Ringer is a series that works well in bits and pieces, but struggles to be much at all when put together as a whole episode. This was very much an hour of varying subplots being thrown at us all at once -- some that haven't been seen for weeks, some that are painful in their predictability, and others that essentially feel like a bombardment of uninteresting information. The latter is obviously occurring with Bridget who, for the second week in a row, gets driven around Manhattan picking up clues in ridiculous places. It's another waste of the character, somebody stuck in stumble-mode where she conveniently walks right into the path of another clue, all the while completely ignorant to the fact that her sister is so obviously alive. It's ludicrous that she hasn't even theorized that Siobhan's suicide was faked.
I guess the big shocker this week (and I use the word 'shocker' in it's most un-shocking sense) was the reveal that somebody on the writing staff watched Wild Things and presumably thought that it would make for great television if all the nudity, orgies, cat-fights and campy dialogue were cut right out. The whole allure of that movie was the overt Aaron Spelling soft-porn quality to it, and watching the exact same story unfold on Ringer only makes that movie seem so much more fun. It's also a subplot that already feels at odds with the characters as we know them. Juliet has been growing as a person for the far majority of the season, and yet we're supposed to believe that she's been cooking up this scheme for all that time? Mr. Carpenter and Tessa both remain ciphers at this point, too, so the obvious routes the story will undoubtedly run down (Tessa's removal from the plot, the burgeoning love triangle) will have considerably less affect than they otherwise could have had. We knew Neve Campbell's trailer trash wannabe, Denise Richards' rich seductress and Matt Dillon's pervy teacher. Here we don't even understand Juliet at this point, let alone these two other folks. Eh.
Elsewhere, I finally feel as if Sarah Michelle Gellar is playing two distinctively different characters, especially in Siobhan's scenes with Henry. She had a cold detachment through a lot of her screentime here, notably when she confronted him about picking up her video call, and later in their final scene together. She's finally putting across a ruthless vibe, even if her business-ruining scheme doesn't make for great television. It's all laptops and button-pushing, and soap operas need something a little more visceral.
This episode was, like so many Ringer hours, just 'okay'. It's a show that feels a lot like candy, something that completely works for you in the moment, but ultimately leaves you still hungry right after you've swallowed. Most of the events here (Olivia's blackmail, trust fund scandals, presumably dead kid) are fine on paper, but they feel so detached and vacant on-screen -- a show that just constantly misfires when moved from script to camera. C
Guest stars Zoey Deutch (Juliet Martin); Justin Bruening (Tyler Barrett); Jason Dohring (Mr. Carpenter); Gregory Harrison (Tim Arbogast); Sean Patrick Thomas (Solomon Vessida); Gage Golightly (Tessa Banner); Chelsea Tavares (Andrea); Alanna Ubach (Attorney); Andrea Roth (Catherine Martin); Jaime Murray (Olivia Charles)
Teleplay Shintaro Shimosawa, Eric Charmelo, Nicole Snyder Story Shintaro Shimosawa Director Guy Bee