Sarah Michelle Gellar Proves It’s Not a Party Without a Dead Hit Man in the Trunk
Episode 1-02 / Originally Aired 9/20/11
Throwing a stupendous Titanic-themed party for hundreds of uptown New Yorkers fresh from their latest round of divorce hearings and nanny beating is hard enough. But having to throw said socialite shindig while simultaneously concealing the body of the mystery assassin you recently killed and stuffed into an antique steamer trunk after he mistook you for your identical twin sister and tried to murder you in your unfinished Manhattan loft is definitely a task that’s going to require an extra can of Red Bull, maybe even a B-12 shot.
And yet, Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing the character of Bridget who in turn is newly-playing the role of her supposedly deceased sister and party hostess, Siobhan, managed not only to keep the goofy corpse from popping up like an animatronic spook from The Haunted Mansion, but she also made sure that the Brie was room temperature and there was plenty of peanut oil for the Oriental Tartlets, all without ever once mussing her super-chic Madonna clip-on ponytail.
Had Sarah Jessica Parker seen every horrendous obstacle tossed into poor Sarah Michelle’s way (blood leaking out onto the floor, the corpse’s phone ringing during her husband’s welcome speech) she might have considered changing the name of her last movie from I Don’t Know How She Does It to That’s All You Did Today… and What, No Pie?
It certainly put my last party to shame. But that might have been my fault. I didn’t spell-check my E-vite so instead of it saying “Pool Party,” it accidentally went out as “Poof Party” and everyone showed up dressed as Quentin Crisp. I tried to make lemons into lemonade by asking my guests if they knew any jokes appropriate to the occasion. Turns out there’s only one: “Why did Quentin Crisp cross the road? Because he wished to pen a more elegant foreward to The Naked Civil Servant.”
For those of you in need of a refresher… twin sister Bridget is actually a rough-and-tumble recovering alcoholic from Wyoming on the run from a mob boss who wants her dead and the authorities who want her to testify at the mob boss’s murder trial. Bridget has taken on the identity of Siobhan who faked her own drowning and has fled to Paris where she is living in secrecy except for when she feels the need to dress up like a character from Airport ’75 and prance around the Champs-Élysées. You could almost hear the “chicie-chick-AH!” as Siobhan sashayed into a Parisian bank at the end of the episode intent on withdrawing funds from her secret account, only to find out that Bridget had already drained it dry.
Siobhan did the sensible thing and immediately got on the phone and ordered Bridget’s death. Having grown up with two older sisters, this seemed totally natural. I remember nights where teeth were nearly knocked out over whose turn it was to dry the dishes and screaming matches over which one of them was responsible for breaking the hot curler set (it was actually me – I was trying to get my hair to flip up in front like Erin Gray’s). Regardless, we’re still unclear of what Siobhan’s true motives are and whether or not she always expected Bridget to assume her identity. In fact, the larger story arcs in Ringer were really not moved forward much at all in this episode, but there is one thing I can tell you for sure… as an adult man, I’m definitely more partial to hair irons than hot rollers anyway.
We did have a few potentially interesting plot complications, most notably the sexy British snake-in-the-Central Park grass and financial wizard (Dexter’s Jaime Murray) looking to steal away Siobhan’s husband. There’s also the conflict Bridget is slowly beginning to experience as she becomes more emotionally involved in the lives of Siobahn’s family and friends, illustrated when she chose to stay and hold back the hair of Siobahn’s party-drugged step-daughter as she heaved into the toilet rather than make her escape to freedom with her newfound secret riches.
But the majority of fun in this episode came from simply watching Bridget dash around frantically any time that darn body in the trunk was about to be discovered. I couldn’t help but begin to fantasize about places in my apartment I’d like to hide a body if someone unexpectedly dropped by to hang out with me. But then I remembered that since my Quentin Crisp party, no one has come by at all. So I could basically leave the damn thing in the middle of the living room if I felt like it. Vacuuming would be tricky, but at least I wouldn’t have to worry about putting food out for the cat.