DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Wednesday episode “You Reap What You Woe” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril, normies.
Welcome back, normies and outcasts! This Wednesday outing reunites the Addams clan for Parents Weekend at Nevermore. I change my mind — this episode is the best so far, notably because of the focus on the dynamics in Wednesday’s family. We need more time with them, so here’s hoping Gomez, Morticia and Pugsley return by the season finale.
In addition, Wednesday solves a mystery within her own kin, frees her father from jail and pinpoints the shady Larissa Weems as a potential suspect in the Hyde monster case. At the very least, she’s an accessory to these heinous crimes.
Ready to delve into “You Reap What You Woe”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) flipping through her father’s police file. We flashback 32 years ago to one stormy night when young Larissa Weems (Oliver Wickham) finds a dead body in the Nevermore courtyard. Young Gomez (Lucius Hoyos) stands on some scaffolding while holding a sword. He’s covered in blood. We see the police cart Gomez away while young Morticia (Gwen Jones) confesses she’s never been more in love with him than watching him get handcuffed for murder. Kinky.
Now, we’re in the present for Nevermore’s Parents Weekend. Gomez (Luis Guzmán), Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) and Lurch (George Burcea) arrive in style, as per usual. Larissa (Gwendoline Christie) delivers a speech for all the visiting families and their students. Enid (Emma Myers) laments the entrance of her werewolf family, while Wednesday spots her creepy and kooky clan from afar.
Sure enough, Enid’s mother instantly criticizes her daughter, namely for not developing her lycanthrope abilities. Morticia and Gomez question their child about her time at Nevermore. Xavier (Percy Hynes White) apologizes to Bianca (Joy Sunday) for trying to get her to manipulate him with her siren song. Bianca hopes her mother won’t show up. Unfortunately, her wish doesn’t come to fruition. Gabrielle (Gracy Goldman) makes an appearance.
Later, Morticia peruses Larissa’s yearbook and reminisces on fond memories. Remember when Larissa and Morticia performed for the talent show, and Larissa’s Judy Garland impression was spot-on? Morticia notices that her photo is missing. (It’s because Larissa ripped it out.) Larissa informs the Addams crew that Wednesday’s therapist wants them to attend a group session. The Addams agree to get therapized. Gomez loves a good head-shrinking.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Galpin (Jamie McShane) is on his phone at the coffee shop, asking about the DNA test on the monster’s claw. He spots the arrival of the unmistakable Addams family’s sleek black car. Tyler (Hunter Doohan) notes that at least Wednesday’s family participates in therapy with her. Then, the sheriff gets a call regarding the medical examiner, Dr. Anwar, who committed suicide.
Next, the Addams clan sits with Dr. Valerie Kinbott (Riki Lindhome) for a group chat. Pugsley munches on potpourri. Honestly, I thought those were apple chips at first. Pugsley admits that he misses his sister, as do Gomez and Morticia. Wednesday whips out Gomez’s file and gets down to brass tacks: Who is Garett Gates, and why did Gomez kill him? A furious Morticia chastises her daughter for dredging up this info now. The charges against Gomez were dropped. The Addams family matron storms out.
Then, Wednesday tells her mother she plans to dig deep whether the latter supports her. Bianca meets with Gabrielle at the coffee shop, who reveals the real reason why she’s in town. Gabrielle spearheads a cult called “MorningSong.” Her siren song is waning. She married a guy Bianca despises named Gideon, and they both hope Bianca (who changed her name when she arrived at Nevermore) will come home soon. Otherwise, Gabrielle will have to let slip the news that Bianca cheated her way into the academy. Nothing like a little mother-daughter blackmail to start the day!
Wednesday visits Eugene (Moosa Mostafa) in the hospital. While Larissa reassured the parents at Parents Weekend that Eugene is “on the mend,” the poor boy is in a coma in the ICU. Our Goth girl blames herself for allowing the Hyde monster to attack Eugene. Eugene’s mothers pop in for a visit, and they thank Wednesday for her friendship. Gotta love outcasts who band together to weather any storm. Meanwhile, Galpin stops by the morgue to survey the scene. Dr. Anwar left a note before killing himself, claiming his regret is forging documents on a murder case from three decades ago.
Deputy Ritchie Santiago (Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo) fills Galpin in on what transpired. Unfortunately, someone put black gum on the camera, so it’s obscured. The sheriff believes the case the late doctor regretted manipulating was the Gomez Addams/Garett Gates one. Now he has the evidence he needs to lock up Gomez.
Next, Wednesday watches while Morticia lays a red rose on Garett’s grave. While everyone’s feasting in the school courtyard for the festivities, Sheriff Galpin barges in to arrest Gomez. Wednesday and Thing visit her father in jail. She demands to know the truth. He reveals that Garett became obsessed with Morticia — was stalking her, even. Morticia reported it to the police, but no dice. Finally, Gomez took an enraged Garett down.
Wednesday thanks her dad for telling the truth. She believes he raised her well. She’s an independent, self-assured thinker. Aw, this is the closest we’ll probably get to a vulnerable scene with our titular hero. After hearing his story, Wednesday’s not so sure her father is guilty. She notices his “tells,” and they’re loud and clear. She confronts the sheriff and orders Gomez’s release. However, Galpin is too hellbent on vengeance and Gomez getting his comeuppance to care.
Meanwhile, Enid’s mother presents her with brochures for a lycanthrope conversion summer camp. Naturally, Enid protests this. But it’s in the Balkan countryside! Her mom needs to accept her for who she is. Wednesday finds Pugsley sitting on a dock near a pond. She reassures her brother that their dad is innocent. Someone is trying to frame the family and throw her off the case. Our girl vows to prove Gomez’s innocence. But first, it’s time to go fishing with that timeless implement: a hand grenade.
Later, we see Morticia standing in the meeting place for the Nightshades. This introductory shot of her is incredible. Her dress complements the scenery so well. Morticia discloses the truth of what occurred that fateful night. While Gomez was attempting to fend off Garett, Morticia noticed how the latter foamed at the mouth in unadulterated rage. He lunged at her, and she stabbed him. After his body fell onto the courtyard below and was subsequently discovered by Larissa, Gomez grabbed the sword and urged her to hide in her room. Gomez took the fall for Morticia. What a man!
After hearing that Garett was foaming at the mouth, Wednesday muses whether he was afflicted with something. Morticia follows her daughter’s train of thought. The duo embarks on a trip to the Jericho cemetery. Wednesday digs up Garett’s grave for evidence while Morticia reminisces about the starter grave-digging kit they bought our protagonist as a child. They grow up so fast! The deputy catches them and arrests the pair. We see them thrown into a cell next to Gomez.
Wednesday shows her parents what she found in Garett’s grave — a finger tinged with blue, the color of Nightshade. Garett was already dying when Morticia stabbed him. Nightshade poisoned him. Suddenly, our heroine receives a vision. She observes while Garett’s father orders Garett to poison everyone at Nevermore with Nightshade. We see a vial of the poison pass between the two. Wednesday notes that said vial broke in Garett’s pocket, thereby poisoning him.
After their release, our mother-daughter duo presents their case to Mayor Walker (Tommie Earl Jenkins). Morticia accuses him of saving his own skin. When she informed him about Garett stalking her, Walker did nothing about it when he was sheriff. He tried to cover up the case. Wednesday shows him Garett’s Nightshade-ed finger. Morticia orders Walker to let her husband go free; otherwise, she’ll expose him for the fraud he is. Thankfully, he acquiesces.
All charges against Gomez are dropped a second time. Even Sheriff Galpin apologizes to Gomez, and the two shake hands. Our fave Goth family reunites. Meanwhile, Enid takes a stand against her mother and orders the latter to accept her for who she is. She’ll “wolf out” when the time is right for her. Bianca agrees to go home with Gabrielle only once the school year ends.
Wednesday bids farewell to her family. She even shares a sentimental, tender moment with her mom. Our girl is growing! Morticia encourages her daughter to forge her own path. She’ll never languish in Morticia’s shadow. After peering in Larissa’s yearbook, Wednesday confronts her principal. Larissa didn’t just imitate Judy Garland for Nevermore’s talent show; she became Judy Garland. Our titular hero believes Larissa is a shapeshifter. She transformed into Rowan the day after his murder to convince everyone that nothing was amiss. I was right!
Larissa claims she did what she could to “shield the school from controversy.” Wednesday asks the shapeshifting principal how she’s protecting Eugene. Suddenly, Larissa and Wednesday hear clamoring and shouts outside. They find the message “Fire Will Rain” written in fire on the school lawn. Oh, sh*t.
“You Reap What You Woe” is a solid outing. I’m particularly blown away by Zeta-Jones’s performance as Morticia. As I’ve said, nobody can top Anjelica Huston, but Zeta-Jones embodies Morticia differently than Huston’s version. There’s an underlying warmth to her. Everything about her performance is so subtle and nuanced.
Watching Wednesday interact with her family made me pine for another live-action Addams family series with this cast of characters. While Wednesday can hold her own, her magic is amplified in the presence of her family. Anyway, the episode is a fun meditation on the complexities of mother-daughter relationships.
My least favorite aspect is the focus on Enid and Bianca’s family drama. It felt forced — wedged in because the creatives needed something to fill the time. We haven’t seen enough of Bianca, in particular, to care about her situation. I enjoy her character, and Joy Sunday is excellent, but the show should’ve spent more time carving out her story before presenting this dilemma to us.
Who do you think is behind the fiery message? Is Larissa guilty of more than we realize? Will Eugene wake up in time to tell his story? Let’s continue our binge-watch to find out (snap, snap).
Wednesday Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.
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