Ringer: “If You Ever Want a French Lesson” (The CW)

Bridget ignores the “Gilligan Rule,” Siobhan locks lips with Knight Rider, and we meet “Mr. Constipation.”

Episode 1-03 / Originally Aired 9/27/11

“It’s not easy being the more successful twin,” my identical brother Dax sighed into the phone while packing for Shanghai. “The expectations are enormous! If I don’t have a new gadget in the kitchen to point out to mom and dad every time they come over, I can literally see the worry forming on their faces. It’s like… what’s he doing with himself? There’s three open shelves and last time there were only two.  Has he lost sight of his potential?'”

I was only half-listening. I was in the middle of trying to fish out my favorite South Park magnet from underneath the fridge using a grabby thing I’d made out of a wire coat hanger thanks to a video I saw on WikiTips.com.

“It’s murder!” he continued.  “All this material accumulation becomes a prison after a while. I hope you don’t hate hearing this, but there are people in this world who just have too much going for them.”

Dax is fond of saying, “I hope you don’t hate hearing this,” just before informing me of some painful nugget of knowledge he thinks I’m not aware of yet, like that I apparently swing a bat like a Park Avenue wedding planner, or that when I sing it triggers the mating urge in donkeys.

I know that there are many out there who dream about having a twin and fantasize over all the fun that comes with it… inventing secret languages, playing pranks on teacher, the unique opportunities in the world of on-line porn. But it’s far more work than those people imagine, especially when you feel like your twin is a David Beckham smile and you’re a set of plastic Halloween hillbilly teeth.

It’s been my personal experience that the grass has always been greener on the other side of the amniotic sac.

Ringer The CW Sarah Michelle GellarOf course, what twin has it perfect? Here we have Ringer’s Bridget (Sarah Michelle Gellar), thinking that by assuming the identity of her presumed dead sister Siobhan, she’ll be able to avoid the mob boss out to kill her, and then it turns out that someone is trying to kill Siobhan as well.  Bridget is clearly not aware of the “The Gilligan Rule,” a principle that applies to all modern-day television characters.  Originating in 1979, The Gilligan Rule comes from the very first Gilligan’s Island reunion movie where the castaways finally all got rescued from the dreaded island only to take a second cruise celebrating their good fortune and ending up getting shipwrecked all over again.  Had Bridget been up on her crappy tv watching as a kid, she’d have known to leave well enough alone.  She’d also know how to pick up radio reception with her dental fillings and how to build a vaudeville stage out of palm fronds and puka shells, two things that could have come in handy should Ringer get picked up for a back nine order.

Ringer The CW Sarah Michelle Gellar Ioan GruffuddThe list of people potentially out to kill Siobhan is longer than the list of Kat Von D. body piercings.  But Bridget quickly zeroes in on Siobhan’s hothead of a husband, Andrew as the most likely candidate.  Not only does Bridget discover that Siobhan, before disappearing, had visited a high-priced divorce attorney and hinted at being the victim of physical abuse at his hands, Andrew is also in possession of a copy of the photo of Siobhan which Bridget discovered in the pocket of the hit man sent to kill her.

I like what Ioan Gruffudd is doing with the character of Andrew, walking a careful line between the menacing and the mild. But frankly, the heavy-handedness with which this episode set about convincing us of Andrew’s guilt makes his innocence seem all the more likely.  “It’s as obvious as that bald patch I spotted on the top of your head,” Dax threw in. “I hope you don’t hate hearing that.” he added. “It really sucks being half an inch taller than you.”

Ringer Sarah Michelle Gellar Justin Bruening The CWMeanwhile over in France, Siobhan is certainly not letting being presumed dead get in the way of her scoring herself a little “C’est Si Bon” with former Knight Rider Justin Bruening. It was good to finally see a little of Siobhan prior to the last two minutes of an episode, but I can’t help but think… if I was trying to keep people from discovering I was alive, I might avoid dressing to the nines and positioning myself at the end of a swanky Parisian bar waiting for a the world’s youngest international banker to come in and tickle my dress shields.  But seeing as in reality I’m currently wearing sweat shorts and a “Generra Concept” t-shirt from 1986 while foraging through dust bunnies under my refrigerator trying to retrieve a magnetic Eric Cartman with a bent coat hanger, maybe I won’t judge lifestyle choices just now.

Ringer The CW Sarah Michelle GellarThe one clue Bridget has to the identity of the person responsible for the attempts on her life is the cell phone she pinched off the dead hit man’s body.  Desperate to get that phone back is the mystery man who managed to corner Bridget in the abandoned building owned by Andrew mid-way through the episode.  This gentleman’s evil intent is telegraphed to us by his eye bags, ill-conceived haircut and slightly constipated expression.  Clearly, this is a man who has paid close attention to the WikiTips.com video, “How to be a Successful Miscreant Henchman.”  As she managed to escape from his clutches in this episode, I think it’s safe to say that there is going to be a lot more Constipation in Bridget’s future.

Between the story points surrounding the true identity of Siobahn/Bridget’s attempted killer, we slogged through some minor financial drama with Andrew’s company that has yet to amount to anything, along with FBI Agent Machado’s growing suspicion that “Siobahn” knows more about Bridget’s whereabouts than she claims, and in the last moments, Siobahn’s discovery of what we and Bridget have known for three weeks now – she’s preggers.  Thankfully though, the producers of Ringer are keeping those stories on the back burner while directing most of their focus on Bridget’s slow procession to the truth of her sister’s life, delicately intertwined with her own growing attraction to it.

And despite her ignorance of “The Gilligan Rule,” I can’t actually say I’d do anything differently if I were Bridget.  After all, Dax has it pretty good.  If I had the kind of life where I could spend the day looking for a brand new refrigerator, instead of looking for something that lets me stick coupons on the front of the old one, I might just let a few constipated hit men take their best shot at me too.

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