Did Sticking with Ringer Just Start to Pay Off?

Ringer S01E12: “What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?”

Seven words I never thought I’d write—Tuesday night’s episode of Ringer was great. I’m serious. It was engaging, fun, and legitimately exciting, which is more than I can say about any of the episodes preceding it. If Ringer can keep this up, I might be willing to call it a show that I like by season’s end. (Thought let’s not get carried away: There’s still a lot of badness it has to make up for.)

“What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?” may not have won me over with its title, but the episode was exactly the kind of soap opera thriller we’ve been promised since the start. I could lament the fact that it’s taken Ringer so long to get to this point, but let’s just celebrate an enjoyable hour of television.

The main source of awesomeness? Bridget coming closer to discovering that Siobhan is still alive, and Siobhan doing everything in her power to keep that secret safe. I’ve mentioned this in my reviews of The Lying Game, but if you’ve got a show with two twins pretending to be each other, you have to give me plenty of awkward misunderstandings and near-misses. Now that Siobhan and Bridget are finally in the same city, Ringer has given them both a chance to shine—Siobhan continues to prove her role as master manipulator, and Bridget has stopped being annoyingly dense. These twins bring out the best/worst in each other!

Speaking of people pulling their heads out of their asses, it’s nice to see Agent Machado actually doing good investigative work for once. This is a character who needs to feel essential to the series, and up to this point, he’s mostly been a nuisance. But as Machado has gotten closer to the truth, he’s sharpened—maybe because he realizes this case is more complicated than it first seemed, or because the writers figured out one of their primary antagonists was too dull to take seriously.

Here’s hoping Malcolm can undergo the same personality adjustment and add something to this show. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed Tuesday’s episode so much was that he never made an appearance.

Now, the Juliet rape storyline. I’m still uncomfortable with it, and I remain dubious as to where it’s headed, but the way it was handled in this episode worked for me. The surveillance video planted doubt, and it also reflected a very real problem in accusations of sexual assault. Just because Juliet made a pass at Mr. Carpenter doesn’t mean she’s lying about him later raping her. And if this is a lie, it’s an elaborate one—as evidenced by the reveal that Tessa was also raped by her teacher. If Juliet and Tessa are both lying, this story is straight-up nabbed from Wild Things, but that’s one of my favorite trashy movies ever, and I wouldn’t mind if Ringer paid it homage.

And Juliet’s trauma did provide an excuse to introduce Andrew’s ex-wife Catherine, a delightfully hot mess who gave Ringer the burst of absurdity and bitchiness it needed. “Siobhan” and Catherine duking it out may have little bearing on the story, but holy crap it was fun to watch. The petty sniping and the verbal barbs made the episode feel like a guilty pleasure instead of a slog. And I love that Catherine’s parting words were a weak, “You know what, Siobhan? You can suck it.” This woman is too drunk to fight properly. She showed up naked in a bathtub! She burned photos of her own daughter! Please let Catherine stick around for the rest of the season, because she has already earned a spot in my heart.

The episode ended with a nice reveal, as Henry finally learned that Bridget has taken over Siobhan’s life. And since Kris Polaha is a series regular, I’m guessing this is going to stick. I’m not dying to see next week’s episode, but I’m a little bit excited—and I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I felt even this much enthusiasm for Ringer.

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I honestly don't know what is about this show that keeps me coming back. Let's face it, it's nothing more than a soap. And I don't watch soaps. In fact, each week I record it and then think, "Is it worth watching this?" Half the time I almost delete it unwatched. Then, I think, "Oh, what the hell..." and I end up enjoying it. I have no clue why.
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"Did you sleep with your sister's husband behind her back, too?" ==> Best line of the season !

Seriously, that week was indeed better than the previous ones. It may have been better to have less but denser episodes for this show... I wish the big finish is close because I really feel that the story is stretched up to the max !
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I haven't thought that this show has been quite as bad as you've implied, but I fully agree that this episode was a notch up. I love the fact that things got resolved and came to a head rather than continuing to draw stuff out for a while. "Revenge" has done a good job of that, and it would be great to see these shows fighting in style rather than veering off in odd directions.
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Ringer is awesome and this episode shows what the series is capable of, given the chance! I loved all the revelations and am glad they played it out this way. I didn't want to know every thing immediately, well maybe, but it is the journey not the destination for me in viewing this type of show!



I'm glad you are finally starting to see what I've known all along!

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Quick question: How low to viewing figures have to get before the CW will cancel a show? Cos Ringer doesn't seem to be doing that well and I'm getting worried.
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It averages about 1.2 mil an episode, just slightly below their current fan favorite, Supernatural, which has ALWAYS been a low performer, around 2 mil.
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REALLY LOW....looking at the rating ringer should be fine, its doing better than three or four of the other shows on the network.
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I love Ringer and always have, and it is definitely getting even better as it goes! One of my favorite shows on TV.
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Wow, someone on TV.com giving a program a chance before dumping it rather than just giving it 4 episodes? The horror, the horror!
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That was the single best episode of this show and made the exceptionally slow simmer pay off well. The only problem I have with this show is SMG's complete inability to play two of herself in the same scene. Its like when she was the Buffybot except both Bridget and Siobhan are robots. Everyone actor that has to do this should be forced to watch the master Dean Stockwell do it on "Battlestar Galactica". He has scenes where two Cavil's were arguing in a jail cell on "Battlestar" and it is a masterclass in paying two parts in the same scene. On this show it just looks cheap and SMG can't pull it off at all.



Nice having Janet Gavin, er Andrea Roth, around. She got to put her drunk Tommy on for that part and it was kind of great. Wonder if she called Dennis Leary for pointers?



Too bad they waited this long to show how fun and how entertaining this premise could be. They didn't even heavily hype this episode so I'm guessing those abysmal numbers from last week did not improve.



Best episode of this series thus far.

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Love this show!!!
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Doesn't anyone find it a little weird that "Ringer" also revealed the twin the same week that "The Lying Game" revealed the twin..?!



Of course, I find "The Lying Game" to be the better of the two, however, I do watch both.
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I have been loving this show since episode one but now I'm completely head over heels for it. The episode was absolutely fantastic. Fast paced, heart-racing at moments and it completely added some much needed drama. Juliet is starting to become more developed -thank God, because it was do or die for her character- and her arc now has the potential to go from lame back burner to a juicy main story, if done right. Now I'm just waiting for Henry to find the surveillance video from the pawn shop and for Henry to confront Bridget about all he knows. And yes, if the rest of the season continues on like this, it'll make up for a good but flawed first half.
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I just watched episodes eleven and twelve together because it took so long for the show to come back on the air. I'm happy I waited, it took twelve episodes for ringer to get good. I had thought Juliet was lying about the assault because he rejected her, now I don't know. The show is starting to rise to the level of revenge!
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It was really good! Very impressed!
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This show has always been great and is getting better and better! I LOVE THIS SHOW!
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Much improved episode, too bad the rest of the series isn't like this
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Ringer is awesome, I have been saying since the beginning,once again a great episode period nice to see Andrea Roth!!!
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The super long hiatus might have killed it.

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Excellent episode. I think that Siobhan letting Henry know about Bridget acting as Siobhan was the biggest mistake she could make. Crap is going to hit the fan for her so fast its going to be so funny. Am not worried at all for Bridget, well except for that whole Bodaway thing and escaping the US Marshalls. I think when its all said and done the people in Siobhan life Andrew, Juliet (especially her), and Henry may come to think that Bridget was a better Siobhan. I don't know, even when I typed that last part I myself know how crazy that sounds but hey its tv anything can happen.
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I have to agree, one of my fave episodes yet.
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Agree with everything you said. This episode was Ringer's best episode by far! It still has some loose ends,, but I am now really looking forward for next week's episode.
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yes it did i like the show
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Sadly, I don't think it matters. Ringer's ratings have collapsed.
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Like many you never gave Ringer a proper chance and took for it what it really was: trashy soapy entertainment.

Not only was this episode a vast improvement over the last one, but it proved that while Ringer was good it could get even better. This episode was seriously the best one yet, so much craziness and drama with the arrival of Catherine and Bridget ruining Siobhan's plans.

I liked what they have done with the Juliet-rape storyline , didn't see that one coming. And SMG actually did a great job, really distinguished the twins. I also liked her altercation with Catherine - she really does play a good bitch. Catherine was a great character and she was hilarious.

I can't believe how much they tease us, both Bridget and Machado get so close and you actually feel like screaming at the screen - but that adds a nice bit of suspense.

Cannot begin to express how happy I am that they have decided to allow Henry in on the act - perhaps this will now allow his character more depth - and I am looking forward to how they will play Henry + Siobhan off against Bridget + Andrew.
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I thought it was much better having them both in the same city for sure. Seeing Henry all confused and irritated made it feel like at any moment s*** could hit the fan for either Siobhan or Bridget. I can't tell if Siobhan really loves Henry or if she is just manipulating him...I am going to guess the former since she did go thru a lot of trouble to see him. Add the fact that she told him the truth (or at least part of it) goes a long way in showing that she wants him to trust/love her. What I want to see next is Siobhan catching a glimpse of Bridget with her family- kind of a "If you were a nicer person, this is the life you would have" kind of scene. Why? Because I want to know if she cares about these people at all. I mean, she faked her death, but why? Was it to run away with Henry? Did she foresee her sister taking over her life or did she expect her to totally panic? So many questions. I just hope that Ringer can answer them well and not just drag us along just to be handed a overused, cold floppy explanation for all the lies and secrecy.
More+
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She expected the guy she hired to kill Bridget in the first episode to actually kill Bridget and that way everyone would think Siobhan was dead.
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I don't get why you want that scene with Siobhan catching a glimpse of Bridget with her family. Because that scene was already in last weeks episode and Siobhan was seriously pissed that Bridget had a good time with her husband.
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I agree with your point about all the questions. I have lost count of all the questions that have been left open during these first episodes. To be honest, I don't even remember most of them, so one might think I don't care, but knowing that they are there bugs the hell out of me. For some reason it's easier for me to accept unanswered questions in shows which are meant to mess up your brain, like Lost or Fringe. But when a show on CW makes me confused, it results in me grinding my teeth. I was hoping for Andrew to go to the pawn shop to find out who sold the ring, since he seemed so curious about who stole it. It would have been nice for him to find out that the seller was a Siobhan lookalike. But a character thinking that rationally must have been too much of a stretch for the writers.

But overall I did like the episode, and hope to see a rise in tension in future episodes.
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About that pawnshop scene, it seemed to me that they did what they can to show us that there was this security camera behind the cashier. So I think this tape will definitely surface soon...
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Crazy, crazy show... SMG I love you!

Totally enthused about Ringer for the first time!
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I know, those are not seven words at all.
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1) Tuesday 2) night's 3) episode 4) of 5) Ringer 6) was 7) great.
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