Ryn is officially the head mermaid in charge.
Siren Season 1 Episode 9 is the best of the season and the perfect penultimate episode before what is sure to be an incredible season finale.
It's a good thing the series was renewed because there are so many aspects of this town, these characters, and mermaid culture that need to be explored.
I'm dying to know more about mermaid culture. Donna bringing along her killer mermaid companions was fortuitous because we learned a bit more about this entire community that remains a mystery.
For one, we learned that in mermaid culture it's a matriarchy. I already had my suspicions but appreciated the confirmation. Is there one specific ruler? Are there different families led by one woman?
How does it all work? There were so many tidbits in this hour that gave us glimpses into their culture.
Ryn using her siren call to lure the Murder Mertwins was interesting. The way they communicate with their hands is fascinating as well.
Ryn extended her hand out in some mermaid version of ASL and offered something inexplicable -- mystical to the merwoman, and she accepted it. When they communicate with one another it's like the viewers are on the outside looking in, and I'm itching to know more.
There was also the way the merwoman slid her hands down her throat in what was apparently an act of mercy or submission. Of course, we also got more of Ryn bowing her head to Donna and the forehead touching.
But backing things up, Donna only wanted to do right by her sister and bring her home, and it backfired in a spectacular fashion.
Donna was perfectly aware of the history of their mermaid ancestor who married a human, bore a halfling child, and was run back to the water where she and others were slaughtered.
Maddie: What's going on?
Helen: It's a matriarchy. It seems Ryn is now the dominant female.
Donna knew all of this, so she had to know the Mertwins would want Ryn dead. The history of their people and how humans have treated them is, well, it's like learning about the ugly history of humans all over the world.
You understand the fear and wariness of mermaids. So many of them were killed that the water was red with their blood. That invokes a hell of an image.
I love the way this hour tied the bottle episode in so well. On Siren Episode 1 Episode 8, Ryn was coming to grips with how human she has become, and during this hour, she was nearly killed by her own people for being too human.
Donna is wild, unpredictable, and hates humans, but she always puts Ryn first. When she realized the Mertwins wanted to kill her sister, she didn't hesitate to align with them for her sister's sake. She was willing to take out the same people she brought there.
It helped matters that she observed the love between Ryn and Ben. She knows Ben will do anything to protect her sister, and knowing that and Ryn's wish to stay on land, she can accept it better than she ever could before.
Ben was reckless and desperate to save Ryn at whatever costs. He went from having doubts and second-guessing her in the previous installment to blindly, recklessly devoted to her.
What did you make of his dream? It went from sexy to terrifying. When he woke up, I half expected Ryn to be lying beside him. She either has learned about boundaries, or she didn't want to share the bed with him without Maddie.
You can't just go back. I need you here.Ben [to Ryn]
Ryn's chemistry with Maddie always feels stronger, but it's intriguing to me that Ben initiated all of his moments with Ryn during the installment. It's as if Ryn has put up boundaries in Maddie's absence and Ben hasn't.
This hour was the first time it felt more like a traditional love triangle than a, I don't know what it usually is, a throuple, I suppose.
It's also the first time we see a tension between Maddie and Ben. It felt like there were unresolved hurt and anger over Ben not telling Maddie about the siren song.
It was that along with Maddie spending the night with Xander, their past being brought up, the mermaids on the verge of attacking humans including her father, and Elaine's words echoing in her head that had Maddie fed up.
We finally saw her reacting and allowing herself to feel her feelings without putting those she cares about first.
Maddie: I'm going to stick with my dad right now.
Ben: Maddie ...
Maddie: I'll be back later. For Ryn.
I wanted to be upset about the friction between her and Ben, but Maddie never once wavered in her care for Ryn. It was Ben she was frustrated in.
When the rumble in the streets was over and everything died down, she wanted to see Ryn because she cares for her, but she didn't want anything to do with Ben at that moment. I love the maturity she is displaying in not allowing her mixed feelings for Ben to interfere with her relationship with Ryn.
Speaking of the rumble, it was beautifully crafted. The dark tones, misty streets, and shipyard, all of it set a very specific tone. The intensity of the ordeal was palpable. Were any of you holding your breath, too?
With wildcards like the grief-stricken and vengeful Xander and the unpredictable and feral Donna, in addition to the menacing presence of the Mertwins, it felt like something out of a horror movie.
The fear was that the sheriff would be killed. Thankfully, he was only maimed. It's also a relief Maddie was in on the thrilling action instead of sidelined during a pivotal scene.
Donna's injury shocked me. It's fitting that Xander shot her. They both are like two sides of the same coin.
Xander's mermaid hatred is understandable if not justifiable. Yet, he's irritating because he put himself in this mess and should have left well enough alone. He's sympathetic, though. Mermaids killed his father and injured his friend.
Xander: I wish we never caught her in our nets, man. None of this would have happened. Dad would still be here.
Ben: Hey, we just need to get rid of these two. Things will get back to normal.
Xander: Normal, what's that, man? You, you and your mermaid living happily ever after? Trust me, that ain't normal, man.
Meanwhile, humans hurt Donna. Like Xander, you at times wonder why her hate has to be towards all humans. Hell, Chris was kind to her, right? She also manages to be a sympathetic character though.
Their allyship was tenuous at best. Xander may have wanted the merman and didn't care about Donna or Ryn, but he's not a fan of the species. He called Ben out on his feelings for Ryn and has lost respect for him. How much of that is because of Maddie?
Xander drew his line, and Donna may have paid the price. It's sad that the mermaid who associates humans with pain and torture was once again on the receiving end of violence and pain as a result of a human. She was reconsidering how she felt.
Maybe that progress will continue now that Ben has brought Decker into the fold. Decker is enamored by Donna and is compelled to save her.
Do you think it's the siren song that affected Ben's behavior during this installment? Is it affecting Ben?
Also, has Ryn reached a similar status as Helen? The other mermaids will be told that she's dead, so does that mean she doesn't have to go back to the water anymore? Does it not call to her any longer?
Sheriff: Those creatures, Maddie, they can't be here.
Maddie: I know. They can learn and evolve like Ryn did.
Sheriff: I don't want to have to choose a side, but if I do, this town comes first
It's remarkable that the sheriff was able to keep the truth about mermaids under wrap during this face off in the streets of Bristol Cove. He's no foe to Ryn, but he also made it known that he's no friend if she or any mermaids endanger his town?
Who gets custody of Ryn now that Maddie and Ben are on the outs? Didn't it feel like a role reversal where Ben had nothing but faith in Ryn and Maddie had doubts?
Is Ben a product of a mermaid and human coupling? There's more to that story Ryn told, right?
Will Decker be able to save Donna? Hit the comments below.
If you need to catch up on the series before the big season finale, you can watch Siren online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.