|written by Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder; directed by Richard Shepard|
starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nestor Carbonell, Ioan Gruffud & Kristoffer Polaha
It's one of those absurdly fun "airport novel" ideas, allowing for amusing moments as the less priggish Bridget tries to convince people she's stuck-up Siobhan, while navigating her way through a life that isn't her own. As Quantum Leap proved, it's appealing to see someone literally step into someone else's shoes, but it's a pity Sarah Michelle Gellar isn't better in these roles. She's a nice presence (and hasn't aged a day since staking vampires), but Gellar must rank as the least convincing recovering alcoholic that's ever been committed to film, and her turn as courteous Siobhan saw half the performance handled by a white dress. A dual role like this may wander into clichés (one twin's good, one twin's evil), but a better actress would have made the distinction between the two sisters more nuanced. Gellar just makes Siobhan a little colder than Bridget, and clearly had difficulty with the slapdash effects sequences where she's acting alongside herself.
Overall, it may feature two lifeless performances from Gellar (I think she works best with a humorous element that's missing here), the least-convincing speedboat sequence in living memory, on-the-nose symbolism (mirrors, mirrors!), and a premise that feels like an old '80s screenplay that's been refashioned for TV, but I can't deny I found Ringer quite entertaining. If Gellar can distinguish her roles better going forward, and the writers quickly prove they have a mystery that's absorbing in itself, Ringer could become a satisfying small-screen thriller with a tincture of '60s cool.
- Great to see Nestor Carbonnell on the show, best-known now for playing Richard Alpert in Lost. His role as the FBI agent trying to find Bridget is one I'm worried about, though. Given the fact he's found Bridget (only he thinks she's Siobhan), and it's therefore impossible for him to find Bridget until he realizes the swap that's taken place, what will he character be doing most weeks? Ditto Bridget's NA sponsor Malcolm Ward (Mike Colter), whom it seems she'll be confiding in about what's really going on.
- This episode attracted 2.84m viewers (1.2 in the 18-49 demo).