Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ringer 1.11: "It Just Got Normal"

“It's a little hard to trust you when you're using me to get back at your husband.”

So “Ringer,” in its winter debut, is pretty much just chugging along, and this episode advanced all the stories we’ve seen thus far. The truth is starting to come out about what happened between Juliet and Mr. Carpenter (aka Logan… “Veronica Mars” will never die). The real Siobhan is back in New York and causing all sorts of trouble for multiple characters. The investigation into what happened to Gemma continues. The usual. “Ringer” is a good soapy diversion, but I’m afraid I’m not quite as invested in it as the creative talent behind the show would like for me to be. I think if the writers had worked on really deepening the characters in the first few episodes, I would be feeling the twists and turns that are happening now even more. And this particular episode was much more of a move the pieces around on the chessboard type of episode than an episode that worked to deepen character.

The episode, like many television episodes of late, uses an in media res structure. We see Bridget get in the shower at her apartment, and while she’s facing away from the bathroom door, Siobhan enters the room and just stands there and stares at her twin. It’s kind of creepy, really. We then flash back to two days earlier, where Bridget and Andrew are having dinner with another couple. The wife of that couple is named Greer. Greer and Siobhan have a bit of a history and don’t get along well. Bridget is kind of discovering this as she goes along. Greer gives “Siobhan” a bouquet of peonies, which is actually a nasty gift due to an event in Greer and Siobhan’s history, but Bridget is able to shrug it off because she doesn’t know that history. The conversation among the couples turns to Juliet, and when Andrew mentions she’s going to public school now, Greer says she’s working on planning a benefit for that very school. Bridget offers to help, most likely so she can learn more about Siobhan’s life.

Meanwhile, some of the other characters are off doing investigations of their own. Victor stops by Henrys house at Henry’s invitation. Henry wants to know why the NYPD and FBI aren’t doing more to find Bridget since her prints were at the scene of Gemma’s murder. He doesn’t buy that “Charlie” committed suicide. Victor doesn’t really have any good answers, but he assures Henry that he does really want to find Bridget. He’s just been distracted by events out in Wyoming. Siobhan is snooping around in Andrew’s office at Martin-Charles early in the morning before most of the employees are in. She is trying to access something on his computer, but she doesn’t have the password. Siobhan freaks out when she’s discovered by Andrew’s secretary, but she plays it off like she’s throwing a party for Andrew and needs his address book. The only problem is that the secretary doesn’t have his password, either.

Back at the Martin apartment, Juliet is being very reluctant to go back to school following winter break. She claims she’s sick and everything. Luckily Andrew sees right through it and tells her she’s going to school and he’s driving her there on his way to work. He’s a bit frazzled because he has a big presentation at work later in the day, and none of the office computer guys are going to be able to help him with it. When Malcolm calls Bridget, she gives him a heads-up about the potential job opportunity (Malcolm is a computer science professor). Malcolm ends up taking the opportunity to help with the presentation, by the way, and completely rocks it, earning a permanent job offer from Andrew.

Siobhan is just causing all kinds of trouble while in New York City. She tells Tyler over the phone that she wants the Martin-Charles year end statements because she thinks Andrew has been sending fake statements to investors. It’s really hard to know if this claim is true, or if she’s just using it as an excuse to get Tyler’s help in finally hacking Andrew’s computer. Tyler suggests that she try hacking Andrew’s home computer instead because home computer security is generally more lax than work computer security, and apparently all Martin-Charles employees keep sensitive information on their home computers, too. Idiots. Didn’t they have to watch the stupid computer security video with the reformed teenage hacker doing the narration that I had to watch when I started my last internship? Siobhan’s going to take Tyler’s advice, but not before she takes some time to make Henry miserable first. She sees Henry walk by the coffee shop she had been patronizing, and she rushes outside to meet him. She says she wants to explain everything about why she’s been acting so strangely, but Henry doesn’t want to hear it. Then he sees how sad Siobhan looks as he’s getting in a cab, and he offers to meet with her on Friday.

Victor spends the episode continuing to investigate Bridget’s disappearance. First, he talks to his main NYC FBI contact. They have a red light camera photo of “Charlie” in Montauk on the day Siobhan disappeared. Since Siobhan disappeared from the Hamptons, that’s pretty darn suspicious. So Victor takes a trip out to Montauk, and he speaks with a waitress at a restaurant. She recognizes photographs of “Charlie” and Bridget, and she says they have been to the restaurant before. She remembers because the woman was very bossy. The only problem for Victor, though, is that this event took place in May. We viewers know that means “Charlie” was speaking with Siobhan, but Victor still thinks he’s chasing Bridget. He knows for a fact that Bridget was in Wyoming in May, so now he knows that somehow Siobhan is involved in this whole mess too.

Bridget and Greer are working on stuff for the big benefit auction, and Bridget presses Greer for information about why they had been fighting. Greer implies that she saw something she shouldn’t have and Siobhan threated her. Before Bridget can get more information, though, Juliet arrives home. She completely freaks out when she finds out that the benefit is going to be at their apartment and Mr. Carpenter is going to be there. Which is an understandable freak-out, considering Mr. Carpenter may have raped Juliet.

After Andrew and Bridget appear to have left their apartment, Siobhan breaks in (while leaving a voicemail for Henry that she’ll be late for their meet-up). She finally figures out Andrew’s password (which happens to be “SIOBHAN”…idiot), and she starts copying files to a flash drive. Just as Andrew and Bridget both return to the apartment. She has to hide from them, and across town, Henry gets sick of waiting and gives up on the meet-up. Bridget gets in the shower and Andrew leaves to go back to the office, and we’re finally at the scene we saw at the beginning of the episode. Siobhan stares at her sister for a minute, takes the big ring that Andrew recently gave Bridget, and leaves the apartment.

Tons and tons of drama, naturally, goes down at the big school benefit. Henry stops by to make a scene and say he’s done with Siobhan. Apparently he missed an important meeting at the New Yorker for the meet-up that never happened. In the aftermath of that drama, Greer lets more details slip to Bridget about the infamous “weekend” she saw something. They were all at the Hotel Pivoine (French for “peony”) in Bostion, and she saw Siobhan and Henry together. It ruined her friendship with Gemma and Siobhan. Bridget will later discover that there is also a Hotel Pivoine in Paris, presumably where Siobhan has been staying. Meanwhile, Juliet decides that getting drunk is the best way to get through the event, and once drunk, she starts harassing Mr. Carpenter for hitting on other women. Juliet goes to her room, and Bridget follows her to find out what the heck is going on. Juliet tells Bridget the truth about what Mr. Carpenter did, and Bridget rushes out into the living room and slugs Mr. Carpenter, telling him to leave. At the end of the episode, Siobhan goes to see Henry yet again. He demands to know why she keeps changing how she acts towards him, and it looks like Siobhan is about to spill everything.

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