Ringer 1.16 – You’re Way Too Pretty To Go To Jail

Andrew plots and schemes -- but is it *evil* plotting and scheming?

We’re geared up to find out if Andrew’s gone evil! Rogue! Renegade! But instead we open on Siobhan swooning into a room in an outfit so ill-advised, I think maybe for a moment it’s Bridget in a drug-addict-era flashback.  Did Siobhan mention she’s having twins? And she wants to drive that point home; what other excuse could she have for wearing this ensemble of a translucent flowy tent of a shirt and — wait, is that a bolo tie? I mean, I don’t think we’re in Paris, Texas, Siobhan. WE’RE IN PARIS, FRANCE! No, it turns out it’s not a bolo tie; it’s just a horrid necklace that makes the whole outfit of shimmering wealthy on-the-run pregnancy and identity concealment look even odder. And let me say here I think the fine people in Paris, Texas, would not walk out of doors in such an assemblage as Siobhan has on today — in this get-up, she doesn’t fit in at any of the Parises.

Tyler is itching to go to the authorities with all the dirt they have on Martin-Charles, but Siobhan wants to wait. So she lies (shocker) and claims she left the flash drive with all of the Andrew-indicting info in the hotel locker, even though it’s in her snappy tailored purse (and of the purse, I approve). She then says they should focus on them, their family, and whips out a Designer Labels container for baby announcements. Because, you know, that’s what you want to do when you’re on the run from your real life. Announce that you’re having a baby with a guy who cannot possibly be the father! I think etiquette calls for camouflage background announcements in that case, Siobhan.

I gear up for Andrew to sneer and swoop around in a rush of excitingly sexy villainy, but instead he tells a sob story about how he and Olivia followed all the classic steps of a Ponzi scheme, except with lots of Andrew-y sincerity. He just wanted to pay everyone back, he got in way over his head, and hey, he’s even got a way to dig them all out of this mess. He’s the one who’s been done wrong, really!  Listen, I like Andrew lots (good or evil), but plenty of companies filed for bankruptcy in the economic downturn. Plus, it’s less fun if he bilked all his clients out of misguided niceness; let’s have some malicious fun with Andrew, hey-o!

Oh, and Andrew’s telling her all this now, even though he didn’t spill the beans when she first came to him about her suspicions. So that would be SIOBHAN! Siobhan coming to him in the past with unease about Martin-Charles, and doesn’t that possibly skew Siobhan’s plotting into a whole new light?

Tyler has beautiful penmanship, and rotten scheming skills: he’s left a note for Siobhan saying, “Please don’t hate me. I’m doing what’s best for the three of us.” And he’s gone and stolen the flash drive with all the incriminating info on it, and Siobhan looks ready to put her brass knuckles on (really top-drawer brass knuckles with tasteful engraving, you understand).

Bridget tells Malcolm she’s so disillusioned and unhappy about Andrew’s financial shenanigans and lies lies lies! Malcolm gently suggests to Bridget that, being a big ol’ liar herself, she should maybe give him a little bit of leeway. “He lied to Siobhan but he couldn’t lie to me,” Bridget realizes, and yes, Bridget, Andrew confided in you because you really are a better wife than your sister (except for all those pesky had-no-choice major deceptions, of course). Malcolm urges her to run like hell, because maybe Andrew was the one behind those series of hits on either Siobhan or her — remember those, the ones that dominated early eps and abruptly stopped? Bridget is shocked, shocked, I tell you, that Malcolm would bad-mouth her Ponzi-scheme-running sister’s husband by suggesting he could be a murderer, and orders him out.

Hey, Agent Victor Machado hasn’t disappeared into the woodwork! But he has been seriously demoted, now working under some ATF stiff who can’t get the facts of the Bodaway case the slightest bit right. Victor’s new boss tells him with great relish that, “Bridget Kelly? She’s no longer part of this case,” on account of how Victor spent 50,000 big ones going back and forth to NYC and coming up totally empty-handed. This…actually seems fair to me, that Victor staged a bunch of pricey confrontations that went nowhere, even though New Boss is obviously a dummy-head.

Flashback time! Whew, I’m relieved; the lack of the many Ringer flashbacks I’ve come to expect and love (I’m serious; I really love wacky flashbacks) was making me jittery.

Bridget’s at a strip bar, all sexy and drug-addicted, asking Victor Machado if he wants her to rock his world. Oh, Bridget, I’m choking on my seltzer and cranberry juice, that’s just so hilarious! She flounces off with a pouty, “Whatever!” and Machado meets his real informant — Shaylene, the smart stripper who coulda beena real estate agent. He asks her to take a job in Bodaway Macawi’s strip club, and oh, whoops, this is the stripper who gets dismembered, right? Eep.

Malcolm and Henry are BFF! Okay, they’re not, really, but in my little revision of the show, they take out Henry’s twins for ice cream cones and go to the zoo in the park and shake their heads fondly at each other when the kids try to feed their ice cream to the penguins. I just like Henry hanging out with Malcolm in a well-dressed heterosexual life partners Manhattan urbanites who escort cute toddlers around scenario, is all I’m saying. But in reality, Malcolm’s there to plead with a sulky Henry to help “Siobhan” (Bridget!Siobhan) put some distance between herself and possibly-evil Andrew. Nerts.

Olivia and Andrew bicker over him telling Bridget!Siobhan. Olivia says she wants to be on a beach with lots of cash when everything hits the fan; Andrew says he only wants to be with Siobhan. Olivia can’t believe this, not when “not so long ago, we were talking much more drastic measures,” to deal with Siobhan, and hey, this is either a tip-off or a mislead to Andrew-trying-to-kill-Siobhan (so you see how we’re no closer to the truth than we were before? Well delayed played as always, Ringer).

Meanwhile, out in reception (where the magic happens!), Claudine, my favorite well-meaning bumbling administrator, tells Bridget to head on in to Andrew’s office. Somehow Bridget sneaks in for the final exchange between Olivia and Andrew, when Andrew bites out, “I don’t care what it takes; make sure Tyler doesn’t talk!” Whoops, now Bridget realizes she’s going to have to eat her words to Malcolm again; Andrew might be a murderer after all! She’ll eat humble pie over coffee, one would assume (because, hey, we haven’t had a coffeeshop heart-to-heart bit for a few eps, strangely enough for this coffee-swilling crowd of characters).

But to save time, Bridget tells Malcolm on the phone what went down, and why she’s finding Tyler. “How many guys was your sister sleeping with?” Malcolm asks, and “Too many,” Bridget answers. A little judgmental for a former stripper drug-addict/current identity-assumer there, Bridget! Andrew discovers her with her coat and suitcase. It’s only because she needs to figure things out, Bridget!Siobhan claims. Andrew comes all over evil in his stance and face and threatens her a teensy bit, saying if all the financial stuff comes out, she’ll end up having to answer for the Martin-Charles money she spent. “I just need a little time!” Bridget pleads, and Andrew stands there looking dastardly, yay!

Henry gets his marching orders from Siobhan: get the damn flash drive Tyler stole back, and keep Bridget away from Tyler. He mentions Malcolm’s worries: “I guess Bridget knows about the Ponzi scheme…he thinks Bridget’s life is in danger.”  “That’s not good,” Siobhan says, because Malcolm is getting too close to the truth. Not that Bridget might soon be six feet under; Siobhan’s cool with that.

Victor Machado tries unsuccessfully to turn Conway, some other ATF guy, away from their new fearless overlord, Torrence. Then they see a woman in shorty shorts, and Victor’s immediately plunged back into another flashback with Shaylene. And it turns out someone did rock Victor’s world, because he’s not only protective of his informant getting close to violent Bodaway, he’s making out with her in the front seat of his car! He wants her to quit, she has something to tell him, and she holds off on relaying her secret until she can just do one more night snooping around and dancing for Bodaway at a private party. “One more time and you’re done!” Victor allows, and she agrees, and clearly she’s going to get killed at this private party, if it’s one last heist/job/undercover gig. “What was it you wanted to tell me?” he asks. “It’s nothing bad,” she promises; she’ll totally tell him next time, assuming she’s alive and all!  I bet she’s having his baby, because what else would be the capper to this awful situation? I really like Shaylene the stripper, and the way this gives Victor a way more interesting motivation with this case.

Olivia and Andrew talk security, and they’re on to Malcolm’s investigations and computer-hacking.  Olivia stalks off to deal with Tyler, whom they’ve flown to NYC to set straight (while Tyler in turn plots to turn evidence over to the SEC), and Andrew ponders an evil way to deal with Malcolm.

Now, this is fun — I love it when Siobhan imitates Bridget for a change; it’s a fresh new scam, not like Bridget’s tired old impersonation of Siobhan! Siobhan calls Malcolm pretending to be Bridget: “How dare you talk to Henry about me, you completely betrayed my trust, I AM NOWHERE NEAR PARIS, FRANCE!” and it’s so clearly NOT Bridget that it’s pretty hilarious. She accuses Malcolm of jealousy, of trying to destroy her life, and he asks (god, poor nice Malcolm) if she’s using, because she’s sounding like a freakazoid. “You’d love that, wouldn’t you?” she says (ouch, Malcolm!), and “You get off on saving me!” *clutches heart for the look of dismay on Malcolm’s face*

Andrew leans on Claudine with his new evil persona and finds out that Claudine let slip to Bridget!Siobhan where Tyler is staying. He’s at the Soho Diamond, which is a laughably awful name for a Soho hotel. And Bridget’s there already, too, creeping on some couple having a make-out moment so she can reminisce about all the love she’s shared with Andrew while pretending to be her sister.

Tyler gets a call from someone at the SEC; they’ll give him immunity if he hands over the dope on Martin-Charles right now. When the SEC guy says, “and don’t worry, you’re bulletproof,” I spill my drink, because how about telling Tyler he should go ahead and pick out a nice casket right the hell now, huh?  Bulletproof, pfftt — if he isn’t riddled with bullets soon, I’ll eat Siobhan’s awful fake bolo tie necklace.

Before Bridget can intercept Tyler in the lobby, Henry grabs her and kisses her to keep her away like Siobhan told him to. Before Bridget can go, “Ewww!” and swipe the back of her hand over her mouth, Henry explains that it’s only because he always used to write at this hotel. She would sneak over to come see him, the little minx, and interrupt him with sexy escapades while he was working. When he saw her, it all came rushing back, even though he understands now she’s with Andrew and everything’s practically perfect in every way, and that’s the only reason he macked on her! Hey, Henry’s a better storyteller than I thought. Put that in the novel, Henry.

Olivia pulls a classic single-man-against-the-corporation genre move, pulls up in a black car, and orders Tyler to get in. “First of all, you’re fired,” Olivia says briskly. She pooh-pooh’s the idea he’ll get immunity: “if the company goes down, you’ll be implicated…and Tyler, you’re way too pretty to go to jail.” Ugh, we’ve got completely unsavory title here with Olivia. Okay, Ringer, seriously, I’ve had it with the male rape in prison jokes; back off those. She takes all his papers, which he swears are everything, of course not telling her about the zip drive.

Victor Machado tries to explain to Torrence like he’s a three-year-old how Kemper — remember Kemper, the agent who was working for Bodaway and nearly shot Victor, before he went to jail and confessed to the crimes to take the hit for Bodaway?  Clear? Okay! — anyway, Kemper couldn’t have committed the crime, because Victor’s got a photograph placing him far away from the murder scene at the time Shaylene was killed. “I’m trying to make sure Macawi pays for the murder!” Victor insists when Torrence dismisses his concerns. “I heard you did it because you like banging strippers,” the other guy says, and now we hate him like crazy, because who doesn’t love Shaylene, the smart stripper probably carrying Machado’s baby at the time of her death, who could have been a real estate agent???

Poor Victor flashbacks again, this time to the morgue in Wyoming where he identified Shaylene’s dismembered body. “She was my CI,” Victor tells the forensics guy, and hears, “I doubt if it matters to your case, but she was four weeks pregnant.” Victor looks seriously crushed, and I just love that they’ve given Nestor Carbonell a substantial arc at last, because he plays the devastation really well. Bah, I feel bad being right about poor Shaylene.

Tyler’s drowning his sorrows with a grown-up swig of whiskey rather than the Shizzitinis of which he used to be fond. (Awww, remember when Siobhan picked up Tyler in that bar, and he was ordering poseur drinks?) He calls Siobhan to tell her he screwed up. Now Olivia knows everything! But she doesn’t know about them together in Paris, Siobhan confirms. Isn’t that lucky!

Bridget spots Andrew even as she plays back a voice-mail from him. “I know this has been a problem of my own making, but I wasn’t the only one keeping secrets, was I?” Andrew’s message runs, and he’s more right than he knows! “I won’t let you destroy my life,” he finishes, and it does give her pause, it seems, because that’s part of what drove her into the whole spiral of drugs and drinking and rocking guys worlds at strip clubs before, taking part in a situation that ended up destroying Siobhan’s life.

Siobhan tries to warn Tyler to get the hell out of Dodge and keep his mitts on the flash drive while he hops the first plane to PARIS, FRANCE. But whoops, someone has snuck into the room, and when Tyler says one of those classic “what are you doing here?” lines, we know he’s about to kick it.

Bridget steals the housekeeping list of guest rooms to locate and run to Tyler’s hotel room. And hey, there’s Tyler, looking not at ALL bulletproof on the floor, with blood spreading behind his head. Listen, I know we’re not supposed to know who did it, and suspect Andrew (last seen in the vicinity of the Soho Diamond!), but this show likes misdirection waaayyyy too much to let that be the answer here. And while I’m on Ringer and misdirection, I bet Andrew won’t be evil, not at all. And that’s a shame, because it’s fun suspecting him of various nefarious deeds.

Bridget skedaddles from the scene of the crime while Malcolm calls Victor Machado, and Victor sits up at the first straw he’s been able to grasp at in weeks and weeks.

Bridget leaves a message for Malcolm apologizing, but Malcolm doesn’t get it because he’s telling Victor he’s decided to press charges against Bodaway for kidnapping him. What changed, Victor wants to know, because last they spoke, Malcolm wouldn’t even admit he’d been abducted. It’s all for Bridget, Malcolm explains, and oh my HEART! I know everyone adores Andrew, but I love Malcolm SO MUCH! He thinks his information will put Bodaway behind bars, and “once Bodaway’s in jail, maybe she’ll feel like she can return to her own life.”

Dang, Malcolm is saving Bridget and Machado both in one fell swoop, and there’s pretty much nothing in it for him. And, if Bridget’s constant complaint about Bodaway is to be believed, Malcolm’s essentially marking himself for death by standing up against Bodaway and his gang. I do love me some Malcolm. I get the feeling I’m going to have to roll around in that love and enjoy it now, because Malcolm is not long for in the Ringer homeworld. Assuming we ever see Bodaway again and feel his dismember-y wrath, I mean.

“Malcolm, I think you were right,” Bridget says on his voice-mail. “I think Andrew and Olivia might be capable of murder.” Capable, Bridget? Let poor Tyler’s Shizzitini-drinking SEC-informing corpse convince you all the way there.  And I know it can’t be Andrew, so I guess it’s Olivia who is guilty. And hey-o, Olivia’s back in her black limo with the flash drive! So she either killed Tyler directly or had someone else do it in order to nab that indicting-evidence-holding morsel. But guess who is at Malcolm’s door before he can check his messages? That’s right, evil Andrew! Or is he? I mean, evil, because obviously he is at Malcolm’s door. Let’s hope we begin to find out next week, with more fantastical soapy delicious antics on Ringer!

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  • Sally R

    I’m glad I’m not the only one bothered by the prison jokes. WTF?

    This show drives me crazy. There are things I enjoy, but there’s so much that I hate. I just can’t figure out whether to stick with it or not. I like so many of the actors and I juts wish they had better material to work with. *sigh*

    • Janey Ford

      I’m seriously calling a moratorium on them — no more prison rape jokes this season, Ringer!

      I hear you. Some of the themes and character developments are odd choices. I really would love to see the show get a second season, however; I’m sort of addicted to its brand of pretty panicky plotting.