Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x05: "A Whole New Kind Of Bitch"

Written by Shintaro Shimosawa
Directed by Janice Cooke

Gemma: “I can’t believe Siobhan killed herself. She was my best friend. I didn’t know she was in so much pain. There’s a lot of things I didn’t know.”
Bridget: “There’s a lot of things I didn’t know about Siobhan either.”

I suppose as a friend and a stepmother, Siobhan is really the worst you could have on either front but naturally, my sympathy this week went more to Gemma than it did to Juliet in that respect. And yes, it’s because I like one over the other a lot more.

This was really Gemma’s episode and I thought Tara Summers did a really good job here with keeping the character’s reactions believable at all times. It’s nice to see that it’s not just Bridget and Siobhan who are experiencing their worlds crashing around them but also Gemma has to endure it as well.

Gemma’s been experiencing a stagnating marriage for a while and has realised her best friend has been screwing her husband and to top it off, she also knows now that her best friend is dead and being impersonated by the twin sister. Even if Gemma isn’t liked by all, it’s hard to deny that her actions in this episode aren’t believable.

I liked that she initially refused to believe Bridget at face value and resorted to an old home movie to get the truth (Siobhan has a burn, Bridger doesn’t – you’d think Andrew would’ve noticed that too). I also had no issue with the mistrust she displayed towards Bridget as well in this episode.

Yes, I do like Bridget but Gemma had every right not to trust and when she told Bridget she didn’t owe her anything, it was hard to disagree with Gemma. The only bit where she went too far however was when she tried to get Bridget to sleep with Henry so she could divorce him without him getting to her money or the kids.

I wish I could care about the kids but seeing as this show hasn’t bothered to show them; it’s really hard to do. Also Henry may be a cheat but is he really a lousy father? Granted he does seem more into his writing career than being a parent or a husband and that royally pissed off Gemma this week but is that enough to justify the lengths Gemma’s willing to go to get back at him though?

I’m glad that Bridget had the sense to call Gemma’s bluff and not go through with the plan. Bridget certainly didn’t need the extra complication in her life and if she hadn’t been so reckless to tell Henry what Gemma had been up to, she might have had a valuable ally in her corner. By trying to do the right thing, Bridget actually shot herself in the foot with Gemma.

Gemma wasn’t particularly impressed with Bridget scuppering her plans and if it weren’t for the ending, I get the feeling she would’ve gone through with telling Andrew about what really happened to Siobhan. So, did Henry kill her? I don’t think he did and I actually don’t believe that Gemma’s dead either.

Of course the evasive behaviour Henry showed at the end of the episode won’t do him any favours but it’s more than likely that Gemma’s probably being held captive somewhere so she can’t spill the beans about Siobhan rather than actually being killed. Either that or she’s faking her own death but Siobhan already has that angle covered. Would we really need another character doing the same thing?

As for Juliet, her axe to grind with Siobhan is believable but unlike Gemma, I just didn’t care enough. Her bratty behaviour throughout the episode because she learned her father was sleeping with Siobhan before leaving her mother was believable but it wasn’t necessarily interesting and during some parts in the episode, it was more of a distraction than a highlight for the series.

Also we seemed to have the same solution as to her last appearance – someone finally points out that her excessive hedonism (and why does American teen hedonism always look like child’s play compared to UK teen hedonism?) will lead her down a dark path and eventually Juliet gets a scene where she thinks she’s bonding with Siobhan while largely questioning that her stepmother would never show this level of concern.

This is also an interesting plot point of itself. For all Juliet’s harping on about how much of a bitch Siobhan, it’s amazing how oblivious Andrew now seems to be around his ‘wife’. So far, Bridget’s been able to cover her tracks rather well but eventually something’s going to have to tip Andrew off to the fact that he’s living with a woman who is a) no pregnant and b) not his wife.

Speaking of eventualities, can someone please free poor Malcolm? It’s hard watching him being doped on drugs by Bodaway and his crappy cronies and it’s excruciating to watch some of the most wooden actors trying to be menacing. I really want to take Bodaway seriously as a villain but he’s just so lame that it’s impossible to do.

Is there any chance this show could kill him off in the first half of the series and spend the rest of it dealing with whoever Siobhan has legged it from? I say this because I genuinely do not think that Bodaway is a strong enough character to be sustained and it would be an interesting game changer too, if I’m being candid.

Also in “A Whole New Kind Of Bitch”

It’s just occurred to me that both Gemma and Andrew are the breadwinners of their respective marriages. Henry’s also getting more rejections as well from publishers.

Gemma (answer phone): “You’ve reached Gemma. Don’t be boring.”

Given that Siobhan had a burn below her hand; it is actually amazing that no-one has spotted it until now. Bridget’s had enough contact with all of Siobhan’s main people after all.

Andrew (re Juliet): “I’m not naive. I just don’t want to think of her that way. She’s my little girl.”
Bridget: “I know. That’s why we’re gonna help her.”

Bridget (to an NA meeting): “I thought lying was bad but compared to the truth. I thought the truth was supposed to set you free.”

Bridget told Andrew that a ‘cousin’ of hers had similar problems to Juliet (who’s being sent to public school) and doesn’t Charlie the sponsor seem a little suspect?

Stripper: “Are you looking for something?”
Malcolm: “Yeah, the exit.”

Bridget: “Thank you.”
Gemma: “Yeah, don’t thank me yet. I have a favour to ask you.”

It’s not relevant to the episode in any way but I just realised that Tara Summers (Gemma) is in the Snow Patrol video for “Called Out Of The Dark”.

Gemma: “This is about your book?”
Henry: “What did you think I was talking about?”
Gemma: “You define yourself by your book? Not by being a husband or a father?”

Juliet: “You and I both know the only person Siobhan cares about is herself.”
Andrew: “I don’t believe that.”

Malcolm smashed his phone in order to prevent Bodaway from reaching Bridget. Please, someone save the poor guy?

Bridget (to Henry, re Gemma): “Your wife knows about us. She overheard us in the Hamptons. She knows about the affair, the baby, that’s why she left.”

Bridget: “Do you have any idea how many twisted things I’ve learned about my sister’s life in the last few weeks?”
Gemma: “Well, she kind of sucks.”

Standout music: Transit’s “Always Find Me Here”, which was a great piece to end the episode with.

Bridget: “Siobhan failed you as a friend. Give me a chance. Maybe I can be the friend she wasn’t.”
Gemma: “What the hell am I doing? I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

Chronology: Straight from where “It’s Gonna Kill Me But I’ll Do It” left off and both Siobhan and Victor were missing from this one.

It’s probably not as good as the previous one but “A Whole New Kind Of Bitch” maintained a good standard and the added mystery of Gemma’s whereabouts could go either way but it’s more interesting than anything Bodaway related.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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