Back in the fall, Ringer was on most people’s radar with the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar playing dual roles in a taut, psychological thriller. The show was broody, soapy and adult. It had a great supporting cast. Fast forward twenty-two episodes later as Ringer airs its finale as a bubble show with a questionably murky future. This might be the last time I ever get to gently mock the show! Oh Ringer! Sniff…
Let’s bitch it out…After last week’s cray-cray lesbian meltdown with Catherine (Andrea Roth), what could the show possibly explore in its season finale? Oh crap-on-a-stick! We’ve still got the stupid Bodaway (Zahn McClaron) storyline, don’t we? In the words of Lost Girl‘s Kenzi: Oh worf.
As expected, this episode has everything:
- A fake-out: The opening wedding scene which is clearly a dream from the very get-go. It’s like a serious homage to The Princess Bride, only it doesn’t work. You know what I’m talking about: Buttercup has a nightmare about marrying Humperdinck, only here we substitute the crone for Bodaway (who honestly looks about 4 feet tall). This opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the episode: it’s all a big cop-out.
- Henry (Kristoffer Polaha) gets smart: The porn-haired author has been the punching bag for almost the entire show, so it’s apropos that he gets some balls in the finale. Of course he does this in the stupidest way possible: by using the paternity test as a test to see if Siobhan tells him the truth. Henry claims that he would have loved the twins had she only told him the truth before kicking her (and by proxy the twins) to the curb. Hypocrite alert!
- Bridget comes clean: This can only go one of two ways – either Bridget fesses up to Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) or he gets wise. In a way it’s both: Tim Arbogast (Gregory Harrison) tells Andrew about Siobhan’s affair with Henry (thereby following up on his flashback promise to ruin Siobhan)- which prompts Bridget to tell both Andrew and Juliet (Zoey Deutch) the truth. They promptly kick her to the curb (ohhh, it’s like twin symmetry! Get it? So deep!). Bonus points: Andrew punches Henry and tells him he’s wanted to do it since meeting him. I can respect that.
- Callbacks to Ringer staples: Giant face picture: slashed! Number of shots fired at close range required to kill Bodaway: Two (aww, just like Big Red!). “You’ve got the wrong girl” line from the pilot: repeated! Wasted cameos from previous players: Greer (Machen Amick) from ‘It Just Got Normal’! John Delario aka Charlie (Billy Miller) in eps 5-10 and Det. Jimmy Kemper (Darren Pettie). It’s like someone made a list of ‘things that should happen’ or ‘people we should see’ in a finale and tossed them in.
- Bridget learns about Siobhan: We’ve waited 22 episodes for Bridget to figure out that sometimes when people act strangely around her, it’s because they’ve recently interacted with Siobhan. But even after Bodaway attacks both women in the empty apartment, she still doesn’t figure it out. It’s only after her driver, Solomon (Sean Patrick Thomas) shows her a video that Siobhan survived the terrible Green Screen Drowning that Bridget finally gets it. And even then she needs Henry to spell it out for her that Siobhan wants her dead. And that’s our effing cliffhanger??? So the scene when Siobhan runs around a corner and Bridget thinks that it’s Juliet is the scene of the twins meeting that we’ve been waiting twenty-one episodes for? Come on! The freaking shower scene in ‘It Just Got Normal’ was waaay better than this and that was episode 11 for crying out loud!
Oh Ringer, indeed.
- Creators Eric Charmelo and Nicole Synder indicated there would be three deaths tonight. I counted two: Jimmy Kemper and Bodaway. Then I wondered if they were “counting” Malcolm Ward. I’m not even going to list Mike Ward’s name because if they killed him off without even bothering to show his body/face, then that is cold. While I didn’t like Malcolm as a character, that’s a pretty crappy way to treat an actor, a character and your audience. If the show returns for a second season, I’m sure that suddenly Malcolm will have survived and the body was falsely identified, but if this is indeed the end of Ringer, we’re meant to assume that Malcolm is actually dead.
- Love that the only reference to Catherine’s dive off the deep end last week is that Juliet is in therapy and took a mini-vacation in response. Phew – glad that being held at gunpoint by your psychotic mother is so easy to recover from! Naturally when Bridget tells Juliet who she really is the girl compares her to her psychotic mother, suggesting Bridget is worse because Catherine is “sick”. Whatever helps you sleep at night, sweetie…
- Admittedly the chase through the apartment between Bodaway and Siobhan is tense and well done. I especially liked the horror movie-esque moment when he broke through the balcony glass to stab at her in slow-motion.
All in all, this was actually a decent episode of Ringer. As a finale (possibly series finale), though, this mostly sucked. It’s clear that Charmelo and Synder are “saving” things for the second season, and while I can’t imagine showrunners assuming they’ll be cancelled, the lack of go for broke-ness in this episode is a big eff you to viewers considering how dismal the ratings are (and have been for some quite some time).
Think about it: what did we get that we didn’t already know? We knew Henry was going to screw over Siobhan, we knew Bodaway would turn up and we had a fairly good idea that Bridget’s secret would come out. Even if the show does continue, is this a game changer? Instead of really going for it, or leaving us desperately wanting more, this finale simply catches the characters up on information that we viewers already know (the paternity of Siobhan’s twins, Bridget’s false identity, etc).
It’s pretty clear that another season would involve Bridget tracking Siobhan and trying to repair her relationship with Andrew and Juliet. Agent Machado (Nestor Carbonnell) has no reason to be around, and Henry can easily be shipped off to Chicago as planned. Sounds pretty simple to me. Not that we’ll likely even get to make the decision whether or not to watch since Ringer is more on less on life support going into this finale.
Time to pull the plug.
What did you think of the finale? Did it answer all of your questions? Were you shocked by the cliffhanger? Would you watch a second season?
Ringer has concluded its first season. The CW will announce in May if the show will return for a second season.