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."