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Siren - Interview With A Mermaid - Review: "Just Keeps Getting Better"

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This was another excellent hour of television. After the two hour premiere, the focus this week shifted a little bit away from our core characters and gave screen time to some more minor characters, but it still kept the same pace.

The premiere alluded to there being something more beneath the surface with Ben’s family. In this weeks episode sees his mother inform Tom of a benefit she’s planning to arrange, and is a bit surprised that Tom says he can actually attend since it’s usually his night out. He responds by asking if that’s why she picked it which the two laugh off, but then she’s commenting that he must have an understanding girlfriend, and the conversation turns to Ben’s previous questioning of his father. Both of his parents seem concerned by his sudden interest in the family history, and Helen’s involvement in the situation. Ben’s mother is also concerned by how distant he is from the family, and Tom walks off after exchanging a look with the maid over the family being crazy. Could just be a humorous look or maybe through their earlier banter, there’s something more between them. Either way Ben’s mother is a little bit worried.

This episode also sees Xander and Calvin get a bit more screen time as they’re off on the hunt for Chris. Through Chris using a nurse’s phone to message them, they are able to track down the military base where he’s being held, but unfortunately that’s as far as they get. There’s a heavy guard presence which they can’t get past, and Calvin is annoyed they earlier had the chance to speak to the nurse alone but Xander refused to. The two also have a disagreement over the girl that Calvin is sleeping with, and by the end of the episode Calvin has reached breaking point. They make their way back to the nurse’s house, and Calvin’s resolute that they’re going to make the nurse talk one way or another.

Also at the military base is the Doctor who is very much having an attack of conscience. He can see their captured mermaid isn’t reacting well at all to the tests that are being carried out. They’ve struck up a type of connect that is similar to what Ryn has with Ben & Maddie, and the Doctor decides he wants to slow down with the experiments. His reasoning is the mermaid will be stronger & able to stand the tests if they give her a bit of time to rest and recuperate. Unfortunately the Admiral doesn’t agree, and by the end of the episode the Doctor is going behind his back to order one of the researchers to stop her tests. There’s absolutely no way this isn’t going to come back to haunt him, especially when Ryn’s sister wakes up at the episodes end. It could possibly be that she’s faking just how badly hurt she is in order to pull at the Doctor’s heartstrings. Genre shows like this do tend to have that one character on the inside who has an attack of conscience, and it is usually quite cliched in the manner that it happens.

Siren though once again turns this in its favour. The scene in the premiere where the mermaid was screaming was absolutely brutal as a viewer to watch, but what was most important about that scene was how the Doctor reacted. He was just as unhappy with the treatment as we the viewers were, and it’s nice to see that even though he is obviously a very minor character, the show has still taken the time to lay the groundwork for his storyline so it doesn’t feel as cliched as it is.

There unfortunately isn’t a lot of Helen in this weeks episode, but the scenes she does get are worth it. Ryn has indeed made it back to the house after her night wandering and fortunately not added to her kill list. Ben & Maddie come to see her in the hope of asking questions, and Helen warns them Ryn is extremely restless as she just wants to find her sister and mermaids aren’t supposed to be on land. She also points out Ben & Maddie see Ryn as being a species and there’s far more to this than simple science that Ben & Maddie are heavily leaning into. It gives Ben & Maddie food for thought and they take Ryn to the marine centre to run tests on her.

This gives us a funny montage as they go through the different tests, are constantly amazed by Ryn who is just as amazed and wary of them, and ends with Ryn leaning in to kiss Ben. She obviously doesn’t mean anything bad with her actions. She’s seeing how close Ben & Maddie are and is trying to understand this, and luckily they both know this. Ben though mesmerized at first does lean back away from Ryn to stop her doing something very bad, and Maddie watches on with her camera in hand completely unbothered. Locking the footage up in the marine is something that will probably again come back to haunt them, because in these types of shows, things like this always do.

Ryn finds herself going off to a party at a motel with one of Ben & Maddie’s colleagues. They eventually find her and Ryn ends up getting knocked into the water. It’s a heart in mouth moment as we’re wondering, as are they, if she is going to expose herself.

Luckily she doesn’t, she just gets wet and Maddie takes her off before her father can find Ryn. In the room, Maddie gets Ryn dry and questions why Ryn didn’t transform. Ryn explains it wasn’t her water and they have a really sweet moment, as Maddie explains to Ryn they have to keep her hidden from her father who wants to find Ryn in connection with the robberies and murder, and Maddie explains to Ryn what trust is. Ben eventually finds them and interrupts their sweet little hug of sorts, and ben & Maddie take Ryn back to their place for the night. They initially get her lying on the sofa, but Ryn the joins them on the bed and it’s a little threesome for the couple and their adopted mermaid.

Given Maddie’s father has a picture of Ryn he’s carrying around thanks to the trailer park lady, it is only a matter of time until he finds her. Ryn explained to Maddie that the truck driver tried to hurt her so she understandably attacked him, but I doubt the Sheriff will see it that way. Then there’s the fact that the military now know who Ben is. The box that he picked up previously had a camera which unfortunately took a picture of him, and the military know who and where he is. So it probably won’t be long until they’re on Ben’s case, and then of course Ryn’s.

It’s amazing that this show is only in its 3rd episode and already has so many interest plotlines going. Not one moment of anything feels like filler. Even with the focus of this episode on slightly different things, it still moved at a great pace. We got some questions answered regarding the shows mermaid mythology, seeds planted for the next stage of certain plots like Ben’s family and what’s going on with Chris, and seeds of character development spread around so that we have a rough idea of who all the characters on the show are.

‘On The Road’ is the next episode of Siren we have to look forward to next Thursday at 8pm on Freeform. What did you think of ‘Interview With A Mermaid’? Are you enjoying this ride just as much as I am? Sound off in the comments!

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