Kris Polaha Discusses Ringer's 'Shocking' Exit, Says Show 'Hits the Ground Running' After Break

Ringer has officially signed off for the remainder of 2011, but a new year means new episodes, and — according to Kris Polaha — tons of juicy new drama.

Here, the Life Unexpected alum answers a few of the questions presented by this week’s shocking fall finale and also tells TVLine what fans should look forward to when the CW thriller resumes its freshman run on Jan. 10.

TVLINE | Were you, as a cast, surprised by Gemma’s unseemly death? Or did you know Tara Summers’ role would be limited from the start?
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]

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TVLINE | How will her murder impact Henry? Will we see new, darker sides to him?
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.

TVLINE | But now the real Siobhan is back in town and seemingly all alone. is there any chance Henry will become more “in the know” when it comes to her true identity and/or whereabouts?
Um, there is a chance. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Will any of these new women joining the show — Madchen Amick or Andrea Roth — fill the void left by Gemma? or maybe Jaime Murray’s devious Olivia?
Not for Henry, no. There’s only one woman for Henry, and that’s Siobhan Martin. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Talk a little about the involvement of Gemma’s very wealthy father in upcoming episodes.
The Martin/Charles investment firm has been trying to land [Tim] Arbogast’s account for years, and in a future episode Henry will be approached to bring him into the fold — much to his dismay. But over the course of certain events, he’s forced to comply with that request. Gregory Harrison (Falcon Crest), who plays my father-in-law, is such a great actor and was awesome to work with. I definitely think they’ll bring him back again.

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TVLINE | Is there anything in particular you’re excited about fans seeing once the show resumes?
Nestor [Carbonell] is amazing [as Agent Machado], and we actually have a few scenes coming up, so that’s something to look forward to. He’s a master of stillness. He can do a scene completely with his face versus needing the use of his body — which is my expertise. I can wiggle the f— out of a scene. [Laughs] I’m also about to go shoot a scene between Henry, Malcolm and Andrew, so I think [the producers] are just really fleshing out this world moving forward.

TVLINE | What about the tone of the show? Is it any different moving forward, given the turn of events in the fall finale?
No, we really just hit ground running when we come back next year. It actually picks up right where we left off.