I don’t know about you, but I personally think the episode title of this week’s “Ringer” is among the best episode titles to ever exist in the history of television. It is one those very rare shows that can work ‘ho-bag’ into an episode title.
This week, Juliet’s mother Catherine arrives in town, where she proceeds to wreak havoc on Andrew and Bridget’s relationship. Siobhan is unknowingly leaving clues behind for Bridget, and this time around the fake Siobhan decides to try to piece together the pieces that her sister left behind. Meanwhile, Henry discovers a lead that causes Agent Machado to think he is closing in on Bridget.
So because I was such a big fan, I waited all episode to hear what would prompt that infamous sentence. Would Bridget and Siobhan finally face off? Would it be Bridget finally losing her temper with Andrew’s first wife? Perhaps it would be Agent Pretty Eyes who would utter the phrase, finally pushed to his breaking point. I should have known that the show would make us wait the entire episode for that glorious line of dialogue. God bless you and your vocabulary Juliet. And I want to thank the writers of “Ringer” for creating such a great title that it almost overshadowed everything else in the episode.
From the moment she’s first glimpsed, sipping a glass of red wine while soaking in a bubble bath, Catherine is great fun. She’s a ridiculous cliché of a character – a soap opera uber-bitch who spouts lines like, “I’m having a funeral for my daughter – the slut!” – but she’s certainly entertaining. Catherine’s arrival also gives Bridget more to do than the usual sneaking-around-while-looking-concerned, “Juliet’s biggest problem in life is suffering through with your pathetic DNA!”, spits Bridget. Apparently Catherine viewed her child as a fun shopping partner but not much more, which led to a great bonding moment between Juliet and Bridget. “So, your Mom was a bitch too?” That one line brought them closer than all the hugs and heartfelt talks ever could.
Bridget continues to get ever closer to the trail Siobhan has unknowingly left behind for her. This week, Bridget decides to go all out “Veronica Mars” to try to put the pieces of her sister’s wacky life together. What also surprised me is how oddly competent Bridget has become since “Ringer” returned from its winter hiatus. Now she’s unknowingly closing in on her sister’s secrets with a level of intelligence I was just waiting to see. I mean she still blew things off relatively easy, like how the car company driver initially asked her if she was packing heat and only later offered up information about taking Siobhan to Wyoming. Who cares about the fact that Siobhan might also be mixed up in Bridget’s murder problems? Where was Siobhan going on a regular basis with a gun? Did I just miss that one? Is she part of a shooting club or does she just occasionally go out and murder hobos for the fun of it? With Siobhan anything is basically possible.
Speaking of big secrets being revealed, it looks like Henry finally knows that Siobhan and Bridget are both occupying the same city. Why did Siobhan show her hand now though? Does she have some plot that involves Henry, since it seems that she’s still keeping Tyler on the line back in Paris? I feel like the writers want us to feel something for Siobhan and Henry but all I feel is apathy.Oh, and he also learns that the real Siobhan is still pregnant with his child. For once, the gormless look on Henry’s face is justified. It’s a smart move, at this first season’s half-way point, to start moving the story forward – we’re intrigued to see what Henry will do with this new information..
In the other big storyline of the episode, Juliet’s mother comes to visit to support her during her teacher rape scandal. Her mother is a truly terrible person, so it looks like Andrew’s type is officially soulless blondes. Juliet’s principal makes a house call about the charges against Mr. Carpenter, explaining that they found a surveillance tape of Juliet hitting on Mr. Carpenter in a bad way. This, apparently, is going to taint the waters when it comes to Mr. Carpenter’s rape charges. Turns out that there’s video evidence showing Juliet hitting on Mr. Carpenter which seems to mean that Mr. Carpenter could never have raped Juliet because apparently she asked for it by flirting? WTF, Nicole Snyder? WTF Eric Charmelo?
“Every time you two get together, it’s combustible!” Andrew yells at Bridget and Catherine, and a few scenes later, he tosses his sozzled ex-wife out, throwing money at her for a hotel and yelling, “I don’t care if you’ve got a brain tumour – I want you out!” AMAZING.
From there things get a lot grosser and there’s a ton of victim-blaming because no one can ever imagine that a rape can occur after a girl hits on a guy. Juliet’s mother is the worst of the lot, calling her daughter a slut, questioning the rape and then burning baby pictures for dramatic effect. Juliet’s mother is the real ho-bag of the episode, yet Bridget somehow manages not to pull another “Buffy” and punch her in the face.
One character who’s drastically lacking in new information is Machado. At one point this week, he draws up bullet points on a notepad, compiling the information he’s uncovered so far, and it’s telling that he only manages about five sentences. Even traitorous agent Jimmy sticks the knife in when Machado visits him in prison, speaking for the viewer as he taunts, “You’re no closer to Bodaway Macawi than you were six months ago – it’s pathetic.”
As the episode ends the ho-bag in question finally appears: Juliet’s poor arch-nemesis, Tessa turns up at the apartment, claiming that she too was assaulted by ‘Mr C’ – it now appears that Carpenter may in fact be guilty or at the very least that there’s more to the case than meets the eye…
Overall, this week’s Ringer is a return to form after the somewhat mundane mid-season premiere. ‘What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?’ is pleasingly silly with plenty of twists – see Henry and Machado both becoming briefly convinced that the real Siobhan is actually her twin – and a game-changing final twist.
Addict Verdict: Ringer is one crazy word jumble, and like any addictive game, I can’t stop trying to figure it out.