Freeform’s Siren
3×01: “Borders”
Directed by Joe Menendez
Written by Eric Wald

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “New World Order” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×02, “Revelations” – click here
Father Son Holy Gore - Siren - Tia the MermaidA woman called Tia (Tiffany Lonsdale) makes her way onto a plane as an airline attendant. She’s not the usual woman the pilots expect. They soon discover she’s a wanted criminal, prompting Tia to kill everyone aboard before sending the plane into a dive and leaping out with a parachute on her back. She’s actually a mermaid as we see once she hits the ocean and her true form emerges from beneath her skin. It’s not long before she’s on land again, headed for the naval lab.

In Bristol Cove, things haven’t changed TOO much. Ryn (Eline Powell) is a little more integrated into society than she was before, helping to run the shop for Helen (Rena Owen) while she’s not around. She goes shopping, she even cooks, too. At least she’s trying, anyway. She, Ben (Alex Roe), and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) continue to live together as a thrupple. She serves up supper for her lovers: banana and carrot salad with marshmallow chicken. Elsewhere that night, Helen’s reading a book in bed when she thinks she sees Sarge in the corner of her room. She only finds that familiar necklace being suddenly pushed off onto the floor.
Father Son Holy Gore - Siren - Sarge's GhostEveryone has things bothering them, not just Helen. We see Ben getting a call from a news producer asking around about Ian and the accident. Obviously Maddie knows there’s something more to what happened, by the way Ben and Ryn act whenever it comes up. So, finally, Ben explains the truth about what occurred when Ian went into the water: “One life to save an entire species.” His explanation isn’t good enough for Maddie, whose attitude towards both her partners has suddenly changed. Ryn seems to feel bad, whereas Ben feels it was the only thing they could have done.

Xander (Ian Verdun) gets talking to Sheriff Dale Bishop (Gil Birmingham) about Nicole’s whereabouts. He mentions not hearing from her for a long time. He went by the motel and her room is empty, the housekeepers said she was arguing with a military man before she left. There’s nothing at the lab anymore, either. As if the woman “never existed.” Dale thinks the military probably wanted her gone. When Ryn and Maddie meet Helen for lunch the latter tells them about Sarge moving the necklace in her room. They talk about the “spirit realm” and Ryn tells them: “The ocean is full of spirits.” The mermaid believes that Sarge has something to tell Helen.

Elaine (Sarah-Jane Redmond) is doing much better. She’s meeting with Commander David Kyle (Michael J Rogers) to discuss further treatments. Looks like they’ve found another source for the medicine. This troubles Ben because he knows where the source of those treatments is coming from, and how it’s been attained. Then there’s Ted (David Cubitt) asking his son about the Klesco video and the “girl in the water.” It’s been troubling him greatly.
Quite the meeting when Tia turns up at Helen’s shop. Ryn says she’s from “another tribe” of mermaids, not her own. Tia was at the lab looking for Ryn, she knows her fellow mermaid was taken as a “test subject.” She can also sense Helen has their blood in her veins. Turns out Tia was being held by the Russian government for the last decade. She’s not actually named Tia until right now, choosing the name after Tiamat, a primordial sea deity. The Russians were trying to turn her into a weapon, essentially. We further hear of other sea creatures out there, like the Ga’anda— a creature with a serpent’s body, tentacles, and sharp teeth. Tia and Ryn have time alone together to talk about what seems like a growing mermaid war below the waves. The escaped mermaid is highly intrigued by Ryn’s relationship to the humans in Bristol Cove.
Father Son Holy Gore - Siren - LGBTQ RynAt the lab, Ben hears his clearance has been revoked. He asks to see Cmdr. Kyle about the new test subject. They’ve got a contentious relationship. Ben’s told about the new stem cells, which came from Ryn’s sister. Remember the military dug up that mermaid graveyard? They’ll do whatever’s necessary to keep those experiments going. Kyle wants a live subject, and, of course, he’d love it to be Ryn. Meanwhile, Tia’s attempting to turn Ryn against humans. That’s how it feels. She insists that human beings have done nothing but destroy things throughout history, including the ocean. “We create balance,” she says. Mermaids are effectively directly opposed to humankind, evolved across time to protect the natural world. Tia wants to join all the mermaid colonies to restore that balance to the entire world.

Cmdr. Kyle gets a text to meet at the docks, Ben’s apologising and claiming he spoke to Ryn about the test subject situation. While Kyle is out at the docks we watch Ben and Maddie have an uncomfortable talk about their stressed relationship. The friends are all at the Anchor for Calvin (Curtis), who proposes to Janine (Hannah Levien) in front of a crowd. Calvin may be a dummy, but he’s a sweet dummy. A beautiful moment, even if it’s slightly melancholy for Ben and Maddie. This is also Ryn’s first introduction to the concept of marriage, asking Maddie about whether Ben ever gave her a ring like that.
Oh, and Kyle? He’s been lured to the docks by Tia— clever girl. She massacres him. This might be good, in a way. It’s juts as bad, though. Kyle was the one who’d helped Elaine, and with him gone it may not be guaranteed her treatment will continue.

When Ben meets with his father Ted mentions the night of Elaine’s injury. Ted can’t stop thinking of that night, being below the waves. He’s dug into the Coast Guard reports of that night finding more questions than answers. How far will Ted take this? Ben’s already sweating. Speaking of sweating, Ry has a sudden pain in her belly. Just like the other mermaid with Bryan (Daniel Cudmore) and their crew, whose baby’s growing too fast for her human form. Looks like our lady might have a baby after all.
Father Son Holy Gore - Siren - TiamataAn excellent opener for Season 3. No time wasted.
Tia’s introduction is awesome because she really is the antithesis to Ryn, even more so than the other angry mermaids we’ve seen come ashore. She’s been tested on and abused, similar to Ryn, but surely much, much worse. Great contrasting perspectives.

“Revelations” is next.

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