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Siren - Street Fight - Review: "Unexpected Alliances"

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What. An. Episode.

I feel like that’s a pretty accurate summary of ‘Street Fight’, which had a number of twists and turns and more than lived up to its name.

The episode began with Ben dreaming of having sex with Ryn, who quickly turned on him and Ben woke up in quite the sweat. It was an extremely bizarre way to open the episode (even if it was obvious he was dreaming) but also a clever way of giving us an insight into Ben’s frame of mind.

Asking Ryn to sing to him at the end of the last episode looks to be having a strange effect on Ben. He’s dreaming about sex with her, he doesn’t want her to leave, is extremely close to her, refuses to heed Maddie’s words of warning and behaves extremely irrationally. From what I get from the show, the siren song is used by mermaids to, I’d say manipulate humans into being nice to them? It’s obviously some form of defence mechanism which is used to stop humans from harming them, and possibly be nice to them. Trying to summarize something like this is extremely difficult, but cutting to the chase, I don’t think it’s supposed to be used as a form of comforting someone who is grieving.

It seems to have very much clouded Ben’s judgement, and he’s unfortunately completely blind to his actions. To an extent Ryn is as well. She sees Ben as being love, and doesn’t have any reason to question his sudden uptake in feelings for her. Donna though is a bit perturbed by just how close they seem to be, and I imagine Maddie would’ve been as well if she’d been around them for most of the episode. Ben acted more like a concerned boyfriend worried that his girlfriend would be taken away from him, than someone who is just being protective over someone they’ve somewhat adopted into their life.

Ben and Ryn are able to get through to Donna, who breaks away from the other mermaids. She just wants to be reunited with her sister, which is completely understandable. The other two mermaids though have very different plans for Ryn, and it turns out they’re actually here to kill her.

Some quick thinking from Ben allows him, Ryn and Donna to get away. After Ryn tends to Donna’s wounds, it’s story time. They explain that due to the amount of time Ryn has spent on land with humans, they are now distrusting of her. They go on to further explain Ryn isn’t the first mermaid to make nice with a human; there was one that did that many years ago, making such a nice in fact that they had a child together. It was horribly deformed and killed, the mermaid went back to sea, and her dearly beloved ended up in such a rage that he turned the waters red killing every mermaid in site. Ryn’s clan are now afraid the same fate could happen to them, due to her close connection to Ben and Maddie.

If the story sounds familiar, that may be because it was referenced in one of the beginning episodes. Bristol Cove accepts itself as being the mermaid capital of the world, with Ben’s ancestor being something of a legend because of his relations with mermaids. Now a bit of speculation time, but considering Helen is also secretly a mermaid and she is the one Ben heard the story from, and her conversation last week with Ben’s father Ted in which she commented on them being family, could she have possibly been the mermaid that made a close connection with a human that was actually Ben’s grandfather?

It would certainly bring a number of dots together and make for quite an interesting plot to explore in season 2. But again this is only speculation and I could be massively wrong, but the reveal of Helen being a mermaid was made quite a few episodes ago. Since then the follow-up hasn’t really been explored, and I can only think that’s because they’re waiting to really hit us with it. Tying her in to Ben’s story would be quite a twist, and given how well I predicted this week’s Upfronts and create story twists on a daily basis, I’d like to think I’m somewhat on the money here.

The street fight that the episode was named after I don’t think anyone would’ve truly seen how it unfolded coming. I certainly didn’t expect for Ryn to side with Xander and agree that they had to kill the merman who killed his father. With the merman also out to kill her, it was a two birds with one stone type of thing, but of course it didn’t go smoothly.

Ben, Ryn, Donna and Xander went out to look for the mermaids, as did the Sheriff and eventually Maddie. The mermaids were of course found and after a fight, Ryn took over as Queen. She ordered the merman to stand down which he did, but Xander still wasn’t happy.

This is where Ben wasn’t thinking clearly and should’ve listened to Maddie. She cautioned him that Xander was going to do something stupid, and wanted to allow the police to handle the situation, but Ben just couldn’t do that. As far as he was concerned he had to protect Ryn by any means necessary, and that included joining her in teaming up with Xander. The unfortunate part of that is he is currently completely grief stricken and with a lot of guilt and devastation on his shoulders. Like anyone who has lost a loved one to what is essentially murder, he wanted a life for a life. Sure it wouldn’t bring his dad back, but at least he could live with knowing the thing that had taken his life had its own life taken as well.

Once again it’s a completely understandable reaction to a situation, and well and truly in the grey area that Siren might as well have trademarked at this point. The merman and the former Queen bowing to Ryn’s ruling was all well and good for them, but Xander wanted his dad’s murderer dead and wasn’t listening to reason as well. So he aimed fire, and unfortunately Donna ended up being the person shot.

She was quickly marched off to Helen’s, with Ryn ordering the other mermaids to return to sea. Xander was locked up in a cell for the night to cool off, whilst Maddie stayed by her step father’s side to help him recover from being injured. She was majorly pissed with Ben for not only ignoring her concerns, but proclaiming her to not care about Ryn and of course her stepfather being injured. Granted it wasn’t a life threatening injury, but it is one that didn’t have to happen. He then issued Maddie with his own warning that the mermaid’s can’t stay on land. They’re extremely dangerous, volatile creatures who aren’t all going to listen and learn like Ryn has, and push comes to shove his loyalties lie with the town and not them. If things do go south in the finale which they probably will, Maddie’s loyalties will be well and truly tested.

The Sheriff’s deputy wasn’t at all happy with his locking Xander up in the cell for the night, wanting a harsher punishment for him. It’s obvious she knows there’s something going on the Sheriff isn’t revealing, and he’s not going to be able to keep this up much longer.

With Donna very seriously injured and without a lot of options, Ben was forced to call Decker for help. Now considering most of its storylines have been resolved with a few crumbs left, I have absolutely no idea where this show is going to go in the finale and I love that. The types of storylines its so far burnt through, are the types that other shows would spread out over a 22+ ep season or 2, not 9 episodes and counting. The writers have so far been absolutely faultless, with not a second wasted on filler, having certain storylines the focus of certain episodes whilst picking others up again later, made me care about all the characters in some way, get me thinking about morality of decisions, and just been one heck of a ride.

It's why I’m delighted Freeform finally confirmed the second season earlier this week. Not exactly sure about the increased episode count at the moment, but I do trust these writers to do right by the show. I’m glad I can just enjoy next weeks finale regardless of any cliff-hangers, safe in the knowledge a second season will be coming.

What did you think of Siren? Let us know in the comments below and don’t miss the finale, next Thursday at 8pm on Freeform.

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