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

Ringer: “That Woman’s Never Been A Victim Her Entire Life”

Illustration for article titled Ringer: “That Woman’s Never Been A Victim Her Entire Life”

Perhaps it was because I didn’t have to review it, or perhaps it was because I watched it on my phone in an airport and its faults seemed a lot more amusing on a tiny screen, but God help me, I kind of enjoyed last week’s episode of Ringer. Most of that was due to the rise of Siobhan and Henry as some sort of sociopathic duo of dumb, which is dumb but at least is trying to do something. After watching Bridget pointlessly stumble around for the entire season it was nice to have the focus on non-reactive characters for once, even if those characters were trying to kill their only family in the world based on some shaky circumstances.

And you know what? I didn’t hate this one either. It wasn’t necessarily the most exciting or insane the show has ever been (which can be an amusement all its own) but it was logically plotted and cohesively written throughout, and people actually told each other things. Well, mostly. It was almost novel!

The first big confession comes from Bridget who, spurned by Andrew taking a bullet for her, finally tells him about the hitman she killed all the way back in the pilot, the one whose body disappeared. Remember that? Now that her life is seemingly in danger again, it’s nice to know she does. At this point, no one has any idea who is behind the two attempts on Bridget’s life. Did Siobhan arrange both hits? Was it Macawi mistaking Siobhan for Bridget? Or is Olivia taking out everyone who knows about the Ponzi scheme? Or—most likely—is it another scenario that hasn’t even been fully introduced yet? In any instance, making Andrew the victim of one of these attempts was a smart move to both up the stakes and bring him closer to knowing the truth about what’s really happening with Bridget. The attempts of the last few episodes to throw suspicion Andrew’s way and force his character into pretzel-like contortions to fit the story (instead of the other way around) were almost disastrous; this is where Andrew makes sense, as an affable presence in allegiance with Bridget.

Juliet drops the hour’s other big bombshell. When faced with a future of living with her psychopath mother, Juliet finally confesses the entire rape-extortion scheme to Bridget. Juliet’s character has never made sense, flitting from schemer to innocent teenage victim and back again throughout the show’s run, and now it’s her turn to be innocent again. Bridget being in on the scheme actually interests me a great deal, as it’s unclear exactly what she will do. I’m just glad everything finally seems to have momentum and is building toward something, even if that something is sort of gray and fuzzy and potentially kind of rotten.

Speaking of momentum, Agent Machado is loaded with it tonight, chasing down leads and finally interacting with the main characters again. He shows up at the loft right after Andrew gets shot and actually gets to give chase on the shooter, chasing him down until he finds his biggest clue yet: a tarot card. A tarot card that leads him to a dry cleaner. This is completely nonsensical and random, which is precisely why it’s genius. Hopefully this tarot card will lead him to a ring of assassins who only kill based on what the cards portend. And in their off-time they go get Ethiopian food because they really like to use their hands. Spin-off! Seriously, though, this is the most interesting Machado has been in weeks because at least he acts like a normal law enforcement officer should, or at least how a normal law enforcement officer on a third-rate show on The CW should. It was refreshing.

Finally we have Siobhan and Henry, who are quickly becoming my favorite thing about the show. Mostly because Henry is such a sad-sack cuckold and Siobhan is barely half-heartedly manipulating him, and yet is completely successful at every turn. After Henry accuses her of putting out a hit on her own sister (which was fine last week when it was Andrew putting out the hit, but I suppose Henry is big on semantics) all she has to do to get him back on her side is threaten to tell Andrew everything. It’s unclear whether or not she would actually do it because he stops her at the nick of time with his own secret: He killed Tyler! I have to say, that was a genuine surprise—and a good one, especially because it happens because he and Tyler get into a truly hilarious “I fucked her more” pissing match over Siobhan. News flash, boys: You’re both the cuckold here, and it is delightful.


Listen, I still think this show has a ton of problems (the main one being Macawi as the least-threatening villain of all time) but for two weeks in a row, I not only didn’t want to commit harm to myself while watching—but I almost had fun. Have Ringer and I turned a corner heading into the final few episodes of the season? It’s looking promising.

Stray observations:

  • Malcolm is still missing (presumed dead by Machado, which is unlikely) and now so is Olivia. I’ve got to give it up for Ringer, this show has the most interesting way to play the “we only have this actor contracted for so many episodes” game on television.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar: still an ace crier.
  • If Olivia didn’t kidnap Juliet, who was taking surveillance photos of her and Catherine getting into the town car?
  • It’s a good thing Bridget and Siobhan have similar taste in outerwear and identical hairstyles so they can pop back in and out of Andrew’s hospital room without raising any suspicion!
  • What’s more unlikely: That Olivia writes notes on a notepad with a pencil, or that she leans all 110 pounds of body weight into writing in it when she does? Those pencil marks were deep.
  • A big thanks to Phil Dyess-Nugent for taking over my duties last week. Extra bonus points for the Greater Tuna reference, which I didn't even understand.