Ryn Maddie and Ben must prepare for Tia’s inevitable return as Ryn contemplates living life on land with Ben. Xander helps Helen put Donna to rest.
On Siren Season 3 Episode 8, Ryn, Ben and Maddie must protect Bristol Cove from Tia’s army. Meanwhile, Ben experiences new side effects, alarming both him and the others. Xander juggles best man duties at Calvin’s wedding while also helping Helen.
Siren continues to both delight and frustrate me this season. Xander has been on such an incredible journey from Season 1 until now. He’s not hostile towards the mermaids anymore and is taking a more active role in protecting them. His scenes with Maddie and Helen continue to be bright spots. Their scenes together this episode especially made me smile. He’s just such a good friend, who’s willing to go the extra mile for those he cares about.
What has been frustrating me the most this season is the relationship development for the Ben, Maddie and Ryn. The writing is giving me whiplash. In the last few episodes, Ben was still uncomfortable with Maddie and Robb. And Maddie had to reassure Ryn that her feelings for her haven’t changed. While Ben and Maddie aren’t together, it’s implied that Maddie and Ryn are still on. But all of it feels like hollow lip service considering that Ryn kisses Maddie on the cheek then immediately kisses Ben on the lips in the same scene this episode. In Episode 5, Ryn says her love for the both of them won’t change but it definitely feels like it has.
It’s obvious that Maddie still cares deeply about them both and is concerned about their safety. But it doesn’t feel like Ben or Ryn care much about Maddie’s feelings anymore. Ryn sort of does because she promises Maddie that she will make Ben get rid of the stem cells he has – and she fulfils that promise. With Ben, it’s like he and Maddie were never together. Ryn is also having complicated feelings about the possibility of becoming human. This is something I feel like she’d normally discuss with Maddie. But she only discusses with Ben. And they both keep Ben’s newfound mermaid abilities and the injections a secret from her. It feels like Maddie is being deliberately isolated from the trio as well as the main plot on a whole and I don’t want to keep watching if that is the case.
This episode focuses a lot on Ryn weighing her options between life on land and sea. It also brings her and Ben closer, for better or for worse. I’m just going to say it now, I don’t like the direction Ben is heading in. And even worse, people are unable to see past how “romantic” it is that he doesn’t want Ryn to leave him. He glosses over the possible side effects/damage he could be doing to himself by telling Ryn the cells make him feel good. Ryn doesn’t understand anything about science so of course, she takes it at face value. When Ryn tries to get rid of the cells she now knows are dangerous, Ben tries to emotionally manipulate her into letting him keep them. He says it’s for them to be together. Even worse, he brings up Hope and how they can be a family.
Ryn would want those things because she loves Ben. But does Ben love Ryn? Or is he just obsessed with her? The way he speaks about wanting her to stay sounds borderline possessive. He has also never once said he loves her. And what about his mother? Wasn’t the point of the stem cell experiment to help her? Ben doesn’t care about that anymore and he kept upping his dosage. He’s behaving like an addict, and now he may actually become a mermaid.
During Calvin and Janine’s wedding, they both reflect on their relationship. Normally a super romantic montage happen here, but theirs isn’t romantic at all. We see Ryn singing to Ben and him experiencing the effects of the song. We also see Ryn becoming unstable after the stem cell extractions in Season 2 which lead to her nearly strangling him to death. At first, I thought this was the first step to them finally coming to their sense but, Ryn decides that even when she goes back to the water she and Ben can still be together in their hearts. Til death does them part. I’m very concerned about where this might lead and frankly, I don’t like that the writers are framing this in a romantic light while seemingly trying to make a point about how unhealthy it is.
Laid to Rest
Xander ends up having to collect Chris from the military facility because the army is moving base. I’m relieved that the writers brought Chris back into the picture but this plot was too easily tied up for me. Chris is obviously still struggling with whatever the military did to him to treat the effects of Donna’s song. He still doesn’t remember a lot of things. While he’s there, Xander takes the opportunity to steal Donna’s body and the remains of Helen’s family members. It’s an incredibly sweet gesture, but I can’t get past how terrible this military base’s security is.
I loved Cami was the one to take her mother’s body into the ocean. Millan Tesfazgi’s performance as Cami this season has been noteworthy – especially in emotional scenes. After the burial, Helen and Xander notice that Chris seems back to his old self as if nothing happened. They speculate that putting Donna to rest healed him from the effects of her song. What does this mean for Ben? Now that Tia has destroyed the healing underwater echo chamber, as well as deleted the military’s recording of the healing sound, will Ryn have to be put to rest to return him to normal? Will they be stuck being obsessed with each other until death?
Speaking of songs, Tia learns that the Russians have weaponized hers. After suffering defeat at the hands of Robb’s tribe, she forgoes using an army to sing and instead goes back to her captors to reclaim her song. This version of the song causes immediate brain damage and possibly death. Tia uses a cell tower to call into Bristol Cove. Since Xander is the only one at the wedding to have his phone on because his fisherman friends are keeping an eye out for Tia’s tribe, he answers his phone and immediately collapses. All I can say is the writers better not take him away from me.
What did you think of Siren Season 3 Episode 8? Share your thoughts in the comments below.