Ringer 1.05 – A Whole New Kind of Bitch

In the car ride from the Hamptons to Manhattan, Bridget keeps anxiously calling Gemma, whose fairly clever outgoing message is, “You’ve reached Gemma.  Don’t be boring.”  Seems Andrew and Bridget have to ferry Henry back to NYC, because Gemma totally deserted him at the Hamptons for being ridiculously boring.  He’s in the backseat complaining, and how much of the trip do you think he spent yammering on about his bad novel?  He’s the worst.

Yay, we get to see Gemma’s reaction to Bridget’s confession last week!  Turns out Gemma just thinks Siobhan is using her twin sister’s identity to get out of another sticky situation.  Then, best Gemma line so far: “You know, I married a first class liar, but you are the gold standard.”  The best part is it’s true!  We may be sympathetic to Bridget’s situation (and her continued misapprehension that her sister is in fact dead), but wow, she gets the Olympic medal for lying while wearing fabulous eveningwear.

So poor Bridget’s just lost her only sort-of friend (because it’s hard for Gemma to really be her friend, having thought she was Siobhan, you dig?), and slumps into her fantastic Manhattan apartment only to find that someone has graffiti-ed “WHORE” on the black and white vanity glamour shot of Siobhan in the entryway.  But was it Gemma?  Before we can be impressed with how quickly Gemma beat the traffic to the city in time to stop by and deface the Martin apartment with her righteous wronged woman rage, we realize Juliet was the one who scrawled WHORE (no doubt in M.A.C.’s Good to be Bad Sheen Supreme Lipstick).   The apartment is a mess, Juliet and her random blonde pal Erica are passed out on the couches, and there’s actually a keg in one of the rooms (I feel like Juliet’s private-school friends would be more of a vodka crowd, actually).  Juliet smirks that the word is an “improvement” to Siobhan’s photo.  Andrew says they need to go back to therapy.  “That’s your answer for everything!” Juliet rants.  Well.  It’s actually a damn good answer, Juliet.

When Henry comes home to complain to Gemma that she ditched him, she’s torturing herself by watching a recording from New Year’s Eve, showing her dancing with Henry, Siobhan dancing with Andrew, but Siobhan and Henry sharing a look that clearly signals to all observers that they are going to go do it as soon as everyone else is asleep.  But wait!  There’s some horrible rash or something on Siobhan’s wrist, which seems to startle Gemma.  Meanwhile, Henry’s like a total valley girl:  “When Siobhan talked to you, you like totally freaked out.”  Gemma does not even have time for his nonsense, and leaves while he opens his envelope with his novel manuscript and a stern looking, “Call me,” note from someone who no doubted hated every word of it.

Andrew’s trying to clean up all his alcohol soaked business papers, while Bridget tries to convince him that she knows what’s going on with Juliet; clearly, Juliet must be on drugs.  Andrew is surprised, because he confiscated her drugs a week ago (oh, were those all the drugs in the world, Andrew?) but Bridget thinks they should root around in Juliet’s stuff and find the evidence.  Andrew says, “Just let me handle this, would you?” and Bridget trains for the next World Championship in Lying by pretending she’s going to let this train wreck go unnoticed.

As Bridget texts Gemma asking where she is, Gemma comes over to seize her wrist and reveal that Bridget is missing a scar that Siobhan had from cooking class.  It absolutely cracks me up that Siobhan took a cooking class.  If ever there was someone who had Jean-Georges on speed dial (and no doubt a close personal relationship with the Saucier), it’s Siobhan.

Gemma and Bridget go to get a cup of coffee, as one does, and talk about whether Bridget has taken over Siobhan’s life to set everything right for Andrew and Juliet (Bridget’s version), or whether she’s a creepy manipulative opportunist who keeps telling herself she’s being good to keep herself out of trouble (surprise, Gemma’s version).  When Gemma doesn’t automatically take to Bridget’s justification that she would otherwise be dead by way of Reservation Crime Boss, she gets the next best line of the ep:  “I guess you are Siobhan’s sister.  You’ve somehow made this all about you.”

Juliet heads home and sees that her room’s been searched.  She immediately suspects Siobhan, and so goes to destroy Siobhan’s wedding dress and Jimmy Choos (as one does).  She nearly pulls down Bridget’s gun by mistake, but at the last minute is distracted by a flier.  Never has a pamphlet been so effective, as Juliet abandons her task of ruining all of Siobhan’s haute couture to run out of the apartment.

Bridget, rattled by Gemma’s insistence that she doesn’t have to help her because she doesn’t know who the hell Bridget even is (seems reasonable to me, actually), heads to a AA/NA meeting.  So are they uptown, with those elevated trains rattling by outside?  One thing is for sure: this is one pretty group of addicts!  Even though we’re in NYC, could everyone on the junk really be this attractive?

At some point we switch to see Malcolm is once again being forcibly shot up, and I really need this Malcolm storyline to go somewhere, okay, because it’s like one long torture drugging pr0n film up in here.

Looks like Bridget has a new sponsor candidate at her meeting, a guy who is an eensy bit preachy but nonetheless makes a good point in saying, “Every addict knows, you come clean, you stay clean.”  If that is the case, Bridget’s case is completely hopeless, as she builds her recovery on a fragile web of lies!  But Bridget gets an offer from Charlie (who switched to this Brooklyn — aha, so that’s where we are — meeting from Flushing, because Queens is just passé) to call him whenever.  She really has a habit of picking up on dudes at these meetings, doesn’t she?  But unbeknownst to Bridget, Juliet is hiding at the doorway, seeing everything!

Cripes, must this torture of poor Malcolm continue?  For whatever reason, he comes to in his little heroin cage to find that it’s unlocked, and lurches out to the strip club where he sees freaky lights and girls dancing in cages.  It nearly seems like he’s going to escape, even though he’s just tiptoed right by Bodaway himself getting a lapdance, when someone points him to the exit.  But it’s all part of his trippy nightmare fantasy, damn it all to hell.

Siobhan, Juliet, and Andrew have a nice family meal in the library.  Juliet apologizes for ruining Siobhan’s wedding dress, and offers to pay to have it fixed.  But then Juliet catches her out on a huge revealing mistake.  Bridget!Siobhan takes the subway!  Wait, no, that’s true, but Juliet is so onto her trip to Narcotics Anonymous, aha!  For a moment Bridget thinks she’s being exposed as an addict, but Juliet instead gripes that she’s not going to rehab, so Bridget can pretend she was only there doing research.  Andrew demands why she didn’t follow his instructions to let him handle it (because you have obviously been handling Juliet so well, Andrew).

Luckily Gemma turns up right at that moment to interrupt dinner and proclaim something she declares will be a “game changer.”  Bridget freaks out and says, “Gemma, no!” but it turns out Gemma only wants to pull out of working on the loft.  Oh.  This seems eminently reasonable.  “Do you promise that you don’t hate me?” Gemma asks Bridget and Andrew coyly.  When Andrew splits, Bridget is crazy relieved, but Gemma says, “Don’t thank me yet.  I have a favor to ask of you.”

Gemma and Bridget take to the balcony so Gemma can say she’s been through torture these last twenty-four hours, “Knowing Henry’s cheated on me, pretending nothing’s happened?”  She says he was the love of her life and this has completely crushed her.  I’m doing an Arrested Development head tilt and saying, “Him?”  So it turns out that she’s so angry, she doesn’t want him to have a dime of her money (again, completely reasonable) or get custody of their children (not so reasonable, because these children have still not been seen with or by their parents at any point so far, so if I were the judge, I’d award custody to the long-suffering nanny and her lesbian partner).  Because there’s an infidelity clause in Gemma and Henry’s pre-nup (wow, Henry’s decision to cheat with Siobhan seems even stupider now), she  just has to catch him in the act of cheating on her.  Guess who she wants to help her out?  Is the black and white photo with the word WHORE scrawled on it any clue?  “I want you to sleep with my husband, or I’ll tell everyone who you really are.”

Bridget, aptly, goes to stare at the WHORE poster, and cries over a bottle of prescription pills (which she thankfully doesn’t take but pours down the sink).  She attempts to call Malcolm, feeling really desperate and suffocating, but he doesn’t answer, being repeatedly shot up by Bodaway’s thugs as he is.

Cut to Bridget and Charlie meeting for coffee.  She’s nervously clickety-clacking her high-heeled sparkly silver shoes (and the fashion team high-fives each other as we get a close up of them), while she tells him, “Either I do something I know is wrong to save my family or I risk losing it all.”  She’s afraid she’ll relapse if she goes through with it, which does seem a spot-on cause for anxiety, and Charlie offers to be her replacement!Malcolm, except not half so muscle-y or handsome (though he does have pretty blue eyes) and, you know, white.   When she says she already has a sponsor, he asks, “Where was your sponsor when you almost broke today?”  At the Wyoming Mutilated Dancer Strip Club and Reservation Crime Boss Headquarters, obviously, Charlie, duuhhhh!

Gemma overhears Henry on the phone:  “I’m just trying to figure out what went wrong.  Will you call me later if you can think of another approach?”  Gemma comes in all stern, convinced Henry is regretting the humongous mess he’s made of their marriage as he tells her morosely, “Seems like the bottom is falling out lately.”  She’s almost touched when she realizes he’s not feeling mournful about their humongous mess of a marriage but instead, about his rejected novel.  Way to step up to the plate, Henry.

Bridget clicks into the loft in her awesome silver shoes to tell Gemma she’s not going through with her proposal.  Gemma tells her she has no choice, with the fallout that would happen when Andrew finds out, “He’s been sharing a bed with a drug addict stripper whore.”  *blinks*  Good Googling, Gemma.  Gemma threatens to turn Bridget in, oh my god!  Oh, wait, she means turn her in to Victor Macado, who gets his one and only on-screen reference of the episode, and not to Bodaway, like I had worried she meant.  “Aren’t you supposed to be pregnant, for crying out loud?” Gemma asks in exasperation, and the entire viewing audience shouts, “Thank you!” Bridget keeps maintaining that this would all destroy Andrew and Juliet and saying she’s only trying to help them, while Gemma calls ’em like she sees ’em:  “Everything you’ve done has been self-serving.”  Uh.  I agree, actually, even though I do like Bridget.  Gemma gives her until midnight to tell Andrew, or she will turn her in.

Juliet finds out her terrible, terrible fate for doing drugs and ruining her step-mom’s wedding dress.  She’s got to go to public school.  Say it isn’t so!  Actually, Andrew has a good point, in that he thinks her friends are horrible influences, and he wants her to get a fresh start.  Juliet jumps to the awesomely delusional claim that this is all Siobhan’s fault:  “She’s not helping!  She’s rummaging through my stuff, going to druggy meetings, narcing me out!  It’s like she’s a whole new kind of bitch!”  And Juliet gets title this week!  *pauses for shower of confetti and balloons before scene continues*  Andrew denies Sibohan is the problem, saying she’s just concerned “about your wellbeing,” when Juliet drops what could be a very exciting bomb indeed:  “You really want to know why I hate Siobhan?  Because she’s a cheating bitch who sleeps with married men.”  Day-um, does Juliet know about Henry?  Also, does she know how awful his novel is, because let’s talk about that hot mess, girl!

Bridget finds Henry at a bar, drinking his rejected novel sorrows away.  He tells her she looks fantastic, claims they’re like Rick and Ilsa (you realize that in Casablanca, Ilsa left her lover for her husband, right, Henry?), and moans that she’s the only one he trusts.  Just when we think she might be giving in to his desires (and Gemma’s desires, also, coinciding for the first time in three plus years) and leaning in to kiss him, she whispers, “Your wife knows about us.”  Bridget fesses all of Gemma’s knowledge of their affair and the baby (currently in Paris in the real Siobhan, remember), and tells him to “fix this, keep her quiet” by making their marriage work again.  “You may be able to live a lie like that, but I can’t.  I’m done,” Henry pronounces.  “Then I’m out of moves,” Bridget says sadly.

When Bridget comes back to the apartment, Andrew is staring at the fire.  “She told me.”  Wow, cripes, Gemma has broken her own by-midnight deadline to ruin Bridget’s pyramid of deceit!  Oh, wait.  Nope, actually it’s Juliet who told Andrew — dear Lord, did she tell him about Henry?  No, no, another false alarm; Juliet just found out when she visited her mom in Florida that Siobhan and Andrew slept together before Andrew and her mother were officially divorced.  Like that’s a shock to anyone.  Anyway, Juliet’s snuck out with a friend, and Andrew doesn’t know if he should call the police.  Bridget produces the one matchbook she found whilst ransacking Juliet’s room, and obviously she must be there, it’s not like there are any other bars that Juliet might go to, or even other bars that give out matches!  Bridget sends him out to check and waits for Gemma.  It’s 11:59, dun dun duuunnnn!

Back to Malcolm, who is again tied up, again about to get drugged, and again just breaking my poor little Malcolm-loving heart!  Wait, he says he’ll talk if they dose him first, which seems like him getting all addicted again, but really is a ploy for him to smash his phone so Bridget can’t call him/inadvertently tip off the gang of thugs and Bodaway!  Malcolm is a total self-sacrificing hero, but ack, it’s plastic bag over the head time, and is Malcolm really going to have to die like this?  Where the hell is Victor Macado?  I thought maybe he would zip back to Wyoming and save Malcolm, damn it all!

Gemma storms into the apartment to confront Bridget, while Bridget says Juliet is in a really fragile place.  “Don’t you use your stepdaughter as your bargaining chip!” Gemma protests (because she and Henry are so good about not using their kids as bargaining chips, huh?  Right-o!).  Bridget pleads that she doesn’t want to be with Henry, and says in a heartfelt way, “Siobhan failed you as a friend.  Give me a chance.  Maybe I can be the friend that she wasn’t.”  This seems very sincere.  It’s also a hell of a smart tactic, because Gemma breaks down saying, “What the hell am I doing?  I don’t even know who I am anymore.”  Maybe Gemma can still be Bridget’s ally, and vice-versa?

Oh, hell, no.  Gemma gets a phone call from Henry on the way home, with him saying, “You have some nerve.  I know what your plan is, and I’m one step ahead of you.  You are not going to get away with this Gemma; I am not losing my kids.”  And not losing Gemma’s trust-fund and architect riches, obviously, but that goes without saying.  Poor Gemma tries to recover from her double-triple-quadruple betrayal team-tag from Siobhan (with the cheating and baby-carrying) and Bridget (with the telling Henry of Gemma’s desperate plot so she can save her own “family” that she just met two weeks ago) and tries to tell him they’ll talk, that she’s on her way home.  He says, “Don’t bother,” because he’s leaving.

Bridget heads to the bar where Juliet is living her bad girl lifestyle, having gotten a text from Andrew.  The place, with some scattered people dancing and hanging out, looks so ridiculously innocuous and boring that I have to wonder why this is Juliet’s regular scene.  Juliet and Andrew argue about the cheating, but Bridget interrupts to say “your father and I should never have been together while he was still married…if hating me is what helps you cope, go for it.  But you have to stop hurting your father and yourself.”  Andrew is, frankly, stunned.  “I’ve done a lot of crappy things, and I’d like the chance to make up for them,” Bridget tells Juliet, who is clearly at the vulnerable and weepy stage of her trip, saying, “I want to go home,” in a little-girl voice.

Bridget tries to clean the WHORE off her, er, Siobhan’s photo portrait, and Juliet bonds with her by bringing out a much more efficient cleaning solution.  The idea that there is no maid who would have cleaned this off hours and hours ago has me reeling.
Meanwhile, Andrew on the way home gets a call from Gemma, asking him to please come over.  He complies, but Henry is the one who opens the door, saying Gemma isn’t there.  Hmmm.  Henry claims he’s got some work to do (agents to find, bad novels to rewrite), and blocks a concerned Andrew from entering.  Andrew leaves, and we see Henry stagger through the apartment.  Here’s another place in need of a maid, huh?  Is that a knocked over lamp and picture frame?  Oh, wait, is that a BLOOD HAND PRINT on the wall???  Holy frijoles, kids, there’s a huge blood dripping stain on the wall that has Dead Gemma written all over it!

Dudes, Gemma cannot be dead!  She has the best lines on this show!  And who will be the sassy big-nosed betrayed best friend if Gemma has kicked it?  I am warning you, Ringer Writers, I will not take a substitute!Gemma the way you are trying to get us to take a substitute!Malcolm!  And really, if you think I am just going to sit byand say nothing while you affirm all of my Henry-hating prejudice and make him seem a zillion times worse than I could ever have hoped…  *pauses* Well played, Ringer Writers.  I’ll be back next week to see what you’re going to do with your whole new kind of bitch, Henry Butler.