Sunday, May 27, 2018

Siren, Season 1, Episode 5: Curse of the Starving Class

The mermaids went back to sea last episode which kind of leaves me looking at episode 5 and seeing there’s 10 episodes in this season and having a lot of questions

Chris, our sailor who was sliced by Donna the mermaid, held in a military hospital and then escaped has been hiding out in Alaska. Which turns out to be pretty pointless, because Decker, our torn military scientist who is experimenting on mermaids but is kind of guilty about it finds him to basically find out what Chris knows and where Donna is. Since he knows nothing, including her location that means he can return home.

In an astounding display of actual logical thinking from someone on this show, his friend Xander, in between them drinking a lot of whiskey, realises that it’s damn weird a doctor would be seeking an apparent serial killing nurse (their cover story) and not, y’know, the police. I’m astonished, actual logical thinking

Meanwhile Ben and Maddie are cooling a little because Ben is getting super obsessive about Ryn disappearing and neglecting her. They try to rekindle this by being interrupted trying to have sex in inappropriate places

And Elaine, Ben’s mother, has lunch with Maddie to deliver a whole “my son’s not really into you” vibe mixed with a rather disturbing scent of jealousy. She describes Ben as getting obsessed rescuing “broken things” which is how she refers to herself and her disability and Maddie and her absent mother. But that Ben gets bored and moves on. And while that’s a very dehumanising way to refer to Elaine and Maddie and Maddie is very right to shoot that down also doesn’t seem to be… that inaccurate a description of Ben’s personality. A white knight looking for a dragon and a damsel...

But Ryn and Donna do return to shore - Donna following Ryn and really really not happy about it. Ryn thinks the humans can help them. Donna thinks humans are terribad awful creatures that can’t be trusted. She also rips off Ryn’s tracking necklace because that wasn’t a respectful thing for Ben to put on her anyway.

They keep arguing right up until they find Maddie and Ben in the rescue station to ask for help and then Donna loses it over a dead fish and the mermaids fight, Ryn fighting Donna to protect the humans until Donna is driven out by Ben using a flare. Nice. Ryn apologises for her sister

Oh and Helen turns up to say how donna is right and how unnatural it is for Ryn to be out of water

Y’know I was way way way happier with a Black mermaid when she wasn’t the more animal, violent, savage, wounded, damaged, inarticulate sister to the (admittedly marginally) more civilised co-operative white mermaid who doesn’t go around ripping apart raw fish

So what is the problem? There’s no food in the ocean. All the fish are gone. This is why Maddie and Ben have been found very very deep ocean fish apparently dead of starvation.

Ben checks with his fishermen buddies who are actually having injuries working day and night basically scooping up everything (Including deep ocean fish?) because they have a new supplier who will apparently buy any fish. Even non-marketable, non-edible fish. And Because this company has no idea what sustainable development or still-being-in-business-next-year means, they’re just hoovering up the ocean

I find it dubious one company could do this. In a few months. Or weeks even. I mean, Pacific is a big ocean - but Ben manages to get close to his dad by accepting the environmental consultant job he offered (you’re hoovering the ocean. You don’t need an expert environmental consultant to ignore. And don’t tell me this is to get close to your son. How is purposefully enraging him and ensuring many many many many arguments going to build family bonds). Ben breaks into his office and his computer (awww his password is his son’s names. How sweet. This shows all the emotional conflict that comes from having the bad guy be your own father. But also that IT needs to give him a smack upside the head for terrible security). There he finds an email from this new company, Coastal Mills, to his dad and many many other fishing companies saying “we have a waiver for all laws about overfishing - get me all the fish in the ocean.” I kind of love how they’ve just written this. I mean no legal documents, no government forms, just the body of an email “it’s totes ok for us to break the law, ‘kay”

Ben realises it’s actually a government conspiracy to remove all the fish from the northern Pacific to starve out the mermaids

No, really, that’s the bad guys’ plans. It’s a supervillain plot so ridiculous it belongs on Despicable Me. Someone get Decker a Minion here. For the sake of poking at mermaids the US military is going to denude the northern Pacific, collapse the fishing industry, cause a major ecological disaster and spend gods know how much money buying tons and tons of inedible fish (and doing SOMETHING with it, selling it to Chick-fil-a or something)

And they’re going to do this without some other government department - or government - noticing and getting Upset By This. I can see this not going well with ANYONE.

And aren’t the mermaids more likely to migrate out of US fishing waters? Doesn’t that make more sense for a fish-eating species than coming to land to be captured?

Meanwhile we get the much vaunted “bisexual” moment of Ryn kissing Maddie and saying how much she missed her which feels far more about Ryn just not understanding human interactions that well and Maddie holding still in case sudden motions get her killed by the alien fish lady. But it does let Maddie explain families to Ryn and her mother issues

And Doctor Abbot decides to tell Elaine all about the various medical emergencies that Ben has had lately. I mean, really, Doctor Abbot is violating all the medical ethics now