Siren episode 5 review: About that Ryn and Maddie kiss…

Siren season 1The last episode of Siren felt a lot like a season 1 finale rather than the end of a mid season episode and that’s one of the many things we love about this show: It’s ability to continue to surprise us. When we last saw Ryn and her sister Donna they were headed back to their home in the depths of the ocean, but they are still facing the same problem that they were before – their food source is drying up. Tonight’s episode is starting with a bit of a time jump as it’s been one month since Ben or Maddie have seen Ryn.

Chris is off the hook

After the facility that was holding Chris and Donna burnt to the ground, Chris decided to head up to Alaska to hide out, but it didn’t stop Decker from tracking him down. Mostly Decker wants to know where Donna is, not revealing of course that she is a mermaid, but instead pushing her as a murderer that they need to track down. At least he didn’t kill Chris, in fact he’s convinced that Chris is no longer a threat since he bought Decker’s story. Decker has some leads on getting his mermaid back and this time he’s going to be ready: He’s having a brand new tank created that will introduce a sedative in to the water so the massacre that happened with Donna can’t happen again.

An important environmental message continues

We’ve mentioned this in our past reviews, but this is something that deserves the spotlight again. There is a very direct message in this show about the fisheries and how it’s affecting the oceans. We’ve seen this with Ryn and her sister coming to the surface for food, but we’ve also seen it now with Xander and Ben’s conversation. Xander is happy for all the fishing work that’s been coming up the past month, but with how much the teams are pushed to fish day and night not only have people sleep deprived and getting hurt, but Ben is worried about people over fishing the quotas. No other show is really focusing on this very real issue that is happening to our oceans right now and we appreciate having a series on the air that is helping to make this issue known – especially to younger people who might not be thinking about that. While this may be a story of a mermaid and the relationships she’s developing, this story goes way deeper then that.

Ben realizes that working with his dad as an environmental marine consultant might help stabilize this issue since he blames his father for fishing the oceans dry, especially when he and Maddie start seeing deep sea fish near the ocean surface dead from starvation. Ben learns that a new company called Coastal Mills has quota waivers and has been buying up all the fish and that his father’s company is connected to them – not only that but the government knows about it and were the ones that lifted the fishing quota. Why is this happening? Ben connects the dots and realizes that the government is purposely emptying the oceans and starving the mermaids out so that they can catch more of them for testing… a lot more of them.

Ryn returns

Ever since Ryn disappeared from their lives things have not been easy for Ben and Maddie as a couple. They have drifted apart as they both have obsessed with where Ryn is and how she’s doing. They aren’t broken up and they don’t seem to be headed in that direction, but there’s been a little distance between them. Ben’s mother isn’t exactly trying to help their relationship either as she plants seeds in Maddie’s head about Ben only being with her because she’s a “wounded creature” and once someone else comes along who needs help that he will move on to the next person. We can see that her mind is wandering to Ryn since Ben has been so obsessed with her ever since she left, but she is able to remind herself that she is an equal part in Ryn’s rescue and is secure in what she has with Ben.

As they try to rekindle their relationship, Ryn’s tracker starts working again, alerting them to the fact that she’s returning to the surface. Ryn is convinced that Maddie and Ben can help her now that their food supply has completely diminished and even though Donna isn’t as sure (humans are obviously the enemy to her) she follows Ryn once again. They head to the marina and meet with Ben, Maddie and Helen, but as much as Ryn tries to convince Donna that they are friends, Donna isn’t having it and after a fight breaks out Donna takes off. Eventually Helen finds Donna and helps her revealing that she is a siren herself – we called that last week when she showed her scaly skin disorder with Ryn. This is a plot twist that we are really excited to see because it makes Helen easily the most valuable person on this team. She understand sirens and she understand humans.

Let’s talk about that kiss!

We’ve said before that we think that Freeform is moving Maddie, Ben and Ryn into a polyamorous relationship and tonight’s episode started to play into that a bit more. While Maddie and Ryn are alone, Ryn tells her that she missed her and then the two shared a kiss. There is a really nice chemistry between Eline Powell and Fola Evans-Akingbola on screen and even though we’ve seen Ryn move in for a kiss with Ben before, there feels to be something more between Ryn and Maddie. Freeform has never been afraid to explore all kinds of relationships and they are raising the bar here once again.

Related – Check out a preview for Siren episode 6!

CarterMatt verdict

There was a lot to like about this episode of Siren starting with the Helen/mermaid reveal. This is something that they could’ve saved and dragged out, but they let us in on the secret early giving us a chance to go along for the ride and see just how a siren becomes a human. We also have loved watching Ryn become close with both Ben and Maddie, but what we like about this even more is that the show chose to bring Maddie and Ryn closer together first over Ryn and Ben. We’ve seen the same tired trope on so many other shows there there is a male/female couple and another woman comes in and breaks them apart by getting close with the man, but that’s not happening here and is really nice to see this switched up into something fresh.

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