'Ringer' doubles the Sarah Michelle Gellar
September 14th, 2011
12:54 PM ET

'Ringer' doubles the Sarah Michelle Gellar

[Editor's Note: If you want to stay unspoiled about the premiere of the CW's "Ringer," stop reading now - potential spoilers await!]

Sarah Michelle Gellar may not be staking vampires in the CW's "Ringer" but we're nonetheless happy to welcome her back to TV. (SMG, and “Lost’s” Nestor Carbonell, might we add.)

Tuesday night’s premiere of “Ringer” was one of the most hyped of the season, and the gripping pace and plot kept our attention. That being said, we still need an episode or three before we’re completely sold.

The hour-long premiere was packed with info: We first meet SMG as former stripper Bridget, a key witness in a high-profile murder case and six months sober.

Right before the big trial Bridget skips town and reunites with her wealthy, well-dressed sister Siobhan in East Hampton after a six-year separation.

Let’s pause for a minute on the sight of two Sarah Michelle Gellars facing each other: It was a bit jarring at first, but after a few frames the interaction became more convincing, and it stayed riddled with tension.

The sisters head to Siobhan's weekend home, and she informs Bridget that her husband of five years, Andrew, doesn't know Bridget exists. Clearly Siobhan is one who's good at keeping a secret.

The writers kept the element of surprise by not providing any background on the sisters' childhood or family, so we have no idea what drove Siobhan and Bridget to their present circumstance. Whatever it was – and it seems to have to do with a little boy named Sean, perhaps the son of one of the twins or a brother? - Siobhan has supposedly already forgiven Bridget.

The two take a boat ride (or at least, they pretend to – this scene’s production values were Internet meme-worthy bad) and do more sisterly bonding, but before we see much more Siobhan vanishes while Bridget slumbered, leaving her wedding ring and belongings behind.

Presuming her sister killed herself – she certainly screamed "Siobhan" enough times to be thoroughly convinced no one was answering - Bridget puts her hair in a bun, dons the fancy clothes and returns to New York City as her sister. As she tells her NA sponsor, Malcolm, she saw an opportunity and went for it. After all, as Bridget she’s a walking target thanks to her involvement in the murder case.

The scenes that follow Siobhan's "disappearance" seem to indicate that all Bridget would really have to do was keep up appearances as a wealthy socialite; very much like "The Prince and the Pauper." But as we learn more about Siobhan's secrets, the plot takes a darker (and, yeah, soapier) turn.

What we do know is that Siobhan was in a passionless marriage with Andrew, (Ioan Gruffudd); she was cheating on him with her best friend Gemma’s husband Henry; her stepdaughter can't stand her; and she’s pregnant, with Henry pretty convinced it’s his. Hopefully you got all of that.

By the end, “Ringer” upped the suspense: Gemma calls Bridget with a new guess as to who Henry could be cheating on her with, and asks to meet her at Siobhan’s unfinished loft.

Instead of Gemma, waiting for Bridget at the penthouse is a masked man who tries to choke her and we are back at the opening scene. “You have the wrong girl,” Bridget screams. She manages to pull out the gun she hid in the apartment and before shooting her killer she says, “I am not Bridget.”

But when Bridget reaches into the dead man’s pocket for clues, she finds a picture of Siobhan. That means that there’s someone out to kill Siobhan and now Bridget has two targets aimed at her.

The pilot ends in Paris where we see Siobhan, alive and well, receiving a call about a “problem” and smirking.

Which leaves us with so many questions we HAVE to ask. Why would Siobhan fake her death, and what is she planning? Why haven’t any of Siobhan’s family or friends noticed the change in Siobhan’s temperament and suspect something? We’re likely not going to get answers to those questions anytime soon.

But here’s the question for you: If you watched “Ringer,” what did you think? (Aside from the return of SMG, “Buffy” fans.) Did CBS make the right or wrong choice in handing this one over to the CW?

Filed under: Fall TV • Ringer • television • TV recaps

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Wonderful start and has great promise! You cares if it's on CW or CBS so long as its on.

    September 16, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. me

    is it just me but for some moments there I felt like i was watching buffy and the first... sooo watching again... hope the writers do their job of keeping the story line interesting!!

    September 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robin

    I enjoyed the show, look forward to more of it.
    No opinion how who owns the show whether CW/CBS, glad it's on a night, when I can watch it and not up against shows I already watch.

    September 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Leafonthewind

    I think CBS really screwed the pooch by passing this show off to the CW. Serialized shows have been very successful these past few years, and this is looking like a good one. Not to mention that CBS greatly underestimated the number of SMG fans who have been waiting years for her to do another series. Who's in charge of programming at CBS?

    Good job, Ringer producers. I can even forgive the awkward boat scene.

    Anyone want to bet that Siobhan is behind her own assasination? She knows her sister has stepped into her shoes, that's why she left her wallet and her rings. There's something in her past that makes her want Bridget dead, and she wants everyone to think it's her death.

    September 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • kate

      love that smg is back, she has always been so talented and i think she is definitely up for the challenge of playing twins. the first episode hooked me and ill keep watching. im fine with cbs handing cw the the show. i think shows have more freedom and creativity when they arent on the 3-4 big networks.

      September 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. albo

    I loved it! I liked the "cheesy" boat scene, it gave the feel of the show that dream fictiony story vibe to it, you no? lol.

    September 15, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. norez

    Anyone catch a glimpse of Buffy at the beginning where she says 'What, no sleepover?" at the motel? Made me smile.

    This has enough plot to keep me watching, and SMG's acting is impeccable as always (more so considering that in the scenes with both sisters she has to act with just air or at most, a stand-in, and yet you buy that there are really two people in the scene.)

    It's not the West Wing, but it's entertaining and not idiotic. The sets and clothing (and men!) are nice to look at as well.

    September 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SiobhanMcKent

    'Siobhan' isn't a 'clever spelling'. It's the proper spelling of a very old Irish name, common in Ireland.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron

    It was pretty good and I am looking forward to more though the entire struggle with the masked man I was thinking c'mon Buffy kick his ass and send him flying across the room with one punch!

    September 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Donna

    aside from the boat scene I was really impressed, pleased and intrigued by the show. Can't wait to see next week's episode. If this is as good as I hope I've got lots to look forward to. Way to go SMG and glad to see you back.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ashes Crumble

    I'm in. That is all.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OK but not great

    The fake scenery was laughable– poor Sarah to have to act through that mess of a boat scene. There weren't enough interactions between characters to make us really like anyone aside from Siobhan and Bidget. There are a lot of interesting conflicts and love triangles developing that could make people want to keep watching. Hopefully the show will get better with each episode.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • KirstenH

      I disagree with what you said about the character interaction, I really like Siobhan's husband.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kim

    @Brad- I caught that too about the husband canceling something. I thought that was suspect.

    Also, I am dieing to know what happened to Sean! I thought it was really good. One of the best new shows I have seen in years. It also doesn't help that I am a huge SMG fan!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. S.Williams

    Boat scene was definitely cheesy. I think that they revealed enough information, but hopefully they don't draw it out for awhile then they will lose interest. Love seeing SMG back on tv, esp WB/CW!

    September 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jen

    I love that SMG has returned to television. While she is no Buffy this time around, I love the way she is playing these two distinct twins/characters so far. I look forward to more drama and mysteries as this series unfolds.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. brad

    Am I the only one that caught the clip of the husband making a phone call trying to call off something??? Obviously, he paid someone to kill his wife, Siobhan. (clever spelling).

    September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • wblanco85

      I thought the same thing but obviously Shioban (i'm not sure how to spell her name) was the one that paid for her own murder. I think the husban's conversation will lead to a different twist (maybe a divorce?)

      September 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • KirstenH

      I also think he was talking about divorce... maybe the fact that she's preggo changed things i don't know but i did notice that too and its an interesting mystery.

      September 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  16. Kmbrlybh

    The boat scene was pretty bad, but I think they gave WAY to much information in the first sitting. I understand trying to give the facts to set up the storyline, but break a few of them out through a few weeks. It was a lot to take in in the first hour. I enjoyed the show, but I'm afraid they will give to much information in the few shows and not have much to go on for the finale.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jaymes

    Riveting television. It's great to see a solid mystery play out (if the CW allows it) and "Ringer" looks to be the most entertaining show I've seen in a long time. Sarah Michelle Gellar was pretty good too at defining two different characters.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. derrick

    I hope she will be neeeked on this show.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Pam1ji

    gotta say the boat scene was awful but I am interested to watch how this story unfolds-I just hope they don't drag out the "mysteries" for too long or a lot of viewers will get bored and stop watching

    September 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |

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