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Siren - Showdown - Review: "Choices" + POLL

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Forgive me for sounding like a broken record but what an episode! Once again from start to finish Siren was superb. Even the less exciting scenes like at the fundraiser still added to the episode, and once again I’m impatiently awaiting the next episode.

‘Showdown’ opened with Donna on the hunt for food and Decker on the hunt for her. Natural curiosity took her back to the seafood mall, and Decker followed after noticing someone had broken in.

The scenes inside the seafood mall were terrific. Having them both in such close quarters to each other, I was on the edge of my seat, hoping against hope that Decker wouldn’t find her. He certainly came close and Donna was later alerted to his presence but thankfully she managed to remain hidden.

Because these writers have a wicked sense of humor and just love to tease us, of course after that piece of opening tension they’d deliver us a breakfast scene like no other. It starts out innocently enough with Ryn explaining Donna doesn’t trust people, Ben cooking up food and Maddie trying to reassure Ryn and urge her to be careful. And then as Ben’s preparing to leave Ryn kisses him. She’s only mimicking the behavior that she’s witnessing, and Maddie isn’t at all bothered by it. Ben on the other hand is very much feeling flushed. Maddie then informs him that he’s not the only one Ryn is kissing as she also kissed her previously, and Ben’s face whilst Ryn’s digging into her fish.

The kiss was spoiled in the promo but I doubt anyone at all expected it to play out like this. I know I certainly didn’t, but it’s what Siren has been so good at since it began; turning a situation on its head and giving us a completely different outcome to the norm.

They’re not the only ones exchanging breakfast conversation though, as Helen is trying to convince Donna to talk to Ryn in the hopes of bringing her around. Helen very much wants them both back in the water as soon as possible, and the motives as to why exactly will continue to be questioned. The only real critique I have about this episode is it feels as though the ball as been dropped on the mermaid revelation. Even if it wasn’t a lot, some type of follow-up that went beyond Helen cryptically speaking to Maddie would’ve been good. There are so many questions as to how exactly Helen has survived on land for so long, where she comes from etc. I really do hope the show eventually gets round to answering those questions, because otherwise the mermaid revelation just feels like a cheap shock ploy and Siren is better than that.

Continuing in his efforts to stop the overfishing and get Ryn back in the water, Ben uses a local newspapers negative spin on his families fishing business to convince his father to halt the fishing. However he doesn’t get it all his won way as he is talked into attending his mother’s fundraiser, which is where most of the drama went down this week.

Maddie & Ryn paid a visit to Helen where Maddie was understandably wary over leaving the two sisters alone, and that was only heightened by the warm reception Donna greeted Ryn with. But after assurance from Ryn, she did eventually leave and the two sisters worked out their differences to an extent. Donna still isn’t pleased with Ryn’s connection to Maddie & Ben and how human Ryn has become. When Ryn attempts to drink tea, Donna swipes it away from her and pours it onto the floor.

Ryn does try to argue that without food they will all die and therefore they need Ben & Maddie’s help, but Donna still isn’t receptive. Ryn knows Donna has been hurt by Decker but tries to point out Maddie and Ben weren’t involved in that and it is a fascinating argument.

Donna is clearly on the defensive, memories of the experimentation still clear as day, as illustrated by her giving Ryn a physical example of what happened. This may possibly have been the first time she’s ever been on land and as a consequence around humans, and combined with what it is they’re taught back home, it is going to be extremely difficult for her to not taint everyone with the same brush.

It’s a natural reaction we have all probably done at some point in our lives, and it’s somewhat ironic that where Donna is accusing Ryn of being humanized through her interactions with Ben & Maddie, she herself is being humanized with her desire for revenge and pain that she feels at the wrongs done to her.

Ryn has had her own bad experience with a human which as we know led to her killing him, but once she realizes the full gravity of what Decker has done to Donna, she wants to rip him in half. Donna is more than aware of how Ryn will react to this news and is emotionally manipulating her sister, trying to bring her back into the mermaid way of living and cutting the connection she has with Ben and Maddie. Unfortunately, that does work to an extent.

Decker’s presence in the town sparks off a number of reactions, including with Xander and Chris. He notices Decker driving around and is quick to fill Xander in. He is of course quick to inform Ben, and also lets Ben in on his own theory; the nurse that Chris was locked up with is a mermaid and Decker is trying to find her. Ben once again tries to dissuade his friend by commenting on how crazy his theory sounds. At the fundraiser Xander runs into Decker and confronts him over stealing his mermaid.

Decker once again tries to play dumb, claiming Xander’s accusations are completely preposterous and there’s never been any scientific confirmation to back up wild claims of mermaids lurking under the sea. Unfortunately when Chris sees Donna wandering towards the water, he’s quick to alert Xander who goes after her and watches Donna transform and swim away.

Seeing this with his own eyes is finally indisputable proof that mermaids do exist, and are in the town’s waters, and so Xander is quickly getting the boat ready to go out to sea and catch her.

This is where the show is once again entering those murky grey areas of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. Xander’s fixation with gathering proof of mermaids existence is again completely understandable. On that stormy night on the boat they were attacked, one of his best friends was almost lost, and every time he’s attempted to broach the subject of mermaids he has been brushed off. Ben’s motivations for doing so were to protect Ryn, whilst Decker is just looking out for himself. What exactly Xander plans to do if he does find Donna is open to speculation for the time being, but I can’t help thinking if they’d just brought Xander into the fold and basically assured him that he wasn’t crazy, then he wouldn’t be so headstrong and determined to prove mermaids exist.

As we know it won’t just be Xander out in the water looking for Donna; the military is out there to. After his efforts to dig for information on Ben fail, Decker outs himself at his mother’s fundraising party. He’s full of promises that his experimental research extracting mermaid DNA can reverse the paralysis his mother suffers from. Ben is extremely unhappy that Decker’s trying to worm his way into his life, and especially though offering his mother false hope. Decker immediately apologizes for his behaviour and is willing to reach an understanding with Ben. The first thing they bond over is the way they’ve both been affected by the siren song. Ryn & Donna sang it to both of them the first time they met, and they both acknowledge that it’s had a mysterious, entrancing power over them that neither can explain. Ben offers to help Decker get his mermaid if he’ll stop the overfishing. It’s quite the card to pull out, and we obviously know Ben has no intention of seeing this through, but it shows the lengths he’s willing to go to. In return Decker reveals the military are in the water, just waiting for Donna and the rest of the mermaids to come up so they can take them.

Ben and Maddie are quickly on the phone to Helen and then Ryn, and that’s where things go south. They ask Ryn to promise she won’t go back into the water, but alerting Ryn and Donna to the fact Decker is at the party causes them to bring out the siren song again. Decker and Ben are immediately caught in the hypnotic trance, and when they realize they have both heard it, they’re both on a race against time to beat each other and find the mermaid.

Decker does find Donna and then Ryn first, and quickly has to take on board the fact there are indeed 2 mermaids. He’s trying to play the nice guy with Donna again, apologizing for hurting her, all the whilst planning to indeed hurt her again since he has got his needle hidden in his hand. Ryn thankfully sees it and stops Decker from doing anything to her sister. It’s at this point that Ben and Maddie come onto the scene and try to reason with Ryn, who is all set to kill Decker.

Again the reasoning here is perfectly understandable. Decker is the bad man, he has hurt her sister, of course Ryn would want to hurt him back, and it doesn’t help that Donna is basically egging her on. Maddie & Ben don’t want Ryn to kill, and even urge Decker to call the military and get them to back off the fishing. With his life very much in the balance Decker does bow to their demands, but it’s far too late as the military are refusing to back down. This only serves to anger Ryn and Donna even more & they’re soon back to wanting to kill him. Ben and Maddie continue to appeal to Ryn, but she misconstrues their pleas as siding with Decker and it absolutely breaks my heart.

Since the show first began our trio have come so far. It hasn’t been easy for Ryn to learn to trust them, and it hasn’t been easy for them trying to reach an understanding with Ryn. To us it’s obvious that their pleas are just because human’s don’t condone murder, and they are absolutely not on Decker’s side. But Ryn’s had Donna spilling poison in her ear for the majority of the episode. In her eyes she made the mistake previously of siding with Ben and Maddie over her, and she’s not going to make that mistake again. Decker might live to see another day, but Ryn’s relationship with Ben and Maddie may just be in tatters, as is her relationship with her sister.

Ryn may have walked away with her, but she’s soon at odds with Donna again as she makes references to what they learnt in the water about humans. Once again the show is dripping a few crumbs of mythology our way and I love it because it’s not too much, it’s not too little, it’s just enough to move the story onto the next chapter. Ryn disagrees with Donna, who wants to kill everything that crosses her path, irrespective of whether that’s in the water or on land. Donna questions again whether Ryn is choosing the humans over her, and Ryn simply says she’s choosing not to kill. Completely fed up Donna orders Ryn to go with her now, but Ryn once again refuses to and the two mermaids go their separate ways.

And just to wrap things up, I can’t not question what on earth is going on in Ben’s parents marriage. First we had the weird dynamic with the housekeeper, and at the party Ted catches up with Maddie. At first it seems as though he’s just being friendly to his son’s girlfriend, but catching up with his wife he’s talking about how much he likes Maddie.

She is of course the Sheriff’s step-daughter, and we were told tonight that the Sheriff was the first person to come across Ben’s mother after her accident and stayed with Ted all night as he awaited news on her. Ted goes on to list all of Maddie’s good qualities, and claims that being nice to her means they get to keep Ben around, but there’s just something about the way he speaks about her that just hints at something weird.

What did you think of ‘Showdown’? Was your heart on the floor a billion times? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.

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