The Bridge delivers an anti-climatic episode as Marco (Demián Bichir) and Sonya (Diane Kruger) race to save Gus (Carlos Pratt) and the serial killer tropes pile up.
Let’s bitch it out…
Last week marked a strange transition for the FX border show for me: it went from intriguing, mostly intelligent to generic serial killer drama. Admittedly this began with the reveal that Kenneth Hastings (Eric Lange) was actually David Tate back in 1×08 ‘Vendetta’, but it reveal that Tate is a criminal mastermind bent on making Marco pay for his wife’s death felt like a weak pay-off for a show that I thought was more interested in telling different stories than this.
Perhaps that’s my own problem (and not the show’s), but it certainly feels like things haven’t really come together on The Bridge. What was once intriguing has been revealed to be immaterial and the B-plots are increasingly being stranded on their own (see last week’s Linder subplot). With the Tate reveal, the show has hit a number of the same tropes we’ve come to expect from shows like Criminal Minds…and not in a good way. While the actors are still doing a good job, the writing and plotting are clearly letting them down.
Enter ‘Old Friends’, which feels like a throwaway hour of television as Tate sits around antagonizing Marco and Sonya while they dash from one pointless location to another. Perhaps this is accurate of police gruntwork that we’re unaccustomed to seeing (ie: following leads that don’t pan out), but it certainly doesn’t make for compelling television. As Alan Sepinwall suggests, there are more interesting stories being told on the fringe with Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard) and Adrianna (Emily Rios), as well as Charlotte’s (Annabeth Gish) increased proclivity for murder. At its heart, though, The Bridge remains the story of our two main detectives. Unfortunately for them, they’re stranded in a very conventional story that fails to capitalize on the chemistry and talents of leads, Bichir and Kruger.
At its best, ‘Old Friends’ is little more than a set-up for the remaining episodes.
At its worst, it’s a 60 minute bore.
- I’m interested to see if Charlotte’s burgeoning taste for murder is making her more interesting to viewers. Do you think by season’s end she’ll be lording over the tunnel, exploiting it for her own profit? Where will that leave Ray (Brian Van Holt)? The obvious answers seems to be six feet under, as he may very well be next on the chopping block…
- Also, did anyone else half expect Charlotte to murder step-daughter Kate (Emily Wickersham) on the steps of the courthouse after it’s revealed that Kate inherited all of the money? That would have been entertaining
- I honestly don’t buy Frye’s tearful AA confession as it seemed like he was just manipulating the group. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Lillard and The Bridge were aiming for, though. Either way, we’ll see how sobriety goes for him now that Tate has him. Predictability dictates that Marco will be forced to murder Frye to prevent his son from drowning in that slooooowly filling tank
- In the wake of last week’s car accident, Sonya isn’t looking so hot. Can we discuss how incredibly unlikely it is that she would be able to walk out of a hospital when her doctor tells her she needs surgery? This is the kind of unrealistic sh*t that sinks police procedurals like this
- While I disliked the majority of the episode, Marco’s conversation with Sonya about losing Gus a second time, and his subsequent rage at Tate when they meet up is well played. Marco may be a less likable character after all of these unsavoury revelations, but Bichir is still the most compelling aspect of the show
- Finally, no Linder this week. I miss the cotton-mouth drawl 🙁
- Diana Maria Riva’s Kitty (surveying Sonya’s prescription at the hospital): “Vicodin. That’s good”
- Kate (to Charlotte, after she gets all of her money): “Bye whore”
- David (when Marco asks why he’s doing this): “Because I’m angry and I want to talk about it”
What did you think of the episode? Were you frustrated that the show seemed to be spinning its wheels, delaying bigger developments? Now that Charlotte is a cold-blooded murderer, do you like her more? How long can Gus last in his watery tomb? Will Sonya pass out or overcome her distaste for bananas? Sound off below
The Bridge airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX