Freeform’s Siren
Season 1, Episode 9: “Street Fight”
Directed by Joe Menendez
Written by Zach Ayers

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Being Human” – click here
* For a recap & review of the finale, “Aftermath” – click here
Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 2.41.14 AMWe see Ben (Alex Roe) in bed with Ryn (Eline Powell), making love. Suddenly, she becomes her mermaid self – vicious and wild. She starts choking him. Then he’s being dragged naked underwater, other mermaids joining in to pull him lower.
Thankfully it’s just a dream. Ben wakes up to see Ryn asleep across the room.
On the beach, Donna (Sibongile Mlambo), Levi (Sedale Threatt Jr.), and Katrina (Aylya Marzolf) find themselves a bit of clothes from unsuspecting humans. Thus they’re able to infiltrate Bristol Cove further. Now that’s going to make for trouble.
After Xander (Ian Verdun) wakes up in the morning he wants to talk to Ryn, to try and find the merman who killed his father. Of course Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) tries talking him out of it. He’s not deterred, he believes they’re brutal animals out to kill, whereas she knows some of them, like Ryn, are good. Same as people – we’re good and bad. Maddie goes to see her dad, Sheriff Bishop (Gil Birmingham), to let him know she’s worried what Xander could do in his mental state.
At home, Ben is hooked on the siren song. He’s obsessing silently over Ryn, much as he knows he shouldn’t. They talk about Xander’s father dying. She shows concern for all their emotions.
Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 2.40.40 AM

“A shark hunts to eat, right? These things attacked us.”

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 2.56.50 AMHelen (Rena Owen) gets a visit from the merfolk family. She’s not happy after her Sean was killed. She sees the human part of the merpeople, the violence instead of survival. They’re getting more violent all the time. So, Helen tries warning Ben. He talks with Ryn, and she’s worried they’ll “hurt people” if she doesn’t go back in the water. She wants the autonomy and freedom to choose when she goes back, when she stays on land. Ben doesn’t understand the mermaid hierarchy, or how things underwater work. He’s obsessed, addicted to that siren song. He doesn’t want to lose her.
When the three merfolk show up, things don’t go well. Levi and Katrina get aggressive, poised to kill. Except Donna won’t have that, and she winds up escaping with Ben and Ryn. That’s quite the big switch. Later, we hear about one of the mermaids who lived on land with a man and had a child; the man killed the child because it didn’t “look normal.” She went back to the water, then the man slaughtered the mermaids. This is indeed the tale of the Pownall family. Oh, lord. And, y’know, no wonder the merpeople worry about their own going onto land. It would rightfully cause paranoia.
Worse, for everyone, Xander finds out from Helen that the merfolk have arrived. He’s out around town with his dad’s rifle in tow. That’s just perfect. Oh, and indirectly Aldon Decker (Ron Yuan) is told – by Elaine (Sarah-Jane Redmond) – that Sean died on the water, which is going to add to the hysteria that’s brewing around Bristol Cove. So many things about to converge in a storm.
Although there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Xander finds Ben and the mermaid sisters. It looks tense in the beginning. Until Ryn and Donna both agree they need to follow Xander, to hunt down Levi particularly together. A tenuous, though awesome partnership. That is, if Xander doesn’t go off the deep end.
Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 2.59.35 AMSheriff Bishop nearly runs over Levi and Katrina. He calls it in before they attack his vehicle. He fires off a few shots as they wrestle to grab him through the windows, which sends them off running. He chases them, knocking Levi over. Another cop car arrives to help him cuff the merman. In the meantime, Katrina is off in the rain someplace.
Can Dale get his perp back to the station without the merman breaking out? Levi smashes the cage between him and the Sheriff, so much so the vehicle goes off the road. Dale comes to and his merman is nowhere in sight. He’s got a shotgun, so that’s something.
Through the night, Ryn and Donna call out their song, to try drawing out Katrina. The other mermaid soon comes. Ryn offers a gesture of peace, urging that they all live together. But it goes sidways. Katrina kicks the shit out of Ryn, they all end up in a brutal street fight. In the middle of it all, Xander has his rifle. And then, Levi turns up, too. The whole thing is a wild mess before Katrina and Levi take off, and Xander loses everyone. Not long afterwards, Xander finds Aldon in town, right outside. The military scientist offers an olive branch, saying he can help. Just another weird, potentially dangerous variable in the mix. Still unsure what Decker’s ultimate endgame is, as well. He’s as obsessed as Ben, if not more. Two scientists on opposite ends of the spectrum.
In the street, more mermaid violence goes down. Spears are thrown. Maddie and her father find each other. Levi’s hunting the Sheriff with his own beastly spear. One of them nearly blows Dale’s knee out, so Ben and Maddie try getting him over to Helen’s place. Simultaneously, Ryn and Donna go towards the docks.
There, Ryn comes face to face with Katrina. They fight and tear each other up. Eventually, Ryn gets the upper hand, but she stops, not wanting to do any worse damage to her family. Donna, she runs into Decker, who claims he only wants to help.
Before Levi can kill Ben, Ryn shows up commanding: “You listen to me now.” She’s the matriarch now. It’s all interrupted by Xander, ready to murder. He goes to fire, and Ben tries to stop him. Resulting in a bullet hitting Donna in the chest. Before the other cops arrive, they’ve got to get out of there, moving Donna to Helen’s place. Ryn commands the other merfolk to go back in the sea, never come back.
On top of everything else, Ben and Maddie are splitting apart because of his obsession.
Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 3.20.55 AMIt looks like Donna won’t survive. Xander spends a night in the drunk tank. Dale’s resting up his leg and Maddie takes care of him. However, everything is changing. Things can’t be how Ben and Maddie hoped they could, at least not with the violence that’s come up in Bristol Cove, which puts Sheriff Bishop in a position where he has to think of the people there first.
To save Donna, Ben calls Decker, in hopes he can save her. The allegiances and alliances between characters shifted significantly in this episode. So much going on, I love it! Season 1’s finale “Aftermath” is next time. Glad to know already there’s a Season 2 renewal. Looking forward to seeing how they finish off this excellent first season, there’s going to be big stuff going down.

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I'm a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) graduate and a Master's student with a concentration in early modern literature and print culture. Although I've studied everything from Medieval literature onward, also spending an extensive time studying post-modern critical theory; I have a large interest in both Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard. I completed my Honours thesis on John Milton's Paradise Lost + the communal aspects of its conception, writing, and its later printing/publication. This thesis will serve as the basis for a book about Milton's authorship and his influence on pop culture (that continues to this day). My Master's program involves a Creative Thesis, which will be a full-length, semi-autobiographical novel. Author Lisa Moore is supervising the writing of this thesis. I'm already looking towards doing a dissertation for a PhD in 2019, focusing on early modern print culture in Europe and the constructions of gender identities. - I'm a film writer, author, and a freelance editor. My short stories have been printed in Canada and the U.S. I edited Newfoundland author Earl B. Pilgrim's latest novel The Adventures of Ernest Doane Volume I. Aside from that I have a short screenplay titled "New Woman" that went into post-production during early 2018. I was part of a pilot episode for "The Ship" on CBC; I told a non-fiction story of mine about my own addiction/alcoholism live for an audience with nine other storytellers. - Meanwhile, I'm writing more screenplays, working on editing a couple novels I've finished, and running this website/writing all of its content. I used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17. I'm currently contributing to a new website launching in May 2018, Scriptophobic; my column is titled Serial Killer Celluloid. Contact me at u39cjhn@mun.ca or hit me up on Twitter (@fathergore) if you want to chat, collaborate, or have any questions for me. I'm also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fathersonholygore. Cheers!

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