Seriable Focus: Exploring The Morality Of Bridget’s Switcheroo [RINGER]

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Was Bridget right to assume the identity of her supposedly dead twin sister in Ringer? Let’s explore.

One of the many great things that serialized TV provides is a canvass for the exploration of the rights and wrongs of actions, particularly in unique or pressurized situations.

The pilot of the CW’s Ringer served up an interesting morality question from the get-go:

Was Bridget Right To Take Her Sister’s Identity?

First we’ll establish some context before looking at both the reasons for and against.

CONTEXT

  • The sisters had been estranged for a long time.
  • Siobhan is affluent while Bridget has a less financially secure life. She’s also in hiding, fearing for her life.
  • In Siobhan’s world, no-one knows that Bridget exists. There’s also a brokenness between them — Bridget was somehow responsible for the death of Siobhan’s young son, Sean. But all is forgiven, right?
  • Bridget has good reason to believe that her sister committed suicide.

FOR

  • Bridget was in trouble in her own life and needs to start over. A new identity should by her some time, if not permanent cover.
  • The opportunity just presented itself — i.e. she didn’t plan to kill her sister and steal her life. It just happened, your honor.
  • Siobhan may have wanted Bridget to take her life. While it’s not explicitly illustrated, this is certainly a logical possibility from Bridget’s POV, given the timing and nature of Siobhan’s ‘death’.

Just don’t touch my Prada.

AGAINST

  • She’s not allowing herself the room to actually grieve for Siobhan. This is something of a contrivance, but it’s also a reason against the path she took.
  • It’s deceitful and manipulative. Especially for those who love and care for Siobhan, to unknowingly have a stranger in their midst.
  • Bridget didn’t try to report Siob’s disappearance/death, which is morally wrong. (and again, somewhat contrived for the plot to work.)

CONCLUSION

Bridget’s actions are absolutely wrong. However, given her level of resourcefulness and desperation to avoid standing trial, her actions are not completely out of character at this stage. Not that this excuses them, but it’s believable that she would at least consider this course of action.

There’s also an element of ‘staging’ to all of this — as we discover even before the final scene. It would seem that Bridget has walked right into a carefully laid trap. In that sense she’s been manipulated. Her sister (and others, I presume) has seemingly created a scenario that played to Bridget’s instincts. Does this diminish the immorality of her actions? Again, no. But they are factors worth considering as the story continues.

As for my overall thoughts of the pilot? It was good. An intriguing world is established. It’s good to have Buffy and Richard Alpert back on my screen, and I’m thrilled at the level of serialized potential that the series holds. The noir feel also has a place in Seriabledom, and the use of flashbacks was interesting.

But it wasn’t spectacular and the plot contrivances are there for all to see. The symbolism was a bit too on the nose at times. And while this could go under the contrivances tab, I have to wonder whether Siobhan’s peeps had their spidey senses dialed to zero throughout the episode. Of course, they could all be in on it, so there’s that.

7 Seriable StarsI rated it 7/10 Seriable Stars

If you’re on the fence about watching Ringer, have a look at the pilot trailer to see if there’s anything in there that floats your boat:


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Comments

  1. Page 48 says

    Siobhan left Bridget between a rock and a hard place.

    What are her options?

    1) Call a cop? Bridget is a wanted fugitive, so how does she go about reporting Siobhan’s “suicide” without the unfortunate by-product of her own arrest? She can’t really risk going to the authorities.

    2) Call a cop, pretending to be Siobhan reporting Bridget’s “suicide”? Well, for one thing, Siobhan hasn’t told anyone she has a sister. Awkward. If she pulled that off, would she be in trouble for harbouring a fugitive?

    3) She could just cut and run, but where to?

    4) Stick around and just pretend she’s the one and only Siobhan? She has to be prepared for the possibility of her sister’s body to wash up on shore (see newspaper headline). If Siobhan does wash up, then there will all manner of embarrassing questions, many of them asked by Richard Alpert I suspect.

    I have to think that Bridget’s decisions are badly flawed and destined to quickly spiral out of control (in the real world, she’d already be busted). There is no doubt that she is on shaky moral ground, but, in her defense, as you say, Roco, she didn’t plan for any of this to happen and she’s trading one dicey predicament for another in an effort to buy time and stay alive.

    I like to think that, if she could have imagined a less odious option on such short notice, she would have chosen it. I have to assume that Bridget will eventually reveal herself to be a woman of better character than we’ve seen so far. Cuz she’s the Buffster.

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    • says

      Good points, Page.

      Like you, I assume she would have chosen a better option if she had more time, even though none of them hold much promise for her.

      Let’s just say that for the ‘story’ she chose the right path, but it’s interesting to look at it from a ‘real world’ perspective. I agree that she’d already be busted in RL.

      Oh Siobhan, whatever have you gotten your sister into!

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  2. karen mulhern says

    my daughter and i watched it last night and both thoroughly enjoyed it! i was particularly surprised to see Siobahn alive and well in the last scene…i really thought she had drowned! should be interesting to see how this all plays out!

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