The creators of Sirens hadn’t really taken much advantage of the comedic possibilities of putting all of the main characters in one place at the same time. You get smatterings of that when the big three (Hank, Johnny, and Brian) are parked on the couch at the dispatch, but otherwise, they’ve only been bringing a select few together for choice moments like Johnny’s pitiable dinner party, or their frequent bar hangouts.
There was a chance to rectify that in this bottle episode that took place almost entirely in Johnny and Theresa’s backyard for a supposedly summertime cookout (the grey skies and sweaters/jackets on most of the cast were a dead giveaway of this being filmed in fall/winter). The chance for some conflict was presented to us with Voodoo getting bent out of shape about Brian showing up with his new lady friend, and the tensions between Johnny’s dad and Theresa’s dad, but none of it seemed to play out terribly well. Though it did set the stage for plenty of great policeman vs. fireman barbs thrown by the fathers.
The stuff that worked in this episode were all the little bits of color brought into the mix. I loved the scenes between Hank and Theresa’s brother, a young man who is using the world’s belief that he’s gay to his heterosexual advantage. And there could have been more done with Johnny’s jealousy over the relationship that his future father-in-law and Billy have together (text messaging, frozen yogurt hangouts). As it was, a lot of the good material was only utilized sparingly or left to die on the vine.
For what it’s worth, it was also great to see Voodoo and Brian attempt to move towards being friends. There’s obvious affection between the two, alongside an understanding that a romantic relationship is not going to work for them. As with most breakups between co-workers, it just takes a little bit longer to get there for some folks. That’s when they wind up breaking into a nearby apartment and jumping on the beds in a drunken haze. At least in the world of Sirens, that’s what happens.
Considering how strong this second season has been, there’s little chance for panic. It was a bumpy, near-throwaway episode, sure, but can only be viewed as a minor hiccup in what is surely gearing up to be a strong finish for this still-young show.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.