Ryn and her colony begin training for the fight against Tia. Xander continues to pursue his new career, while Maddie is given a new job opportunity. Ben turns to a questionable alternative to continue his mother’s treatments.
On Siren Season 3 Episode 3, Ryn seeks help only to uncover the existence of her unborn child. Ben sets out on a dangerous path to help his mom, while Helen consults with Eliza to help contact Sarge.
No More Borders
Things are certainly escalating in Bristol Cove as Siren Season 3 is shaping up to be an intriguing continuation of the first two seasons. Since we’re only getting 10 episodes, we’ve shifted back to the tightly plotted anxiety-filled pace of Season 1. Season 2 really gave us two separate plots packed into eight episodes each which I think hindered the flow a bit. So far though, I think the writers have done a great job of packing the episode with a lot of plot threads without making it seem like too much.
What I especially love about Siren is that when we see something on the screen, it’s not just there to fill time. There are no filler episodes. Behind the dialogue and everything the characters are doing, there is a marked intentionality that communicates and foreshadows so much. At the same time, just when you think you know exactly where a certain plot is going, the writers will take it in a different direction. You can really feel that a lot of thought and love has gone into creating this universe.
This episode continues an exploration of each of our main characters – something that started happening in Season 2. While the gang still work together on mermaid related business, each character has their own plot within the larger story. Helen learns more about the mermaid spirit world while working with Eliza, the healer from Ryn’s colony. Xander is earnestly attempting to better himself and progress along his new career path. Ben continues to struggle to find a way to help his mother’s health situation. Maddie is contemplating an opportunity to make an impact on marine life beyond Bristol Cove. Meanwhile, Ryn is preparing for war, learning more about being human and at the same time becoming a mother.
By Any Means Necessary
I’m sure many viewers will have a hard time rooting for Ben after his actions this episode. He’ll do anything to help his mother. As we learned in Season 1, he’s always been fixated on saving Elaine ever since her accident. Last season he made a deal with the military without Ryn’s consent to have them use her cells to treat her. After all of that, it begs the question: How far is too far?
It’s incredibly frustrating to see protagonists start off in such a good place morally only to have them seemingly regress. It’s not really a regression so much as a reflection of the human experience and what it means to be human. Neither Ryn or Tia are wrong in their assessment of us as a species. We are both good and bad. We go to great lengths to save people we love. Therefore, Ben can also be two things (or more) at once. He’s altruistic to a fault. While his heart is in the right place, his impulsivity and his need to get things done (despite being warned) often land him in situations that significantly harm him or others. Can being selfless actually turn out to be selfish?
It doesn’t help that at this juncture things are tense between him and Maddie especially. They balance each other out. Maddie is more grounded and cautious, and willing to examine the full picture from different perspectives, while Ben is more impassioned and goal-oriented. You can tell that Ben knows exactly what she would say about his actions, it’s weighing heavily on him too. But he pushes past his own conscience and does the unthinkable.
We end the episode with Ben doing the very thing he chastised Commander Kyle for doing: defiling a mermaid corpse for scientific experimentation. Even worse, he’s using the treatment on himself to prove to his father that it’s safe for Elaine to continue treatment. There are several things that are very wrong with this. Firstly, the mermaid he dug up died mid-transformation – who knows what the implications of that are. Secondly, he doesn’t have a debilitating illness to cure. Unless these injections will somehow cure him of his Siren song addiction and heal his brain. And thirdly, even though Elaine hasn’t had adverse side effects yet, that doesn’t mean none will manifest later on.
While Ben is swinging over into the realm of Dr Decker and the military, Tia is also proving to be more like the beings she hates than she realizes. She approaches her old tribe, who treat her with respect. When they do not take kindly to her message, the resulting fight ends up being a win for Tia, but only because she used human knowledge /technology to modernize her weapon. Basically, she cheated. Now she’s going to start a war and kill her fellow mermaids to build an army to fight the humans for doing the exact same thing – killing her kind.
Ryn and Maddie are changing too. Because Tia is stronger and more intelligent, Ryn wants to become like her to stand a fighting chance. Beyond that, Ryn is coming into her own as a leader. For Maddie, as someone who grew up in instability, the situation with the mermaids is testing her patience and threatens to overwhelm her. It’s no wonder that Robb’s offer to get away from it all and work on his project is so attractive.
There’s a sweet montage of Maddie teaching Ryn to read, Ryn training her mermaids to fight on land and Eliza teaching Helen how to make mermaid medicine. It’s that type of cultural exchange that had history not been marred by blood and pollution, would show Tia that maybe harmony can exist. I especially loved seeing Helen and Eliza interact in this episode.
I’m becoming increasingly intrigued by the mermaid spirit world story. Since it’s something that has only just been introduced, I genuinely have no idea where this will lead us. While Helen takes a trip there to speak to Sarge, she unexpectedly runs into Donna (!). I’m absolutely thrilled we may be seeing more Donna this season. She’s a character that I believe was sorely underutilized in Season 1, and I can’t wait to find out what it all means.
Closing off the episode is the hybrid cult baby-snatching plot. Meredith and Ryn both experience birth pains. The baby already has some sort of connection to her mother and responds to a different song Ryn sings. It’s a beautiful moment. We do however end up with another death as Cami kills Bryan for his treachery. While I’m glad he got what was coming to him, this isn’t going to help Maddie wanting to stay.
What did you think of Siren Season 3 Episode 3? Share your thoughts in the comments below.