Ringer, S1E1 — Pilot


All right! To start off, let me say that I am a huge Buffy fan whose favorite character in the show was Buffy herself, so I have been excited about Ringer ever since I heard of its existence. I was pretty sure that Sarah Michelle Gellar (henceforth SMG) could handle herself playing multiple characters in a single show (and so far, based on the pilot, I’m totally right). As more information was released, I got both more excited and slightly worried: Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell, and also Jason Dohring in a recurring role — but also on the CW. No offense at all meant to those who watch shows on the CW, but I do not. Also, it was getting rather mixed reviews from those critics who saw the pilot. Therefore, it was with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety that I sat down to watch the pilot tonight. Thankfully, it did not suck. And now to the actual recap.

An open loft? Kind of hard to find somewhere to hide.

An open loft? Kind of hard to find somewhere to hide.

We open on a very Buffy-esque scene — a city rooftop at night, complete with stone gargoyles. (I’m going to be making a lot of Buffy comparisons in my recaps, at least for a while. I’ll apologize in advance if this grates, but it would be impossible for me to ignore the comparisons.) Then we’re inside a building, a loft room, and a close-up of the panicked face of SMG. She’s hiding behind a wall, and there’s a masked baddie in black carrying a crowbar on the other side of the wall. The baddie hears a sound and follows her. It looks like the loft is under construction — there are plastic sheets and piles of material and stuff all around. SMG’s character is now crouching behind one of these sheets, looking way more terrified than Buffy pretty much ever got of a non-supernatural bad guy. Then she puts out her hand, and accidentally turns on a boom box that happens to be next to her. Oops.

“I Fall To Pieces” starts to play, as SMG looks even more terrified. The masked baddie turns to follow the sound to its source. As soon as he starts to get near, SMG ducks under the plastic and runs. Crowbar Guy runs after her and tackles her to the ground. They fight. Crowbar Guy has the upper hand — which again is weird, if you’re expecting this to be Buffy, which I kind of can’t help subconsciously expecting, as I said — but SMG isn’t going to give up. “You have the wrong girl!” she shouts, as her attacker tries to get his hands around her throat. We fade to the opening “RINGER” title screen.

Nine days earlier. SMG’s character introduces herself: “My name is Bridget, and I’m an addict.” Yes, we are at a support group. Bridget looks like she probably hasn’t slept much in recent memory, but she’s still gorgeous. She informs the group that she’s been sober for six months, “which is longer than some of the relationships I’ve had.”

Bridget continues that it’s been difficult, but she’s stayed clean. She’s also finally gotten a response from her sister Siobhan — love that name, by the way, with its awesome Irish Gaelic spelling. Did you know it’s the Irish form of “Joan” or “Joanna”, via the French “Jeanne”? Now you know. Siobhan wants her to come visit and stay as long as she wants, but Bridget isn’t sure she’s ready for family. “I’m okay,” she says (in that absolutely unique-to-SMG way of saying ‘okay’ … seriously, listen to it sometime), “but I’m not that okay.” Quiet chuckles, especially from the rather attractive African-American man who’s sitting right next to her in the circle. She continues ruefully, “I just keep reminding myself: Mistakes aren’t tragedies, but please, Higher Power, help me learn from them.” The rest of the group joins in as she finishes this statement.

Group is finishing up. The hot guy who was sitting next to Bridget — played by the talented Mike Colter — tells Bridget that she shouldn’t be drinking coffee, it’ll make her have trouble falling asleep.

Bridget shares her cookie

No, they're not hot for each other or anything.

Bridget just points out that she’s going to have trouble sleeping regardless. She’s holding a cookie as the coffee, and Malcolm (that’s the character’s name) wants some of it.

“Oh,” Bridget says, rather flirtatiously, “now you want my cookies.” So it’s like that, is it? Then she tells him that she should probably go, adding, “My guy’s waiting.” She waves sarcastically to Nestor Carbonell, waiting just inside the gym entrance. He is obviously a cop of some kind.

Malcolm follows her gaze. “Are you sure you don’t want me there tomorrow?” Bridget doesn’t look displeased to be asked, but she tells him she’s sure.

“Is that your boyfriend or your sponsor?” the FBI agent asks as Bridget comes over.

“Malcolm?” Bridget asks, seeming surprised. “Sponsor, but…” Her eyes travel over Malcolm sadly. “Sponsor.” Carbonell’s character, whose name is Victor Machado, follows Bridget out.

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