Maddie is not herself as she and Ben struggle with how to move forward with Elaine’s treatments given the procedure’s effect on Ryn. Meanwhile, Helen begins looking into what really happened to her parents.
On Siren Season 2 Episode 11, when Ryn unwittingly uses her siren song on Maddie, Ben turns to Nicole to help get to the bottom of how the song really works – further piquing the interest of the military in how Ryn can be of use to them. Helen discovers that her family and the Pownalls were closer than she originally thought.
‘Mixed Signals’ opens with another reminder of how dangerous Ryn really is as she uses her siren song on the woman she loves. The mythology of the siren song has always been one of the show’s more interesting plots since Season 1. Given what the audience should know about mermaid lore, we can be sure that Maddie is definitely not as “okay”. In Greek mythology, sirens were bird-like creatures who sang to lure sailors to their deaths, causing shipwrecks. Similarly, it’s Ariel’s singing that initially entrances Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In Siren Ryn’s sister, Donna (R.I.P.) sang to the naval scientist experimenting on her and he grew so obsessed that her death caused him to commit suicide. When Ryn sang to Ben he also behaved erratically and obsessively, which led fans to wonder – does the song work on women too?
It works a bit too well maybe. When Maddie recently listened to the song via recording, the effect wasn’t as bad if there’s no eye contact. Ryn makes eye contact with her at close range and doesn’t sing to her long but the effects are fast-acting. In roughly two days she already started showing signs of brain damage. For all that was revealed in this episode, I still think there’s a lot of vague grey area as to what the song is capable of. However, I think the writers did that on purpose in order to get the song back on our radars. It may end up being a major plot point leading up to the finale, especially with the military involved.
Maddie finally gets a fair amount of screentime outside of Ben and Ryn as we see her interact with Xander and her mom Susan. Fola Evans-Akingbola does a great job letting out Maddie’s pent up anger. For the entirety of the show, Maddie’s been a rock to all the people in her life. She’s the kind of person who suffers in silence while making sure everyone else is okay. Selfless to a fault. It’s not often that she takes time for herself or let loose – at least not anymore.
Xander misses the Maddie he used to date. The one who hung around the bar and used to have fun. Having to parent your own mother will do that to you. Being a seemingly endless fountain of compassion and understanding will also do that to you. The show’s reveal of their past relationship in Season 1 is similar to how they retread it here. This time Maddie’s ‘drunk’, and under the influence of the song felt like doing what felt “right” at the moment. She tries to kiss Xander and he recoils but there’s enough chemistry between the two to leave you wondering if there may be some lingering feelings there.
Despite Maddie’s insistence, she is definitely not okay. She hallucinates hitting Ryn with her jeep. But who she sees is Ryn from Season 2 Episode 5 that saved Maddie from the drug dealer. Does Maddie blame herself for causing Ryn to kill again? Or is she afraid of the Ryn she saw that night? It also seems that her hallucinations are linked to how Ryn is feeling as well. Ryn’s overwhelming desire to shout her love for Ben and Maddie from the rooftops prompts Maddie to reveal that the three of them are “in love” during family dinner. Awkward.
Nicole uses her military resources to help track Ryn at the beginning of the episode. Finding Ryn was a priority, but Ben and Maddie really need to be smarter about this. The military knows how to track Ryn with satellites using her body temperature, and now they have information about the song and its capabilities. Nicole also now knows the three of them are having sex thanks to Ryn. There is no way this ends well for anyone.
I don’t know how I feel about Xander being so chummy with Nicole again either. Unless he’s playing some kind of long con, I don’t see why Xander would believe her tragic backstory after she already broke his trust. Maybe because he’s trying to make a fresh start? Either way, Nicole hasn’t made it into my good graces yet.
The Pownall Cottage
Helen stumbles upon some surprising information this episode. After watching an old film of her parents, she discovers that an old well in the footage still exists on the Pownall property. She questions Ben’s dad, Ted about it but neither of them seems to know why they would have been living there. Ted does reveal that a fire burned down the family cottage, which causes Helen to suspect foul play – possibly at the hand of the Pownalls.
The Pownall family’s connection to Helen’s so far has been vague beyond what Helen revealed at the end of Season 1. Ted doesn’t seem to know any more than Helen does, and possibly even less. At the same time, it also feels like he does know more than he’s letting on. Were Helen’s parents seeking refuge from the Hybrid cult? It’s very likely.
What did you think of Siren Season 2 Episode 11? Are the Pownalls covering up a murder? Can Ben and Maddie find a cure? Share your thoughts in the comments below.