Ringer: “It Just Got Normal”
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Ringer: “It Just Got Normal”

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Ringer

“It Just Got Normal”

Season 1, Episode 11

Welcome back, Ringer fans. (Does Ringer have fans? Perhaps Ringer hostages would be more appropriate.) It’s been quite a long hiatus, but so not so long that a 30 second recap couldn’t get us up to speed. Nothing much has changed since we last spent time with the toxic two and their tragic tale of twinnery, although at least now Siobhan is back from Paris and wandering the streets of New York City, offering the potential for things to go very awry.

The problem with potential, at least in the hands of Ringer, is it is so very seldom fulfilled. It’s no secret that I’ve had significant struggles with how much of the story has progressed – or, more aptly, as not progressed – since the pilot. Ringer still feels like a show that has no idea what it is, so it just plays at all the things it wants to be without ever truly committing to anything. The show’s gravest sin is its insistence on spinning wheels; every cliffhanger is a fake out, every chance anyone has to learn more about what’s really happening passes by. There are ways to drag out storylines and not make them seem so static – daytime soaps have been doing this for years – but Ringer certainly hasn’t figured them out yet. In the meantime, characters get moved around like the empty pieces on a barren chessboard they truly are, all while tiny clues are dropped to the true nature of the story like the smallest little breadcrumbs. It’s simply not enough.

This episode frustrated me so much because it at least had the bones to be something interesting. The teaser, at least, was a lot of fun: a Psycho-esque little sequence that threatened to expose Siobhan to Bridget once and for all. Being Ringer, though, I suspected the moment would ultimately be mostly inconsequential, and it was. Although the teaser was a nice little punch at the top of the episode, the in media res didn’t work within the episode structure at all and ultimately felt more like a distraction than anything else. 

Siobhan’s story continues to frustrate more than anyone else because it should be good. She just murdered someone, she’s now in the one place her secret can be exposed, and yet everything about her just feels so boring. Again, this is because we have no idea what her goals are. All of her sneaking around New York City is in attempt to gather evidence that Andrew is defrauding his investors, but to what end? And why? It’s impossible to understand her purpose, and therefore impossible to fully connect with her as a character. She did, however, get a bit more shading when it comes to the Henry relationship, seeking him out and confessing her love for him still. Of course, all this does is confuse Henry all the more because half the time he is talking to real Siobhan, and half the time he’s talking to Bridget thinking she’s Siobhan. They’re hinting Siobhan might tell Henry the truth, but knowing how this show hints I’m not betting money on it. That, at least, would be an interesting development as it would give Henry something to do and also give Siobhan a confidante.

As for Bridget, she’s living the high life pretending to be her sister, sleeping with her sister’s husband, and punching lecherous high school teachers in the face. Bridget didn’t get much to do this hour other than get a few cryptic clues from new/old friend Greer, who helps her realize the French name and number written on Siobhan’s paper is actually a hotel room number in Paris. Where will this lead? Who knows! Siobhan is in New York now so she obviously won’t be there, but perhaps Bridget will realize something is a bit rotten about Siobhan’s supposed suicide after all.

Meanwhile, while both twins are gallivanting around New York City and confusing the heck out of poor Henry, Agent Machado is busy trying to figure out just how Bridget Kelly fits into the murder of Gemma and Charlie, considering her prints were all over the gun. After a tip from Henry he figures out Charlie and Bridget were in the Hamptons at the same time, but when investigating he finds something even more interesting: Charlie never met Bridget there, but he did meet Siobhan. Well, it’s interesting to Agent Machado but we already basically knew this information so to us it was pretty much a snooze. They really need to figure out this FBI storyline, because poor Nestor Carbonell is better than this.

Finally, we have Juliet. When we last left her she was shamelessly coming on to high school teacher Mr. Carpenter, who she later accused of raping her. Seeing as Juliet is a notorious liar (and Mr. Carpenter is played by Jason Dohring, who the world loved as Logan Echolls) it’s hard to believe she’s telling the truth, but the events of tonight definitely point to Juliet’s story being true. If Juliet truly was raped, how awful, and how awfully this story is being treated. The rape of a teenager by an authority figure is not a soapy plot point in a twisty mystery show. It’s serious business, and should be treated as such. The show Jason Dohring is best known for at least attempted to give it the gravity it deserves. I hope Ringer musters up enough courage to do the same.

Stray observations:

  • Gemma is actually dead. Those poor twins who we are supposed to believe actually exist are now motherless!
  • Bridget’s new bangs are awful. Siobhan would never be caught dead with those things on her face.
  • Andrew’s business storyline could not be more boring. 
  • Siobhan attempts to crack Andrew’s impenetrable passwords with the following:  Arsenal (heh), Juliet, and Siobhan, with Siobhan the winner. Andrew is simple, guys. He doesn’t need a fancy password.