Ringer: She’s Ruining Everything

We pick up where the pilot left off, with a gun-toting Bridget standing over the corpse of her would-be assassin in her unfinished Manhattan loft. She calls her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor back in Colorado, Malcolm, and leaves him a teary voicemail summarizing everything that happened at the end of last episode. She then reconsiders and deletes the message.

Well, that was pointless.

For crying out loud, Ringer, we’re off to a half-assed start already. I assume the show wanted to ensure that any viewers who missed the pilot could dive into the second episode and get immediately up to speed. Totally unnecessary. Piecing together this straightforward and undemanding plot isn’t a huge challenge, even without Bridget explicitly spelling out everything that took place up to this point.

In any case, much of what happens in this episode rehashes everything we learned in the pilot (Andrew’s wild-child daughter Juliet is still a spiteful twit, Siobhan’s friend Gemma is still convinced, correctly, that her husband Henry is having an affair, Henry is still trying to figure out why Bridget-as-Siobhan is avoiding him, and everyone still thinks Bridget/Siobhan is pregnant), so I’m going to gloss over huge chunks of it and go straight to the new stuff, most of which centers around a gala cocktail party Andrew is hosting with his slinky, bitchy business partner, Olivia (Jaime Murray). While Siobhan/Bridget is ostensibly planning the event, her participation seems to be minimal (Olivia purrs to Andrew, “I let her pick out the cocktail napkins”). Olivia is either sleeping with Andrew, or has designs on him, or is making a big show of toying with him just to mess with Siobhan/Bridget. It’s too soon to tell, but Olivia might be a good time. Compared to dour, nigh-somnambulistic Bridget, she’s a barrel of monkeys.

Victor and his magnificent eyelashes drop by the loft to chat with Siobhan/Bridget about Bridget’s disappearance. Bridget, who is smack in the middle of trying to figure out how to dispose of the hitman’s corpse, acts squirrelly and twitchy and makes a big show of giving him the brush-off, thus ratcheting Victor’s mild suspicions into high gear. Back at the FBI headquarters, Victor asks a colleague to investigate Siobhan and Andrew, paying particular attention to their unfinished loft. The FBI’s files, by the way, reveal that Andrew’s favorite movies are Raging Bull and Singin’ in the Rain. Andrew has untapped depths.

…You know, after two episodes, I’m going to go ahead and suggest that Ringer drop this whole dreary Bridget/Siobhan nonsense entirely, in favor of focusing on Andrew and Olivia instead. That’d be a much better show. Bridget is glum and twitchy, whereas Andrew and Olivia are slinky and bitchy and icy and English. No question who I’d rather watch.

Figuring she’s in over her head, Bridget decides to cut and run. Malcolm offers to help (much is made of Malcolm agreeing to meet her halfway, and, improbably enough, it seems through the dialogue that we’re meant to take this literally. Bridget is in New York and Malcolm is in Colorado, so… Illinois?). Bridget withdraws all available cash, including the entire balance in a secret account Siobhan recently set up, and heads to the airport.

Her attempt to flee is interrupted by a call from Andrew, who informs her the venue for the gala has plumbing problems, so he’s relocated it to the loft. Bridget rushes to the loft, which is already swarming with the event staff. She lures them out of there with promises of bacon sandwiches (this seems entirely plausible, really -- everybody loves bacon), then stashes the hitman’s corpse in a decorative steamer trunk.

And for whatever improbable reason, Bridget decides to go to the gala instead of heading for the airport to rendezvous with Malcolm as planned. Also for whatever improbable reason, she decides to dress as Cleopatra, paired with Madonna’s hairstyle circa the Blonde Ambition tour. Oh, hell, I’m all for it. At least Bridget’s clothes are vibrant and flamboyant.

The gala is a comedy of errors -- party-crasher Victor arrives just as Bridget is dabbing up blood leaking from the trunk, and the corpse’s cell phone starts ringing from within the trunk while Andrew is giving a speech. It’s cute. I like this show when it embraces the zanier possibilities of its absurd premise. Bridget retrieves the phone from the corpse, but a sinister random party guest lurks in the background and watches her.

Back at their apartment, Andrew compliments her on how well she handled herself during the party. He shows definite signs of softening his strong anti-Siobhan stance, especially when he spots her comforting a drug-addled and distraught Juliet.

Bridget calls Malcolm and tells him she can’t meet him -- she’s going to continue to impersonate Siobhan for a while longer. Back in Colorado, Bodaway Macawi, the drug lord whom Bridget was set to testify against, secretly stalks Malcolm.

In Paris, Siobhan -- the real Siobhan -- attempts to withdraw money from her secret account and finds Bridget has drained it dry. She calls someone and mutters, “She’s ruining everything.”

And Bridget returns to the loft, opens the steamer trunk, and finds the corpse has vanished.

Oh, Ringer. You’re not without your moments -- that ending was pretty good -- but overall, I wish you were more fun.


Patrick said…
Agree completely! The stuff on the boat last week looked very fake, although I saw some people defending this saying the producers deliberately made it look fake so it would remind people of 1950s movies. Doesn't seem very plausible.
Patrick said…
So some people set-up a Titanic theme in the loft and didn't notice a body in wrapping, or the smeared blood from an earlier attempt to move. And then the body conveniently disappeared! I think part of the problem is that sometimes they want SMG to be a little like Buffy, and other times like a woman in her 30s who has life experience, and there's a bit of tension.

Loving the recaps by the way, but loving them more than the show!
Morgan Richter said…
The whole party sequence was utterly preposterous (good thing the decor included that body-sized steamer trunk! And it was super-lucky for Bridget that the party staff didn't notice the tarp-wrapped corpse in the corner whilst they were setting up!), and I sort of loved it for that, just a little. At least it was fun, and at least it put Bridget through her paces trying to prevent disaster. I think you're exactly right, Patrick, with the strange tension with Bridget's character: is she a kick-ass, take-charge, rough-around-the-edges Buffy type (in the pilot, after all, she knocks out a Federal agent, steals his gun, and makes a daring escape from custody; plus it definitely takes guts to brazen her way through taking over Siobhan's identity), or is she a glum, damaged, soft-hearted mouse? She can be all those things, if it's done correctly, but right now the character seems off-balance (the Bridget who stammered and fretted her way through Victor's surprise arrival at the loft doesn't seem like the same Bridget who physically overpowered one of his fellow agents in the pilot).
Trev130 said…
I happy to see SMG back on the small screen. Since the departure of Buffy, television was dead. I like this new show and it is great to see that SMG return home where she help build a forum in the CW. This show is getting better in time like fine wine. Cant wait for episode three next Tuesday.
Morgan Richter said…
Trev130 -- Like you, I'm delighted to see SMG back on television on a regular basis. I'm not entirely sold on Ringer yet, but it has enough potential to make me stick with it a while longer to see how it develops from here.

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