Season 2, Episode 14: “The Last Mermaid”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Michael Gans & Richard Register
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Outpost” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Sacrifice” – click here
Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) and Ben (Alex Roe) wonder about Ryn (Eline Powell) as she goes below the water. He’s jealous. It’s a male thing, the dominant nature, whereas Maddie’s fine with Ryn having to be with someone other than them, particularly given it’s to “save her people.” It’s also more than that because Ryn found out about Ben’s family. We watch Ryn engage in a mating ritual, looking more like a violent confrontation than lovemaking.
Helen (Rena Owen) gets a visit from Xander (Ian Verdun) at the shop. He brings her to see the graves desecrated. This includes her parents. Who’d grave rob all those corpses? And why? Military? Xander tries to text Nicole, wondering the same thing. Or maybe it’s got to do with showing his journalist pal Ian (Luc Roderique).
At the marine centre, Ryn surprises Ben. She doesn’t come back with sentimentality, only wanting him to contact Maddie. She doesn’t want to talk to him. She tells Maddie she’s “not with baby.” The mermaid has a nap while Maddie deals with Commander Kyle (Michael J. Rogers), trying to keep him off their backs. Ben continues listening to the siren song, monitoring its effects on him.
Interesting to see Ryn greet Maddie with a “miss you” when she didn’t return Ben’s gesture. She’s BIG TIME mad. Right now, Maddie’s doing more undercover research about mermaid fertility. They’re digging through things together— her, Ryn, Ben, and Helen. Pollution in the water’s making the reproductive process difficult. Ben suggests the mermaids need to get pregnant on land “in human form.”
Ryn goes out to look for Levi. She can’t find him, so she brings back a different mate (Aryeh-Or)— he’s new on land, born among her colony at the same time as her. She and her mate circle one another, like two sharks. But they have to wait until tomorrow. She and the others discuss what could happen if she gets pregnant on land. She doesn’t care how the child comes out: “It will be family.”
The only other known case? The tale of ole Charles Pownall!
More of the mermaids have come to land: Eliza (Georgia Waters) and Hunter (Katie Keough). They don’t dig the fetishising of their merpeople by Bristol Cove, neither do they like the nasty men. They’re also trying to track down Levi to mate.
In her mother’s clothes, Helen finds a note written to Daphne from Ted’s (David Cubitt) grandmother. It was an apology for something she believed her husband Caleb had done. Ted knows about the darkness in the family blood. He passes on a bunch of letters his grandmother wrote so Helen can read them.
The town’s history is causing other issues. Ryn believes all this madness “start with love” like it did with Charles, who once loved a mermaid, too. Heartbreaking to see her and Ben in a fight. Just so clear that Ben does care for her a great deal, like she does for him. Ryn falls into bed with her mate, advised by Maddie to show him how to make love on land like they showed her. A tender, beautiful scene.
“We have to put our feelings aside”
Afterwards, Ryn sits with Maddie while Ben goes for a frustrated walk. Maddie talks about her mother’s drug problem and tells Ryn that just because our family does one thing doesn’t mean we all perpetuate that. Ben’s so far away from the Pownall legacy, even his own father’s business, it’s obvious he isn’t like Charles. In the woods, Ben has a vision of Ryn. He chases her through the dark trees and nearly breaks his neck.
Record scratch: could the siren song actually turn Ben into somebody like Charles? It’s definitely on his mind. He sees himself like the picture of his ancestor, stabbing Ryn with a harpoon. His mental health is seriously deteriorating.
Xan keeps an eye on the other mermaids. He stops at a gas station, attempting to text Nicole and still getting no answer. Hunter gets in a band’s van, where she turns mermaid horny and attacks a dude. Eliza and Xan get her out of there and back to Ryn. The new mate is going to be passed around from one mermaid to the next.
Helen’s sure Caleb Pownall set the fire that killed her parents. She goes to Beth to apologise, and to warn her she believes the military raided the graveyard. At the naval lab, Ben sneaks around, following Commander Kyle through the facility. He happens to hide in a room where he stumbles onto pictures of the hidden surveillance on him, Maddie, and Ryn at home.
They’ve got it all— right down to the naked intimacy between the thrupple. An unsettling invasion of privacy. He also sees the graveyard bones were taken there, including Ryn’s dead sister. On top of that, he finds his friend Chris (Chad Rook) in a room watching cartoons, eating cereal, unable to remember him. Yikes.
“Our love is good”
Great episode with some intriguing mystery and plenty of emotion. Signature for the series, really. And there’s not much left before Season 2 ends. Hopefully Freeform does the noble thing and gives us Season 3! We need it.
“Sacrifice” is next.