Ringer 1.20 – If You’re Just an Evil Bitch, Then Get Over It

Catherine takes her fistful of crazy pills—OR DOES SHE?

It’s another typical night at the Martin household for Andrew, where gloating over besting your ex-wife’s fraudulent plots is quickly topped by your current wife calling to say, hi, honey, guess what—I’ve been shot at again! And then darned if you don’t find your pesky ex-wife hiding in your daughter’s room, earning herself yet more points in the Worst Parent Ever competition by deciding to bleed to death all over Juliet’s nice Pottery Barn Kids rug.

Seriously, is Catherine the worst person in the world or what?  Or is she the BEST person in the world—at creating the ultimate family drama-rama? Catherine really gives every wacky storyline you yelled “wha-aaat?” at on this show the finger in this opener: she’s broken into the apartment after Andrew threatened her, she’s drunk, she’s blaring opera (opera, the music of DOOM), and has decided the best way to apologize to her daughter is to slit her wrists and wait for the inevitable horrifying discovery. Seriously A+, Catherine—I thought there was no way you could compound the trauma of making your daughter fake being raped or of stomping on her feelings by sexing up her teacher crush and beating up her little high school friend. But boy, was I ever wrong!

Catherine gets rushed to the hospital only to hear Juliet tells her she’s pathetic for faking suicide to manipulate her. Outside the room, Andrew hears from the psychiatrist on the case that this may have been a real suicide attempt. There was “nothing tentative about the cuts Catherine made,” she asserts. Listen, I am all for appropriate consideration of the opinions of medical professionals, but this woman met Catherine thirty minutes ago. Catherine doesn’t do anything tentatively; it doesn’t mean she is, in any way, shape, or form, sincere in whatever scheme she’s cooked up.

Oh, poor Henry has been screwed six ways from Sunday, because that hotel worker he talked to just before Tyler’s untimely demise—surprise, surprise!—remembers him and helps get him charged in Tyler’s murder! That wench! That conniver! That—oh, wait, Henry totally did it, remember? I’m not completely sure why I’m supposed to feel sorry for the whole “Book ’em, Danno!” montage of his mugshots and fingerprinting.

Bridget!Siobhan meets with Vic Machado, and I feel a wash of Ringer familiarity, because of course they’re meeting in a coffee shop, and now I want a latte. They banter about Barton (that Germanic guy Vic shot and killed), Olivia (still considered a missing person rather than a suspect—where are you, Oilvia?!  I miss your brand of posh high-heeled bitchery!), and how Machado is the only one Bridget!Siobhan trusts to help her.

Henry comes home, calling for his little boys. But whoops, he’s greeted with the wrong twins—the ones still inside Siobhan’s belly, which is suddenly as big as a house. Those other toddlers we so rarely see got taken by Children’s Services as soon as the police hauled him in, Siobhan tells Henry, because it’s not like that sort of removal ever takes weeks of social worker visits and court orders and paperwork, right?

Juliet tells Andrew and Bridget!Siobhan she’s worried about Catherine, and then snidely blows off Bridget!Siobhan reaching out to her. The blows keep falling for poor Bridget, who hears about Catherine and Andrew’s make-out session (though obviously it didn’t mean anything, Andrew says, even if I’m pretty sure I saw Andrew slip Catherine some tongue).

Henry vows to storm off to the Arbogasts, where his kids currently are, but Siobhan thinks he should focus on other stuff—like, you know, murder charges.  “If I could take this back, I would,” Siobhan pleads with him as he pretty much blames her machinations for the entire mess he’s found himself in, and Henry makes his best, “sh’yeaaaaahh-right!” face. “This one I know I can fix,” Siobhan tells herself, and we all brace ourselves for the multi-car pile-up of a mess that will no doubt result.

Oh god, Siobhan’s sure-fire plan is to bribe the maid? Least smooth move ever, Siobhan. Maybe freaking sound her out first, and figure out what would keep her quiet before immediately shoving a wad of cash her way? Of course the maid immediately skedaddles to the police.

Meanwhile, Henry snuggles his twins on Arbogast’s front lawn before Tim Arbogast dresses him down for cheating on Gemma. And hey, if Henry lied about the flash drive and being faithful to Gemma, maybe he had a hand in Gemma’s death, Arbogast argues. Henry looks utterly shocked that the towering mountain of clues linking him to an affair with Siobhan was somehow discovered. “I’m going to destroy you…whatever it takes, I’ll make you and Siobhan pay for what you did,” Arbogast threatens, and dang, pretty sure Bridget’s going to suffer like hell for this one.

Of course Bridget!Siobhan now gets called into the police station, because as far as they know, she paid the Soho Diamond maid to lie about what she saw the day Tyler was killed. “If you’re hiding something, we will find out,” the detective threatens Bridget. Oh, lord, the things you will find, mister detective! Get this man some Dramamine; it’s going to be a bumpy ride should he actually uncover Bridget’s gnarly path of secrets!

At the hospital with Catherine, Zoey Deutch does a fantastic job presenting Juliet’s frustration and emotional conflicts with her possibly-clinically-insane mother. If Catherine’s genuinely sick, it’s not her fault, but then, doesn’t that make it, “like you get some pass for what you’ve done”? The anger and wariness is great, as Juliet shoots down Catherine’s apology (“like you’ve never said that before!”). Catherine’s big speech about how she can prove how just much she loves Juliet based on the degree to which she’s obsessed over Siobhan is less than impressive to anyone not already mired in a dysfunctional relationship with her.

But as Juliet herself points out, “It screws me up to be around you when you’re like this.” Obviously Catherine is dangerous for Juliet, so I see how for some viewers it seems incredible that Juliet would think about forgiving her or taking her in. But kudos to Ringer for this scene which makes sense of the frustrating inevitability that Juliet will be drawn back in to her messed-up parent’s care. “I just want a normal mom. If you’re sick, I want you to get better,” Juliet says, gearing up to once again get title, “but if you’re just an evil bitch, then get over it.” We all know it’s the latter; can we blame her for hoping it’s the former?

Vic Machado gets to pretend to be a Real Live FBI Agent again with his buddy Agent Cupertino (hello again, Chris Elwood—you’re growing on me with your stoic ways and quiet bromance with Vic). But even Jonathan Banks, playing Ostermann, the dry-cleaner slash mastermind behind a sinister Tarot-card matchmaking service for assassins and hit jobs, knows that Machado’s suspended and furthermore has nothing on him. Cupertino puts on his strong-jawed frustrated expression, by which I mean his “Why do you insist on running into bars and strip clubs and confronting evil-doers with the big pile of nothing you have linking them to their crimes?” face.

Of course the hotel maid reported Siobhan’s bribe. But when Henry explains how this makes him look even more guilty (and again, you are guilty, Henry, even if it was an insanely convenient accident with the coffee table that did Tyler in), Siobhan can only worry how surely now Bridget will realize she’s still alive.  “Is that all you can think about?” Henry hollers, and oh my god, Henry, ARE YOU JUST GETTING THIS NOW??? Either separate from Siobhan or go down in flames, Henry!

Machado decides he should spend his suspension time breaking into that creepy Germanic guy Barton’s house, because we all know how (a) that will seal his doom in ever getting reinstated and (b) make the actual evidence linking all these pieces of crime together completely inadmissible in court should anyone ever find out. And you can bet they’ll find out! Just like how everyone found out about Bridget and her lies—oh, wait. Anyway, Barton had a spare room behind a cabinet where he likes to keep frozen dead bodies. I’m so impressed Machado didn’t freak out even an eensy teensy bit when one fell out of the freezer right at his feet.

We get another one of those oh-so-familiar Ringer misdirects of “Oh my god, Bridget and Siobhan are finally coming face to face!” bits, where Bridget lets herself into Henry’s apartment (free hint to Henry: change your locks so your girlfriend’s junkie stripper twin pretending to be your girlfriend doesn’t just waltz in whenever). Luckily Siobhan doesn’t have to bash Bridget over the head with some kind of statuette, since Henry comes home and tosses Bridget out—but not before Bridget reads his face like the book he’s supposed to be writing and figures out he killed Tyler.

Vic Machado arrives at Bridget!Siobhan’s place, to witness Catherine getting nursed to health by Juliet’s carefully applied fistfuls of pills. When he’s alone with Bridget!Siobhan, he explains the whole Tarot card system of contracting killers, and shows her a photo of the frozen body. Oh, that guy, Bridget!Siobhan says; that’s the guy she killed a while ago. Oh, did she forget to mention that to Machado before? Whoopsie!

Henry tells some home truths to Siobhan: “My life is ruined, and it all started when I got mixed up with you.” She offers to run away with him, but hey, it’s a bit too late with Henry having lost his kids. Henry, it’s not too late to give Siobhan the boot—I’m just saying!

Bridget!Siobhan and Vic Machado hammer out the details of how Barton took the dead body of the man supposed to assassinate her (at the start of the season), linking the original attempt on “Siobhan’s” life to the whole Tarot card scheme. Oh, and thanks for the reminder that the gun that killed Barton’s frozen friend then went to Charlie/John Delario, who then used it to kill Gemma. And of course that gun originally came from Bridget’s guardian before the trial, Vic Machado’s double-dealing colleague working for Bodaway Macawi. *gets a headache with Ringer written all over it*

Bridget!Siobhan tells Vic about the cell phone she stole from the would-be assassin she shot to keep as leverage and how it disappeared from her closet.  Vic decides only someone who had access to the apartment could have put the hit out on Siobhan, because only someone involved in the hit would have a reason and the access to steal that phone. He decides to run prints on the photo he recovered from Barton’s basement, the one of Andrew and Siobhan with Siobhan cut out, to see if any finger prints might lead to the person who wants Siobhan dead.

While Bridget contemplates who the hell might have gotten in and wanted to kill her (she pictures Henry, Olivia, Catherine, and Mr. Carpenter) she’s startled by Juliet pointing a letter opener at her head like a creeper. Oh, Juliet just thought they should keep dangerous weapons away from Catherine. Like Catherine won’t figure out how to deploy weapons aplenty against them all when she wants!

Arbogast pays a surprise visit to Andrew, unexpectedly bringing the flash drive right to him. “I’m not going to turn you in for fraud,” he barks out, but instead, “I’m going to save Martin/Charles.” As the scene opening discovered Arbogast staring malevolently at a photograph of Andrew with Siobhan while he waited, I suspect he’s about to out Siobhan’s affair with Henry big time. *knuckle-bites*

Juliet leaves the apartment, stranding poor Bridget!Siobhan with crazy and dangerous Catherine. Catherine offers to make some tea—DON’T DRINK THE TEA, BRIDGET, IT’S FULL OF CATHERINE’S CRAZY PILLS! Bridget!Siobhan is immediately guilted into accepting the tea offer, and Catherine bounces out of the room, thrilled she is about to poison Siobhan so hard.

Machado sends the fingerprints to his pals at the FBI, and the photograph of their match loads slowly on his screen so we can shriek, “It’s Catherine, Vic, it’s Catherine and she’s alone with Bridget!Siobhan at this very moment, brewing up the tea of DEATH, hurry, hurrryyyyy!”

Catherine hangs up on Vic Machado’s desperate warning call to Bridget!Siobhan, and unplugs the land line. Now she can finally poison Bridget!Siobhan in peace!

Machado rushes off to the rescue as Bridget!Siobhan drinks her poisoned tea all up. Bridget!Siobhan, stumbling as she rises because she’s poisoned like crazy, mistakenly goes through Catherine’s purse. When she finds the stolen phone, she finally puts the pieces together to explain how Catherine is behind it all.  “It’s you,” she gasps out before dropping the phone and collapsing. Catherine gleefully sprinkles her with empty horse pill casings, and now we have to wait until next week to find out if Bridget will ever be safe from Catherine!

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  • Sally R

    *dies laughing* Dear god. Do you think SMG finds this more or less realistic than her time on All My Children? Buffy was like a reality show in comparison. The soap-tasticness of this show blows my mind.

    I haven’t watched this week or last week’s eps yet, but this is one show I don’t even care if I’m spoiled for because it’s ludicrous. Plus, I kind of like reading your recap first and then watching because it’s so much more exciting the way you tell it. :-)

    • Janey Ford

      Ahahaha, I have no idea! But as she’s co-executive producer of this shebang, I imagine she found herself swept along by the soap-tasticness with great happiness (much like those Calgon commercials of old).

      Yay, I’m so glad you like reading my recaps! The show is often so frothy and dramatic that I feel similarly, that spoilers don’t spoil much for me because it’s how the hell they do this or that absurd thing that’s fun. :D

  • mrmonkeybottoms

    Hahaha, oh this SHOW. I haven’t watched it since the first few because your recaps are all I need!

    • Janey Ford

      Haha, thanks! I’m very glad you’re enjoying the recaps even without viewing the cray that is Ringer!

  • Rebecca

    Oh show, why are you so crazy! How could you make something as lovely as tea into DEATH! Who poisons with tea anymore? Wouldn’t coffee be a better approach, although I guess tea is Catherine’s attempt to seem sane.

    Oh my god, I was thinking the exact same thing:
    Catherine’s big speech about how she can prove how just much she loves Juliet based on the degree to which she’s obsessed over Siobhan is less than impressive to anyone not already mired in a dysfunctional relationship with her.
    Her logic is not sane logic.

    I laughed out loud at this:
    but not before Bridget reads his face like the book he’s supposed to be writing and figures out he killed Tyler.

    Henry drives me crazy that he doesn’t realize how awful Siobhan is and just end thing. Another fun recap!

    • *glee* You are so right that there are MANY other good vehicles for poison, and tea simply cannot be counted among their number.

      Gah, Catherine’s manipulations of Juliet, just so cold and bald-faced (to all of us who are not Juliet).

      Honestly, I think it could be good for Henry to go to prison, because at least then he could focus on writing his damn book!

      I absolutely agree with you; it’s frustrating to see him appear to cotton on to Siobhan’s problems, and then have him get sucked back in. I actually wanted him to suspect Siobhan for turning him in to the police. True, she didn’t do that (like, the one thing she didn’t) but it would have made him wrench himself away. I just can’t imagine what’s going to give him the Siobhan-is-poison for him wake-up call if he hasn’t gotten it already.