I had this weird feeling that I once again loved Tuesday’s episode of Ringer—and then I realized I was just enjoying the Lana Del Rey buzz. That’s right, the episode closed with “Blue Jeans,” one of the numbers my favorite new indie pop sensation butchered on Saturday Night Live a few weekends back. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon, but sometimes an episode closing with a song you really like can be enough to delude you into thinking it was the best ever.
In reality, "It’s Easy To Cry, When This Much Cash Is Involved" wasn’t as good as last week’s episode, but it was still an improvement on the mostly dreadful first half of this season. I do have a couple nitpicks—and I’m not just referring to the superfluous comma in the episode title—but let's start with the positives.
I do have to compare this episode of Ringer to Monday’s episode of The Lying Game, even though some of you aren’t watching both shows. (Shame on you.) The Lying Game also had one of its twins reveal identity-swapping shenanigans to an important regular character recently, but the fall-out was weak—or rather, non-existent. I thought Ringer did an excellent job of showing Henry’s reaction to the duplicity, and the power of Siobhan’s manipulation. By casting Bridget as the villain (Gemma’s murderer, no less), Siobhan has moved another pawn into place. How far will Henry take her request that he keep an eye on Bridget?
And for once, I actually liked Olivia’s role in the episode, as she blackmailed Henry into getting his father-in-law to invest in Martin/Charles. We know something crooked is going on with the company—that’s why Siobhan wants access to the financial records—but we still don’t know what, exactly, it is. And how guilty will Henry feel about seriously screwing things up for his late wife’s father? I’m wondering if he’ll try to void the deal, or simply get his revenge on Olivia. I think it would be more fun if he went for both. Olivia’s certainly got something coming to her, right?
I’m guessing you can surmise what didn’t work for me, but before I move on to the rape accusation storyline, let’s talk a little about Bridget. I was impressed by the headway she was making in her investigation last week, and now I’m a little disappointed. Simply put, how has she not deduced or even suspected that Siobhan is still alive? She never saw a body—nor was one ever recovered. She now realizes that Siobhan was keeping secrets and spending her time with nefarious individuals, so why not at least wonder if her twin sister is still pulling the strings? Perhaps it’s too early in the season for that—I don’t think so—but I find it hard to believe that she has accepted Siobhan’s death as a suicide and moved on accordingly. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it seems pretty damn obvious that she’s being set up.
But, yes, you knew it was coming—this goddamn Juliet-Mr. Carpenter-Tessa conspiracy. It’s kind of fun (in a really twisted way), but it’s also a carbon copy of the plot of Wild Things. (Uh, spoiler alert if you’ve never seen Wild Things.) Seriously, all of the components are the same: Girl from the wrong side of the tracks and girl from the right side of the tracks team up to accuse their teacher of rape. Then it turns out the girls and the teacher are all in cahoots to get faster access to rich girl’s trust fund. This isn’t just similar—this is the exact same plot! And I get that not everyone is as devoted to Wild Things as I am, but come on. This “shocking” twist has been done before. On the plus side, this has to mean Juliet’s getting kicked out for good.
All in all, however, Ringer is still shaping up to be an entertaining—if not entirely well thought out or original—series. Faint praise, yes, but I was just about ready to quit on this show after almost every episode up until last week’s. I’ll stick around and keep hoping for the best: By season’s end I might have changed my tune dramatically. Especially if Juliet and Malcolm both get the boot.