This was a really good episode. It had some great character moments with Jenny, Abbie and Detective Irving and even gave us some time with Reyes. The only characters that really brought it down were again…Hawley and Katrina. I’ll get into what I mean in the assessment.
“Mama” was directed by Wendey Stanzler and written by Damian Kindler.
The story involves Abbie being haunted by dreams of her mother in Purgatory. She soon learns why when she is called on to deal with suicides happening at Terrytown Psych…were her mother killed herself. Calling Jenny on the case after Reyes gives her full control she attempts to find out if her Mom is the one causing people to kill themselves, or some other force. From here the story unfolds.
Here is the assessment of the episode:
The Pros: Ichabod Crane – Ichabod is a side character and this is good. He is there supporting Jenny and Abbie which is just what he needed to do this episode and he’s always a pleasure to see on screen. Why bring Nick Hawley in when we have Ichabod? His character is largely pointless or contrived. We also see him defend Katrina’s lack of communication and action showing how she and Henry are still very much his blind spot.
Jenny Mills – Jenny is a major player in this and we see her dealing with the trauma from her Mom given how haunted her Mom was all the time and how she remembered almost being killed by her in the car. Her views change when she learns the truth that her mother saved her life and fought the demons till the end. It’s a touching scene as Jenny had the most trauma related to her Mom as we learn she had tried visiting her only to see her be dragged off my doctors. We also see her use a West African Hex to get rid of the evil spirit that was causing people to kill themselves and caused their mother to kill herself.
Detective Irving – Irving doesn’t sit down in this one and takes a very active role after the spirit targets him and causes him to nearly take his life (saved only by the group at the last minute). This causes him to rethink things as he wants to escape the control War has over his soul. We see hear how he has noticed people improving which points to supernatural involvement given many of the people were getting better. His scenes with Abbie are great too and I’m glad he’s finally out even if that makes him a fugitive.
Abbie Mills – Abbie is fantastic in this too as she helps Jenny face her fears and hurt caused by their mother and facilitates the healing. She also faces down the evil spirit that believes it is killing people to end their suffering. She is in charge throughout the episode and seeing her moments with Jenny, their mother and Detective Irving really make this episode great. I hope we get more Abbie or Jenny focused episodes. They have fascinating pasts that we only ever really get glimpses of.
Okay: War and Baby Moloch – Not much here but creepy watching of Katrina when she holds the baby she believes is an actual child for sometime and War trying to guilt her for abandoning him as a child. These scenes didn’t really add much except to show that Baby Moloch is growing quickly.
Mama – Mama like Katrina functions more as a motivation, we still don’t really know her character except she knows that Abbie was a Witness and she loves her daughters. Beyond that she is only in this to bring about the mystery and to motivate Jenny and Abbie sadly.
Cons: Katrina – Katrina acts at the end but her character seems dominated by a total lack of agency. This is sad given all the agency that Abbie, Jenny and her mother received and hows that I don’t think the writers know what to do with her. At this point the only thing I could see them doing to advance the plot is killing her character given she was a motivation throughout season 1 but they never got beyond making her more than that.
Nick Hawley – Contrived motivation is the definition of this character. Most plots he’s been in he hasn’t been needed and he doesn’t do anything except function as a somewhat love interest for Abbie or Jenny or for a character for Ichabod to mock. I’m hoping he doesn’t survive this season (and that could just mean him leaving) as he gives absolutely nothing to the show.
This could have been a great episode, just ended up being really good because of the Katrina and Hawley problems. Besides that I would definitely recommend it. It gives us some much needed exploration of the pasts of Abbie and Jenny and gives a pretty good mystery to solve as well.
Final Score: 8.7 / 10