Ringer 1.08 – “Maybe We Should Get a Dog Instead”

Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?

Bridget!Siobhan and lovestruck-looking Andrew await the results of the baby sonogram.  And guess what?  If you guessed there’s a Malcolm-assisted baby in there, you…are…unfortunately wrong (because with those two as parents, how gorgeous would that child be?).  Nah, there’s no baby in there!  Bridget gives Andrew wary looks and Andrew looks, well, quietly devastated.   

Back at the wondrous Manhattan flat, and you know, there should be a separator for the closet from the bedroom, unless they consider Siobhan’s shoes artwork (which they should).  Juliet comes in with a cup of tea, sympathy, and a startlingly sparkly red cardigan — hey, it’s not Christmas sweater time yet, Juliet.  Andrew and Juliet leave, and Bridget gets a phone call from Malcolm and sneaks out.

Malcolm and Bridget hug in his skanky motel room, and Malcolm says he “shook” Bodaway (does shaking involved getting shot up?  Oh, more lies and deception!  Not at all a surprise).  Malcolm is all for the two of them running like hell from NYC, but Bridget mentions how she “threw Bridget under the bus,” meaning her whole ta-dah finger-print smudge on Gemma’s broken presumed-death!vase.  “Why the hell did you do that?” Malcolm bursts out and Bridget says she didn’t have a choice.  What now?  I thought maybe she was trying to help out puffy!Henry or something with that lame-o plan.  What the hell would be helpful to her, or anyone, about placing Bridget in NYC as a murderin’ scallywag?  Hey, Reservation Crime Boss, thissaway!

Anyway, Malcolm’s brought Bridget her “six-monther” badge, marking her continued sobriety, and oh, irony of ironies, because Malcolm is no longer sober and is totally going to use the cash Bridget gave him to score.  Bridget remember seven months ago, when she was all twitchy and addicted, and Malcolm was all calm and self-assured.  The look she gives him when he introduces her is pure Faith-in-Buffy’s-body surly.  Sorry, last Buffy reference of the recap, I promise.

Back to the present, Andrew offers to stay with Bridget!Siobhan for the day, and she hedges and blows him off.  He’s obviously quietly English-ly hurt.

Now we get a chance to see the quality of Juliet’s one high school class, as Mr. C. asks “What do the rabbits represent?” in Of Mice and Men.  Juliet volunteers that they represent happiness for Lennie because he likes soft things, which is one of the more insipid interpretations I’ve had the pleasure of encountering (good god, the rabbits represent the vulnerability of the weak in the face of the predatory and cruel determination of people in power).  But yeah, Juliet’s like the smartest one in this class, because Mr. C. tells her she’s right (just relieved someone read the book, I guess).  Hey, you could have done a whole “Juliet is the skittish and endangered rabbit in the harsh world of public school bullies” comparison, Ringer Writers.  Especially because Juliet’s own personal bully is still badgering her (and wearing a snazzy beret I’d like to get my hands on).

Juliet asks if Mr. C. could do something about Tessa, and he says shortly, “I’ll take care of it.”  She confides her troubles in him — daddy cutting off her trust fund, and Bridget!Siobhan’s miscarriage.  She invites him to watch the Burgess Meredith film version of the book with her, suggesting she come over to his place when he waves away a revival house plan with the information that he owns the DVD.  But he blows her off and acts all cold, which seems a change of direction for him.  Perhaps he no longer wishes to get in her expensive pants?

Andrew at the office mentions how he fired his head of European operations because that random French dude lost transfer papers with Andrew’s signature (ho ho ho, we know The Real Siobhan has them, stolen from Tyler).  He confides to Olivia (wearing that oh-so fashionable deep teal color; well played, Olivia, though that neckline’s an eensy bit revealing for work, hmm?) about Briget!Siobhan’s miscarriage.  She asks, “Can’t you try again?”  “That’s a very good question,” Andrew says uncomfortably.

Cut to Malcolm, who is about to ride the white horse, ignoring his ringing phone.

The phone rings at Chez Martin, and Juliet answers with a surprisingly polite greeting to Mr. Puffy Butler.  When she notes Bridget!Siobhan is out at a doc appointment, he thinks it’s the first ultrasound, and looks all hopeful, but Juliet tells him “Siobhan lost the baby.”  Don’t fret, Henry, you’ve still got a real baby shaping up in Paris!  Go rescue it before its first words are “Foh foh foh!”

Charlie and Bridget!Siobhan are back to their regular coffee meetings, while Bridget zones out and remember Malcolm offering to be her sponsor lo those many months ago.  In the flashback, Malcolm tells her he sees a lot of himself in her (because he too has a hollowed-eyed starving-herself-for-fashion-week model look to him).  Charlie calls her back to the present, and Bridget promises she won’t break up with him as a sponsor, even though her old sponsor is in town.  “Remember, if you come clean, you stay clean,” Charlie reminds her, and again with the ironies, lying and Gemma-assaulting Charlie!

Time for a jaunt to France as Charlie checks in with Siobhan, telling her Malcolm is in NYC.  “Just so you know?  I’m going to take a different approach with this guy.  The Gemma thing got out of hand.  When I signed on to this job, I didn’t know you were going to make me –” She cuts him off, so it’s still not clear if he killed Gemma or did something else dastardly to her (please let Gemma still be alive!  Juliet cannot carry being the only other female, and the only other sassy character, on the entire show!).  Tyler comes back in with his smokin’ towel-clad damp body to ask “Cora” (Siobhan’s very own secret identity, remember?) to come with him to Rome, but she wants to stay.  She opens a drawer to show a picture of Henry smiling and actually looking sort of sweet, and sadly takes off her expensive earrings.

Tyler hears about the random French dude being fired, because Andrew Martin’s calling him to be the head of operations now.  He tells Tyler to fly to NYC so they can talk turkey, and OH MY GOD, Tyler’s totally going to see Bridget!Siobhan and think she’s “Cora”!Siobhan!  *gets more snacks*

“Juliet told me about the baby,” Henry tells Bridget!Siobhan when he comes over, saying, “You must be relieved.”  “That’s a really ugly thing to say,” she answers, because she’s getting defensive about her fake!pregnancy and fake!miscarriage now.

At the motel, poor Malcolm is tripping and trying to discern the hidden meanings in the Mighty Saw infomercial.  I bet he’d do better with the significance of televised saw sales than Juliet did with the rabbits.  Just sayin’.  Uh oh, someone’s at the door; NYPD, ready to arrest him!  “A lot of people have been looking for you, Mr. Ward!”  Nerts!

At the precinct Agent Machado points out how the cops found heroin on Malcolm, tries to get him to blab about Bodaway, and pushes him to tell where Bridget is.  Yeah sure, because “You’re selflessly trying to come to her rescue,” Malcolm tells Machado derisively, and won’t ante up at all.  Machado tells the cops to cut Malcolm loose, even though they could get him on possession, because he’ll lead them to Bridget.

Bridget!Siobhan and Juliet bond while watching television (and Juliet’s wearing the oddest little frilled-top knee socks with her sexy little jammy outfit).  Juliet says “It sucks about what happened,” with the miscarriage, confessing she thought it would be cool to have a little brother or sister.  Bridget says, “I don’t think so,” to the question of whether they’ll try again, which, uh oh, eavesdropping!Andrew overhears and is again quietly British-ly devastated.  “Maybe we could get a dog instead,” Juliet jokes, showing a fabulous lack of tact and once again getting title.

When Bridget tries to make lunch plans with Andrew, to make up for ditching him the day before, he acts cold and reveals he heard she wanted things to go back to the way they were.  “Last night, I heard you two talking,” he spits out, and she mutters, “We really need to get some doors in this place.” Yay, someone finally noticed that!  She hedges she only thought it was too soon to try again, and Andrew says without a baby on the way, he doesn’t know where they stand.  “I just want us to spend time together,” she pleads, asking to come to his business dinner, but “You have a funny way of showing it,” he retorts and stalks out.

Bridget gets a call from Agent Machado about Malcolm Ward being in town.  When she says she’s on her way to meet him, he pressures her into wearing a wire to the meeting.  And again with Machado threatening to reveal the Henry Butler affair if she doesn’t cooperate, which seems just low, even though it’s pretty damn effective.

Bridget “introduces” herself to Malcolm as Siobhan, so that he’ll cotton on to the wire.  He doesn’t get it, probably because it’s coming down time, baby, and she spills something on herself so she can sneak off to clean it and slip a note onto the menu about Machado to tell Malcolm they’re being observed/recorded.  I wonder how much she had to tip the waiter to do that, throw cold water on an FBI sting?  I hope it was more than a ten, is all.

Bridget confronts Machado, because he didn’t tell her Malcolm was a drug addict, and harangues him for “only helping people if you have a vested interest in them.”  True enough!  I wonder if Machado will get a little complex about his whole using-people-to-indict-murdering-Reservation-Crime-Bosses thing.  Probably not.

Bridget catches up with Malcolm and yells at him for using drugs.  He finally confesses that Bodaway got him hooked again, so at least someone knows about that horror show.  “I beat it once, I could do it again,” Malcolm tells her, asking for more money so he can “wean himself” off heroin gradually.  But Bridget refuses to give him money for more drugs, saying she needs to be the one who is straight with him for a change.  “How can you be the one that’s straight with me if you can’t even be honest about who you are?” Malcolm argues.

Back at public school, Juliet rushes in to ask why Mr. C. transferred her out of his class.  “You and Tessa were becoming a bit of a disruption,” he claims at first.  “I do like you,” he says in answer to her question of whether he does, “Just not that way.”  This seems abrupt to me, compared to how he was all in her corner and lying on her behalf and making very nice indeed.  I wonder if he had an affair with a student in the past, and is trying not to go down that path again.  Everyone’s got their addictions; maybe Mr. C.’s is fashionably decked heiresses slumming it in public high school.

At the business dinner, Olivia and Andrew hear that Tyler has a high-maintenance American girlfriend, who, hey now, seems to show up when Bridget!Siobhan joins them!  Tyler is freaked out to see “Cora”!Siobhan at the table.  Randomly, Olivia seems a lot friendlier to Bridget!Siobhan; are we ditching the her-trying-to-steal-Andrew gambit?

The restaurant quite irresponsibly being out of the filet mignon makes Andrew and Olivia have to change their orders, and gives Tyler a chance to hiss to Bridget!Siobhan, “I didn’t realize I was sleeping with the boss’s wife.”  When she asks in confusion, “Excuse me?” he follows with, “Is that why you told me your name was Cora?”  Bridget seems befuddled, and COME ON, BRIDGET, we all yell, because maybe this will make her realize her twin is alive, even if she hasn’t yet sensed it from their freaky twin power connection?

At another hot dining spot across town, Malcolm steals cash from a hard-working waiter for his dirty, dirty habit.

In the cab, Andrew says he’s glad Bridget!Siobhan came tonight, and she affirms she meant what she said about no more game playing. He realizes she means it, especially because “The old Sibohan would never have sat through a three-hour business dinner without a bottle of Pinot.  “I want this marriage to work, baby or no baby,” she tells him, and he agrees.

Siobhan is rudely awakened by Tyler angrily asking how could she conceal she was the boss’s wife, and show up for the business dinner humiliating him.  Siobhan’s brain works faster than Bridget’s because she doesn’t deny it but says she’s headed back to Paris tomorrow and wants to explain.  But he’s had it with her and her shenanigans.  “Oh, and you might want to find yourself a new hotel.  Martin Charles is done paying for your stay.”  Way to admit you were only helping “Cora” so she could be your whore, Tyler.  You’ve just been shizzitini’ed.

When Andrew and Briget!Siobhan get to their building, they find Malcolm there, saying, “I think I need some help.”  Bridget introduces Malcolm, and inside, Andrew says he’s confused why Malcolm didn’t tell him he was friends with Siobhan’s sister the other night when he helped save Bridget!Sibohan at the building dedication.  *takes a deep breath*

“He was one of the only good things in my sister’s life,” Bridget tells Andrew about Malcolm, asking if Malcolm can stay with them.  A quick flashback sequence shows us Bridget, with Malcolm’s support, calling Siobhan months ago to make amends.  Andrew says they should help Malcolm if only because he’s the one who helped Bridget!Siobhan the other night, and they entwine hands, looking very much in love.

Bridget brings Malcolm an extra towel.  “Are you sure?” she asks him, meaning whether he’s okay with playing along with her identity-stealing.  He does seem cool with it, maybe because a person is okay with a lot of things when they’ve been beaten and drugged and stolen from waiters.  “No matter where I am, no matter who you think I am, I’m always here for you,” she tells him.  Just not that way!

At the Young Samaritans’ Meeting, which Mr. C. apparently advises at the high school, Juliet joins up so she can have some excuse to work on her Hot for Teacher act.   Also, could be good fodder for arguing about getting your trust fund moolah back, Juliet.

Bridget!Siobhan brings poor, poor Malcolm to Charlie’s apartment, playing right into Charlie’s The Real Siobhan-abetting hands.  Let’s hope Malcolm makes it out of this next twist alive.

You know what I want next week, Ringer Writers?  Let’s have some Malcolm and Juliet face time, because what kind of fascinating wrench would that throw into the works, Bridget feeling jealous that her “step-daughter” is getting close to her former lover/sponsor, and Juliet saying, when she sees admittedly messed up but still oh so hot Malcolm who is just staying right down the hall, “Merry Christmas to me!” and finally having an appropriate reason to wear that hideous red sweater!

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  • Oh, Andrew’s Quietly Devastated faces were KILLING me, really they were. This has very little to do with the show itself and a LOT to do with a character in a story I write who’s cast,in my head, as Ioan Gruffudd, and there’s definite parenting things in the storyline. It hardly matters. SO ADORABLY DEVASTATED I WILL HAVE YOUR BABIES OKAY?

    Also! Did you know that the @RingerWriters livetweet during the East Coast broadcast, and answer questions? And they answered me a lot! I called them on the discrepancies in how long exactly HAS Bridget been sober, and they’d have done more tests & found out fast enough that she never HAD been pregnant (sad that I know this, friend’s miscarriage last summer, they claimed ‘artistic license’). Their only response to my inquiry about where Olivia got her ideas of a work-appropriate wardrobe was that the actress could pull it off. THAT IS NOT THE POINT, HERE. The low-cut teal number was borderline, and the black and white lace thing in an earlier episode was pure cocktail party!

    HOWEVER! When I asked them why Ioan hadn’t been shirtless since the pilot, they promised that they were planning to remedy that very soon! So I am encouraged.

    • Janey Ford

      Yes, yes, I’ve seen their tweets! I’m following them on Twitter, though I don’t usually check the live chat until after the show has aired (I’m too busy note-taking and plotting to take down puffy!Henry). That’s cool that they answer your questions, and make address to fans who @ them often.

      Glad to hear we all have shirtless!Ioan in our futures! If he and Bridget!Siobhan continue those loving looks, maybe we’ll have shirtless!Ioan to look forward to far more often. :D

      ETA, apologies if you got this twice — the site likes to keep me guessing with where my comments will live sometimes.

      • They only answer questions during the broadcast. It was too much fun to resist.

        I really REALLY don’t want Bridget to go too far with Andrew before sorting out the identities, though. There’s a Welsh legend about Prince Pwyll and King Annwn with the whole swapping places plot and a very puzzled spouse, and I am SO SURE Ioan knowns it, and it would be a total shame if they couldn’t at least work in the allusion.

  • Janey Ford

    Oh, I wouldn’t ask them questions, anyway. I’m just more interested in what I see unfold in the episodes themselves. But again, think it’s very cool they’re so responsive!

    • I figured, why not, and I’d get to register the wish for Shirtless Ioan at the same time!