(^or “You’re only prolonging the inevitable.”)
Recap: Grimm, Episode 3.14 – “Mommy Dearest”
Adalind gives birth!
Meanwhile in Portland…
…a horrifying ticking sound is lurking outside the home of an expectant Filipino couple just finishing up a salty Sinigang dinner. The wife says she forgot to pick up her pre-natal meds, so the husband goes out to the pharmacy.
The expectant mother is already in bed and tries to go to sleep when suddenly the ticking creature is climbing the tree outside the home. Opening the bedroom window, the creature sticks its long tongue through and seems to attach itself to the woman’s stomach.
The woman wakes up and tries to pull the tongue out of her bellybutton. She writhes out of bed, but the Wesen thing opens the window fully and enters the room. It climbs up the wall and hangs from the ceiling as it proceeds to feast on the woman’s stomach once again. A neighbor hears the woman’s screams and she quickly hurries over, taking the spare key from next to the front door to enter. She calls for Dana.
Dana grabs a piece of the broken lamp and cuts the Wesen’s tongue, forcing it to retreat. The neighbor calls 911.
Wu and partner Franco are eating some burgers in their cop car when Wu recognizes the address of an incoming call. His friend Dana and her husband live there. They hurry over.
Wu runs up to the bedroom and checks on Dana’s vitals. She is groggy, but comes to a little to mutter “Aswang… aswang.”
Wu is taken aback.
Dana’s husband, Sam, arrives from the pharmacy. Wu sees Dana and Sam off in the ambulance as the Aswang watches from the tree.
Nick and Hank arrive at the scene and Wu fills them in. He says he invited Dana and Sam to move to Portland from the Philippines because it was a beautiful and safe city. Nick says that whatever happened here isn’t Wu’s fault. But Wu says he can’t help but think that it is.
They head inside and see the blood splattered on the wall and ceiling and through the window. Nick sees claw marks on the windowsill and later on the tree outside. They talk to the neighbor who says she didn’t see anyone in the room, but before she ran over she did hear a strange ticking sound and maybe a shadow across the window.
They head to the hospital. Nick and Hank talk to the doctor who says there’s very little amniotic fluid left in Dana’s belly, but as long as she stays hydrated, her body will replenish it in a few days. It’s possible the attacker could’ve used a very large needle to suck it out and it seems it was done very carefully as to not induce labor or cause a miscarriage. The doctor says they are looking into what caused Dana to go into a narcotic state.
Wu is with Sam as Nick and Hank come to ask questions. Sam can’t believe they might suspect him, but Wu says it’s just standard protocol. Sam says he doesn’t know of anyone who would want to hurt them. The doctor calls “Mr.
Thomas Tomas” away.
Nick and Hank definitely want to keep Sam on the suspect list, but Wu says he knows Sam would never want to hurt Dana and if he ever did, Dana would never stay with him. He and Dana have known each other since they were in diapers. He cares about her a lot and hopes Nick and Hank can keep him in the loop.
Nick and Hank show Juliette the claw mark pictures. She rules out a squirrel, but it could be anything, including Wesen. Juliette asks, if it is indeed a Wesen, how are they going to keep Wu in the loop. Nick says they’ll have to lie.
“Ah, the basis of any lasting relationship.”
Wu is waiting in Dana’s hospital room. Sam comes in and says he doesn’t have to stay, he can go home and get some rest. Wu wishes he could do more and promises they will find who did this.
Wu leaves. Sam closes the door and calls someone. Long distance!!
Establishing shot of Manila. A man in some kind of Philippine-looking room, Sam’s older brother, answers.
“Kuya, nandito na siya sa Portland.”
“Alam mo naman mangyayari yan!”
Sam seems to know who could have done this. He doesn’t want this to happen to Dana, what would she do if she ever found out.
We have no choice, Kuya says. Suddenly, Sam woges, he won’t do this either.
But Kuya says he is only delaying the inevitable.
Sam tells his Kuya to find out where “she” is staying and hangs up.
Later that night, Wu is having a dream. Remembering Dana mention the Aswang, he flashes back to his Lola telling him a story back in the Philippines, the story of the Aswang.
Making sure the woman is asleep, the Aswang would labas its long black tongue and eat the sanggol. Its long, sharp claws allow it to climbs trees and walls and “get you wherever you are.”
Wu wakes up, but suddenly he hears ticking. An Aswang breaks through his window.
Wu wakes up for real this time.
Over in the Alps, Meisner calls Renard to tell him Adalind’s given birth… to a girl. Mother and daughter are fine and Meisner assures Renard that they are safe and in hiding.
At the station, Nick and Hank find that Sam’s been working for Mahal Niyog imported coconut oil and his employer says he’s clean. Dana’s list of meds are fine too. They get a call from the hospital. Dana is awake.
“Ang baho naman dito!”
Across town, Wu visits his cousin who works at a Filipino restaurant. Wu is not happy to see his Kuya preparing some delicious Crispy Pata, but he’s got a question to ask.
Remember the stories Lola Nanita told them when they were kids? The Aswang?
Of course, pinsan says. Always freaked him out. Well, Wu says, it seems his friend Dana was attacked in a way similar to the Aswang.
Dana, whom pinsan remembers Wu was inseparable with and thought they’d end up together. Pinsan says sorry about what happened to her, but at least the Aswang is just a myth, right?
Over at the hospital, the doctor tells Nick and Hank they found a large amount of Valerian root in Dana’s system. It’s not really something taken for pregnancy and in large doses would cause blackouts.
Nick and Hank go in to see Dana who is awake. She still a little out of it and she only remembers waking up from an intense pain. It was like a dream. Wu arrives as Dana says she hasn’t taken any sedatives like Valerian root.
They leave. Nick and Hank say they have nothing yet and ask Wu if he has anything. Well…
“What if it’s…”
Wu doesn’t continue. He heads over to see Sam who has just gotten a call from his brother about the location of “her.”
Sam opens the door and it’s… DREW?!?!
Drew asks about the Valerian root and then asks if he can take a look at their bedroom one more time. But Sam says he’s already cleaned it up after Forensics gave him the go-ahead. He’s about to go to the hospital, Dana’s being discharged today.
Drew asks if Sam remembers the Aswang legend. What does that have to do with anything? Well, there’s too many similarities. But Sam says he thinks Drew should get some sleep.
Nick goes to the Spice Shop. Rosalee has some Valerian root. But they don’t really know what this Wesen could be. There are ancient rituals where the youth and health of a baby can be absorbed. Maybe it has something to do with that? Monroe remembers his Aunt and Uncle who used to fry up their newborn’s placentas with butter and honey.
They decide to go to the trailer.
Meanwhile, Sam arrives at the Viking Motel. It’s an older woman.
Sam gets in and says “Just because you’ve found me doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want.”
“All I want is a family reunion. How’s Dana?”
“That’s not going to happen. ”
“If you don’t help me, I die within a month.”
“People die mom, it’s part of life!”
Mama Aswang says it is tradition for the eldest son to give up his first born so she can live. (So Sam’s Kuya in the Manila is not his brother?) This is what they do. But Sam doesn’t want to.
Tita Aswang says they can always make another baby. But he only has one mother, “you owe me this.”
“I’m begging you, please, I don’t want to die.”
But Sam merely hands her a plane ticket back to Manila. (Direct out of Portland?)
If she doesn’t take it, he’ll call the police.
Tita Aswang looks out the window, crying. Or not. She woges and rips the ticket in half.
Drew is at the hospital helping Dana pack. She says she’s still afraid and doesn’t know if she’ll be able to feel safe again. But Drew says he’ll make sure she’s safe. She hugs him and thanks him for being such a good friend.
What are you doing here? Sam says as he pops in from the hall. Drew wants to talk to him for a second.
He asks where Sam was since he had said he was hurrying over to the hospital. Sam says he was visiting his mom at the Viking Motel where she is staying since she and Dana don’t get along. But she’s going back to Manila tonight.
Drew asks about the claw marks and the blood, but Sam says Drew should stop concerning himself with Dana. He is Dana’s wife, not Drew.
“Just get over it and leave us alone.”
The Gang is at the trailer and Nick finds info on the Aswang. The baby provides a prolonged, healthy life for the Aswang, but it must be a blood relative. Aswang attacks are often misdiagnosed as miscarriages.
Aswangs are also known as Tik-Tiks because of the ticking sound they make with their tongue.
Now that we know, what do we tell Wu? Hank asks. But Monroe, Rosalee and Nick all think they shouldn’t tell Wu anything. An Aswang isn’t a very good gateway Wesen for a Kehrseite. But really, is there a good gateway Wesen?
Hank knows the feeling of thinking you’re going crazy when you see something you can’t explain. But the others don’t want to say anything.
Hearing the truth is not the problem, Hank insists, it’s seeing something and not having an explanation. Wu not knowing could put him in danger.
Rosalee reasons that Hank was confronted with it and had no choice. Nick says he doesn’t want to drag Wu into this if they don’t have to.
Fine, Hank says.
Sam brings Dana home. Before leaving the car, Dana asks what’s up with him and Drew. She noticed they were angry with each other. Sam says sometimes he doesn’t understand why she’s still friends with him. It’s awkward. I’ve known him all my life, Dana says. He will always be a close friend to her. There’s nothing more to it.
At the station, Drew asks Nick and Hank if there’s any updates. They say they’re looking for any of their relatives in town and Drew tells them about Sam’s mom staying at the motel.
But more importantly, Drew has something he needs to tell them. He think Sam might be guilty. He tells them about the Aswang and says he thinks Sam might be trying to kill Dana by making it look like a supernatural event.
Hank bites his tongue.
Drew says it’s just a crazy theory. So he’s just going to head home and get a drink.
I gotta say something, Hank says. He catches up to Drew and says that his theory doesn’t sound too crazy. Sometimes, things can’t be explained and Drew should give his instincts a little more credit.
Drew doesn’t want to think his past with Dana is what’s making him think Sam’s the bad guy here. He tells Hank thanks and leaves.
Nick joins Hank who says Drew is “on the verge.” He knows from experience.
Drew calls Dana to check up on her. He’s watching from outside their home. Dana says she’s fine and thanks for watching over her.
They hang up. Drew sees a taxi pull up to the home. It’s Tita Lani Aswang. Drew watches her not go to the front door, but instead climb up the tree.
Nick and Hank are at the motel. The fabulous motel owner says Mrs. Tomas (which he pronounces correctly!) checked in two days ago after arriving from the Philippines and he hopes she’s not an axe murderer.
He says she got in a taxi a little while ago. He opens the motel room where they find the plane ticket and a jar of Valerian root.
“If that’s a drug, I don’t know anything about it.”
Hank calls the taxi company to ask for the address Tita Lani was brought to and they hurry over.
Sam lies awake in bed while Dana is sleeping. He hears a rustling in the house. He gets up to see what it is. It’s his Nanay who knocks him down the stairs and out cold.
Dana wakes up from the thump and sees her biyenan come into the bedroom. Tita Lani says Sam had called her to help take care of Dana. Childbirth can be difficult without someone with experience to help. Tita Lani hums Dana to sleep before lifting up her shirt and woge-ing to start feasting.
Drew has gotten out of his car and is at the tree, trying to figure out what the hell that was. He goes to the front door and looks through the window to see Sam lying on the floor. He busts in and hears the tik-tiking upstairs. He runs up, bursts through to the bedroom and sees the Aswang.
Tita Aswang pounces.
Nick and Hank arrive and see the door open so they rush in. They hear the commotion upstairs and hurry up to see Drew trying to fight off Tita Aswang who now has the upper hand.
Tita scratches Drew’s face before getting ready to stick her tongue into him, but Nick shoots her in the head.
Tita Aswang collapses and de-woges. Drew cannot believe what he just saw. SHE WAS AN ASWANG!!!!
Drew is rattled. Hank says Dana is alive and Nick tries to calm Drew down. Hank is very much affected by the whole thing, he knows what Drew is going through.
Meanwhile over in a Swiss cabin, Meisner is making sure Adalind is doing alright and puts a blanket over her. He touches Adalind’s hair, but suddenly it tightly twists around his hand. He glances over to baby who is wide awake and glaring at him.
The hair lets go. WTF!?
Back in Portland, Nick and Hank are visiting Drew… at the mental hospital. Drew had checked himself in, but has had a tough time talking about his traumatic experience.
Drew is sitting in a padded room. How you doing? Hank asks. Drew just nods and smiles.
We just wanted to tell you… Sam’s mom had a history of violent behavior, that’s why she attacked you. But you saved Sam and Dana. And the baby’s going to be okay. You’re a hero, Wu.
Drew smiles, “Yeah? That’s good.”
He turns to the window and starts to hear ticking again. The Aswang!?
That was definitely fun.
Grimm‘s best episodes have been the ones that featured cultural myths and lore, like La Llorona from Mexico and El Cucuy from Latin America. And now I think we can add the Aswang from the Philippines to the list of scary, freaky international Wesen.
Being Filipino-American, I was definitely excited to see Grimm not only featuring a Wesen inspired by Filipino folklore, but having the entire episode focus on Wu’s Filipino heritage. It’s a very a big deal to have an American primetime drama feature Filipinos or Filipino culture in any way other than simply being maids or nurses. And they even spoke Tagalog/Filipino!
The Philippines is full of crazy, scary myths and stories and legends. The Aswang is not even the scariest one. What’s interesting for me though is my family is from up North in the Philippines and the popular Filipino monsters like the Aswang or Mananangals or Tiyanaks don’t really call the Northern Philippines their home. The more common monsters up North that I certainly grew up hearing about were the mangkukulams or mangagamots (witches), ansisits or evil dwarves living in any kind of raised little mound of dirt, the batibat or bangungot that invades your nightmares to kill you and mermaids.
And I believe all of ’em. Keep some salt and garlic handy and have a thermometer in your bag or backpack to keep them all away from you. Seriously!
So I hope this won’t be the last time Grimm features a Filipino Wesen. Because there’s certainly A LOT to draw from.
The Tagalog on the show was pretty good, but the thick Filipino accents were kinda funny at times. Some of the accents at times might have sounded a little forced, but it’s alright. Freda Foh Shen who played the Auntie Aswang might not have been Filipino, but she was amazing in the role. So sad when she was begging her son to keep her alive, but then so creepy and scary when she woges. It would’ve been fun to have a Filipina actress play the grandma because she would have totally been speaking Tagalog the entire time. But kudos to Freda Foh Shen. She was amazing.
Alain Uy and Tess Paras were great too . Fun seeing that establishing shot of Manila. And kudos to the Grimm set designers for finding a Portland location for that Manila scene and setting up that that dream sequence with the Lola and the laundry hanging in the wind.
And DREW! AN-Drew Wu, I assume. Great to finally have a first name for Wu.
And speaking of, applause for Reggie Lee. This was definitely a Drew Wu episode and he hit it out of the park. Getting to go deeper into his heritage and his character was awesome. I hope we get that for Juliette and Hank in the future too. But seeing Drew Wu talk about his first (and only?) love, watching her from afar and then coming face to face with the Aswang was amazing to watch thanks to Reggie Lee. It will be great to see him play this out as Wu struggles to understand what happened to him. It also reminds me of one of the most memorable Grimm moments ever: Drew Wu sitting in his apartment eating couch.
That scene is still so creepy and eerie and hilarious.
But aside from the Wu-focus and the Filipino-ness of it, this episode was also amazing for seeing Hank relate to Wu’s impending struggle of being exposed to the Wesen world. I was definitely agreeing with Hank about telling Wu. And if anyone can believe the existence of Wesen, it’s a guy with Filipino blood.
But having Hank be the guy who says Yeah, I know what he’s going through, I recognize that look, it really helps give depth to how the whole story has developed and will develop moving forward. Russell Hornsby was awesome this episode too.
And of course, Adalind finally gives birth. It’s great that they didn’t have to drag it out to the finale or spend a whole episode watching her screaming. This is definitely more interesting and exciting. Scary baby is definitely scary. We’re only at Episode 14, so now anything can happen next with mother and daughter.
An excellent episode of Grimm all around. I think the first time in a long time I can say that I enjoyed every single minute of Grimm instead of maybe only 95% of it.
Oh and that motel owner… awesome!! And fabulous. Hehe.