Ringer: Oh. My. Gawd.

Well, it’s not like I had high expectations for an episode titled “Oh My Gawd, There’s Two of Them?” I mean, seriously, can we take a moment? There is no better indication that Ringer is unsure of its audience: the title feels very CW (particularly the asinine spelling of “gawd”), but the episode itself was another dry, humorless hour replete with heavy conversations and too much self-importance. Every time I believe the show is getting better, it hits me with another dud. How long until this series commits to greatness, or embraces camp?

There was a lot of crap in Tuesday night’s episode, so let’s break it down from bad to worst. I think we’re supposed to appreciate the fact that Bridget is finally bonding with Henry—their relationship has gone from sham to romantic sham! But I just can’t bring myself to care about the newfound honesty between them, when Bridget is still lying about who she is. All of this so-called character development is flimsy, because it rests on a case of mistaken identity. Once the rug is pulled out from under them, we’ll be back at square one.

Side note: The writing in the Henry-“Siobhan” scenes was all over the place. For every almost-touching moment, there was a line like, “I didn’t tell you about Bridget because I was ashamed. It sucks to feel that way about your family.” Oh my God, totes.

Bridget cried a whole bunch over the course of the episode, but if Ringer is going for sympathy, it's still not getting the feeling right. When her entire character is an elaborate lie, it’s impossible to tell when she’s on the level and when she’s faking it as part of her plan. At this point, I get that Bridget is the honest, well-intentioned sister, and that Siobhan (still living the high life in Paris) is comically evil. But both twins are full of it, which means that everything they do looks an awful lot like manipulation. I mean, I’m sorry Bridget fainted and hit her head. I guess?

Then there was Malcolm, who was finally granted a bit of agency. The problem is, we still know very little about him as a character: Most of his screen time has been devoted to drugged-out captivity. Bummer for him, but it matters very little to us. The episode gave us another useless flashback—seriously, Ringer, learn how to use these—where we saw Malcolm and Bridget sharing their first illicit kiss, feeling bad about it, and then continuing with the makeouts. Did it show us anything we didn’t already know?

But even among all these very bad things, the biggest offense is that the show continues force Juliet on us, and my God, she is awful. Ringer can’t figure out if she’s evil or just misunderstood, so she goes back and forth over the course of every episode. It’s also not clear if she’s a serious addict or a young girl who just likes to party, because her apparent addiction hasn’t been addressed properly at all. All that aside, she just doesn’t fit this show. What was the point of her car accident, except to take a bit of momentum out of the main story? The only good thing Juliet did was offer the episode’s best line: “You owe me, bitch. Like 10 million dollars.” She seems like a really cool friend!

The one surprise the episode offered, the reveal that Charlie killed Gemma at Siobhan’s request, was a fun little twist. But even that was undermined by the hamfisted way it was handled—an Unsolved Mysteries-level flashback featuring a Gemma double who didn’t even look like Tara Summers. If all of Ringer was that laughably bad, I could at least enjoy it on a camp level, but sadly, those moments are few and far between.

I don’t know what Ringer is doing. Ringer doesn’t know what Ringer is doing. And if the series can’t manage to pull itself together for a consistent string of episodes, audiences are going to lose what little interest they have.

Like TV.com on Facebook