Episode Title: "Pilot"
Writers: Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder
Director: Richard Shepard
To escape a man out to kill her, a young woman named Bridget Kelly (Sarah Michelle Gellar) takes over the life of her twin sister, Siobhan Martin when she is missing and presumed dead. However, Bridget's problems soon multiply and she may not be the only one being targeted for murder.
In the future, Bridget hides in a darkened loft as a masked intruder hunts for her. Bridget accidentally makes too much noise and she is forced to make a break for the door before the intruder tackles her. As he prepares to kill her, she pleads that he's got the wrong girl. Flashing back to several days before, Bridget speaks in front of an AA meeting about her struggles with addiction and her attempts to stay sober. Bridget also mentions that her sister has reached out to her for the first time in years. She confides in her sponsor, Malcom Howard (Mike Colter) before FBI agent Victor Machado (Nestor Carbonell) escorts Bridget back to a safehouse in advance of her testimony against a dangerous killer. Victor assures her that she will be safe, but Bridget clearly feels threatened as she eyes the lone man left to guard her.
The next morning, Victor is alarmed to find that the safehouse has apparently been attacked, but he soon finds his man tied up in the shower and exclaiming that Bridget stole his gun. Soon enough, Bridget arrives at the Hamptons and she reunites with her sister, Siobhan; who takes Bridget to her home as they attempt to reconnect. She then takes Bridget for a ride on her boat and admits that she never told her husband that she even had a sister. At some point, Bridget passes out and when she reawakens, Siobhan is gone. Assuming that her sister has killed herself, Bridget dives into the water to find her but comes up empty handed.
With seemingly little recourse (other than to turn herself in and get protection from the FBI), Bridget tentatively assumes Siobhan's life. Siobhan's husband, Andrew Martin (Ioan Gruffudd) finds the new "Siobhan" unexpectedly agreeable, but he doesn't quite believe the change in her personality. Bridget also finds herself suddenly thrust into Siobhan's circle of friends, including Gemma Gallagher (Tara Summers). She also notices a strange man named Henry (Kristoffer Polaha) watching her from afar. During a charity event, Henry forces a kiss on Bridget and reveals himself to be both Siobhan's lover and the husband of Gemma.
Bridget also walks in on Siobhan's step daughter, Juliet (Zoey Deutch) fooling around with a guy in her bed. Turns out the bad girl's been kicked out of boarding school, much to Andrew's dismay. While going through Siobhan's things, Bridget finds a picture of Siobhan with her son, Sean, who may be dead because of something Bridget did (just a wild guess there folks). Bridget also gets an alarming phone call meant for Siobhan which informs her that she is pregnant. Andrew walks in on the call and assumes that the baby is his. Later, at another party, Henry is angered by the news and he tells Bridget that the baby is likely his.
Henry forces Bridget to choose between himself or Andrew… and she chooses Andrew. To compound Bridget's problems, Victor has tracked down "her sister" and he starts asking Bridget where he can find her, unaware that she's standing in front of him. Some time after that, Bridget gets a call from Gemma telling her that she knows who has been sleeping with her husband. She tells Bridget to meet her at the loft, but once there Bridget finds herself attacked by a masked intruder. Catching up to the teaser, the intruder throws Bridget through a door. And while she recovers, she grabs the hidden gun she took from the FBI agent and shoots her attacker dead.
To Bridget's surprise, she finds a picture of Siobhan in the man's pocket, implying that her sister was the target. And in Paris, the real Siobhan lounges in luxury until she gets a call that there has been a problem.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is by far the primary draw of "Ringer." On "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," Gellar embodied her title character and became a favorite of fans and critics alike. But the question is, can she return to TV and recapture that magic without the words of Joss Whedon and company backing her up?
The early answer is no. In fact, the biggest problem with this episode is Gellar herself.
Against other actors and actresses, Gellar can usually hold her own. But her scenes opposite herself featured some of the most clumsy and wooden acting I've ever seen on the CW. When paired together, neither Bridget or Siobhan come off as separately compelling characters. In fact, those scenes were shot so poorly that they resembled fan films on Youtube more than a presumably well budgeted pilot (considering this was originally meant for CBS).
There's nothing that Siobhan says or does that tells us who she is more than the things she surrounds herself with, For starters, the very first thing people see in her home is a giant picture of herself and there are mirrors everywhere in that place. Siobhan may not love her husband or her sister, but she clearly loves herself. The closing moments suggest that Siobhan planned to put Bridget into her life so she could have her sister killed and let the world think that she was dead. As far as over-the-top plans go, it's not that bad. Especially if she hates her sister.
It's revealed at one point that Siobhan had a son and it's implied that he may be dead because of something that Bridget did. That suggests that Siobhan has been married before she met Andrew. Otherwise how could she lose her son and keep her husband unaware of her sibling? I just wish that the character onscreen was as interesting as her backstory.
Neither Andrew or Henry come off as plausible love interests for Bridget going forward, with Henry's behavior particularly came off as asinine. Plus, I couldn't help but notice that he looks more like Pacey from "Dawson's Creek" than Joshua Jackson does! Weird.
The pilot episode essentially drags along for most of the way and only really gets interesting in the closing moments. It's hard to see how long "Ringer" can sustain itself as a series when it almost ran out of steam in the first episode. There just isn't enough substance here to build a show around. Maybe that's not a problem for The CW as long as fans come back to watch to Gellar week after week. But I can't guarantee that I'll stick with this one for more than a few weeks.
Crave Online Rating: 4 out of 10.