The Bridge delves into cat and mouse territory as Marco (Demián Bichir) and his family take center stage in the serial killer storyline. Plus: More desert burials
Let’s bitch it out…With only a few episodes left in its first season, The Bridge sinks its teeth into the serial killer drama. After staunchly refusing to focus too much screentime on the more traditional aspects of the cross-border case, the series has never produced a more traditional hour of television. In many ways this is exactly what you might see on the average episode of Criminal Minds: a woman imprisoned with a grenade and her two small children in an empty house in the middle of the desert by a sadistic killer who is taunting the police.
What makes it work is that we know Marco and, to a lesser extent, Alma (Catalina Sandino Moreno) so we actually care whether or not the grenade goes off in her hand. And, if we’re being honest, I certainly believed that The Bridge might actually kill her off. Traditionally the outcome of these events are so predetermined that you can call how it will end before the opening credits roll. Although the outcome remains a (somewhat predictably) happy one, that doesn’t diminish our investment in it.
Especially now that it’s clear that this is all part of David Tate’s (Eric Lange) masterplan. Early in the hour Sonya (Diane Kruger) tells Marco that the reason he survived the attack in 1×04 ‘Maria Of The Desert’ is because Tate is planning something for him. At the time we think we’re already ahead of Sonya and Marco because we know Tate is already conning Alma, but the very last scene suggests that Tate actually has a much bigger scheme in the works. Ah yes, the old “car accident out of nowhere” – it would certainly be a cliche considering how often we’ve seen it employed in recent years. Again, the convention is turned on its head by not placing the camera in the front seat facing the suddenly oncoming car; the result is that while a car crash is not original, in this instance it proved to be a genuine surprise. We figure something will happen when Sonya tells Gus (Carlos Pratts) that they’re headed to the safe house, but I thought it would just be that Tate would know its location (he was a cop, after all). Instead we get a nice haunting final upside down image from Sonya’s point of view as Gus is dragged away unconscious from the crash site. Of course we know full well that Sonya has seen and memorized his exposed license plate and that Tate has just made a huge mistake.
Tate may have a plan, but Sonya has the skills to catch him. Game on…
- The nearly silent, slow-motion opening flashback to the car accident that killed Tate’s wife and son is the most beautifully memorable sequence of the series thus far. I’m usually very dissatisfied with people screaming in anguish, but Lange completely sells this virtuoso performance. It’s a show stopper and a great start to the episode
- The other big scene occurs when Marco and Alma finally reunite in the desert under dire circumstances. It’s emotional, tense and really well edited – a nice culmination to the domestic drama that’s been plaguing the couple for the majority of the season. They’ve detonated their baggage…literally
- Kudos to Hank (Ted Levine) for being the most in-tune person in the episode: he not only forces everyone to listen to Gus, which allows them to lure Tate into giving them the GPS coordinates to find Alma, but he calms Marco down, who’s manic after learning his family is in danger
- Once again the stables are a scene of bloody murder. Charlotte (Annabeth Gish) finally becomes a character worth cheering for when she gets into the action and murders Graciela (Alma Martinez). The human trafficker (and all around badass) comes calling looking for Ray (an unseen Brian Van Holt) following last week’s discovery of transmitters in her gun crates. When Graciela tries to put the hurt on Charlotte, the former hostess and her ranchman fight back, shooting and pitchforking the Juarez trafficker and her henchman into early graves. The question now is whether the fed’s transmitter is still on Graciela’s body? This could easily come back to haunt Charlotte
- P.S. How many bodies are buried in the El Paso desert?! That whole area must be a bloody graveyard!
- Also getting some quality time is Linder (Thomas M. Wright) who visits Eva, the girl he smuggled out of Juarez. After a dirty dream last week, the character with the best drawl on TV confesses he killed her former boyfriend. I had thought Eva would be happy not to live in fear, but instead she seems genuinely upset that Hector is dead. Awkward considering Linder’s hoping to get in her pants
- Finally, this is the first episode that a large number of our supporting characters sit out. This means no Daniel, no Adriana, no Tim and no Ray. Did you miss anyone in particular?
- Sonya (after Marco freaks out): “Maybe they’re out?”
- Jon Gries’ priest (after Linder confesses to killing a man): “C’mon, let’s discuss this over a ham salad”
- Sonya (reading Gus’ texts): “MILF?”
You’re up: did this roll out the way you expected? Were you anticipating another attack by Tate after Alma’s near death? Were you dazzled by that amazing opening flashback scene? Are you happy to see Charlotte being more aggressive? And what are your thoughts on Linder? Sound off below
The Bridge airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX