Ringer EPs Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder and actor Kris Polaha talk about the midseason finale “bloodbath” and tease the return episodes.
The following contains spoilers for the Ringer midseason finale..
Speaking to TV Guide, the producers discuss the decision to kill Gemma, what really happened Juliet, and the focus for the second half of the season. Here come the quotables..:
What came with the decision to kill Gemma?
Eric Charmelo: Honestly, it seemed organic to the story. We’re trying to create a world where there are high stakes and no one is safe. Unfortunately, in the realm of noir, they tend to amass a body count to keep people on the edge of their seat. Bridget’s living in this very dangerous world where the stakes are too high.
Nicole Snyder: It was a blood bath. We were very aware of it, but blood baths are fun to write. The good thing about this show is, just because you’re dead doesn’t mean we’re not going to see you again. We have a lot of flashbacks.
How will Gemma’s death affect everyone?
Charmelo: When we come back after the holidays, we’re playing the episodes almost in real time, so there will have been a mourning period. We certainly address it in the next episode, but we don’t focus on it.
If the first half of the season was focused on Gemma’s disappearance, what will the second half of the season focus on?
Charmelo: Now that Siobhan is back in New York City, you have these two sisters playing this chess game, and the stakes are much higher because they are in the same city. Ultimately, paths will cross.
Snyder: A lot of the focus was on Gemma, and now Bridget can return to the original mystery and questions we established in the pilot, which is: Who is trying to kill Siobhan? Why and how is she going to stop them?
Charmelo: We’re really turning the screws tighter and tighter. It’s becoming this very combustible pressure cooker that’s just going to explode by the end of the season. The more lies Bridget tells, the more damage control she has to do to keep them contained. Eventually, I don’t know if she’ll be able to contain it all.
What really happened with Juliet (Zoey Deutch) and her teacher, Mr. Carpenter (Jason Dohring)?
Snyder: There’s definitely a layer to that story that we’re going to reveal. Just like everything else on that show, we lead you down one path and we twist it in a new direction, so this story will keep you on your toes. That’s a big part of the mystery.
Kris Polaha (Henry) also weighs in. On Gemma death and how it will impact Henry, he tells TV Line:
We didn’t know how Gemma was going to make an exit from the show, but we did know that she would be leaving at some point. All of us on set — including Tara — didn’t know if [the writers] would leave [the story] open-ended so that she could come back… So, when they shot her in the face it was pretty shocking. [Laughs]
For Henry, there will be a pretty huge level of guilt and remorse. If you think about it, everything seemed so innocent back at the start of the series. No one was really getting hurt and it was just one of those things, you know? People have affairs. But it all got so dark so quickly, and when you see him again in the first episode back, he’ll definitely want nothing to do with Siobhan.
Bloodbaths may be fun to write, but I really didn’t enjoy the way it went down. It just didn’t make sense. It was a bloodbath with a lot of holes, making it a very leaky bloodbath. Now perhaps Ringer is the kind of show that forgoes logic when it needs to instigate a twist?
Still, the show has improved since the early batch of episodes and it kinda fills the spot that Nikita filled for me last year. And look at Nikki and Co. now — much improved. There’s hope Ringer, the seriability is noted, but please flesh out these characters and make things a little more organic going forward.