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Siren - Being Human - Review: "Confrontations" + POLL

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Tonight’s Siren was an extremely sombre affair, with most of the episode taking place at Sean’s funeral as Bristol Cove mourned its beloved fisherman.

The big elephant in the room of tonight’s episode was undoubtedly Ben. He was extremely cold towards Ryn from the beginning, declaring mermaids to be animals, and Ryn couldn’t help thinking Ben was blaming her for what happened on the boat.

To an extent I do get Ben’s reaction, in the same way I get Xander’s behaviour since the show began. Ben’s just been through an extremely traumatic experience, where he could’ve easily died, Sean did actually die, and of course being confronted by other mermaids whose sole objective was to kill is gonna shake him up. However I do think his attitude towards Ryn was wrong. Whether it was knowingly or not, he was looking at her almost disgusted, barely able to stand being in her presence, because all he was seeing when he was near her was Sean dying.

His remarks to Maddie questioning Ryn’s humanity were completely out of order, and I’m glad she called him out on that. Ben knows Ryn murdered the trucker in self-defence. Attacking him in the water was before she properly got acquainted to him, and realized not all humans were bad. In the same respect Ben and Maddie have been repeatedly telling her that one human’s behaviour doesn’t speak for the whole of mankind, he should’ve known that one merman’s reactions to him and Donna attacking on the boat doesn’t speak for Ryn. She was extremely saddened by the events that took place, blaming herself and scared that the actions her ‘family’ had carried out reflected on her.

Ben did slightly redeem himself by episodes end, apologizing to Ryn for the harsh words spoken and the two shared a beautiful moment as he asked her to sing to him. However the MVP of the episode was without a double Maddie.

When Siren first began the heavy focus in the promotional push was on Ben & Ryn’s connection, but really it’s all been about Maddie and Ryn. As each week has gone by they’ve grown closer and closer. Maddie breaking down humanity in a way in which Ryn can understand, explaining circumstances to her, never rushing to jump to conclusions, and always being ready and willing to hear Ryn out.

Here she was this week being able to understand Xander’s grief in a way Ben just couldn’t, reiterating she believes Ryn is good when Xander questioned their relationship so to speak, and understanding the ways in which mermaids mourn their loved ones.

The episode title was ‘Being Human’ and like with most Siren titles it had a bit of a double meaning. Ryn was looking on at how sad everyone was over Sean dying, and wanted to understand the grief they were all feeling. Most speculated before the episode the new emotion mentioned in the synopsis was in some way connected to this, but I think the new human emotion she experience was humanity in itself. She’s had a heck of a lot of character progression in 8 weeks, and now is tuned into the fact she does have a bit of human in her. It’s something she wants to understand and continue to explore, which will obviously see her come into conflict with Donna and their clan, which washed up onto shore at the end of the episode.

Outside of Ben’s behaviour and Ryn’s humanity, there weren’t that many plot developments in this episode but there were a lot of character ones. Following Sean’s death, Chris was extremely shaken up and decided to leave Bristol Cove as soon as he could. Xander, Ben and Calvin were sad by this but didn’t really try to dissuade him, and after the encounter with Ryn he’s probably got all their numbers blocked!

There was also an interesting moment between Helen and Ted. Questioning him about a payment not going through, led to a bit of discussion about how they’re family, and I really need the show to delve head first into Helen already. I completely understand the show’s had a lot of interesting storylines to explore, and hopefully Helen will get some more screen time next week with the mermaids invading the town. Other characters have seen a lot of progression since the show first began, but she’s still very much a mystery, but every crumb the show drops I completely eat up with no regrets whatsoever. It’s a sign of a great show when the mermaid bombshell was dropped so long ago, hasn’t been picked up since except with cryptic talk, and I’m not feeling short-changed.

Another nugget dropped this week was on Xander/Maddie. During one of the earlier episodes Xander joked about how if Ben was cheating he’d kill him. Having watched far too many TV shows over the years, I know it’s extremely rare for a line like this to be dropped without reason. It’s either to spark a love triangle or to hint at a past romantic relationship, and with Siren it’s the latter. Their relationship obviously happened a long time ago, Maddie is completely over it, Xander doesn’t seem to be quite yet and I very much doubt Ben knows about this.

Now I’ll reiterate I really don’t want this show exploring any type of love triangle because it doesn’t need it, and hope this little nugget of information was just dropped for the sense of Xander looking at regrets in his life. He was after all extremely emotional from his father dying, the fact he had to lie to everyone including his mother about it, plus discovering that Ryn was a mermaid, and knows the mermaid that killed his father. So it is only natural for a person to be drunk and looking back on ‘what if’. Maddie made sure things didn’t go any further and for Xander to do something he regretted, and I hope that’s where the subject is closed.

Decker wasn’t on screen this week but he was mentioned as Ben’s mother revealed she is indeed going to go through with the trial, that could see her walk again. Apart from to once again bring Ben into conflict with Decker I’m not really sure what the point of this is, when she already admitted she didn’t really care about it or the possibility of walking again. We also got Ted having to basically deal with the town’s anger at him working the fisherman to death, destroying their lives and families in the process whilst he made a crap load of money. Completely understandable anger that could’ve probably worked a bit better if we’d actually been shown this apparent conflict. Because from everything we have seen on screen, Ted hasn’t come across as a bad boss. One that isn’t really involved with his employees sure, but there’s never been any sign of discontent from anyone, nor anything to imply discontent existed, so the town suddenly hating him was a bit strange. Xander did stand up for him though, informing his mother he didn’t blame Ted for his father’s death and by episodes end Ted was downing drowning with the locals rather happily.

Ryn also gate-crashed the funeral after previously been advised to stay away. That led to her of course sitting down with Xander and apologising for the mermaids killing his father. Watching Xander go from devastation, to confusion, to anger, whilst Ryn was just her usually empathetic self was an extremely interesting scene. It led into Ben and Maddie being forced to reveal the truth to him which we were thankfully spared, and Xander of course reacting angrily. He was annoyed he’d been lied to, annoyed his father had died, annoyed Ben had said nothing on the boat and annoyed Maddie hadn’t spoken up either. How exactly Xander moves forward will be extremely interesting to see. Is he going to be set on evening up the score, taking to the sea again and killing every mermaid in sight? Be part of the town’s fight back against Ryn’s clan who I don’t see leaving easily? Or will he decide to leave all that behind him?

There’s so many possibilities for where he and all the other characters on this show can go next, so many stories still to be wrapped up with 2 episodes to go, and I doubt we’ll have them all fully resolved this season. Which is why Freeform need to hurry up with their renewal. Ratings for the show have been doing well enough, and this is without a doubt the best show Freeform have launched in a while. It’s so far managed to avoid all the usual tropes, give us an understanding of our villains, character progression, story twists that actually make sense, and even with the slower episodes we have so far managed to avoid any filler.

It’s a complete and utter joy to watch and I really hope it gets another season. What did you think of ‘Being Human’? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to tune into Freeform next Thursday at 8pm as we edge closer to the season finale.

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