3×05: “Mommy and Me”
Directed by John Badham
Written by Liz Maccie
* For a recap & review of 3×04, “Life and Death” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×06, “The Island” – click here
The mermaid cells are affecting Ben deeply. His sense of hearing is heightening, alongside his ability to heal rapidly. He records a video on his laptop about the “ongoing experiment” he’s conducting, but soon Ryn and her baby arrive after their trip to the ocean. She didn’t see Tia and noticed the water was quiet— she knows, like we’ve seen, Tia is off building her army. While Ryn and Ben play mom and dad at home Maddie is off with Robb walking around Bristol Cove. Robb’s talking about moving part of his operation to mermaid central. He wants Maddie to be involved, and surely wants their relationship to grow. Is his interest all above aboard? Am I just being cynically paranoid? Hopefully his intentions are pure.
Ted drops by Helen’s shop to ask her more about the mermaids. He mentions the story of his ancestor, leading to Helen explaining she’s a “hybrid of sorts.” He’s intrigued by Ryn, too. He was frightened by the mermaid he saw in the water years ago, and finds that it’s like being in the middle of a “twisted fairy tale.” Where will the obsession lead Ted? What trouble will it cause? He’s also reconnecting with Xander’s mother, whose doubts about her husband’s death start to figure into Ted’s obsession. He’s definitely going to stir up some real shit.
The reason Ryn came back so soon is to learn to be a mother on land. Hilarious, as usual, to watch her learning things outside of the mermaid way of life, from diaper changes to bottle feeding. The show does such a great job showing how Ryn adapts to human life. Ben, Helen, and Maddie will do their best to help the new mother. Super cute how Ryn decides to make the child’s name Baby. Somewhat awkward when Ryn ends up at a Mommy and Me group in a library where she gets talking a little too much to the other mothers, thankfully with Maddie at her side to prevent anything wild from coming up. Well, until Ryn talks about babies being eaten for crying.
Ben continues to dodge telling anybody about all the new extra benefits he’s gotten out of secretly injecting himself with mermaid cells. He’s likewise trying to dodge having Robb up in his business while juggling everything Ryn and her people, as well as his hidden experimental trials. Plus, he feels a bit like the father of Ryn’s child. So the guy has a lot going on, like everyone on Bristol Cove.
There are friendly faces back on land— Mate and Levi— except they’re trying to take the baby back to the water. This clearly doesn’t sit well with Ryn, not willing to let her child go. It’s the mermaid way: men take the babies and teach the children to fight, to survive. She understands it’s tradition, having been taken from her own mother until she was older. Yet her “human maternal instinct” is not to let the child go. Helen thinks it may be necessary in order for the baby to wholly adapt, and Ben suggests that, similar to other aquatic species, the male mermaids may trigger different hormones necessary for the child’s development. Levi makes a promise on his life to protect the baby in the water. At the same time, Katrina and the others are in the sea preparing for an attack by members of Tia’s tribe. But the others are surprised when Katrina changes her colours, exclaiming: “We are family.” A tactic? Or, is she really joining Tia? Looks like it. Cami’s sent back to land to bring the message to Ryn: join Tia or die.
Sad to see Ryn give her child over so soon after meeting her. She says goodbye, knowing her baby won’t remember these moments like she will, and she kisses the child before handing her over to the men. Levi again ensures he’ll protect the child, then he and Mate head back into the ocean. REALLY SHITTY when Xander and Annie, out drinking, witness the mermaids taking the baby into the water. Annie freaks out and dials 911, like a normal person would, and Xander’s powerless to stop it. When the cops show up Xander denies seeing anything which makes his friend look real bad. Oh, my. Xander’s beginning to see the dichotomy of his two lives split things apart. What he knows about the mermaids continually wreaks havoc on his personal life.
What in the HELL is Maddie thinking bringing Robb to the warehouse? It’d be bad enough, but Ben’s got that mermaid corpse in the freezer and the thing is thawing out. Big surprise for Maddie when she opens it up, revealing the half-frozen mermaid. It’ll be tough to just explain this away. Simultaneously, Ben sees Ryn off as she goes with Cami below the waters to confront Tia and Katrina. Then he injects himself with another dose of the mermaid stem cells, testing how long he can stay below the water in his bathtub. This is getting scary, because there’s no telling what Ben may do next.
Yet another good chapter in Season 3.
Ben and his father have a sort of duelling opposite obsession, which is very interesting. Hope to see it get really twisted, real fast.
“The Island” is next time.