Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television as twins who both are hiding potentially deadly secrets

By Tim Stack
Updated September 14, 2011 at 05:54 AM EDT
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First of all, I’d like to state that no other TV twins can top Brandon and Brenda Walsh in my heart. But that being said Ringer’s Siobhan and Bridget are probably in my top five. I mean we’ve all missed Sarah Michelle Gellar on television since the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ringer sorta reminds me in fact of that fantastic Buffy episode where there were two Willows: one who was mean/kinda slutty and one who wore a pink sweater with daisy appliqués. But I digress…

So SMG returned to television last night in the new CW thriller Ringer. I know I already compared it to Buffy, but it actually is much more akin to a Brian DePalma movie. It’s a little Hitchcock, a little soap opera, and a lot over the top. The premiere episode is far from perfect, but I think it lays enough ground work and suspense to keep watching. Plus, the lead character has a giant, wall-size photo of herself in her living room a la Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl. That is something you just have to respect.

So Ringer starts off with a flash-forward to Bridget being attacked in a loft by a masked intruder. The loft itself sorta reminds me of the one used during the climax of Ghost. Look out for falling shards of glass, Bridge! She’s tackled by the intruder and they scuffle a bit (clearly Bridget does not share the same fighting skills as Buffy). Finally she yells out “You’ve got the wrong girl!” And then we flashback to Wyoming and an AA meeting. We meet Bridget, one of the twins SMG plays, who seems kinda sad and has sad stringy hair and wears sorta sad clothes. But she does have a really hot sponsor named Malcolm and even managed to make a flirty joke about AA meeting cookies. Not too shabby Bridge! But the gal just can’t catch a break as she’s also a witness to a stripper’s murder by a gangster, who looks a lot like the packleader on True Blood that Alcide killed. Anyone else think that? Afraid to testify, Bridget instead goes on the run and flees to the Hamptons — where else?!? But she’s not looking to party with Christie Brinkley. Bridget is reconnecting with her estranged twin Siobhan, who we can tell is much more uptight and rich because she wears her hair pulled back tight and rocks a pristine white coat. Rich people do that kind of stuff.

It’s unclear why the sisters are so estranged, but there’s vague talk about someone named “Sean.” At first I thought maybe Bridget had caused some sort of a scene at Sean Combs’ White Party years ago, but then Bridget found an old photo of Siobhan and “Sean,” who’s actually a small child. Anyway, Siobhan takes Bridget home to her kick-ass Hamptons house and leads her to what I’m going to call the “mirror room.” It’s unclear what room this is. Is it a closet? A giant vanity? All I know is there are tons of reflections and mirrors and Siobhan clearly has a some extra-strength Windex to keep the streaks to a minimum. Frankly, her cleaning lady needs a bonus.

NEXT: Bridget and Siobhan take a boat ride…to Crazytown!!!!

In the middle of bonding, the girls decide to take a speedboat ride because I mean that’s what you do to repair the rifts in your relationships. And now comes the time when we discuss what will forever be called the “Ringer Boat Sequence.” Holy green screen. Did they shoot this at an NYU Film School seminar? What in the hell made the producers think they could pull of a boat sequence via $5 green screen effects? It’s honestly a moment that almost sinks the whole pilot, especially considering how important of a sequence it is.

The girls manage to deal with the horrendous green screen. They drink some fruity sodas and discuss Bridget no longer stripping. Girl talk. Then, Bridget falls asleep only to find Siobhan gone when she wakes up. Where did she go? Unclear. Bridget assumes she’s committed suicide and like a sane person then assumes Siobhan’s identity, which means a lot of tight hair buns and Hermes scarves. It’s perfect though, because Bridget is already being targeted by the mob so she’ll just take on a new persona and one that she looks exactly like! What could go wrong? Famous last words.

So Bridget basically moves into Siobhan’s awesome apartment (the one with the huge photo of Siobhan in the foyer) and plays nice with her kinda prissy husband, Andrew. We meet Siobhan’s good friend Gemma, who has a kinda too hot for her husband named Henry. Turns out Henry and Siobhan are doin’ the horizontal mambo. So not only is Siobhan snooty, but she’s also slutty. Also, the loft that we saw in the very beginning is actually Siobhan and Andrew’s new apartment that Gemma is helping renovate/redecorate.

Bridget starts to get the swing of the things in Siobhan’s world, which basically means a lot of parties and charity events where she gets to wear a ballgown. Bridget clearly also found the location for Siobhan’s hairdresser, because girl ain’t doing those ‘dos by herself. Also, rather hilariously, everyone keeps telling her how skinny she looks. “You’re too thin.” “You look absolutely anorexic.” I kept thinking: was this in SMG’s contract to have her supporting cast constantly tell her how slender she looks? Because I in fact have that same clause in my EW contract. “Tim, you look so lithe and taut.” “Tim, you look better than everyone else here.” It’s those little details that help make the workday go faster.

Bridget also meets her stepdaughter Juliet, who comes home from boarding school for a little man action. I love that Bridget’s first reaction upon seeing Juliet fooling around with her boyfriend is “Is that my scarf?” Genius! She’s really getting a handle on playing this snob! Turns out though she was just nervous about Juliet rifling through her drawers since she hid the FBI agent’s weapon in one of them. So Bridge doesn’t strike one as immediately maternal, but she’s certainly gonna have to work on that given that Siobhan’s doctor calls and informs her that she is preggers! And of course Andrew walks in at that exact moment. I’m not really sure putting a pillow under her Alexander Wang tops is gonna be enough to pull of this masquerade.

But Bridget has bigger things to worry about: Gemma calls her and says that she thinks she knows who Henry is having an affair with. So Bridget goes back to the loft, and we’re full circle with the masked intruder and the scuffle. At one point, Bridget is thrown through a wall, which even Buffy would be a little miffed about. Luckily, the retired stripper found a new hiding place for the FBI agent’s gun and it was behind this exact dry wall! Yahtzee! Bridget blows away the criminal but then is shocked when she searches his pockets and finds a picture of…Siobhan. Looks like Bridget isn’t the only one with thugs after her.

But then there’s the awesome final moment, which reveals that Siobhan isn’t actually dead. She’s simply lounging and smoking in Paris. And then there’s the phone call: “Siobhan, there’s a problem.” And then she hangs up! First of all, someone needs to learn a little phone etiquette. Second, awesome!! Twin hostility!!!

What did you think? Is Siobhan just trying to take major revenge on her sister? Are you into SMG’s new TV persona?

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

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