The Rachel Weisz series “Dead Ringers” is based on a novel by Bari Woods called “Twins” and is a reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1988 film. The performances, especially the contrasting personalities portrayed by Rachel Weisz in her double role, are brilliant, but the show is far from being watchable, intriguing, or entertaining. It looks like the character had a lot of substance and depth on paper, but it translated to the screen in such a haphazard manner that not only did the narrative lose its essence, but the show became unbearable at times. So, let’s divulge into the gory world of the Mantle Sisters and try to understand their twisted sensibilities.
‘Dead Ringers’ Series Summary: What Is It About?
Beverly and Elliot Mantle were close to each other in ways that the common folk couldn’t imagine. They were successful gynecologists and sort of the pioneers in their field, though the nature of their findings was such that they couldn’t talk about it in the open. Though both sisters were inseparable, there was a stark difference in their approaches and personalities. Where Elliot was the more outspoken and flamboyant, Beverly was introverted and gentle, and as compared to her sister, had more reverence for the law. But still, that didn’t stop Beverly from swapping places with her sister time and again. There are three things that are considered to be intrinsic elements of the doctor-patient relationship: trust, consent, and abiding by the professional boundaries, and the twin sisters very conveniently violated all three of them on a regular basis.
A patient who came to see one sister was often attended to by the other, and they had no clue that they were being deceived and that their private information was being passed between the two. Also, to give any kind of medical advice, one has to know the history of a patient, and the sisters often exchanged case details in the washroom while changing their clothes and getting into each other’s skin. Apart from playing with the trust of their patients, the sisters often inhabited crooked and perverted sensibilities and didn’t hesitate to pass lewd remarks and cross their professional boundaries. Elliot wanted to experiment on the human embryo and see for how long it could be grown in the lab. The rule was that it could be kept for only 14 days, but Elliot, together with her colleague Tom, did cross the boundary quite a few times, because of which Tom kept getting in trouble with the FDA. Elliot was of the opinion that if they didn’t cross the boundary, they would never get to make any discoveries.
Making scientific discoveries was not the only intention behind breaking the rules; Elliot wanted to solve her sister’s problem through it. Beverly was having trouble conceiving, and she had gone through miscarriages in the past. Beverly was almost on the verge of losing hope that she could ever give birth to a baby, but her sister knew that science had a solution for it and they just had to find it. Elliot knew that unless and until she had an independent birthing center with in-house facilities, they wouldn’t be able to do anything. For a project of such a huge scale, the twin sisters knew that there was only one person who could help their cause, but the problem was that the investor was not somebody with whom Elliot and Beverly liked negotiating. Rebecca Parker was never easily impressed, and the sisters knew that they had to do something extraordinary to bring her on board.
Rebecca And Beverly Stand In Conflict
Rebecca had almost made up her mind not to sign any deal with the twin sisters when Beverly gave a great speech and turned the odds in her favor. Whenever Rebecca decided to invest, she looked for a specific kind of spark and zeal in the owners of the business. The pitch that the sisters had presented was, for lack of a better word, boring and mundane. It was the same stuff that every other business owner presented, and there was nothing unique or eye-catching about it. Rebecca wanted to know how badly the sisters wanted to establish the birth center; she wanted to be privy to that passion and desire that the pitch wasn’t able to translate. Elliot was not very interested in bagging the deal, and like always, she had that “I don’t care” attitude all over her face. Beverly, on the other hand, got a bit tense when she saw the deal slipping from her hands.
At that point in “Dead Ringers,” Beverly got a gut feeling that it was now or never. That’s when she shed her suaveness and transformed into a person who had faith in her own abilities and was ready to burn the world if required to achieve what she wanted. Beverly told Rebecca that they were good at what they did and probably the best in their field. Beverly said that she didn’t care if Rebecca invested or not, but she didn’t have the authority to undermine their potential. Rebecca, for the first time throughout the course of the dinner, saw that flare that she was searching for. Though Rebecca didn’t come on board there and then, she was ready to take the negotiations forward and make the sisters meet the extended family and board members.
Among the people present at the dinner that was organized in Rebecca’s house were: Gwen Andréson, the owner of a wellness empire; Ju-won, a pioneer in the field of therapeutic virtual reality; Sasha, Rebecca’s lawyer; and Rebecca’s niece, whose family was involved in the opioid scandal. These people were rich, snobbish, and at times, quite condescending, and the way they looked at the world was very different as compared to a common man. They had scrutinized the pitch made for the birth center already, and they didn’t leave any opportunity to grill the Mantle sisters on the dinner table. Elliot’s ruinous and embarrassing attitude didn’t help the cause, and once again, Beverly found herself standing alone on the battlefield. Rebecca and her board were very clear about one thing: they wanted this project to make them good money.
Beverly had a very idealistic outlook, and Rebecca didn’t have any qualms about telling her that her idealism wasn’t going to translate into dollars. Beverly said that through the birth center, they would be able to help the people and give them better services, and that’s where she lost her audience. Rebecca wasn’t concerned about what good she was able to do in society; she wanted her company to flourish and her bank account to overflow. Elliot, for once, said something that caught everybody’s attention. She said that if she were given the opportunity to grow the embryo for more than 14 days, she could find a solution to the problems that every woman faces in her lifetime. She made a claim that she could delay menopause of a woman indefinitely and do some genetic modification that would increase their fertility and bring about many other changes. Rebecca was ready to push the limits of the law as long as it was profitable for her, though Beverly raised concerns about it. Beverly’s uptight behavior made it seem like she didn’t want to earn money, and Rebecca told her that she would have to leave her principles behind if she wanted to collaborate with the Parker family.
Rebecca and her board members played a weird game whenever they met, and the Mantel Sisters were also made to participate. Beverly lost her cool after that game, as she was done pretending and putting up her best behavior. Towards the end of the second episode of “Dead Ringers,” Rebecca called both the sisters to her office and told them that she was ready to come on board, provided the sisters assured her that the main goal of the birth center would be to earn big money.
Beverly was absolutely against the deal, but she realized that Elliot wanted it. There were a few things said during the dinner with Rebecca that caught Elliot’s attention and made her very disheartened. Beverly had said that she no longer felt like having babies, and Elliot hadn’t realized when that change happened. Beverly didn’t want to upset her sister even more, so she called Rebecca and told her that the deal was on. The Mantle Parker Birth Center was finally inaugurated, and it aimed to completely revolutionize the field of gynecology.
Elliott Has A Problem With Genevieve
Since their birth, the Mantel sisters had been inseparable. They were possessive about each other, and at times, they got insecure, just like a lover would. When Genevieve came to get a checkup done, the sisters swapped places as Beverly felt a bit uneasy, probably due to her twisted fantasies or some other unknown reason, and Elliot came to take her place. Elliot realized that Beverly was a bit attracted to Genevieve, but she was not somebody who expressed her feelings. Elliot pretended to be Beverly, and she met Genevieve at a bar. That meeting became a turning point in the lives of the Mantle sisters, and Genevieve and Beverly started seeing each other, though the former never came to know that it was Elliot who had come to see her at the bar, until Beverly herself came and told her at a much later stage.
Genevieve did get mad at Beverly and felt betrayed, and she didn’t talk to her for many days. But eventually, she forgave her and the two came back together once again. Genevieve and Beverly’s relationship started taking a toll on Elliot’s mental health, as she was not used to seeing her sister with anybody else. Beverly’s priorities had changed, and Elliot was having a hard time coping with them. She didn’t like the kind of importance that her parents and sister were giving to Genevieve. She lost her cool at times, but she knew that she couldn’t do anything about the situation. Elliot kept asking Beverly if she was serious about Genevieve, as if it were some kind of catastrophe, an impending doom, that she wanted to be prepared for.
Beverly shared her plans for moving in together with Genevieve and having a baby with her in the future. Elliot had a sinking feeling, and she started losing herself in the process. Her sister’s newfound love was sending her down the abyss, and she wasn’t able to do anything about it. Elliot tried doing what she thought would help the cause, but the existence of another woman in the life of her baby sister was probably overpowering everything. Genevieve, on the other hand, was finding the entire situation very weird. Time and again, she expressed her concerns to Beverly about her relationship with Elliot being very toxic.
At times, Genevieve had to say out loud that Beverly was in a relationship with her and not her sister. Elliot became overly insecure towards the end of “Dead Ringers” Episode 3 when she got to know that Genevieve had planned a weekend getaway with Beverly for a couple of days. Elliot wanted to know if the two lovers would get intimate on the trip, and she was blunt enough to ask the question on their faces. Elliot was in a mess once Beverly left, and she called people home to party and started acting out like she was losing her mind. Elliot started throwing stuff from the terrace, and one such object hit a homeless woman named Agnes, who was probably standing there. Agnes came up inside Eliiot’s apartment, and both of them started breaking things as if they were releasing all their anger and getting mental satisfaction as those objects shattered into pieces. Agnes and Elliot calmed down, and they went onto the terrace, where they were having a normal conversation when Elliot pushed her from there. Agnes died, but nobody noticed until it was printed in the newspaper. Elliot couldn’t focus on her work either, and during one of the operations, she committed a blunder, and that’s when she realized that she was not fit to be around people. She couldn’t get out of the weird entanglement, and she knew that the only thing that could cure her ailment was her sister coming back to her.
‘Dead Ringers’ Series Ending Explained: How Did Beverly And Elliot Reconcile?
Silas Jordan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was going to print his report, and though Rebecca Parker tried her best to stop him with intimidation and threats, the journalist was not ready to give up on the story. Silas had also contacted Greta, who worked as a housekeeper in the Mantle household and later we found out that she was also an artist who had lost her mother during her birth. Jordan’s report described in detail how the sisters indulged in all kinds of corrupt practices and also claimed that the homeless woman who was found lying dead in the trash can was murdered by Elliot. The article talked about their weird relationship and their association with the Parker family.
Rebecca had come to the conclusion that if she wasn’t able to stop the news from coming out, then she would have to disassociate from Elliot and sever all ties, making it look like she acted on her own accord and the company had nothing to do with it. But this information had to come out in the open from a reliable source, which is why she asked Beverly to do it. Beverly knew that she would also have to face adverse consequences and her entire career would be destroyed if she didn’t do what Rebecca was asking her to. During an award show that was organized to felicitate Beverly, she went on stage and told the media and the audience that neither Rebecca Parker nor she, had anything to do with Elliot and that her sister had acted independently without informing the concerned authorities of anything.
Beverly did as she was asked, and she felt that everything would be fine after. But at that juncture in “Dead Ringers,” she realized something and for once she wanted to be true to herself. Beverly realized that she was not happy no matter what she did. Beverly knew deep down that she was not as innocent as she had portrayed herself in front of the media. She wanted it as much as her sister, and she also knew that Elliot was more daring and talented than she was. Beverly wanted to reap the fruits without getting her hands dirty. Beverly found Elliot, and both the sisters shared a moment of reconciliation, as they also came to the realization that only one of them could live. Beverly was in a miserable state of mind, and she had lost her will to live. Towards the end of “Dead Ringers,” Beverly asks Elliot to take her identity and end her misery. Beverly delivered her twins, and Elliot made an incision on her belly to deceive the world. While Beverly bled to death, Elliot came out with the twins in her hand, and the world believed in the narrative that the sisters had orchestrated.
‘Dead Ringers’ Mid-Credit Scene Explained
In the mid-credit scene, we are shown that Elliot had completely assumed her sister’s identity, and she pulled off the performance quite well, making Genevieve and all the others believe that she is Beverly. An unknown woman came up to Elliot while she was sitting in the park with her twins. The woman used to attend the support group meetings, and that’s where she had met Beverly for the first time. The woman made a very weird revelation and said that Beverly used to mention in the meetings that she had lost her sister in an accident years ago. Elliot couldn’t understand why her baby sister would want to negate her existence. We believe that there could be two plausible theories to explain Beverly’s erratic behavior: firstly, it could be that Beverly somewhere felt that the root cause of her mental problems was her sister, and that is why she just wanted to overlook the fact that she existed; and secondly, it could be possible that Beverly had foreseen that a time would arrive in the future where only one of them could exist. Maybe Beverly was creating the foundation of the lie that she knew one of them would have to live.
“Dead Ringers” never really explains why the sisters were so complicated and why, even after having everything she ever wanted, Beverly wanted to end her life. It is shown that Beverly and Elliot’s mother didn’t want them, and maybe that could have been the source of all the discontent. But because “Dead Ringers” never fleshes out the character or the story properly, we are left stranded in the dark with a myriad of possibilities at hand. In the mid-credit scene, we see that Elliot feels disheartened by the revelation. She had been in love with her sister, and no matter how crooked her sensibilities might have been, it couldn’t be denied that she would have sacrificed everything if her baby sister had asked for it. That day Elliott felt like the part of her sister that existed inside her was lost forever, and the memories that were helping her cope with grief were taken away.