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Villainess Review: Tara (Mother's Deadly Son)

A mother's belief in her son's innocence in the death of his brother is tested by a villainess close to all three parties in this 2022 Lifetime film

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 months ago 5 min read
Brittany Underwood as Tara

November is a familiar month for Lifetime movie fans such as myself; while Lifetime focuses on the holiday themed movies, we do get treated to the usual thrillers on Lifetime Movie Network on Fridays. In the case of the latest film, it was Mother's Deadly Son, which centered on Marianne Davis, a divorced mother of two who tragically became a mother of one, when her older son, Ayden Davis, tragically fell to his death off a the top of a rock mountain. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that Ayden's younger brother, Jacob Davis, finds himself accused of killing his brother, having spent two years being under the cloud of suspicion.

Jacob's demeanor doesn't really help his case, and neither does his story not adding up, as he actually ended up placed on house arrest after being fingered as the #1 suspect in his brother's murder. Daniel Davis, the father of both boys, is an ardent member of the "Jacob did it" bandwagon, though Marianne has an apparent ally in the form of her close friend, Tara. We see Marianne go on a bit of a quest to prove her son's innocence, and it sees her find a racy love letter, which is believed to be directed towards Ayden. However, the identity of the letter's author remains a mystery.

I mentioned Tara being on Marianne's side. Apparently, that's changed now. She later voices a lack of belief in Jacob, and it's followed by claims that Jacob had been following Tara and had become obsessed with her. Jacob, upon learning this, is upset that Tara's suddenly slandering him, and it's followed by Jacob going to Tara's house to confront her. The next time we see Tara, she's in the hospital, laid up and accusing Jacob of attacking her! Oh wow! Marianne suddenly suspects Nathan, Ayden's baseball teammate of killing him out of jealousy, though Nathan denies it as Stephanie (Ayden's girlfriend) emerges. Marianne claims that Stephanie wrote the letter, but that's denied as well, while Nathan states that one of his bats went missing on the day in question, while revealing that Tara used to be in a relationship with his father.

Speaking of Tara, we see her out of the hospital, but she is held at gunpoint by Jacob and driven to the same mountain where Ayden died. Marianne tracked the pair, after which Tara shouted for help, but as for Jacob, he revealed that he was planning to get Tara to admit to what she did. In addition, Marianne voiced her own suspicion regarding the actual truth: Tara had murdered Ayden.

So regarding the letter, it was revealed that Tara wrote it, but surprisingly, the letter was to Jacob, not Ayden. As Jacob himself confirmed, he and Tara were engaged in an affair two years prior, with Ayden finding out about his brother's relationship and recording the pair in bed together. Tara, out of extreme panic, arranged for the brothers to race each other in a rock climbing contest, with the stipulation that Ayden would delete the video if Jacob won. However, Jacob was not successful in the race, but Tara was actually counting on this, as she was waiting in ambush to kill Ayden, which she does by swinging Nathan's bat at Ayden's head. Jacob saw his brother falling, and he spent the next two years under the cloud of suspicion, while Tara threw her lover under the bus and feigned being attacked to cover her tracks.

Tara denied everything, repeatedly, and again claimed that Jacob was obsessed with her, but Jacob distributed Ayden's phone (which had the video evidence), Tara confessed everything, which was followed by the villainess tossing dirt in Jacob's eyes and fighting Marianne for the gun, with Marianne gaining possession while Tara slipped and was hanging on to the edge. Marianne saved Tara, but later knocked out her former friend, and regarding the phone, Jacob revealed that it was his own, and he had recorded Tara's confession, resulting in Tara's arrest.

Mother's Deadly Son aired on Lifetime Movie Network on November 11, 2022, and featured Brittany Underwood as the film's hidden main villainess, Tara. Brittany Underwood is a veteran and legend of Lifetime films, with this film being her third time playing a villainess, following 2017's A Wedding to Die For (as the deliciously psychotic Helena Clark) and 2020's Dying for a Daughter (as madwoman Margaret Smith). However, I think Tara is her best villainous role, and for me, it makes up for Underwood not being evil in Tubi's latest film, The Final Rose. Tara falls into one of my favorite tropes: Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, and it's easy to see why. She served as Marianne's best friend; all the while, she's engaging in an affair with her best friend's 16-year-old son (at the time), and kills her lover's big brother when he finds out the truth. Even worse, Tara attempts to portray Jacob as being obsessed with her, and she even falsely accuses Jacob of attacking her. So in all, we have statutory rape, murder, and false accusations to police. That's quite a diabolical trifecta.

Tara was deceptive, manipulative, and ruthless--another diabolical trifecta. I really did love this villainess, and I loved that Brittany Underwood played her. As I said before, Brittany Underwood is a Lifetime film legend, so it's not surprising that she gave such a terrific performance in this role. She brilliantly acted out Tara's friendly demeanor towards Marianne, but she truly gave her all when she portrayed Tara's true evil colors in the climax and in flashbacks. Performances like this are why Brittany Underwood is always in these films, and they are why she will continue to shine in Lifetime films.

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Check out Tara's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!


About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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