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Siren - No North Star - Review + POLL

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Tonight, Siren returned! Freeform decided to be kind enough to bring the premiere forward by a month and it was a good episode, if a little out of place and disjointed.

The big cliffhanger Siren left us on was whether or not Xander and Calvin made it off the boat alive, and that’s a cliffhanger Freeform then went on to spoil with some of their promotional photos. Not that there was any true doubt, but they both made it off the boat alive even if the boat was ruined beyond repair. What wasn’t made clear is what exactly happened to Cami, but I guess we’re supposed to assume she either perished or made it off the boat secretly.

The show then decided to fast forward a little in time so we missed out on seeing the aftermath of that night, and moved forward to Ben & Maddie struggling without Ryn, Ben playing the siren song over and over as a coping mechanism, Maddie annoyed that she hasn’t had that option as she’s missing Ryn just as much as he is, Ryn popping back to hold up her end of the bargain with Nicole, said deal with Nicole quickly being outed as a result of Elaine’s worsening health issues, and Ben reluctantly agreeing that Ryn should work with the military to keep supplying the experimental drug that was working so well on his mother, which Ryn of course went along with because she wants to help those she loves, but Maddie wasn’t as easily convinced.

As much as I can understand Ben wanting to do whatever he could to help his mother, it just doesn’t ring true to me that he would so easily get over his anger at Nicole going behind their backs to work with Ryn and allow her to be a test subject. Ben has always been against military action and experimentation. Escaping from that is how Ryn originally ended up in his path, it was part of the reason Donna died, and I just don’t believe for one moment Ben would consider it as an option, not when he and Maddie are so protective of Ryn. Instead it feels like a plot contrivance, done to provide a bit more tension with Xander breaking up with Nicole, her trying to prove herself to the military, and something that will evidently go wrong and take the or3 back to Ryn’s home and maybe even out the mermaids to the public.

It also feels like a massive cheat from the show to be lazy and just fast forward through the immediate aftermath of the explosion. We didn’t get to see Ryn’s reaction to Cami’s actions, how Xander felt seeing his livelihood go up in flames, or Ted confront Ben over his part in the rig explosion. If you’re going to leave your show on a cliffhanger ending to build the tension for the next part of the season, you have to be able to follow that up with actually exploring the aftermath of that.

Instead Calvin is the one whose more angry over the boat going up in flames, with Xander seeing it as an opportunity to put his dad and his past behind him. A chance to explore his own interests and what exactly makes him tick, instead of being the man he was because of his legacy. That along with his break-up with Nicole is bound to stir some drama during the second half of the season. Whilst I get Xander isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I think he has made enough progress from the character he was when the show originally began and it’s clear he’s not going away anytime soon so we might as well just get used to him being around.

Away from all of this drama, Helen continued to be off in her own storyline. She decided to join Rick on a visit to his sister’s place, to fill her in on their ancestral bloodline and mermaid history. Not a visit that went particularly well given his sister thought Rick was insane, and Helen was just feeding into his delusions, and they ended the episode having being kidnapped by one of his sister’s henchmen. What exactly she wants with them and how this storyline progresses remains to be seen, but it’s still just nice seeing Helen doing her own thing. She had a limited amount of screen time in season 1 with the show deciding to keep her mermaid links hidden for most of the season which was a little irritating, and now Helen’s really being given her time to shine and become a fully fleshed out character. She still has her connections to the ot3, and no doubt that’ll be called on at some point in 2b, but for now with an extended episode order, it’s nice to see characters do their own thing without it feeling as though it’s happening just to feel time.

What did you think of No North Star? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and tune into Siren next Thursday!

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