Meet Bridget Kelly, she's an ex-stripper who is six months into recovery. She's also in the Witness Protection Program, because she witnessed the murder of a stripper by some bad ass -- whose name I disremember, except that it sounds like a Kipling character. Richard Alpert from Lost is the agent in charge of Bridget's protective custody, and he has her hunkering down in the Two Nickels motel. Because Bridget is really Buffy, and the motel is a dive, Bridget overcomes the police officer guarding her, ties him up in the tub and flees Wyoming and the long arm of the law to the considerably shorter and spindlier arms of her twin sister, Hamptons socialite, Siobhan Martin.
Siobhan and Bridget go boating like you do when you're on the run from the bad guys and the good guys. The next thing you know, Bridget wakes up alone in the boat. Siobhan is nowhere to be found. Bridget screams for her sister, tries (and fails) to radio for help, and even jumps in the water to look for her, but it's all to no avail. Personally, I think Siobhan slipped Bridget a mickey, because all that's left is a pill bottle -- empty of pills, but full of Siobhan's engagement and wedding rings. What would her motive be? Well, clearly she got a good look at the laughable green-screen background used in this scene and said, "Screw it. I'm out." Bridget agrees. In fact, she thinks the green-screen is so bad that Siobhan probably offed herself.
Anyhow, Bridget does what any ex-stripper/recovering addict who is on the run from the law and the lawless would. She assumes Siobhan's life. This is possible, because the sisters had a falling out six years ago, and Siobhan's only been married to Andrew Martin (Ioan Gruffudd) for five years, and oops -- she forgot to tell hubby that she had an addict/stripper twin. Siobhan forgot to mention a few things to Bridget too; like that she frequently gets frostbite just from being in the same apartment as Andrew, so she has a little something on the side with her best friend Gemma's husband, Henry. Additionally, she has a bratty step-teen, Juliet, who likes the pipe (yeah, both kinds). This is balanced out by the fact that Siobhan also has a wicked lot of shoes and scarves.
Richard from Lost (F.B.I. Agent Victor Machado) finds "Siobhan" in his search for Bridget, and drives home the fact that the Kipling-named bad ass is not going to let "Bridget" get out alive. Wackiness ensues as Bridget tries to assume and clean up Siobhan's life, but the writers don't seem to want to let the wackiness shine through, at least not in this exposition-heavy pilot. The hour closes with the scene that opens it. Bridget is in the loft Gemma is renovating, hiding from some guy in a ski mask that is trying to kill her. I know this isn't Buffy, but it's still oddly frustrating to see her struggling with a mere human. Fortunately, Bridget stashed the police officer's gun in said loft and uses it to kill her attacker -- who it turns out wasn't after Bridget. He was after Siobhan. And Siobhan's not dead at all. She's smoking up a Parisian apartment, plotting to kill Bridget, whom she totally set up!
I'll be back with the full weecap, tomorrow. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then join us in the show thread, where we've got some stakes and holy water stashed, just in case.
So, have you read much about Ringer, yet? I have, and in nearly every piece, the writer seems to have this pressing need to remind me that it isn't Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Imagine that! It's only, what -- nearly eight and a half years later, with a different title, premise and cast save Sarah Michelle Gellar. Who'da thunk? I feel no such pressing need. I feel only two things pressing on me. The first is a back injury I've been dealing with for nearly three weeks, which has nothing to do with you -- um... unless it does, and if so, ouch! What did you do that for? The second thing pressing on me is this need to -- every once in a while -- pretend I am watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've been dealing with that for more than a dozen years though, so don't worry, we'll muddle through. Welcome to the Ringer pilot weecap! Whether you're here for twin SMGs, or Buffy Stuffy, or a little bit of Nestor Carbonell's guy-liner, or a taste of Ioan Gruffudd getting in and out of the shower, or you heard Logan Echolls... sorry, I mean, Jason Dohring, is going to show up sooner or later, make yourself at home and let's get to it.
We open on the Manhattan skyline at night. The camera pans past a carved stone face -- just trying to make me think I'm going to see Buffy patrolling one of Sunnydale's cemeteries, but Sunnydale got sucked into a hole in the earth, so you can't fool me, Mr. or Ms. Director of Photography. We zoom in on Bridget Kelly's eye, so great -- we've just evoked Lost too. (I think these writers are gas-lighting me.) She's in a loft, being stalked by a guy dressed in black. He's wearing a ski-mask and wielding a crowbar, so I don't think his aim is true. Neither does Bridget. Unfortunately, she sucks at hiding and leans on a boom box, causing Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" (another Lost reference) to echo through the place. Realizing the jig is up, Bridget bolts, but since her boots aren't regulation slayer wear, the Crowbar Demon (what?) quickly catches up to her and takes her down. They say death and taxes are the only certainties in life, but if you're a Buffy fan, there's another: the inevitable sense of frustration you will feel when you watch Sarah Michelle Gellar being physically overcome by a mere human male. As if to call me out of my fugue, Bridget tells her attacker, "You've got the wrong girl." Et tu, Buffy? Title card.
Nine days earlier, we see Bridget in an AA or NA meeting in Backscratch, Wyoming. She's seated between a white woman and an African-American man, Malcolm "Not Reynolds" Howard. He's bald, and he's trying to make me think he's Principal McHottie, but I am not so easily fooled. Clearly, he's played by Mike Colter (Lemond Bishop, The Good Wife), not D.B. Woodside, so take that, Show. Bridget exposits that she's been sober for six months -- longer than some of the relationships she's had. Things have been tense and it's hard to stay clean, but she's doing it, blah blah blah one-day-at-a-time cakes. She says she's finally heard from her sister, Siobhan, who wants her to come stay with her. Bridget finishes her spiel with, "I just keep reminding myself: mistakes aren't tragedies, but..." The group finishes the thought with her. "Please Higher Power, help me learn from them." I like that as the flip side to Dorothy Parker's: "It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes."