Ringer 1.18 – That Woman’s Never Been a Victim Her Entire Life

Good thing both Bridget and Siobhan decided to wear the exact same black coat!

Dang, this is a hard episode to lead into without any spoilers in my teaser-text, so I’ll just say this: finally, with this arc, Victor Machado ALMOST GOT TO DO SOMETHING! Sure, he didn’t catch the nefarious *mumblemumble* and he didn’t stop the horrible *blahblah* but he was there and chasing people and barking orders (that people probably would have already followed on their own, but still). Go Vic! 

I’ll tell you right now, this is an Old School Suspense episode. It’s also, not coincidentally, an Old School Soap episode. You should know that right from the start when people start telling Andrew to “hang in there” while he’s lying bleeding on the floor. More OSS markers of both kinds as we go!

Bridget!Siobhan looks genuinely devastated. Man, Sarah Michele Gellar is good at this kind of emoting. Meanwhile, the odd little hints last time that maybe Solomon could have been the shooter seem emptied of all significance, because Vic gets to chase the shooter down an alley. Too bad just then some kind of tiny theater production lets its audience out in the same alley, because Mystery Shooter disappears into the crowd even as Vic’s holding on to his ankle.

Luckily he drops something. Is it a wallet with ID? A list of people he’s going to kill? No, no, OSS, remember? It’s a TAROT CARD! The Tower! I clapped my hands in glee, y’all, I swear. Draping the cold-blooded actions of a villain with a mystical aura and/or mislead, check!

Juliet sobs on Bridget!Siobhan’s shoulder so Bridget can provide exposition for those who missed the episode’s cliffhanger of Andrew stepping in front of a bullet for her last week. When Juliet asks why someone would have been trying to hurt Bridget!Siobhan, Bridget takes the chance to pile another lie on top of the heap and say, “I don’t know,” brokenly.

So who would Juliet call in a moment of crisis? Apparently Henry, so he can fetch them spindly high-heeled boots, gorgeous tailored jackets, and other necessities from their apartment. “There was a shooting in the loft,” Henry explains as he gets up from his bed of lies with Siobhan and dresses. “Bridget?”Siobhan asks with mucho anticipation. “Andrew!” Henry replies, and Siobhan is so peeved Bridget isn’t dead yet.

Vic tells Cupertino that The Tower card can symbolize failure or ruin, but in some interpretations signifies Dualism (*cough* twins! *cough*). And hey, what’s up with all those Martin/Charles related murders anyway? The SEC’s put the case on the backburner, apparently. “Isn’t a growing body count enough to keep looking into their business?” Vic rails. No, no, silly Vic! As long as the business practices are sound no one cares if people die, my goodness me!

There’s actually a lovely little scene when Henry shows at the hospital. Juliet is sleeping fitfully in Bridget’s lap, and SMG once again does that face-crumple that makes my heart clench. It’s so freaking obvious that Bridget is in love with Andrew when she explains to Henry how Andrew saved her. “Who’d want to shoot you?” Henry asks, disingenuously amazed. “I don’t know,” Bridget answers, already sick of having to repeat this particular lie.

More OSS, of the Soap variety when Henry says, “Andrew’s a fighter — he’s going to pull through this, I know it!” It’d be funny if someone was shot and an observer noted, “Wow, he’s such a putz — he’s going to die for sure, the way he lets everyone steamroll him all the time!”

Luckily the surgeon comes out to update them, and we again see SMG’s hand as a producer because the surgeon is a woman, without some stupid remark on how she’s just wonderful for a lady surgeon. There’s no nerve damage, somehow, and “your husband is going to be just fine.” Bridget and Juliet embrace in relief, and Henry gets to look horribly conscience-stricken.

When Henry returns from his emotional hospital scene, Siobhan spits out in a fabulous show of self-centeredness, “It’s been four hours; an update would have been nice!” (making my husband exclaim, “Man, I love Siobhan so much!).  Henry spitefully tells her “Without you, your family is tighter than ever,” and presses her on just why Andrew would have put a hit out on Siobhan and then stepped in front of the bullet. He accuses Siobhan (well, hello), and ramps up the drama by telling her she’s a liar and a sociopath.

I’ve only just begun to cheer for Henry when he says, following Siobhan’s quick reminder she’s carrying his twins, “Who the hell even knows if those babies are mine?” Way to deduce, Henry!!  There’s hope for your plotting skills yet!

Sweetest moment of the episode and possibly the series: Andrew stirs in his hospital bed, and Bridget greets him with a murmured, “Hey, Superman.”  Obviously on account of how he stopped a speeding bullet for her, and I actually bite my knuckle because this is such a lovely sharp emotional note. “What about you and I?” he asks uncertainly as she brings him up to speed on events. “I’m coming home,” she says in a sweet voice, and I’m ready to get out a grease pen and draw hearts around them on my television screen.

Not like Andrew just died or anything, but Bridget!Siobhan does want to quiz him on why he went to Malcolm’s hotel room the other night. “It was Olivia’s idea,” because she wanted to bribe him to keep him quiet. “He deserved every penny, not just to keep quiet but to start a new life,” Andrew says. The project of tarring and feathering Olivia as a wretched she-beast who will stop at nothing to get what she wants (*cough* it takes two to run a Ponzi scheme, Andrew) continues as Andrew says he followed Olivia’s demands because he acted out of fear.

By the way, Bridget!Siobhan confides, this moment of his still-delicate recovery is a good time to tell him that way back when before his investor party at the loft, some guy tried to kill her, and she killed her assassin instead. *eyes bug out*  Wow, we are getting more and more confessions this ep than we have all season, people! Also, reminders of that whole assassin thing. Helpful! Oh, and she didn’t tell Andrew because she suspected him. “That time I threatened to kill you, I didn’t really mean it,” Andrew says lovingly, and it’s such a hilariously weird undercutting of that seriously vicious sounding threat that I make incoherent indignant sounds and flap my hands.

Bridget!Siobhan subtly suggests Olivia was the one to off Tyler Barrett, and Andrew agrees that Olivia is behind all of this! Wouldn’t it be fun if Olivia was in cahoots with Bodaway? Or Catherine? Or maybe is a malicious Tarot card reader on the side of all her financial fraud schemes?

We head to Gramercy Park and Henry’s place, so Henry can hand off his seldom-seen twins to his father-in-law. Hey, are the twins seeing Siobhan, and how is that working out, Henry? “I think you need to pull your investment from Martin/Charles,” Henry tells him, moved by the scene of family love and loyalty he witnessed last night at the hospital. Remember last week when he and Siobhan were sighing dreamily over Bridget getting killed? That mercurial Henry!

Vic Machado heads into the hospital room for a singularly awk-ward moment with canoodling Andrew and Bridget!Siobhan. Andrew lies through his teeth about why he visited Malcolm, and actually, I think, switches the timeline to pretend he went to see Malcolm after Vic asked Andrew and Olivia about him.  Malcolm “was on his way to the FBI…was going to come forward about his kidnapping, trying to do what your sister never could,” Vic tells Bridget, who spares a single moment to feel guilty about how she’s obstructing justice like crazy. Vic suggests Olivia might also be a target of the mysterious Martin/Charles killer; after he leaves the room, Andrew scoffs, “That woman’s never been a victim in her entire life!” <strike>Getting title for the first time.</strike> — Excuse me, getting title for the second time in a row!  Thanks to Ruan for recognizing Andrew’s title-giving prowess.  Yay, Andrew!

Bridget!Siobhan says she knows someone who can help them out with figuring out Olivia’s diabolical plan. It’s Solomon, of course. That man’s talents are underused in his regular job as a limo driver, am I right? He breaks into Olivia’s incredible Brooklyn Heights apartment, and proceeds to pull an OSSuspense trick of running a pencil over a blank notepad to bring out the information someone scribbled on a covering page. ZS 1231 2, he finds, as he needlessly whispers to Olivia’s randomly flung belongings, “Where’d you go, Olivia?”

Luckily Solomon’s got bat ears, because he hears Vic Machado being escorted to the apartment in time to slip out and run up the stairs. “Lock’s been opened without a key,” Vic notices right away, and goes in on high alert. Solomon takes the distraction as a chance to run down the stairs while Victor calls in to Cupertino and finds out the kind of Tarot card he recovered is found all over the Tri-State area — and then, in a weirdly specific aside, found in such places as a particular dry cleaner in Manhattan.

Solomon reports back that “everything I saw in that apartment points to Olivia getting out in a hurry,” and provides Bridget with the OSSuspense piece of paper with the numbers.

Poor Juliet arrives to visit her father and finds he, Catherine, and Bridget!Siobhan are plotting to get Juliet the hell out of dodge. “I don’t want to go with her [to Miami]; this is my home,” Juliet says tearfully, and they all nod sympathetically and disregard everything she says.

Outside the room, Catherine tells her they’ll buy matching convertibles as soon as they get back, but even the promise of a luxury sport car isn’t enough for Juliet, who says, “after what you did to Tessa, I don’t want anything to do with you!”  Whoops, apparently Catherine feels her horrible treatment of Tessa “bonds us forever” whether Juliet likes it or not. Just think, Juliet still doesn’t know how her mom sexed and then robbed her crush, Mr. Carpenter.

Siobhan leaves a message for Henry: “I promise you, I did not hire someone to kill Bridget, and I never lied about loving you.” I think Siobhan gets a red X and a discordant buzzer signal on both of those. But Siobhan’s headed to the hospital to tell Andrew the truth about everything, and the promise of crazy revelations continue! “None of this mess means everything if we’re not together,” Siobhan concludes, and I can only conclude this is a bald faced lie or she wouldn’t have messed around with Shizzitini Tyler in the first place.

Juliet demonstrates she’s the neatest packer ever, even as she smooshes the gift Bridget!Siobhan got her from Bergdorff’s and strangely packs wool-everything for her trip to Miami. Juliet tells Bridget!Siobhan she’s sick of being the collateral damage in the war between her parents, while Bridget tries to convince her putting up with a little tension to avoid a bullet is worth it. “You know you can call us any time, day or night,” Bridget pleads as Juliet gets on the elevator with Catherine. “Do me a favor, Siobhan? Lose my number,” Juliet volleys back.

At the car ready to take them to the airport, Juliet says she wants to drop by school to say good-bye to some people. There’s a sight of some kind trained on them — gun? Pictures, video? Henry gets the message that Siobhan’s on her way to fess up to Andrew, and springs into action.

Meanwhile, Vic Machado heads to that dry cleaning place, looking for Remy Ostermann, and asks about the Tarot card. Apparently the boss, Remy, used to give them out as coupons, the woman at the counter claims. Odd how the name and location of the place are nowhere on the card, Victor points out, completely missing the point that these must have been mystical coupons that would have magically led people to this dry cleaners.

“The card just came in,” says the counter woman (who has stunning hair, by the way), giving Victor’s info to someone on the phone after Vic leaves.

Henry stops Siobhan just in time from telling Andrew everything, much to Andrew’s utter confusion as Henry pulls her from the hospital room. “I want it to end, Henry,” she says in the hall. He refuses to let her tell Andrew, promising her, “I want us to be together.” I think maybe he’s double-dealing her at this point, and it makes me like Henry even more than I already do this episode (despite the horrible monochrome outfits they keep putting him in).

Henry is just a vision in brown as he tries to stop Siobhan's latest dastardly plan!

They see Bridget, and Siobhan flees while Henry begs off more Andrew-visiting because he has a lot of writing to do. I would absolutely love to know when Henry finds the time and focus to write amid all this craziness. Bridget goes into Andrew’s hospital room to find him trying to get out of bed. “Catherine just called,” he says, frantic. “Juliet’s missing.” And Andrew really is trying to be the best dad ever, chasing down his runaway daughter while he’s still got a bleeding hole in his shoulder.

Wait, what’s the address for the school, Siobhan asks. 1281 2nd Avenue, Andrew tells her, and in another signposting OSSuspense moment Bridget realizes this is the number from the paper Solomon gave her — the 3 was an 8!  It’s just so classic (or hackneyed, depending on your POV), the inverted or unfinished number gambit. Join me in a wry chuckle, won’t you?

More on whether Henry really believes Siobhan’s protestations of love, or is just going along with her to some unknown end: turns out he’s the one who offed Tyler Barrett. There’s a hilarious flashback (Henry’s first!) in which Tyler and Henry bitch each other out and — classis OSSoap move! — they struggle, Tyler falls and accidentally is killed when he bangs his head on the coffee table on the way down. Henry’s shocked and frantic — he never meant to kill Tyler, he just wanted to go through his stuff! He’s not so discombobulated by committing murder that he doesn’t remember to switch out the flash drives, though.

“If I hadn’t gotten you mixed up in this, it wouldn’t have happened,” Siobhan tells him, and wow, we have two easily forgiven confessed past murders in this episode, folks. “I’m so sorry, but it’s gong to be over soon, I promise; we have the flash drive!” Siobhan exclaims gleefully. Whoops, about that flash drive…Henry handed it over to his father-in-law, whose name I can never remember how to spell, to convince him to pull his investment from Martin/Charles.

Bridget!Siobhan settles Andrew, with his arm in a sling, on the bed at home, and they both fret over Juliet’s disappearance. “I hope she’s not tied up freezing somewhere,” Andrew worries, and bing! Bridget gets an idea where Juliet might have gone with all of those wool accessories.

Agent Cupertino gives Vic the skinny on Remy, the suspicious dry cleaner.  He’s been suspected of extortion, racketeering, petty theft, but none of the major charges have stuck. “Sounds like someone I know back in Wyoming,” Vic jokes, and hey, do we think Remy is a cover for Bodaway, maybe his New York City alias?

In a very cruel misdirection (at least, cruel to me, because I heart Malcolm), Victor’s called to a shallow grave in Central Park the FBI has discovered, near which they’ve found pretty much every ID of Malcolm’s. They unearth the body in the grave, and — we go to commercial while I shake my tiny fist at the screen.

Bridget!Siobhan finds Juliet right away in their beach house in East Hampton.  Juliet is of course wearing every single wool item she packed. Bridget reminds her, “You have to know you can tell me anything,” and Juliet tearfully replies.  “Remember when dad took away my trust fund? My mom came up with a plan that she said would change our lives.” They are just piling on the confessions in this ep, aren’t they?

As near as I can tell, Juliet spills all to Bridget!Siobhan on the way back to Manhattan, and begs her not to tell Andrew. They head into the bedroom, where Andrew gazes adoringly at Bridget!Siobhan like she must’ve hung the moon because she found his errant daughter. Uh oh, Vic Machado’s there too, and he reveals the dead man in the park was…some random thug of Bodaway’s. Curse you, Ringer, for making me think Malcolm was dead and buried! So Bodaway’s man was the shooter, Vic says, and “If Bodaway Macawi believes you’re Bridget,” he tells, you know, Bridget, “You can bet he’ll come after you again.”

Are we actually starting to weave together all the crazy hanging threads from the start of the season? Does this mean Ringer‘s getting cancelled and therefore quickly resolved, or are we in for even more amazingly torrid drama and intrigue as the season draws to a close? Tune in with me next week to find out!