Maddie learns the truth about Ian’s death as a new mermaid approaches Ryn with an alarming agenda. An old friend visits Helen to deliver a warning.
On Siren Season 3 Episode 1 and 2, a new mermaid arrives leaving Ryn questioning their motives. Maddie learns the truth behind Ian’s death, as Ben fights for his mother’s treatments. Xander takes on more responsibility as he begins training. Maddie befriends a new acquaintance in Seattle and Ted revisits the past.
No More Borders
Siren‘s writers are expanding the show’s universe beyond its borders and I am beyond excited. The Season 3 premiere was a stunningly directed two-parter. So much happened in each episode, I’m not quite sure where to begin. These episodes had all the elements I loved about the Season 1 premiere and then some: Family history, Boats at sea during a storm, killer mermaids, sweet romantic moments, and more mermaid lore. It doesn’t quite hit the almost apocalyptic atmosphere of Season 2 Episode 16, but the action and sense of urgency are just as great. The stakes are still high, and in fact, might be increasing.
We don’t know how long it’s been since the Season 2 finale, but it’s evident that Ryn is settling nicely into life on land with her loves. She’s earning her own money and trying new things like cooking, piercing her ears and getting manicures. Even though she’s much better at communicating, she still has so much more to learn about humans. Which makes the introduction of this season’s antagonist even more haunting.
Enter Tia. She’s a highly intelligent warrior from another tribe that the Russian military tortured, experimented on, and trained for ten years. Tiffany Lonsdale is a perfect addition to an already stellar cast of mermaids. While she’s the most advanced mermaid we’ve met so far, there’s still something unsettling about her presence onscreen. The most exciting thing about Tia is that her manifesto against humanity is perfectly valid. We’re destroying the ocean and with it their entire species. We’re selfish and possessive, fickle and greedy. Tia wants Ryn to help her unite all the mermaid colonies to fight against humans once and for all. While Ryn agrees with unity for the survival of the species, she doesn’t agree with destroying humanity.
One Life, to Save An Entire Species
Ben reveals that he let Ian die which quickly disrupts our favourite thruple’s domestic bliss. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this reveal to happen in the very first episode, but it sets the stage for them to (hopefully) reconcile by the end of the season. Maddie, being Maddie, is of course horrified. Not only have Ben and Ryn been lying to her, but it was a premeditated decision. Not an accident. One of the things I love about Maddie is her capacity to empathize and see the good in others. She tries to look at things from others’ perspectives even if those same persons have tried to hurt her personally. And as the heart of the trio, she really is the moral compass of the show.
The last few months haven’t been easy with everything that happened with the siren song. Ben’s strayed far from the man she fell in love with and Maddie’s just starting to realize just how much. The Ben she knew would never kill anyone, and he always tries to help those in need. Now Ben is trying to justify the situation based on hypotheticals i.e. his nightmare-ish vision where Maddie dies and he loses both her and Ryn for good. The irony is that because of his decision to let Ian drown, he may end up losing Maddie anyway.
What also hurts is that Ryn now has renewed trust in Ben because of this. She too knows Ben is a good man. Seeing him let another human die to protect the mermaid secret has re-assured her that Ben is not like his ancestor. Ben is telling himself it was the right thing to do but who knows? Ian may have been so grateful to him for saving his life that he’d keep the secret.
One of the premiere highlights for me is Maddie’s solo plot. I’ve always yearned for more for Maddie as a character since she occupies a unique space as a black woman in Young Adult fantasy TV. She’s beautiful but not strictly conventionally feminine. She’s not the token rude black friend or sidekick. Not only is she the main male character’s love interest, but she’s also the main female protagonist’s love interest. In fact, she may just be the glue holding them all together. She’s kind and compassionate but not a doormat. She knows her worth and can set emotional boundaries when necessary.
Also, Maddie is brilliant. She’s capable, intelligent and genuinely interested in her field of scientific study. We haven’t seen this side of her much since Season 1. Maddie goes to Seattle to see Environmentalist Robb Wellens speak about his ocean cleaning project and they connect instantly. What do I love about this? Ryn’s species’ current situation has clearly influenced her deep interest in Robb’s solution. She wants a peaceful and sustainable solution to their problems. I’m excited to see her possibly consider a new career opportunity. I also don’t mind the easy chemistry between Fola (Maddie) and Deniz Akdeniz who plays Robb.
What I don’t like about this? I’m very wary of the writers’ decision to introduce a new love interest for Maddie. Especially right now. The trio basically just got together, and she already took space from seeing Ben. While an official breakup hasn’t happened yet, it kind of feels like the writers are finally caving to backlash from fans who want Ben and Ryn together when the audience is really invested in the trio now. I also feel like there’s so much going on it would be nice for the relationship to be stable for once.
War Is Coming
Both Ryn and Sarge told their loved ones that they’ll always be with them in Season 2. Now, we know this is literal. Sarge’s spirit visits Helen by night and she eventually goes into the water herself (finally!) to meet him. He gives her a single message: War is coming. With the way things have been set up, war is definitely coming in more ways than one.
When Ryn loses her first underwater fight with Tia, her colony comes to her rescue. I absolutely loved that moment. Katrina especially was surprisingly loyal to Ryn when the audience didn’t expect it. However, I have a feeling some members of Ryn’s family won’t be on her side once Tia gets support from the other colonies. Even more worrying is the fact that Ted now knows mermaids do exist and that Ryn is one of them. I can’t help but feel like he’ll go to dangerous lengths to use Ryn to get help for Elaine’s condition.
We also can’t forget about the military. Now that Tia killed Commander Kyle, will someone even worse come to replace him? They also still have Chris, as well as the recording of Ryn’s song. And Ben was secretly listening to the song again. There’s a lot that can happen in the next eight episodes but I’m looking forward to it.
What did you think of the Siren Season 3 premiere? Will Maddie break up with Ben for good? Are you Team Tia? Share your thoughts in the comments below.