is born, Adalind’s morphs into her full Hexenbiest form. She seems really pleased but not nearly worn or tired enough to have just given birth. This baby is already exhibiting powers. So far the baby is using them to protect Adalind and herself. And how creepy were the special effect baby’s eyes? It was a cross between complete innocence and “touch my mommy and I’ll kill you!”
Meanwhile, in Portland there is a Wesen based on a Filipino myth about the Aswan. It attacks pregnant women, drugs them and then eats the fetus. Dana, a young woman about six months pregnant, is attacked in while sleeping in her bed. Again Grimm lets their female characters show strength and presence of mind to defend themselves and not just be the screaming victims. Dana gets herself over to the cell phone. The bedside lamp falls and breaks and she uses part of the broken lamp to cut the Aswan’s tongue. This is probably what saves her and the fetus.
Her screams get the attention of a neighbor who comes into the house and scares off the Aswan. The neighbor lady calls 9-1-1 and stays with her till she is taken to the hospital. Don’t we all hope our neighbors are like that?
This Wesen is so creepy, the attack so insidious. The Aswan has an incredibly long, forked tongue that it somehow injects into the pregnant woman’s bellybutton. The Aswan uses valerian root to drug the woman. It then sucks out the amniotic fluid and kills the fetus. The tradition is for the oldest Aswan son to forfeit his first baby to his mother to give her a long life.
Wu and his partner hear the emergency call from the dispatcher in their car. Wu recognizes the address as that of his friend Dana and her husband, and they rush to the scene. This case is personal for Sargent Wu. He and Dana have been friends since they were little children. When he gets to Dana’s side she says one word, “Aswan”. He heard stories of the Aswan from his grandmother.
I could get picky about the special effects. The Aswan creature lacks the fluid motion that I would expect from a creature of this type. But it doesn’t detract from the story and I’m a firm believer that story is much more important. I’ll forgive many technical sins if the story is good enough.
This case is really all about Wu being faced with what he thought was just a scary story his grandmother used to tell him. Now, he’s grappling with the reality of it. It’s a similar story to what Hank went through. Which is why Hank does not agree with Nick’s choice to lie to Wu and not reveal more than he already knows. It doesn’t look like Wu will be kept in the dark as long as Hank was. This time there will be Hank to advocate for Wu’s sanity.
In case you missed it, we learned Wu’s first name in this episode, Drew. Drew Wu is probably going to feature prominently in the next few episodes since when we left him he had checked himself into a mental hospital. And the last shot was of his hallucination of an Aswan attacking him.
It sort of feels like we’ve gone back to late season one. Nick hasn’t changed much. Except this go-around there are clearly two camps surrounding Nick. On Nick’s side is Monroe, who thinks Aswan is not the best Wesen by which to get your introduction into the Wesen world. And in the other camp is Hank and Juliette, who were both in Wu’s place and think that he needs to know that what he’s experiencing is real and he’s not going mad.
Who’s right? I’m not sure. I’m not a psychiatrist. If this were real world, I’d guess that there should be some way to let the person know that they are not crazy with out scarring them out of their wits. But I don’t know how that would be done.
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on who’s right regarding the two camps. Should Wu be kept in the dark? Or should he be introduced to the whole world of Wesen? Or is there a middle ground, some way to let him know that what he saw was real but not expose the whole Wesen world?