Previously on The Bridge, DeLarge the banker felt the heat, Sonya and Marco got on the trail of Groupo CLIO and even more of Fausto Galvan’s shady dealings, and Eleanor reunited with a creepy pal.
After I pooh-poohed last week’s dull opening, I should have seen this one week’s abso-freaking crazycakes one coming. So violent out of the gate that it’s going behind a read-more, friends!
David Tate, our serial killer from last season, can’t finish a simple mop job of the prison cafeteria without (a) someone biting him on the cheek, (b) a guard telling him “you shouldn’t have killed that kid” [Marco’s son Gus] and taser-ing him, (c) someone POKING OUT HIS FUCKING EYE, or (d) all of the above? If you chose (d), then not only are you right, but you have more presence of mind than I did last night as I shrieked my way through watching the aforementioned.
Obregon (Fausto Galvan’s petulant out-of-shape right-hand man from last season) drives Marco, hidden in the back seat, across the border for a clandestine meeting with Galvan. “You brought me here to threaten me?” Marco asks when Fausto intimates Sonya should keep her beautifully straight nose away from where it doesn’t belong (investigating CLIO Groupo Internationale and Eleanor’s whereabouts).
But no, that’s not why Fausto’s dragged Marco to this tomb. “The pain of outliving a son never leaves you…but to find consolation, there are ways,” Fausto observes. His eldest lies there dead, but the severed head of the trigger-man in a freaking jar just gives Fausto peace of mind, you feel me? “It’s been arranged, like we agreed,” Fausto continues; he’s set-up the conditions for Marco to take out David Tate in prison himself. Marco’s only question: “When?”
Sonya continues her motif of opening many episodes floating, lounging, or seemingly drowning in water. But this time she jerks up from lying underwater in her tub and sees the now-deceased murderer Jim Dobbs, eeek! It’s just her beleaguered and anxious mind playing tricks on her, though, so she rises, enabling the show to stage another favorite motif, full-on booty shots of Diane Kruger.
Back in the bedroom, Jack Dobbs gets dressed (featuring a quickie booty shot for Nathan Phillips, because hey, fair’s fair). Hey, want to talk about the whole erotic strangling thing? Sonya hand-waves that fun discussion. Will there be services for Jim Dobbs? Nope, only a cremation. “I want to be there,” she declares. When he huffs out a request to shower before she makes him leave, she awkwardly agrees and gives him a quick kiss.
DEA Agent McKenzie gets an unwelcome new pal, Agent Buckley, who isn’t from another DEA section but “from Langley.” “My bad,” Agent Rivas says; he sent out an analysis that tipped off the CIA to their case. But Buckley could care less about the money-laundering they’re poking into; he tells them to go crazy investigating, but he wants them to stay away from Sebastian Cerisola and Groupo CLIO. “If I don’t comply, I wind up stationed in East Africa?” McKenzie jokes. “Sierra Leone,” Buckley answers in all seriousness.
Jack does a little more Outsider Art Appreciation, staring at Sonya’s shrine to her murdered sister before examining the disturbing drawings his brain-damaged brother created. Where are we going with this, Jack?
Back at El Paso PD, Sonya’s frustrated Marco’s not returning her calls, but Hank decides they’ll go ahead to the Ranch of Sexy Endangered Women and get Eva Guerra’s deposition with the aid of Earnest Prosecutor Abelardo.
Once there, they’re dissuaded from answering the muffled yells for help from the dude Pastor Killed-a-Guy Bob and Mutton Chops Linder are torturing. Bob, Bible in one hand and gun in the other, claims it’s a sow in farrow and waves them ahead into the house. Bob freaks me out, guys.
Eva takes the risk of being further targeted by the corrupt cops of the Chihuahua State PD by signing an affidavit so Abelardo can get a warrant. “It’s how you move on,” Sonya encourages her, as she looks at photos of Juarez police officers. She identifies the man currently being tortured in the barn, as well as, holy crap, Capitan Robles.
Alone in his sad-sack apartment, Marco gazes at a photograph of his now broken family and takes out a memorial mass card for Gus. Then he stuffs an envelope with a deed (possibly to his house?) and wads of cash before leaving behind his badge, watch, and gun.
If McKenzie thinks having a meet-and-greet with lovable asshole reporter Daniel Frye in an evidence room stuffed to the gills with bags upon bags of drugs is a good idea, well. He’s probably right. I’m amazed Daniel didn’t just start chomping on the room’s contents, ripping through plastic bags like a crazed Cookie Monster nom-nom-nom cocaine heroin nom!
Oh, so McKenzie was the one who tipped off Frye to finding out about the Millie Quintana house with the Euro note last season? “The DEA got iced out of the Quintana investigation,” McKenzie complains; they lost cash, evidence, and leverage. “So what do you want a hug?” Daniel asks. No, McKenzie wants Daniel Frye working for him.
After bantering an exchange of information we already know, Daniel declares he’s really bored So McKenzie gets down to brass tacks. “You’re saying that the CIA actively knew the Quintana house was online?” Daniel asks in amazement; this goes deeper than he’d imagined. “Open the doors, ask the questions, bring me the answers,” McKenzie decrees, dismissing him.
“Was she with that boy?” Sebastian asks one of his henchmen from the back seat of a car where he’s fussing over a young woman, Romina. “Take care of him, please.” When the woman complains about how awful drug rehab was, he tries to remind her about what they agreed about her using. “I love you,” he declares, the most sincerity we’ve gotten from Sebastian so far. Anyone else agree this is more of a father-daughter worried vibe than a sugar-daddy/kept-woman scenario? Why, Sebastian Cerisola, I do believe we’ve just met your one weakness.
Meanwhile, those wacky rapscallion teenagers who made off with all of Fausto Galvan’s heroin and got Ray Ray, Cesar, and Charlotte in hot water, are having a sad little house party. When the leader kid retreats to make out with a girl wearing fishnets, a little boy (wearing one of the gang’s disguise animal masks) follows, trying to sell them sandwiches. A moment later, parties and making out and even sandwich consumption are all moot points, because a group of men riddles the garage and house with bullets, killing everyone but the gang’s leader. Damn, the tally of quarts of blood spilled is through the roof this ep.
The gang leader quickly mashes his face in the girl’s blood and collapses to make himself look dead. When he doesn’t react to a boot in his side, the men lump him in with the rest of the deceased. “This is what happens to thieves,” reads the sign the men fling onto their bodies. As far as Fausto Galvan’s men are concerned, they’ve got their revenge. As soon as the men leave the scene, the kid grabs a backpack and hustles out.
Though Sonya’s upset about Marco not getting in touch and Hank’s concerned that Capitan Robles has now been implicated in the horrific police corruption related to kidnapping and raping women, Abelardo is as cool as a cucumber. Marco can handle himself. Besides, Robles is just a means to get to Fausto Galvan. Hank hopes he’s “not biting off more than you can chew.” The answer to that, I think we can all agree, is that he totally is! It’s crazy Galvan’s toughs haven’t roughed up Abelardo already, am I right?
At the station in Juarez, Marco quietly hands off his envelope of important papers to Celia the trustworthy receptionist. Robles pulls him aside to quiz him about what “the Americans” are up to and what Abelardo wants. “You know me, Capitan; I try to keep my head down. “When it’s your time, a stray bullet can find you even if you duck,” Robles advises, a threat that’s so unveiled it’s getting charged with public nudity.
Who would have guessed that (1) Eleanor Nacht would actually not take center stage for one episode and (2) that Eleanor Nacht has in her grungy little apartment a fluffy white cat? “Dainty,” she advises the kitty as she holds out little slices of ham to it on a needle. I guess Eleanor feeds all her pets with that catchphrase? Awww, can you imagine how hungry it is after Eleanor’s been gone for days killing everyone in a model home, overseeing de-ear-ing, and threatening and killing teenagers?
But poor kitty’s dinner gets interrupted when Sebastian drops by. Though he tries to banter with her about the romance novels on her shelf (seriously, Eleanor?), she wants him to get to the nitty-gritty. “Mr. Galvan does not understand what we’re facing,” Eleanor explains. “DeLarge’s death left us exposed.” “Did you fix it?” Sebastian asks, leaning on her table. “For now, yes. But it’s fragile.” He straightens, wiping off his hands from touching her things.
Monte the Lawyer drives Charlotte and Ray to the wannabe fancy housing development where Chip Diaz the realtor presumably met his horrendous end in the model home bloodbath. “You now own all this, 150 units,” Monte explains. Ray cottons to the fact that Galvan is using Charlotte’s name, but though he wants a piece of the action, Monte demurs: “You get to live, Ray.” Well. “Cesar will handle the maintenance end of things.” “Glad to see they didn’t croak you,” Ray offers. “Eat shit,” Cesar says back in Spanish.
Jack Dobbs and Sonya watch as Jim Dobb’s cardboard box held body is eased into the crematorium. Sonya seems far more visibly moved, and when they receive the ashes, eagerly says “I’ll take it!” when Jack refuses the urn.
With the help of a frighteningly-efficient internal team of prisoners and guards loyal to Fausto Galvan, Marco breaks into the El Paso prison holding David Tate. Wearing a prison jumpsuit, he is transported in a crate, moves through a series of stations with the help of prisoners in the know, and receives a knife and ten minutes with David Tate.
Back in Juarez, Abelardo the Earnest Prosecutor fails to find Marco at home, but does find some of the scary corrupt policemen waiting for him. “Can we give you a ride?” they offer, and he wisely tries to struggle when they nab him. “Let him go, police,” Sonya yells out (she’s arrived looking for Marco as well). “Get back across the border, puta. Vamanos,” one tells her, telling her to stay out of this.
“Marco, it’s good to see you,” David Tate finds the energy to snark somehow even though he’s restrained to a bed, utterly alone and at Marco’s mercy.
“Shut up,” Marco snaps; he wants to control the situation. “Just do it,” Tate taunts him. “It’s what you came for, my life for your son’s. That seems fair.” “Stop talking asshole,” Marco blurts as he begins to stick the knife in Tate’s jugular.
Then Marco pauses. “No, no,” he murmurs. He thrusts his thumb into Tate’s already injured eye socket, OH MY GOD, because this show wants to give me nightmares for weeks. “You’re not getting out so easily, asshole, not yet, anyway.” He walks out of the prison, but where to now, Marco?
Wow, this was the most Marco and Sonya centric episode yet this season! Demian Bichir is so freaking good; the play of unhappiness and anger in his expressions! I’d love to see some of Marco’s ethical struggles and ongoing grief over losing Gus and his family finally get more attention in the coming weeks, particularly because I doubt Galvan’s going to be happy Marco failed to take the elaborate opportunity set up for him to off David Tate.
And over on Sonya’s side of things, it seems like Jack Dobbs has his own mystery he’s trying to solve using his brother’s drawings. I’m curious to see if his surprising continued involvement with Sonya throws more light on her relationship with her dead sister; I hope we see attention to that as well rather than just focusing on the Dobbs’ brothers conflict.
Though Eleanor fascinates me, I almost feel like she’s starring in her own show within The Bridge that takes a good deal of the focus away from our characters from last season. I didn’t mind getting an ep light on her for a change. I’m intrigued by Daniel Frye’s deal with Agent McKenzie, though I want Adriana to have a better storyline than simply exposition and the occasional moral reminder line of dialogue. It’ll be interesting to see if Eva ever gets any character development of her own, or if she continues to act as a touchstone for finding out more about Steven Linder. I’d like to see her take a role in her own tragedy if her rape continues to provide plot fodder for everyone else.
And hell, while I’m giving my wishlist for major and supporting characters and their arcs this season, how about more Hank? All that great father-daughter vibe mentoring of Sonya? Being the steadfast-and-true backbone of the El Paso PD? And wait, is his retirement still on the docket or what?
I love me some Lieutenant Hank Wade, y’all.
How did you like this week’s ep? Want more of Eleanor and her fluffy white cat? Worried about Marco’s fate now that he’s reneged on his deal with Galvan? Have any theories about what Dobbs sees in his brother’s drawings? Come on talk to me in comments, and definitely join me next week when I recap “Harvest of Souls”!