Season 2, Episode 16: “New World Order”
Directed by Nick Copus
Written by Emily Whitesell
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Sacrifice” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “Borders” – click here
Ben (Alex Roe) and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) are chasing after reporter Ian Sutton (Luc Roderique), who’s got Ryn (Eline Powell) captured. The writer tries to run Ben down in the road. The mermaid forces the vehicle to swerve, driving straight into the water. Ian’s leg is trapped under the steering wheel, and Ryn transforms, swimming off into the ocean. This leaves Ben to save Ian.
But can he? You’re goddamn right.
Ben and Maddie are idiots to have believed the reporter. He said he’d keep the secret after his life was saved. Yet, while Ryn, Ben, Maddie, and Helen (Rena Owen) sit for a meal— and the mermaid laments she still isn’t pregnancy after all the fiasco— they see a TV report of a “mermaid discovery” with Ian. There’s footage of Ryn in the water, at the research centre, as well as at the secret shedding ceremony. Suddenly there people recognise her at the restaurant, causing a scene. Xander (Ian Verdun) helps Ben get them out of there. Bristol Cove is coming alive with rumours.
Jump ahead two months.
People are trying to get into the town. The military has taken over, declaring martial law and keeping anybody who’s a non-resident out of Bristol Cove. We find Ben sneaking, evading the soldiers. The streets are like a war zone. There’s also a supposed mermaid caught in Malaysia. Everyone’s divided over “the treatment of the newfound species,” and it has people separated across moral lines. Canada’s offering “asylum and protection” to the creatures.
People in Bristol Cove have branded Helen a traitor. Ben and Maddie are persons of interest, especially since they had close ties to Commander Kyle (Michael J Rogers). Funny how the Navy hasn’t protected them— not surprised. Meanwhile, there’s a potential “blood test” to examine people, in order to root out anybody with mermaid DNA. Quickly it’s turning into a horror show.
Or, y’know, 2019 America. It’s why Ben suggests heading for Canada.
He heads home briefly, running into Ted (David Cubitt). His father wonders what his son will do, not approving of the plan to cross the border. Nevertheless, he opens up his safe and hands over cash to help Ben. Saddest is Elaine (Sarah-Jane Redmond) has been seeing such benefits from the mermaid stem cells, it’s all going to go away, and Ben getting a glimpse of her standing again is heartbreaking. Double sad: Ben discovers Xander is now helping to search for mermaids because it offers millions of dollars.
Father Gore likes the Xan Man and hopes he’ll, once more, prove he’s a good dude.
Ben goes back to the cave where Ryn and Maddie are staying. He comes across military men, led by Cmdr. Kyle. Thankfully the pair have taken off, hiding around the edges of town. Doesn’t take long for Ben to find them. Then they commandeer a car.
Helen is on her way to meet them when she’s stopped at a road block by soldiers. She’s made to take a quick blood test and the results get her hauled off to a facility. She and many like her are processed— made to strip and showered down with hoses like animals. She finds Rick (Brendan Fletcher), beaten to a pulp.
“They can change the rules
anytime they want”
Out on a boat with their new buddies, Xander and Calvin (Curtis Lum) use one of those Navy devices with Donna’s sounds in it to attract a mermaid. Soon one’s tailing the boat. The guy paying the cash sends divers down below the surface with spear guns, even when Xan warns against it. The men manage to subdue the creature and haul it aboard.
It’s Ryn’s niece, Cami (Millan Tesfazgi). Calvin doesn’t care. Xan’s not so sure anymore. They go to get their payment at a fancy loft, just to see the rich guy who purchased Cami is keeping her in a tank with a muzzle on her mouth, to serve as an art piece.
Did Ted give his son up? Looks like it, as Ben and Maddie find trouble nearing the border. On top of that, poor Ryn is getting worse after being out of the water for so long. All this means the thrupple must find somewhere to camp out. They come to a spot in the forest. Again, soldiers show up. Ryn can sense Ted is nearby somehow, and he is, along with Cmdr. Kyle and Maddie’s father, Sheriff Dale (Gil Birmingham).
Ted offers to go talk to them. His son pulls him inside at gunpoint, threatens Ted that he has to get them out of there. They go outside and the soldiers take a shot, barely hitting Ben and landing right in Maddie’s gut. Maddie loses blood, dying in her father’s arms.
This is what would’ve happened had Ben saved Ian. The thoughts of what could happen if they let Ian leave and tell his story flash in his mind underwater. What really happened is Ben refused to help Ian, letting him drown. He doesn’t telling Maddie or Ryn the truth, keeping this devastating moral choice secret.
At the station, Ted seeks out the report about his wife’s accident. He won’t let go of what he thought he saw that night, and what he’s seen on the Clesco Oil footage. Hopefully Sheriff Bishop can help keep him from the truth. On the water, Calvin and Janine (Hannah Levien) bought themselves a boat to do tours in the “mermaid capital of the world“— a far better option than what they were doing in the potential future.
And there remains “no baby” for Ryn, or any of the mermaids.
Well, not all. There’s Meredith, now carrying a verified, “full blood” mermaid.
“Some things are better left in the past”
What a ride. Usually Father Gore would be pissed at the bait-and-switch moment, but it was so well done and so shocking it worked, AND things still aren’t good in Bristol Cove, even if the place isn’t descending into fascism. This leaves a lot of interesting stuff for Season 3. It’s already been confirmed, so let’s wait it out patiently until our favourite thrupple and #1 mermaid return.