Ringer Revealed... Sarah Michelle Gellar's soapy CW drama returns for its first episode of 2012. 'It Just Got Normal' does its best to up the stakes even further for the show's characters, but ultimately can't help but feel like a disappointment.
The Juliet storyline dominates this week, but the whole affair is rather tiresome. It's obvious that there's a twist on the way, but with no link to the central - and far more intriguing - twin-swap plot, the entire arc just feels superfluous. It's obvious filler and the Juliet character just feels surplus to requirements.
With the rape accusation plot dragging its heels, it was up to Siobhan to stir up a little excitement. She's busy prying through Andrew's financial records, looking for signs of corrupt business dealings, and dodging calls from the hunky Tyler (Justin Bruening).
There's plenty of potential in relocating the character to New York, and this week it was great fun to watch her playing a very dangerous game - leading Henry up the garden path and even returning to her old apartment to scowl at her twin from behind a curtain. *This* is the kind of absurdity that Ringer does best.
And now that Siobhan's no longer just a shadowy presence making sinister phone calls from a Paris hotel, she has to humanise her a little more. She displays genuine emotion when reunited with Henry and it seems that her feelings for him at least are genuine (Though Lord knows why - Kristoffer Polaha brings good looks to the part, but lacks charisma).
Mädchen Amick's addition to the Ringer cast is also welcome, particularly in the absence of Tara Summers's Gemma (*sob*). Greer's awkward dinner date with Bridget and Andrew in the opening scenes is great fun - full of veiled bitchiness. Her knowledge of Siobhan's affair with Henry also complicates things for Bridget - a pleasing development.
But the chief problem with this week's instalment is that it's all rather low-key - Ringer thrives on the ludicrous and, particularly for a midseason premiere, this is all relatively mundane and indeed far too normal.
Once Bridget's fundraiser gets into full swing, the episode follows suit - a drunken Juliet confronts Carpenter, Bridget floors the unwitting teacher with a powerful right-hook - but it all takes far too long to get going.
'It Just Got Normal' is perfectly good fun, but fails to match Ringer's best episodes. Given that the show has been on a two-month break, we'd expected something a little more from its return. Next week, we need a little more spice and incident. We'd hate for Ringer to become as slow and meandering as Agent Machado's detective work.
Andrew Highlight of the Week... Our favourite character on Ringer has to be the stuffy Andrew - he's like James Bond, but made entirely of cardboard. This week's highlight has to be his "Damn it!" when the computer guy cancels on him. Amazing stuff from Gruffudd.
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