Ringer brings us in for the kill this episode, giving us Bridget shot and bleeding on a scrungy mattress in some warehouse right at the outset. Boo-yeah! But hold on to your Flashdance-era ripped sweaters, kids, because this is only one bloody scene in an episode with violence and shots ringing out and Henry once again getting framed for everything ever! Let’s bring on scenes with strippers and a zillion flashbacks and Agent Machado freaking losing it!
But first, let’s open with Vic providing some boring exposition catching up all you lazy lazersons who haven’t been watching weekly. *gives you all the stinkeye*
They’re trying so, so hard to make Tarot cards ominous and freaky, bless their little white socks. Agent Machado briefs Andrew and Bridget!Siobhan on his exciting casing of the Dry Cleaners that got the Choosy Thug Recognition Award of 2010 (but not 2011, because of ill-advised overly liberal starch use), waving around The Tower card like they’re supposed to cringe in fear. Instead, Bridget!Siobhan and Andrew look politely puzzled.
Vic Machado thinks that goon of Bodaway’s they found buried in Central Park was tailing Malcolm and thought he found Bridget. We know all this from last week, but before I can roll my eyes, Andrew’s on his feet calling Machado a total incompetent. Can’t you see the pain in Machado’s eyes, Andrew? Bridget tells Andrew, “This isn’t about me, it’s about my sister and the mess she made.” I love to think of how screwed up Bridget’s psyche is with all this continuing double twin-speak disparaging herself, truly. I swear, it’s like a fascinating knotty tangle of frayed yarn in there.
Tim Abrogast is avoiding Henry, no doubt because Henry misspells his overly-complicated name. But Henry and Siobhan need that flash drive if they want to exact Siobhan’s terrible, terrible revenge! Hey, here’s a thought, Henry offers. Why not forget all about that silly old revenge driving Siobhan since episode 1? Siobhan gives him a stone-cold bitch stare as Henry insists she give up her hopes of indirectly murdering Bridget (by trying to get Andrew mad enough to kill Bridget for her, which is obviously super efficient) if she wants to be with him.
Andrew assures clients Olivia planned her exit from Martin/Charles months ago. Call me crazy, but won’t it be awkward when the client catches a report how police are searching for her? Andrew references his recent, you know, inconvenience, ahem ahem, and Juliet huffs, “Daddy, don’t be so Welsh! You can say, ‘I got shot.'” We all wriggle our toes at direct reference to Ioan Gruffudd’s awesome sexy Welsh-osity while Andrew exits and Bridget!Siobhan worries about Juliet being alone with Catherine.
After Bridget tries to contact Jimmy Kemper, she learns he was arrested. She reminds us who the hell Jimmy Kemper is with flashbacks and by telling Solomon how Kemper took responsibility for Bodaway’s crimes, the big liar. It doesn’t occur to her that if Kemper’s such a Decepticon when it comes to crime cover up, just maybe he was lying when he got her to leave Wyoming. But she does realize if she had testified, “none of it would have happened” — you know, Malcolm getting abducted, drugged up, and disappearing; Gemma getting kidnapped and force-fed bologna before getting shot; Andrew getting shot taking a bullet for Bridget!Siobhan. So after episode upon episode of completely fleeing responsibility, she decides to woman up and testify (put your hands in the air, Bridget! testify!).
More flashbacks, yayayayay! *kermit arms* Eleven months ago, Machado tried to strong-arm Bridget into cooperating by explaining all the time she’d face for possession. Bridget’s pale, jittery, wearing ripped clothing, and hey, she looks like the strung-out friend from Flashdance, for real! Even though her information could put Bodaway behind bars, she’s cagey and sullen about helping out, despite Machado’s offer of witness protection. Of course, that would give her a “whole new life…and if you pardon me, you look like you could use one.” Oh, how terribly prescient! Let’s have another wry chuckle together, shall we?
Finally, Vic pulls out the big emotional guns: Bridget should testify for Shaylene’s sake — you all remember the stripper who could have been a real estate agent carrying Vic’s child when she was dismembered by Bodaway and his thugs, yes? This actually gets to Bridget, who can’t betray or let down yet another sister figure, and promises, “If you can keep me safe, I’ll help put that monster away.” Probably because no one at all cares about Bridget at this point, with her sister rejecting her and Shaylene in pieces.
I’m still feeling terrible about poor junkie Bridget when Vic Machado ignores her text and focuses on an exciting Tarot card exchange going on at the dry cleaners where he’s on stakeout. Vic quickly waylays the guy exiting, rips open the lining to flash sooooo many Benjamins, and promptly goes BAMF on the guy: wrenching his arm, knocking his head, seriously working him over until Machado’s covered with the man’s blood. Too bad those pesky pedestrians stopped not only to gawk but record this rather enthusiastic demonstration of FBI commitment to truth and justice, eh? Soooo many breaches of ethics. Oh, Machado, stop letting your pain do your thinking!
Catherine is just super creepy with Juliet, who only came to see her because Andrew said she had to apologize. “Besides, I want something,” Juliet tells her, falsely imagining she holds any of the power in this relationship. Can’t Catherine buy the Palm Springs house Andrew’s selling, for the sake of Juliet’s childhood memories? Or if not for that, because Juliet’s pretty much figured out that Catherine has not only Tessa’s and Juliet’s share, but Mr. Carpenter’s cut of the settlement money too. Way to buy a clue, Juliet! Let’s pause a moment to imagine where Mr. Carpenter is right now — no doubt standing damp and towel-clad in that motel, still shocked at Catherine’s sudden but inevitable betrayal.
Henry was right, Abrogast was totally avoiding him! Abrogast claims it’s because he doesn’t like people messing with his head, man (and his money, obviously, which is stupidly still tied up in Martin/Charles, but why?). Henry pleads he gave the information to Abrogast because he would know what do with it. “Don’t worry, son, I’ll do what’s best,” Tim assures him, and do we really think some gajillionaire is going to fight for truth, justice, and the American way the way Henry trusts he will?
Another FBI agent whose name I can’t remember (seriously, Ringer, put name tags on that ever-changing crew of supporting FBI characters) dresses Machado down because of his patterns of violence, obsession, and generally failing to get any sorts of results on anything. Random Agent claims the thug found dead was no longer working for Bodaway, and then, gasp, tells Machado to hand over his badge and gun! But his badge and his gun are who Vic Machado is, Random Agent! Can’t you make an exception for his blatant and violent disregard of rules on account of his horrible, horrible man-pain? D:
Catherine uses the name of the Palm Beach prospective buyer that Juliet let slip, and dramatically double-deals everyone by meeting him and pretending (a) she and Andrew are still married and she’s got authority to make this deal, (b) she’s a savvy businesswoman who has ferreted out the truth that the buyer wants her energy-rich wind (mmmm, energy-rich wind) on that property, and (c) that no one could possibly see through her weirdly try-hard fancy red dress and gold chains and think, “Say, I wonder if this eyelash-fluttering cougar temptress might not actually be on the up-and-up?”
Machado meets Bridget!Siobhan in a bar, so she can offer to imitate Bridget (herself) to keep herself (Bridget!Siobhan) safe from further threats by testifying herself (as Bridget!Siobhan but really Bridget, get it???). Well, if it weren’t so darned illegal, and Vic didn’t mind having more blood on his hands, it would totally be a go!
Bridget has several telling flashbacks of Shaylene cagily warning her about Bodaway, swooning over some new guy, and generally looking both sexy and motherly in her backstage stripper bikini and robe.
“You were in love with her!” she tells Vic in the present time, where she is finally sober enough to make some pretty obvious connections. “I tried to keep her safe and failed,” Vic confesses, and I know some people think this backstory pain is pat, but because Nestor Campbell is so freaking good even with a thin storyline, I’m clutching my heart and murmuring, “You didn’t fail, Vic; don’t say that, Shaylene wouldn’t have wanted it!!!”
Catherine lowball-offers on the Palm Springs pad while simultaneously trying to put the moves on Andrew. They have a few drinks, reminisce about a few spiders (seriously), and she tries to make out with him. Groooosssss, Andrew kisses her back! Then he pulls away and says it’s a no to the kiss, but he’ll consider any fair offer she’ll make on the Palm Springs property. That’s what a bit of tongue from the ex will do for your business sense.
Machado asks Bridget!Siobhan if she trusts him, and stands creepily close to her. Bodaway will be after her (Siobhan-her) and her family until Bridget’s dead. “So let’s beat them to the punch. Let’s kill Bridget,” Vic whispers, managing to seem sexy and dangerous and getting perhaps the very best title of the season so far.
The plan entails staging a drug deal gone bad in a flophouse that they’ll record. Sure, there won’t be a body to match, but “no one’s going to take the time to search for the body of a fugitive drug addict,” Machado says cheerfully as Bridget!Siobhan dies inside for how useless and alone her real-life self really is.
Then, the moment we’ve been waiting for since episode 1: Bridget!Siobhan returns home to find Siobhan waiting for her! “How is this possible?”Bridget asks, stricken. “I keep asking myself how did you do it?” Siobhan asks, eyes red, gun hand trembling. “Back in Tahoe you destroyed everything you touched — your life, my life.” It’s actually heartbreaking and horrifying, thinking how toxic Siobhan thinks Bridget. But now, everything Bridget does works because she’s assumed Siobhan’s life. Henry’s right: “I need to forgive you. But I can’t.” The gun goes off, I shriek because this must explain the opening shot of Bridget bleeding somewhere, and DAMN IT ALL TO HELL, this is Siobhan’s fantasy as she spies on Vic and Bridget in the bar.
Catherine clicks down the street in her high heels, asking someone on the phone if they wired Andrew the money or not. She’s gone ahead and paid Andrew $10 million for the Palm Beach place, because she is S-M-R-T and thinks she’s going to get oodles more than that back when she sells. But whoops, she meets the buyer, and Andrew’s there, “Beating you at your own game,” he tells her.
And guess what, chicken butt? Juliet told him everything, and we only get to see this in abbreviated flashback form! “You tried to fleece me,” he says, but the worst part is that Catherine almost tore him and Juliet apart. However, they had one thing left to unite them — how much they all hate Catherine! So she’s lost a ton of cash, every bit she gained from the scam-fueled settlement, and she can never see Juliet again. So fun to see mean Andrew come out to play, isn’t it?
Henry cottons on to the fact that his father-in-law just might never turn in the folks at Martin/Charles for their Ponzi scheme when a plainclothes policeman shows up to ask him questions about the murder of Tyler Barrett. Oh no, he was framed — oh, right, he did kill Tyler. By accident, of course. Okay, carry on!
Vic Machado’s got Bridget!Siobhan dressed up like Bridget, and Bridget looks distressed to find herself back in her former persona.
But Vic has fake blood, and that will make staging the murder extra super duper special fun! Vic obviously needs a vacation. Bridget chats with Solomon while Vic readies her murder scene, telling him this plan “is going to keep me safe.”
Outside, a marksman-sniper has Bridget in the cross-hairs of a sight rifle. But then for some reason he switches to a hefty handgun, because he’s going to take her out gangsta style.
At the police station, Henry learns his threats of bringing in a fancy-schmancy lawyer to defend him amount to nothing, because his father-in-law was the one who turned him in. Henry turns away, horrified, and I’m feeling sorrier for Henry every single week.
“No, that can’t be right,” Vic tells the coroner who called his cell — the thug they uncovered in the park died two weeks ago, so he couldn’t have shot Andrew. “Somebody else wanted you dead,” he tells Bridget!Siobhan, and I’m having fun guessing which “you” we all mean when the Thug of the Day bursts in, shooting at Bridget immediately.
Machado sees Bridget, boots out on the mattress where they were to have staged her death, looking all kinds of actually dead. Then she blinks, because she is the worst pretend-dead actress ever; before the assassin can make use of this helpful giveaway, though, Victor Machado kills him.
Hey, it’s the creepy Germanic guy, way back from the start of the season! Oh, him, Bridget tells Machado, “He tried to kill me a few months ago.” Insert blase yawn here. “Kill you, not Bridget?” Machado asks, stunned. “You’ve got to tell me everything you know.”
Then the phone vibrates on the killer’s body — probably the person who arranged the hit, Machado astutely guesses, and then not-so-astutely takes the call, barking, “Hello? Hello?” in a non-creepy-Germanic-guy voice. Guess what, y’all? It’s CATHERINE on the other end, who arranged for Bridget!Siobhan to be killed (though how she guessed she’d be in the Bronx I have no idea), and, I’m assuming, shot Andrew as well.
I’m…actually disappointed that Catherine seems at the bottom of, well, everything. What about Olivia and the mysterious person she spoke to? Was that Catherine as well? Is Catherine going to be the this-show-is-on-the-bubble just-in-case of-cancellation uber-villain? Oh, what a tangled web you weave, Ringer!