Siren - The Wolf at the Door - Review + POLL By Samantha Benjamin (February 1, 2019, 2:01 am)
Previously on Siren, Ben and Maddie faced a whole host of awkwardness as they were forced to come together, Ryn struggled without her human family, the military experimenting in the water brought Ryn’s mermaid family back to shore, which of course included Xander’s fathers killer, Ryn’s nemesis Katrina and the revelation that Ryn is an Aunt courtesy of Donna having a daughter.
In some ways this episode served as a second part to the premiere, continuing to set up the tension for the season whilst giving new characters such as Maddie’s mum a bit more screen time, some good moments between the ot3 and Katrina causing a whole host of issues. When Ryn was first introduced to the show, she was wary and sceptical of the human world, with her only focus on being reunited with her sister Donna. She was a bit wild, and not exactly trusting of humans given one tried to sexually assault her, but with some help from Helen, Ben and Maddie, she was willing to learn the ways of the humans even if she still didn’t completely understand it, but get to a point where she didn’t feel as much of an outsider. It’s because of her willingness to embrace humanity that Ryn has found herself caught between two worlds, and whilst Ben and Maddie always want her to know that she has a choice and doesn’t have to do something she doesn’t want to, her mermaid family aren’t as understanding.
During the first season we did find out a little about the great war between the mermaids and human’s which led to a lot of blood being split, and given their only contact with humans has involved them being experimented, abused and treated to a hostile reception? It’s not surprising that they don’t want anything to do with the human’s, and view Ryn building her own family with Ben and Maddie as a betrayal. When you then add in the fact that Ryn last season not only disobeyed Katrina, but dethroned her as Queen? It’s again not surprising there’s tension between them.
Katrina has no intention of building bridges with humanity. She’s quite happy to be a mermaid, completely at home in the sea and as the leader of the pack, what with everyone thinking Ryn is dead. Katrina views Ben, Maddie and to a degree Helen as the enemy. Were it not for Ryn, I have no doubt she would kill them without a second thought. That’s a way of thinking that none of them obviously want to catch on with the others, because whilst Ryn might be able to take Katrina on? She can’t defeat the whole of her mermaid family and she shouldn’t have to. But Katrina has no intention of playing nice, which was obvious when she decided to defy orders and go out to hunt for food instead of staying with Maddie, and that of course led to Donna’s daughter being attacked by a wolf. At the gas station the mermaids caused another fracas as they haven’t quite grasped the concept of paying for things, and that of course led to a police investigation and Ben & Maddie won’t be able to keep the mermaids existence secret forever. Very much unwilling to back down from challenging Ryn’s authority, Katrina took it upon herself to slay the wolf that attacked Donna’s daughter, and it’ll be extremely interesting to see where the next episode takes them.
Another point of tension this week was Xander. He’s suffering a lot of financial difficulty with the boat needing to be fixed but not having the money to afford the repairs, and was turned down in his attempts to get a loan. Considering that, it’s not a surprise that he was extremely angry to learn the merman who killed his father was among the group with Ryn, and he was even more incensed when Ben wouldn’t let him go after him.
Xander’s grief is something I have been able to understand in the past, but it’s very much wearing thin. Last season his quest for revenge led to Donna being killed, and Ryn had to explain her absence to her niece, and she’s also tried her best to forgive Xander for his actions instead of letting her grief consume her. It’d be really great if Xander could share that attitude. What happened to his father was tragic, but his question for revenge just isn’t that interesting to watch, and I can’t help thinking his screen time could be better spent developing his character into something other than the angry grieving dude. Since the show started Xander and Calvin’s involvement in the mermaid storyline, along with their friendship with Ben, has slowly diminished and now they feel like nothing more than background noise, just characters there to take up a bit of screen time when needed. Granted there is time for that to change, what with a reporter soon to be questioning Ben on the town’s mermaid history and of course the new military Doctor who is slowly trying to worm her way in with them.
Maddie’s mum was introduced in the premiere and in this week’s episode, she got a bit more screen time even if she jumped to the wrong conclusion. She’s been attending support meetings to deal with her issues, and of course Ben happened to be at one of those said meetings as he tries to come to grip with his complicated feelings for Maddie and Ryn. Unfortunately Maddie’s mum got the complete wrong end of the stick, and wrongly believes that Ben is an addict. Given Maddie is being extremely cold with her mum due to her past issues? It’s not a wonder her mum was beginning to feel as though she was being dealt the short end of the stick, and challenged Maddie on her so called hypocrisy on the matter of dating an addict whilst refusing to give her mum a second chance.
Fola Evans-Akingbola showed on numerous occasions last year that she’s a fabulous actress, and she was on strong form once again as Maddie told her mum that she was completely wrong in her thoughts on her relationship, and most important trust is earnt not just given out. The writers could’ve taken the easy route in having her mum apologise for letting Maddie down, and Maddie simply agree to give her another chance for the sake of giving another chance. Instead they’re allowing her mum to prove herself to Maddie by not being deterred by her hostile reception, and allowing Maddie to explore the full weight of her feelings of her mother’s earlier abandonment. It’s one of many storylines that I can’t wait to see where the show takes it, as we need some good old fashioned human angst to ground the show among the supernatural goings on.
Another character who reappeared this week is Ben’s parents. They didn’t exactly get much screen time but trouble seems to be brewing with Helen, as his mother isn’t at all impressed with the money they’ve been paying out to her. Whilst Helen stood her ground, Ben’s mother was already two steps ahead and scooped up some evidence for a DNA test.
And finally this week Maddie’s dad stepped down as Sheriff. Protecting the mermaid secret has very much been wearing down on is abilities to keep the town safe as Sheriff, and whilst he might have faith in his Deputy to step up to the plate, you can’t help worrying if down the line they’re going to regret not having a cop on their side. And I can't write a review and not talk about this weeks ot3 moments, which came in the form of the rather amusing mermaid driving school gone wrong, as Ben gave Ryn an impromptu driving lesson that was ended early, Ryn and Maddie had a rather charged moment in the car as Ryn continued to mimic the behaviour she saw around her, and finally, Ryn brought her family back together for a moment sitting outside the cabin. Granted it was soon ended by Katrina returning and more drama obviously ahead, but it's still moments like these which make the show so great. It's extremely rare to have a show have three leads who all have fantastic chemistry with each other, and for the writers to embrace the ot3 dynamic between them instead of going down the boring love triangle route. Those of you who have read spoilers prior to the season premiering will know where the writers intend to take them this year, and those remaining spoiler free can still enjoy the fabulous ride that each week brings us.
What did you think of this weeks ep? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to tune in next Thursday for the next instalment!