Previously on The Bridge: Sonya hauled a drunk and grieving Marco back to sobriety and into a case Steven Linder brought up, while poor Eva Guerra met with nearly every stereotypical bad fate you might imagine. Yeah, that one too. Cripes. Also, Charlotte, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
“She needs a hospital,” the jerkwad cop Hugo who kidnapped Eva in the second place tells a man we don’t get to see. “Take care of her,” the man says, handing over a gun meant to finish off a near-comatose, repeatedly-raped and beaten-up Eva. “Por Favor,” Hugo says despairingly under his breath while sitting stunned in his car in the middle of nowhere.
“You’re okay, you’re okay,” Hank tells a shaken Sonya at his ranch. While he tried to soothe her with some horse-brushing (because who isn’t soothed by a good grooming of a horse?), Sonya confronts him about whether he’s going to retire. Thank you, because I’ve been wondering this too. “Not at the moment, no,” he answers finally, though his wife is pressing him to do so.
When Sonya declares she wants to work the dead girls of Juarez with Marco (such weird phrasing for that mass of poor targeted women), he advises she not put “a whole lot of stock in” Steven Linder’s word and case. “Everybody has been working that case,” Hank says gruffly, “and still those girls die. It’s a black hole.” He’s right, but ugh, how awful. Good thing Sonya was made to take on insurmountable problems.
Marco slips a prayer-card with a photograph of Gus into his wallet and spends a moment brandishing a switchblade. Oh dear. When he heads into the Chihuahua police station, he sees a row of women holding photographs of missing girls (along with Linder holding a picture of Eva). “Those women would have better luck at the morgue,” Capitan Robles, the biggest jerkwad of them all, declares. He tells Celia to get rid of the women.
Hey, it’s Lyle Lovett again! Okay, fine, Monte, since his character’s possibly sticking around.
He’s drawn up agreements with Fausto for Charlotte, who has brought Cesar and Ray Ray to hear about the percentages and false front of “Millwright Transportation Services” that will be the face of their tunnel-smuggling business. When Ray blusters he didn’t get the memo on all of this, Cesar and Charlotte tell him to shut his trap.
When Monte leaves, Charlotte confronts Ray about working with Tim behind her back and the whole muff-diving thing with Graciela. Ray tries to claim Graciela raped him, and then slaps Charlotte on the ass affectionately. “Show some respect,” Charlotte snaps, and Cesar looks at Ray like he wants to kill him with his brain.
Okay, so I can see where some viewers might be waiting for huge shebang showdown action in this episode. It’s what we’ve come to expect from mysteries and procedurals, and goodness knows The Bridge was thick with suspense and violence in recent episodes. But as Sonya and Marco speak quietly at El Paso CAP and he tells her about Celia’s information– before he tells his Capitan because “I needed to talk to someone I trust first” — and they give each other small guarded smiles, I’m grateful that this show for the most part focuses on characterization and relationships over shiny explosions and random twists.
I would rather see Marco and Sonya mend their relationship than get a dramatic-music reveal or a car chase. I don’t doubt we’ll get our suspense and action in the future; I’m just glad FX/Fox decided to renew the show to give the writers opportunity for all of the interactions this show can give us.
“Something like this has many layers, it’s dangerous,” Marco warns Sonya, telling her “you need to be careful.” “We need to be careful,” she corrects him. PARTNERS! I love the two of them together with all their flaws and brokenness so much!
“What is this shit,” Daniel Frye demands of Adriana’s store-bought cupcakes; he didn’t want to make a big deal of his first day back at El Paso Times. “Come on, it’ll be fun watching people pretend they missed you,” she tells him, and THESE TWO! *draws hearts and gives them BFF necklaces* Learning he’s had a Woman Turns 100! human interest story fobbed off on him while he continues to recover, he grouses about “old people” and tells her they’ll skip cupcakes to deal with the story. I bet they totally scarfed down those cupcakes on the way.
When they arrive at the woman’s home, though, they spot her sprawled on the floor. “She’s dead,” Adriana says gravely after she climbs in a window and Frye wheels in to take a closer look. While of course it’s ideal for anyone wheel-chair bound to recover, Frye continuing to be a pain-in-the-ass truth-seeking annoying reporter while also being a badass handicapped guy sounds promising.
Celia and Sonya scour the Juarez station security tapes, finally spotting footage of Eva while Marco distracts goddamn Capitan Robles. “You’re very dedicated, Marco, very dedicated,” Robles says with an oily smile; he obviously thinks the domestic violence case Marco’s pretending to work is a complete waste of time.
“Holy shit,” Frye breathes when he finds a room in the elderly woman’s home piled with ceiling-high stacks of cash. “Shit,” Adriana echos when she joins him. “Why don’t you hook a gimp up and throw a little something in the back of my car?” Daniel Frye yells a scene change later as official types bustle around and mark the towers of money as evidence.
Back at El Paso Times, Adriana tells Daniel the final count was 65 million total in US Dollars (a portion in Euros). “Forget the money. Who is Millie Quitana?” a note scribbled on a Euro delivered to Adriana asks. Um. Well, who? I think there’s actually some interesting suspense bogged down in this scene, but damned if I can puzzle together what exactly it is. Oh, and I believe the money was supposed to be from Fausto’s operation? I’m not entirely sure of that connection, but. Yeah. The connections here might have been better highlighted.
Cesar and Ray work the tunnel and use Charlotte’s stables to put together those Scorpion packages (what’s in them? Drugs? Money? SCORPIONS?) in a horse transport truck. “I’m driving, Pedro,” Ray says briskly, because seriously, he’s grasping for any toehold that even hints of authority now. “Cesar, you son of a bitch,” Cesar corrects, muttering, “Damn good for nothing white boy,” in Spanish.
Ray, you better watch your back in season two, is all I’m saying.
“Move the crib to the back room,” Hugo the rape-facilitating cop says into his cell phone to let us know he’s also a family-man. “Where is she,” Marco growls when he slips into the car; Hugo tries to weasel out, but Marco’s gone Crazy Town Banana Pants violent as he beats the information out of him. “What did you do?” Sonya asks in alarm when he returns to his truck. “She’s alive,” is his only answer as he wipes blood off his hands.
“It’s safer this way, Ray,” Cesar sighs as Ray complains about taking back dirt roads. “All this creeping around is what draws suspicion,” Ray argues while a sinister guy with binoculars scopes them out. “Damn American,” Cesar grumbles, because he has had it up to hear with ol’ Ray Ray.
Sonya and Marco find Eva in a former monastery, now “a house for the damned” — or at least, a last-stop sort of way station for people who all look like they’re too traumatized to move or speak run by at least one nun. Eva is indeed there, and Marco insists they take her. She flinches when Marco tries to put his jacket on her shoulders while Sister Guadalupe and Sonya reassure her.
Yeah, there’s no way Eva doesn’t imagine she’s getting kidnapped again right now. All we get of Eva this episode is stumbling around or looking barely conscious as various people make arrangements for her fate. The only way I’m going to feel okay about this object-status both her abusers and the show itself have assigned Eva is if she gets a chance to show what kind of person she is next season; I’m hoping she’ll have opportunities to develop as a witness in whatever huge case we’re building to here.
Marco plans to have Sonya meet up with a paramedic contact of his; together, they’ll transport Eva across the border in an ambulance. Again, we’re not getting a ramped up action scene here, but it’s the quiet stuff I’m loving about this episode. “But you’ll do something about it,” Sonya asks, looking as if she’s on the verge of a panic attack — and gah, I found Sonya being so affected by this week’s cases really moving. “Yes,” Marco says simply, but honestly, it’s got the force of a vow because of how fantastic Demian Bichir is at delivery.
“Didn’t know who else to call,” Sonya explains as she brings Eva to Hank’s ranch. His wife is a nurse and will give Eva care when she returns from the hospital. “I fixed up your old room,” Hank offers; he’s like a one-man haven for broken girls. “Who else knows that she’s here?” Hank asks as they put a limp Eva into bed. “Nobody,” Sonya assures him before explaining, “Cops in Juarez did” this to Eva.
Creepy Binoculars Guy stops by the Meat Department to tell Charlotte he likes rib eye more than t-bones, and also that he knows EVERYTHING about her and the tunnel operation. When she asks if he’s F.B.I., he says “I like the way you’re thinking.” ATF perhaps? “Make sure you go to that dinner with Fausto,” he adds. “How do you know about that?” Charlotte asks, stunned. Well, Monte did hand them the contracts in the bustling kitchen of a restaurant; any one of the bus boys could have tattled. Also, TERRIBLE IDEA, GOING TO DINNER WITH FAUSTO!
Hugo takes another nagging phone call, reminding us he needs to buy diapers before he targets anyone else with sexual violence. A car pulls up; the driver and Hugo exchange nods. The other driver SHOOTS HUGO DEAD. I am so very confused. Maybe the unseen voice guy from earlier knows Hugo didn’t kill Eva as planned and ordered the hit?
Sonya stops by at Marco’s for a drink in the middle of the night. “Something’s changed, Marco,” she says, worried about his violence earlier. “A lot has changed,” Marco agrees: his wife’s gone, his girls with her, and Gus is dead. She knows he wishes he could kill David Tate. Well, that hardly seems a secret given that Marco almost shot him, but sure, maybe he hasn’t let go of that plan.
“When Lisa was murdered, I wanted the man who did it to die,” she confesses. When Marco suggests Hank might have killed him, Sonya refutes it emphatically. “Of course not; he’s a good man,” Marco says. “You’re a good man,” she insists, making him promise he won’t do anything stupid. When she leaves, Marco takes out his switchblade, knocking at against the bottle of tequila until it smashes on the floor.
Steven Linder climbs the stairs to Hank’s front door. Hank regards him for a moment before asking, “Take your boots off, please.” At Eva’s bedside, Linder holds her tiny hand, and we can see Carmen has tended to Eva. I can’t decide whether this is wholly sweet or still a bit creepy; how did Linder know where the hell to find Eva? And would Eva want him watching over her while she’s barely begun to recover from being gang-raped?
At a bus stop in Juarez, Adriana’s mother waits for her daughter Daniela. Ah, hell, I knew Daniela was marked for death or violence the minute we met her. Several buses pull away, none of them letting Daniela off, before Adriana runs up to hear the news and comfort her mother.
I already feel like I know way more about Daniela than Eva; I hope to see both of them figure into next season, preferably alive and recovering enough to help Marco and Sonya make the people who harm young women in Juarez face consequences.
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” Fausto Galvan tells Marco when Marco visits him. “I don’t know who else to call,” Marco says after they drink. “In twenty years you’ve never asked me for anything. You never wanted to be indebted. Why now?” “Because I don’t care,” Marco answers heavily. Marco. We all know that’s not true. But Marco forges ahead as if it were, explaining he wants to get to David Tate in prison. Don’t do it, Marco!
“I will have him killed for you,” Fausto declares. “No,” Marco replies. “I want to kill him myself.” Okay, if offing someone in solitary confinement wasn’t already an enormous favor/debt to a crime boss, Marco actually wants to perform the murder himself. I cannot imagine how deep this will get him in with Fausto. And as Sonya said, “you’re a cop”: there’s no way Marco should be taking this path.
As Fausto and Marco drink, the camera moves in for a close-up not just of Marco’s face, but his eyes. It’s a sobering and frightening connection to the Bridge Butcher’s sketch (based on Gina Meadow’s description before she was murdered). We see only Marco’s eyes as we close the season knowing that he has his own revenge to enact when The Bridge returns.