Entertainment Magazine

Review #3280: Ringer 1.12: “What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?”

Posted on the 10 February 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Hank Chilton
Directed by Jerry Levine

The frustration with this show continues. The final revelation clears up some things for one character, but everything leading up to the end was a complete and confusing mess. There was one point where I was watching Sarah Michelle Gellar onscreen making a phone call and I lost track of whether she was Siobhan or Bridget playing detective. The show specializes in various ways of stalling whatever narrative momentum that they try to build. It’s one big, weird misfire, and the writers may have to spend the rest of the season untangling the mixed bag of threads that’s been going so far. Maybe that’s the main purpose of Siobhan’s manipulation: To confuse everyone to the point that they just won’t believe anything she says or does.

Review #3280: Ringer 1.12: “What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?”

Everything Siobhan does in this episode was to refute the lie Bridget perpetrated when she took her identity and life. She pawns Andrew’s engagement ring to Bridget for money to acquire yet another escape identity. She tells Henry that she didn’t have a miscarriage. I thought the moment where Siobhan was surprised that Bridget would resort to telling Henry that she had a miscarriage was amusing. How else would Bridget explain the fact that she isn’t with child?

It seems that the entire manipulation play Siobhan is running is designed so that she can run away with Henry to raise their child. What happens with the children Henry already have (they’ve been completely forgotten by the writers, it seems) is of no concern to Siobhan. Pinning Gemma’s murder on Bridget (at least in Henry’s mind) makes a certain amount of sense now. Why she delayed telling Henry the truth until the very end seemed only out of need to cap the episode on something shocking. She has had ample opportunity to tell him before, yet there has always been some kind of delay or obstacle in the way. Now that Henry knows Bridget is impersonating Siobhan, the show can move on to deepening that storyline.

Bridget playing detective and uncovering the mysteries of her twin sister’s life injected more fun into that plot. It’s a shame that the character isn’t doing this all the time. She slowly figures out the double life Siobhan’s been living in France, not quite figuring out that she’s been seducing poor Tyler, but the pieces are slowly coming together. The Cora Farrell identity has left her fingerprints everywhere, though that might not last much longer because Siobhan recognized it as a problem and is working towards switching again, but Bridget is closer now than she was at the beginning.

Convenient timing then that the threat of Bodaway returns. Bodaway is the first reminder of why Bridget needed to assume her sister’s identity, and he could change what both sisters will do from now on. All of it feels so distant, though. There is no immediacy to the threat imposed by Bodaway or whatever Agent Machado is doing. Bodaway is presented as this dark, imposing, dangerous figure, yet his return seems to be met with an indifferent shrug from various people in the show. Like Henry before the end of this episode, Agent Machado is missing that one key link to figure out this entire mystery. There are times when I think Agent Machado is the onscreen representation of this show’s audience. He feels lost and manipulated because the mystery isn’t so mysterious as it is confounding and nonsensical. What is the ultimate purpose behind all of this? We may not get an answer to that question any time soon.

There is also development in the Juliet plot here, with her biological mother visiting to wreak all kinds of havoc. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do much in the narrative aside from telling off Bridget-as-Siobhan and casting judgment on her daughter after it’s revealed that she tried to force her teacher to have sex with her. I think the video reveal of Juliet’s actual indiscretions didn’t have the impact everyone was looking for, probably because of her mother’s over-the-top reaction.

The whole storyline lacks the gravity necessary to get that impact, even with the final revelation that Juliet’s rival was sexually assaulted by the teacher. We’re left once again to wonder where all of this is going. Does this draw Juliet closer to Bridget-as-Siobhan? Does this mean Siobhan will regret trying to bring down Andrew and her sister? The show would do well to get me invested in something in its entire plot. Otherwise, it’s not going to get better.

Grade: 6/10

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