REVIEW: Siren S1 Ep 3 “Interview With A Mermaid”

Every town has a story. Every tale has a believer. Beneath the surface the truth is hiding under the skin.

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What You Should Know:

The town of Bristol Cove is known as The Mermaid Capitol of the World…but only a few people know the truth…that Mermaids are real and are among them now!

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Ben is up early, unable to sleep, visions of Ryn haunting him after seeing the photos of Donnie Price’s murder in Sherrif Bishop’s file. Maddie reminds him that non-human blood was found at the crime scene. “I think we both know who killed him” she says. They decide to head over to Miss Hawkins’ place.

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Helen sees her knife, which had been in her bedroom, on a table in the living room and asks Ryn where she went last night.

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At the Naval compound, Aldon Decker is with a lab assistant discussing a study group of paralyzed rats receiving injections of DNA from the captured Mermaid. In another group, they plan to combine the Mermaid DNA with human DNA.

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Xander is awakened when he receives a text. It causes him to jump out of bed and rush over to Calvin’s room and go in without knocking. He interrupts Calvin and his girlfriend in bed. Xander holds up his phone to show Calvin the text which says “It’s Chris. S.O.S.”. The girl is quickly sent out the door so the guys can talk in private. First, they want to find out whose phone Chris texted from so they call the number. The call goes to the voice mail for Donna Stevenson.

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Ben and Maddie are at Helen’s home. She tells them Ryn has been really restless and that she went out last night. Maddie fills Miss Hawkins in on the body that was found as Ben receives a text from Xander about Chris’s message. Maddie mentions that Chris was med-evacuated from the North Star by the military which alarms Helen. She wants to know how the military got involved in this.

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Out in the woods, the Sheriff is following a trail leading from Donnie’s car. He finds the sweatshirt Ryn was wearing when she was in Donnie’s car.

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Ben says Xander is going to try to track the phone Chris used. Ryn wants to look for her sister. But Ben and Maddie want her to answer some questions first. Maddie starts by asking if Ryn was in a car with a man. Ryn is impatient and starts to leave. When Maddie attempts to hold Ryn back, Ryn throws her across the room. Helen tells Ben and Maddie “You don’t know what you’re dealing with”.

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Xander and Calvin are investigating the phone number Chris texted from. They look it up online and get the name and address of Donna Stevenson then head out to her house.

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Helen scolds Ben and Maddie for their handling of Ryn. She’s just a new species to them. But Helen says she is far more and they need to get Ryn and her sister back in the water before it’s too late. “There’s way more to the world than science,” she says, then, turning to Maddie, “You should know that…you were raised by a Haida man”. This is the first time Maddie’s father is referred to as her step-dad.

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Maddie’s stepfather visits the trailer park to speak with the woman whose clothes were stolen by Ryn. He shows the woman a picture on his cell phone of a “Huskies” sweatshirt and she says it’s her daughter’s shirt Ryn stole. The Sheriff asks her to come down to the station to help piece together a description.

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Ben continues to reason with Ryn. They assure her they are doing everything to help find her sister. They ask her to come to the research center so they can find out more about her.

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Ted and Elaine Pownall are having breakfast. Ted says Ben was asking about the family history. Elaine asks if Ted told Ben the family was “batshit crazy”. Ted says, of course, Ben knows that.

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At the center, Maddie gets out a camcorder to record Ryn. Ben asks some questions like if her sister could change like Ryn. Ryn says “painful”. Ben wants to know if that’s why Ryn tried to hurt him under water. Ryn says “No. In water, we fight. I kill or you kill”.

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At the Naval station, Aldon’s research assistant shows him the paralyzed rats that were injected with Mermaid DNA. The rats can now move about freely.

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The interview with Ryn continues. Ben: “Can you tell me how many of your species there are like you? Is it just you and your sister or…” “No,” says Ryn “Many”. Ben asks if the others want to come here on land. “No. Land bad. I learn this”. Ben’s phone vibrates and Ryn hisses. It’s Xander calling. He says they’re on their way to Donna Stevenson’s home.

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At the Sherrif’s station, they have confirmed it was Donnie’s blood on the sweatshirt. They show the woman from the trailer park a sketch made from her description. A sketch of Ryn which the woman identifies as the girl she saw.

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Ben starts a battery of tests on Ryn. First up is a Primate Intelligence Test which Ryn passes unbelievably quick. Meanwhile, Xander and Calvin wait outside Donna Stevenson’s home. The impulsive Calvin wants to confront her but Xander reigns him in.

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Ben weighs the small framed Ryn and it’s a whopping 196 pounds. A very rapid heartbeat as well. Then a pop song with no relevance to what’s happening starts playing as Ben puts Ryn through more tests and readings.

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When Donna comes out and gets in her car the boys follow.

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As Ben takes body measurements, Ryn starts feeling him back as the Siren song is heard. To Maddie’s dismay, Ryn gets very touchy-feely. Ryn holds Ben’s head and moves in to kiss him but Ben pushes her back.

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At Ted’s office on the docks, Doug enters with some reports for his dad. The two talk about bringing in Ben as an environmental adviser. Not only does it look good to the press and public but it would make Elaine happy.

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Ryn is showing signs of scaliness and Ben suggests Ryn may need to go back in the water soon…she only lasted one day on land last time. But Ryn wants to find her sister as they promised her.

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Ryn’s sister isn’t looking good either. Pulse rate is slowing, minimal movement and her oxygen levels are depleted. Aldon Decker tells the Mermaid to hang in there.

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A guy named Jerry who works at the Marine Center comes in to feed the sea lions. He introduces himself to Ryn and Maddie says Ryn is a friend from school.

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Ryn goes outside to where Jerry is feeding a sea lion. The sea lion immediately starts growling. Jerry tells Ryn he is having a party at the Siren Song, a motel he manages part-time on the weekends, and invites her. Responding to a call from Xander, Ben agrees to meet up. He and Maddie find Ryn is gone.

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At the party, Ryn starts drinking Solo cups of beer…one after another. Jerry thinks she’s an exchange student by the way she talks. Ben and Maddie set off to find Ryn who is at the party observing people and their behavior. Ben gets a text from Jerry saying he’s throwing a party as he and Maddie drive through town. A photo pops up on the cell phone of Jerry and Ryn so Ben heads for the party.

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It’s night when Ben and Maddie arrive at the motel party. Ben’s brother, Doug, is there looking to talk to Ben.

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Admiral Harrison is very pleased with the DNA results at the lab. He wants to accelerate the testing but Decker says they need to slow down because the Mermaid is in distress. Harrison sees only the progress being made and how they can benefit from it and tells Decker to do what he has to to keep the program moving and the Mermaid alive.

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Everyone is rocking out at the party. Doug is trying to find out why his brother has distanced himself from the family. Maddie sees Ryn and on her way to get her someone accidentally knocks Ryn into the swimming pool.

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Ryn swims to the top unchanged and the other party goers all jump in with her when the sound of sirens of police cars are heard. Party’s over. The Sheriff sees Ben and shows him the artist sketch of Ryn and asks if he’s seen her. Ryn and Maddie hide out in a motel room.

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Xander and Calvin follow Donna to the base but race off when guards appear.

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Maddie asks why Ryn didn’t change in the pool. “Not my water,” she says. Ryn needs the ocean. Ryn is confused why they aren’t looking for her sister. She tells Maddie “Some people I trust. Some people hurt me”. Maddie understands now that Donnie tried to hurt Ryn and that’s why she killed him.

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Donna checks up on Chris. She tries calling the number that called her before (Xander’s) but the person on the other end (Xander) doesn’t say anything. The guys park and plan to jump Donna when she gets off work.

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The Admiral sends Decker a photo of who they believe caught the Mermaid: Ben Pownall.

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Ben and Maddie decide to have Ryn stay with them for the night because it’s late. Ben and Maddie go to bed and a few moments later Ryn crawls in with them, lying between the two.

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Decker decides to suspend testing on the Mermaid against Harrison’s orders. When he turns and leaves the lab, the Mermaid opens her eyes and glares at him.

What This Means For The Future:

It’s a good bet that after the experiment on the paralyzed rats, Ben’s mom, Elaine, should be getting out of her wheelchair. Next Week: “On The Road”.

Final Thought: Alas, Siren has begun to show its Freeform roots. What started as a fresh, mature science fiction with great possibilities, the show is now dumbing down and treading out the tired old tropes of the genre and trying to appeal to the younger set. First of all, the experimentation on Ryn’s captured sister. Certainly blood and other tissue samples would be taken in a case like this but to then go into immediate experiments on lab rats before they have time to analyze the samples they’ve taken is a little far-fetched. It’s the old “capture a creature, take its blood and inject it into something so we can have super soldiers” routine. Second: Donna’s phone. My husband, who was in Naval Intelligence, assures me that in a high-security military base you cannot bring any type of recording device inside. Xander and Calvin, who haven’t shown a great deal of smarts, are able to jump on a computer and immediately find all of Donna’s pertinent information. Not very believable. The party scene was just unnecessary and juvenile. It only served to slow down the pacing which has already dropped considerably since the pilot. Lastly, my biggest beef is this ridiculous triangle they are trying to hint at between Ryn and Ben and Maddie. It just doesn’t belong there. Not every single show on television has to have romantic entanglements. And this particular one is plain silly. So, pick up the pace and get into some real science fiction like giving us more of what’s under the sea. I don’t want to regret recommending this show.

Rating: 7/10




SIREN airs Thursdays at 8pm on most Freeform stations. Check your local listings.

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