Season 1, Episode 3: “Interview with a Mermaid”
Directed by Jay Karas
Written by Emily Whitesell
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Lure” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “On the Road” – click here
Ben Pownall (Alex Roe) can’t get the mermaid Ryn (Eline Powell) out of his head, after hearing her siren song. He and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) talk about Ryn and everything involved with her appearing in Bristol Cove. Meanwhile, Maddie’s dad Sheriff Dale Bishop (Gil Birmingham) is investigating the dead man thrown through his windshield. Across town at her place, Helen (Rena Owen) keeps Ryn out of trouble. At least, for now. She has no idea where the mermaid went last night.
All the while, Aldon Decker (Ron Yuan) continues various experiments involving “human DNA” crossed with that of the mermaid sister they have in custody at the military compound. And, as if perfectly coincidental, Xander (Ian Verdun) and Calvin (Curtis Lum) are getting an SOS text from Chris (Chad Rook), from a phone they don’t recognise; the phone belongs to a woman named Donna, and the plot thickens.
Things are a little tough dealing with Ryn, considering her strength. You can’t piss her off. Even an innocent shove is ridiculously powerful. She just wants to go find her sister. Helen tries to warn Ben about “refusing to acknowledge your past” and how it’ll only result in destruction. This is a great part of Siren, in that there’s this great folklore v. science thing happening. Even though I’m totally in the corner of science, there are still things science can’t explain. Like fucking mermaids.
“You’re applying some crazy fictional mythology to a scientific discovery”
Sheriff Bishop finds the sweatshirt Ryn stole off a clothesline, and it’s got blood on it. So he winds up at the trailer park where Vicki (Jennifer Koenig) agrees to give a description of the girl she saw stealing it.
Back at the Mammal Research Centre, Ben and Maddie tape Ryn and ask her questions about her species. She says their transformation involves “pain.” It seems that when the mermaids are in water, they function totally on instinct and survival. Kill or be killed, y’know? Law of nature. Not only that, there are many mermaids out there. After all the questions Ben gives Ryn a “Primate Intelligence Test,” which she passes with flying colours, and quick. He and Maddie do more tests finding out all sorts of interesting things about the mermaid.
At the military compound, Decker finds “pure DNA” extracted from the mermaids has amazing regenerative qualities allowing fully paralysed rats to move around again.
“In water, we fight.”
Ryn is pissed, wanting to find her sister, and she ends up going with Jerry (David Kaye) from the Centre to a party. She fits right in chugging beers, acting like an exchange student. Now Ben and Maddie are left wondering where she’s gone. And things could possibly get wild if she needs to get in the water again soon. Or if a body of water presents itself. Such as a pool. Thankfully nothing happens, except for the cops turning up to shut the party down, so Maddie whisks Ryn away to keep her out of
At the military lab, Admiral Harrison (Anthony Harrison) doesn’t care about the mermaid in their tank dying compared to getting results for their program, whereas Decker’s starting to actually feel concern for her; a human heart amongst the military industrial complex and its disregard for any kind of bioethics.
When Ryn keeps pushing to find her sister Maddie tries to explain the concept of “trust.” Not easy from human to mermaid. However, Maddie’s fantastic at translating knowledge; not surprising from a smart person like her, a marine biologist no less. I love seeing her and Ryn together. They have a kind of spiritual connection on some level.
Xander and Calvin are seeking out Donna, and they’ve tracked down a nurse. They follow her to the military compound. Except when they try to go through the gates, armed soldiers head out to greet them, and that plan’s over. Later, they get a call back from the nurse after she sees the number to Xander’s phone on hers. Yikes.
As if it all weren’t bad enough, the military knows the Ben’s figured out the mermaid situation in Bristol Cove. Never good to be on the state’s radar, especially when the stakes are so high, and hold such implications for nature; plus human nature.
Oh, and our girl in the military’s tank? SHE’S FAKING! I had my suspicions, but still, awesome. Wonder what she has planned. This was a good follow-up to the first two episodes, and I’m looking forward to more. “On the Road” is next time.