Previously on The Bridge: Though some of you may remember Charlotte being handy with a rake (yikes) and Steven Linder getting murder-munchies for a ham salad, I mainly recall wringing my hands, pushing myself further into the corner of my couch, and shrieking. MARCO! ALMA! HANK! SONYA, NOOO! Yeah, I think that covers it.
The huge shift in focus from the stark social divide between Mexico and the USA to the super duper personal grudges of David Tate continues as Tate calmly son-naps Gus Ruiz. “For Caleb, it was the sins of the mother,” Tate says calmly about his son while Gus weeps. “For you, the father.” But Marco is a good person, Gus protests. “Is he a good dad?” “He wants to be,” Gus chokes out. Urk, there’s our answer, I guess?
“He took Gus,” Sonya forces out at the crash site while paramedics load her into an ambulance. See, this is exactly the sort of time Sonya’s whole never-switches-off thing is absolutely essential to everyone around her: she’s freaking half-dead and handing out key information: “Grey sedan. 2EO.” Marco rushes off while Hank vows to find Tate.
“So much for the wagon, huh?” Adriana asks when she finds Daniel Frye passed-out at his computer. “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted,” Frye mutters, a journalist’s motto, but his sins aren’t merely those of a muckraker. Not only did he party with Santi Jr. before the coke run to Juarez/ hit-and-run killing of Jill and Caleb Tate, but, rather than testify, he accepted Santi Sr.’s bribe of a job and money and kept silent.
“Let people help you,” Adriana urges, capping the bottle and telling him of an AA meeting the next morning. “You might be my only real friend,” Frye murmurs, and RIGHT IN THE FEELINGS! These two!
“That’s pathetic,” Adriana says briskly, because she is awesome and has no time for his self-defeating wallowing.
“I don’t understand,” Gus cries when Tate drags him from the car at some industrial site that looks just rife with killing and torturing opportunities. “Neither did Caleb,” Tate replies, taser-ing Gus before opening the trunk.
Marco rushes home to hustle Alma and the girls to a safe-house, but Alma’s already packed: her family is coming to get them. When Marco protests that he saved them all, Alma shoots back that “we’re alive because that’s what he wanted!” Marco’s forced to confess his affair with Tate’s wife (prior to their marriage) when Alma demands to know why they were targeted; she’s disgusted and tells him to find Gus.
Did anyone think Sonya would stay in the hospital for a second longer than absolutely necessary to not die? Kitty helps her change into her clothes (Diana Maria Riva is absolutely marvelous as Sonya’s quiet comforter throughout this ep) while Sonya’s doctor protests about that pesky arm-saving surgery Sonya needs pronto. Hank shoos the doctor away so Sonya can confide she knows Gus is alive (because Tate wants Marco to suffer).
After an initial sarcastic lashing out at the AA meeting, Daniel Frye breaks down and admits getting clean seems completely impossible. “But I have cool people in my life who think I can change,” he says, looking at Adriana (I may have made a high-pitched noise that startled neighborhood dogs). “It’s 8:22,” he says (of course he has to grab Adriana’s wrist because he hasn’t got his own watch), and as of now, he’ll give it a shot. DANIEL, YOU’RE DOING SO WELL! Gah, I feel like people will object this whole scene and storyline has nothing to do with the race to find the killer, but I don’t care, I love seeing Frye’s armor shatter.
Of course the show has to take my beautiful Daniel Frye & Adriana moment of Friendship Healing and Awesomeness and dash it to the freaking ground. While Daniel nervous sips what’s probably truly horrible coffee in the parking lot, TATE STICKS A NEEDLE INTO HIS NECK. I mean. What? HOW? Has Tate CLONED HIMSELF? He’s EVERYWHERE AT ONCE! Wasn’t he just off torturing and possibly killing Gus somewhere? Didn’t he drive all night? Is there only vengeance and Red Bull running in his veins right now?
Adriana waves as she sees Frye’s car pulling away, but she can tell something’s wrong, BECAUSE SHE IS ADRIANA, OKAY?
Tim Cooper organizes the El Paso cops to sort through the haul from David Tate’s apartment while Marco protests this is getting them nowhere. “I’m sorry about Gus,” Sonya rushes to say when she enters, actually bleeding through her bandages and shirt. “You asked me to keep him safe and I didn’t, I’m sorry, I tried.” GAH! This show is getting me EVERYWHERE with the friendship fails and successes this week!
Hank pulls Marco aside, telling him he’s not himself and asking if he needs to step away. “This asshole has my son, Hank,” Marco bites out in Spanish before asking what Hank would do in his place. “Uniforms found the car,” Sonya calls out, and they’re off. I had the exact same thought Marco did when Tate’s car turned up in a cemetery, that Tate must have buried Gus alive. “He’s playing with you,” Sonya protests, looking like she’s about to keel over. “I am a man, a father; this is not a game!” Marco roars. “We won’t stop, okay?” Sonya tells him even as she’s panting and holding her injured side.
I actually loved how many misfires and confusions there were with the detective work in this episode. I don’t need the show to prove to me that Marco and Sonya are amazing every single episode, because I’ve already seen the evidence for that. What this episode shows is how freaking human they both are, that as the case gets increasingly personal for all of them, that there’s going to be anguish and awkwardness and failures. Just. This show!
Outside the El Paso courthouse, Charlotte and Skeevemeister Ray have just learned the will stiffed Charlotte; she got only the house and land. “You did a really good job of turning him against me, Kate,” Charlotte calls as her stepdaughter, having landed the money, cars, and art, flounces on by. Oh hey, Kate, where you been the past weeks? Working on her retorts apparently, because Kate whips out a tale of her dad complaining about being married to an idiot. So she’s “pretty sure you turned him against you,” which is probably right, and which Kate promptly ruins with her unimaginative “Bye, whore.” Thank god Ray saves the day with his answer, “Adios, Kate,” which is SO APPROPRIATE FOR RAY THE MAN-WHORE! Ray gives Charlotte slimy reassurances that the tunnel is the real prize. Yeah, because that’s already gone so well for them.
Adriana rushes to talk to Hank about how Frye is missing, explaining his role in covering up the hit and run that killed Tate’s family. “Damn,” Hank says feelingly while I nod fervently about something I already knew, because Ted Levine can take a tiny smattering of lines and get me making starry-eyes at the screen.
Sonya and Marco’s pilfering of Tate’s random receipts leads them to investigate an address that turns out to be the Forever Young Nursing Home. It seems Walter Chambers (who is convinced Tate is his father) is Tate’s uncle who has Alzheimer’s. The detectives find out Chambers’s home address and head over.
Gus awakens in darkness in some sort of metal container, his limbs bound and his mouth duct-taped shut. A glow stick gives a tiny amount of light as water begins to stream steadily into the container. Gus tries to scream, but if I know Tate, he’s either (a) miles away from where anyone can hear him or (b) a few hours from a daring rescue while Tate kidnaps someone else to ruin everything ever.
Outside Chambers’s house, Marco slumps at the wheel, too frightened to go inside the house and find Gus isn’t there. Sonya reminds us again that Gus and Marco being closer lately was set up by Tate as well. Though at first she staunchly tells Marco they’ll find his son, eventually she offers the far more genuine Sonya-ism: “I can’t say we’ll find him, but you can’t say we won’t.”
You know, I could watch these two break into houses forever. *dreamy sigh* Sonya’s aiming the gun with her one good arm (and the other in a sling) while Marco kicks down the door with fatherly rage. The house yields nothing. In the garage, they find a freezer with a trace of blood, probably “where he kept Cristina’s legs.”
Marco’s phone rings. It’s Tate, who taunts Marco by assuring him Gus is “a good lookin’ kid,” and claiming it’s not possible for Marco to speak to him. Tate wants to meet, “because I’m angry, and I want to talk about it.” When Marco tells him he’s “at your uncle’s house,” David Tate pauses, a rare moment when he seems disarmed. “You actually remembered something I told you about myself.”
Soon Tate’s back to business, demanding Marco leave Sonya behind and come alone. “Sonya, I need your gun, please,” Marco asks even while Sonya protests that Marco can’t go, can’t do exactly what David Tate wants.
It’s such a huge, huge change from the Sonya at the series opener, the stickler for rules who couldn’t abide by Marco letting an ambulance with a dying man through a crime scene, that she hands the gun over (though she reminds him if he kills Tate he’ll end up in prison). Though she frets that “I can’t lie to Hank,” Marco pleads, “do it for me, all right?” and we know that she’ll try.
Of course, I don’t want Sonya LYING TO HANK! Marco’s marked for death (oh, I see what I did there) if he continues on without someone besides Sonya knowing what’s happening. Plus Sonya will be even more broken if that happens and she’s forced to betray the trust her mentor has in her. But it’s still, in an episode otherwise run by the killer’s machinations and hyper-focused on the chase rather than character development, a fascinating indication of how this partnership has impacted Sonya.
Charlotte and Ray-Ray meet Tim and his ice cream truck in the middle of nowhere. At gunpoint, they force him to confess he was working for the ATF (who he complains are so disorganized they’ve totally forgotten about him). Though he reminds them of the good times they all had at prom (man, he has AGED compared to Raywhore and Charlotte; no Pilates for him!), Charlotte tells Ray to shoot. When Ray’s too spooked, Charlotte pulls the trigger herself. Too bad for Ray that Tim referenced how Ray “muff-dove” that lady; I think Ray’s days in Charlotte’s good books are numbered. Watch out, Ray; Charlotte’s got the bloodlust from pitchforking Graciela last week!
Tate keeps up his taunting while Marco drives to meet him, remarking “what surprised me was the vigor” when Alma slept with him. “Did you do it at my house?” Tate asks after giving Marco directions. “In my bed, with my wife?” The answer is yes, because, damn, Marco of the Loose Marital Morals! “You just wanted what you wanted; who cares who it hurts?” Tate concludes when he points out Marco didn’t care about Jill.
Sonya is barely able to lie to Hank, though to be fair she’s barely able to do anything in the bleeding and about to facepalm on the ground state she’s in (Kitty sits her down and makes her have a banana and milk, because Kitty is quietly awesome).
“Hello there, old friend,” Tate greets Marco.
Though Marco rushes to strangle David, he wrenches himself away in frustration; he needs Tate to find Gus. “Strange feeling for a cop, isn’t it?” Tate asks. “To be powerless?” Marco recognizes Daniel Frye’s car, but Tate sidesteps the question over whether he’s murdered Frye.
When Tate castigates Marco for not only his affair with his wife, but falling out of touch with him when Tate’s life was crumbling, Marco fumes, “You’re not the first person to lose everything!” In fact, it happens often in Juarez– a fact that the original persona of the Bridge Butcher would have been quick to point out. “Maybe I’m special,” Tate shrugs, unconcerned when Marco points out that most people who have their lives ripped away from them don’t turn into serial killers.
After making Marco toss his phone, Tate asks if he has a gun. “Good,” he says quickly when Marco affirms this. “I’ll drive.” DON’T GET IN THE CAR MARCO — ah, hell. The episode closes on one last shot of Gus, wailing muffled by the duct tape the water in the container he’s trapped in up to his waist and rising.
Wow! I’m still unmoored from the show’s shift in focus, and David Tate’s apparently dismissal of his Bridge Butcher agenda for his personal vengeance, but still in love with Sonya and Marco’s partnership and so many of the characters and dynamics on this fantastic show. Oh my god, TALK TO ME IN COMMENTS if you have thoughts on this ep!