No episode of Ringer, which the CW canceled last week, was ever as good as that one, but it was a masterpiece of serialized storytelling, leaving your mouth open not only at the end of every episode, but before every set of advertisements. In the second half of its first season, it was more just great melodrama, storytelling so knotty it's impossible to describe. I tried once, when my girlfriend came over as I was finishing an episode on Hulu, and I attempted to explain the basics of what was happening, but I could barely even explain who the characters were: "that's her husband, but it's not really her husband, and he doesn't know she's actually not his wife." It's a testament to the writers, directors, and producers—and to Sarah Michelle Gellar herself—that they were able to tell their impossible story so clearly: you always knew when SMG was the ex-drug addict runaway witness, when she was the wealthy faked-suicide Manhattan schemer, and when she was the first pretending to be the second. Ringer may not have been great television, but it was made greatly.
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