Written by Brenna Kouf
Directed by Norberto Barba
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC
This week, on Grimm: Sgt. Wu finally gets his due and Adalind delivers her (potential) demon baby
It’s taken three seasons, but this week Grimm finally gives Sgt. Wu, and Reggie Lee, the chance to shine. Given how (comparatively) swimmingly both Hank and Juliette’s transitions went from Kehrseite (human) to Kehrseite-Schlich-Kennen (human who knows about Wesen), it seemed likely Wu wouldn’t get off so easily, but hopefully this is not the last we’ve seen of the good Sergeant. Reggie Lee has long been an asset to the show, bringing depth and interest to what could easily have become a forgettable background player; it would be a shame to lose him. While it’s starting to get a bit ridiculous that everyone in Nick’s life is in on things, and down to fight the good fight, other genre shows have managed this large of an in-the-know ensemble in the past and it’ll be interesting to see how Grimm addresses this.
While we do spend some time with Adalind and her Magic Baby of Doom (it’s a girl!), the bulk of the episode centers on Portland and the attack of one of Wu’s friends by a creepy new Wesen, an Aswang. The creature design is effective, but it’s the concept itself that is the most memorable. Drawn from Filipino folklore, the notion of a creature preying on pregnant mothers is disturbing, but throwing in the familial aspect heightens the horror distinctly.
With such a specific Wesen to fight, this would likely be an interesting Case of the Week no matter what, but it’s the episode’s exploration of the newly dubbed Drew Wu that sets it apart. It says a lot about viewers’ affinity for Wu that what feels at first like a very generic victim character becomes instantly compelling thanks to Dana’s proximity to Wu. Their relationship feels substantial and, while she may be a former love, genuinely respectful. When speaking of Dana’s husband, there’s no sense of bitterness or resentment from Wu and rather than jumping at the notion of him being responsible, Wu fights against it, not wanting to trust his instincts. The “romantically passed over nice guy” character (who upon closer inspection isn’t actually that nice of a guy, just passive) is disappointingly common on television. Wu’s maturity toward Dana and her husband puts him squarely out of that camp, another example of Grimm’s clear choice to make their protagonists stable, independent, genuinely good people.
It’s common for series, after a few seasons, to dedicate an episode to following an often under-utilized player (Buffy’s “Superstar” featuring Jonathan, The X-Files’ “Avatar” featuring Skinner, etc.), often bringing a new perspective to the main characters or world. The success or failure of these episodes often comes down to the writers’ and actor’s grasps on the character and whether he or she has enough substance to carry the full narrative. Wu has been quietly efficient and capable, good-natured, and likably sarcastic for the past three seasons. He may often be inserted into scenes at the precinct as a humor or plot delivery device, handing the latest reports and info over to our leads, but the show, and Lee, have never gone for the cheap laugh, making him bumbling or in any other way less than professional. He secures crime scenes, goes after the baddies when necessary, and in general feels like a real person; Wu has been ready for this spotlight for a while, and Lee takes full advantage of the opportunity.
Along with Dana and her husband, we meet one of Wu’s cousins, we see flashbacks of his grandmother (the weak point of the episode- it’s a bit heavy on the smoke machine), and we get our first real sense of Wu’s, make that Drew’s, life before Nick’s aunt dropped the family secret bombshell. We still don’t know this much about Juliette or Hank, who are overdue backstories as well; given how successful this is, perhaps they’ll get episodes soon? Either way, “Mommy Dearest” is an entertaining, creepy, and well-paced foray into the peripheral world of Grimm, and a very welcome chance to get to know Wu, and Reggie Lee, a bit better.
What did you think of this episode? How would you rate this Wesen against the others we’ve seen? How long before Wu connects this experience to his season one couch-eating experience? Are you excited for Adalind’s regained Hexenbeist status and baby? Post your thoughts below!