Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ringer: “It’s Called Improvising, Bitch!”

Image for article titled Ringer: “It’s Called Improvising, Bitch!”

From the very beginning, Ringer set itself up as a soapy mystery with both of its twin protagonists in jeopardy. In Bridget’s case, the mystery was never who was after her—as Bodaway Macawi was her obvious pursuer from the start—but when he would come calling. With Siobhan, however, everything about her and her would-be assassin was unclear. As the show barrels toward its season (and potentially series) finale next week, the answers to Siobhan’s mysteries are finally unraveled in a highly ridiculous, highly entertaining episode. Ringer may not be a fantastic show, but it’s finally at least figuring out how to have a little bit of fun.

This week’s episode had perhaps the best momentum and pacing of any episode of the season, mostly because it revolved around one singular event: Catherine attempting to kill Bridget. Catherine is a gleefully over-the-top character, and everything she touches this week turns to gold, from her botched attempt to drown a drugged-up Bridget in the bathtub to the reveal of her secret relationship with Olivia. Literally nothing about her holding Andrew, Siobhan, and Juliet hostage made any sense, but the beauty of Catherine is that she’s been established as certifiably insane, so anything she does can be twisted into some sort of television pretzel logic. Even though Catherine is portrayed as being in love with Olivia, she’s still so obsessed with her hatred of Siobhan for ruining her life with Andrew that she goes to absolutely insane lengths to see her dead, including doing most of it in front of her own daughter. It doesn’t really track as a normal human emotion, but Catherine is some sort of crazy socialite succubus, so it works. And most of all, it’s fun. Andrea Roth has been a delight since the very beginning, even during the beyond-awful rape storyline, so it was nice to see her get a chance to go full-out crazy for the last few weeks.

Also decent tonight were both Bridget and Machado, who eschewed months of idiocy in favor of doing intelligent things for once. Bridget remembering the discarded cell phone and then calling Machado so he could overhear them being held hostage by Catherine? Smart! Machado going to Olivia’s hideaway and luring Catherine there instead of busting into the apartment and causing a scene? Okay, that made less sense, but it all turned out wonderfully in the end! Granted, there were moments of really strange direction in the final confrontation at Olivia’s house where it seemed like Machado went out and got a coffee when he should have been right behind Bridget, but little goofy things like that have almost become half the fun of this show.

Less fun were Henry and Siobhan (but not much less, which is a step up for them), who are busy ruminating on what a sad horrible waste of a man Henry has become. The gist of their story this week is the gist of their story almost every week: Henry wants to rely on order and proper channels to clear himself of Tyler’s murder, and Siobhan wants to meddle and make everything way worse. The problem with Siobhan is she thinks she’s a schemer, but the only successful scheme she’s run so far is faking her own death for reasons that honestly still don’t make a whole lot of sense. So, against Henry’s wishes yet again, she attempts to blackmail the maid into changing her testimony, this time by threatening her immigration status. Before she can finish the task, however, the maid’s rich sugar daddy (played by Dylan Neal, aka Deputy Doug from Dawson’s Creek) comes home with a bag of blow and the maid overdoses. While Siobhan is in the closet. Going into labor. This week, even the boring plots are kind of spectacularly insane. In the end, Siobhan delivers via C-section, and Henry discreetly asks for a paternity test. Sad sack Henry might finally be sticking up for himself.

So here we are, one week from what could be the end of the show and one of the major mysteries of the series—who was after Siobhan—has been solved, leaving the finale to deal with Bridget. The pacing of the entire season has been shaky at best, but the structure of the last few episodes has been very good, knocking out answers while setting things up for what looks like a big confrontation in the finale between Bridget and Macawi. All I know is, if next week is the last episode of Ringer to ever air, we better get an honest-to-goodness Bridget and Siobhan confrontation. No flashbacks. No dream sequences. Just a good old-fashioned twin fight.

Come on, Ringer. Go out with a bang.

Stray observations:

  • Catherine practicing her “surprised” reaction to Siobhan’s suicide was priceless, especially since in the previous scene she was the one composing the suicide note.
  • There was a LOT of flashing back and forth between timelines this week. Eight months ago. Five-and-a-half weeks ago. (Specific!) Four weeks ago. Most of these time identifiers really feel unnecessary and almost add to the confusion.
  • Juliet: “Is mom saying she and Olivia were ‘girlfriend’ girlfriends?!”
  • Catherine: “I mean, whose life is so pathetic they have to live someone else’s to be happy?”