Ringer is the television equivalent of a dysfunctional relationship: one week they’re taking you to the opera in your pretty red gown, the next they’re vandalizing your giant narcissistic glamour shot with the word ‘Bitch.’ Last week was a televisual crapfest that made me question everything I knew and loved; this week the show was back in top form. It’s just about enough whiplash to make you forget all the pseudonyms on the show, but I much prefer this Ringer.
Let’s break it down. Readers Beware: Redheads ahoy.
This, my friends, is where this show should live. There were plenty of ridiculous elements in play in ‘Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna’ (including the title), but for the most part the show righted itself and delivered a solid episode that advanced all the major storylines. Bonus factor: more screentime for Forever Lila (Jaime Murray) at the expense of lame-duck Juliet (Zoey Deutch).
So where were we? This week everyone remembered that Gemma (Tara Summers) was still missing.
This meant big things for Henry (Kristoffer Polaha), who was still trying to get his money out of Andrew’s (Ioan Gruffudd) company, and Forever Lila, who was desperately trying to squirm her way into his father-in-law’s bank account. They had a chance to meet up after she and Andrew spent the first two thirds of the show disagreeing about the direction of the company: Forever Lila thought he’d lost his killer instinct because he didn’t want to prey on a Henry’s sick father-in-law when the man was recovering from a heart attack and his daughter was missing. And he just thought she was a money hungry she-bitch. Everyone’s right!
Of course just because Andrew’s turning over a new leaf to become the man ‘Siobhan’ wants him to be isn’t going to stop Forever Lila, so after ripping up the paperwork we saw Henry sign saw near the start of the hour, she set up another meeting with him and promptly opened up his phone to find useful information. What she found (of course!) was a picture of Siobhan and Henry cheek to cheek. This doesn’t prove anything, but it was enough for her, so she emailed it to herself and high-tailed it out of there.
Which is to say that when the proverbial sheot hits the fan, it will all be because of those evil red-headed twins. That’s right, folks – we finally have proof that Henry and Gemma sealed the deal and had children. We saw them looking sinister in Andrew’s office and it was because of them that Henry left his phone where Forever Lila could access it. So let that be a lesson to us all: never procreate with a fake redhead because your spawn will destroy the marriage of your estranged lover who’s actually not the lover, but is actually her twin sister that’s role-playing and on the run from vaguely threatening gangsters who run a strip joint in Wyoming.
Good, let’s move on.
The Bridget (SMG) storyline managed to redeem itself after the ridiculousness (read: awfulness) of last week. Key information was revealed, starting with a flashback to Bridget’s escape from Wyoming we saw in the pilot. We learned that the gun she’s been hiding in the bedroom was given to her by the cop she decked, ‘Jimmy’ who advises her to run to her nearest family because half of the FBI are corrupt. This was interesting because we now have a better understanding of what led Bridget to reconnect with her twin sister after their long absence. Or at least what we think is the reason; that got completely turned on its head at episode’s end when Siobhan turned up for her obligatory ominous/cryptic phone call (dressed, strangely enough, in a Jennifer Beals Flashdance-esque women’s sleeveless tuxedo top). Instead of her usual “Solve it/handle it/frak it” contribution, Siobhan reveals that ‘Jimmy’ was actually hired by her, and that Charlie, who we learn through some good old fashioned spy sleuthery is not a recovering alcoholic sponsor, but is actually some guy named…John? (Say it ain’t so, Charlie!)
This all came out when old sponsor/recovering addict Malcolm (Mike Colter) advised Bridget to find out more information about Siobhan. If Bridget refused to leave until she found out who was after her sister, he felt she could be more proactive. Good call, Malcolm! Way to prove your relevancy to the proceedings! So Bridget sleuthed, found some pills, made herself an appointment with Siobhan’s shrink and ultimately stole the notes from their last session (Sidenote: Why were the bulleted notes, of which there were about 10, typed up? Who takes the time to type up that few lines when she was clearly just jotting them down by hand?) Anyhoo, the notes revealed that Siobhan was a crazy nutjob who thought she had a stalker, but that she found information at Grammercy Church. After a nausea inducing lunch with Andrew wherein she tells him that she’ll stand by him while his company goes belly up, Bridget makes her way over there.
At the same time Malcolm, who’s been staying with Charlie, has been growing more and more concerned about Bridget’s new sponsor. Mouthwash in the bathroom is the tipping point, followed by shrink wrapped remote batteries and an empty wallet except for a key that opens a p.o. box that reveals Charlie’s real name: John Delario. Man, for a teacher, Malcolm sure is good at this stuff. Be careful, Agent Machado (Nestor Carbonnell), if Malcolm can stay clean for a full week he may take over your job.
After Bridget discovers that the church is a bar and Charlie is on day five of his AA, she and Malcolm meet up to create a Plan of Deception: she will meet with Charlie to see if she can get the gun back (obscene favour #815 she asked him for help with earlier in the episode). This will also get Charlie away from the Brooklyn address that Malcolm discovered is his real house. Naturally this is where Big Red (Gemma) is being kept. We got confirmation that she’s still alive (and tied to a chair) in a dank basement in the opener when Charlie uttered tonight’s awesome title (which in all fairness was a bit amusing). Unfortunately Malcolm was unable to break the child lock guarding the basement door, so Big Red’s going to have to wait a little bit longer. Hope she doesn’t lose circulation in those limbs!
As we closed the episode (which is on hiatus next week before returning for the mid-season finale on the 29th), Malcolm discovered a phone in Charlie’s Brooklyn house just as the faux sponsor made his weekly call to Siobhan to reveal that he’d been outed. OMG cliffhanger!
- No Juliet and no Machado this week. Is this what it takes to get the show on track? I’m on record with my hatred for Juliet and I’ve been disappointed with the little that Carbonnell has been given to do thus far, so I was pretty okay with their absence.
- Was the big return of Gemma worthy of her long absence? It seemed clear that she wasn’t dead, though I’m sure that her return has aggravated some people (TVangie among them). Does her reappearance bode well for missing characters on other shows (like little Sophia on The Walking Dead)?
- What’s with everyone walking out a meeting in which they’re lying and immediately calling/reading something that could incriminate them right at the entrance (Bridget did this with the shrink’s notes and Charlie did this at the end of the episode)? At this point the whole freaking show is going to come down like a house of cards because someone follows another character out of a coffee shop and overhears something!
- I missed it last week when small head-big bodied Tyler mentioned Paris-Siobhan’s pseudonym is ‘Cora’. WTF is up with that? Are we sure that Siobhan isn’t the one with the stripper past?