The Bridge 2.02 – Ghost of a Flea

the bridge 2 season 2

Previously on The Bridge:  ill-advised hook-ups to beat the band, model homes bathed in light and blood, and lifehack tips on getting rid of murder splatter by taking free showers at truck loading zones.

“I’m out of here, dude,” says the smarter of two teen boys who happen upon Eleanor the Freaking Terrifying Former Mennonite hosing herself down and showing off her boss William Blake back tattoo in the process. 

That's the likeness of William Blake's miniature portrayal of The Flea in monstrous form, THRUSTING ITS TONGUE INTO A BOWL OF BLOOD, OKAY???

That’s the likeness of William Blake’s miniature portrayal of The Flea in monstrous form.  The original image shows the Flea THRUSTING ITS TONGUE INTO A BOWL OF BLOOD, OKAY???

When Eleanor says she’s cold, the obviously completely doomed Kyle gives her his jacket and stands about in gawky awkwardness while Eleanor quizzes him about his state of grace. “I’ve used up all of mine,” she explains. That can’t be good. Oh, and she lost her clothes because “there was man blood on them.” Wow. I am totally going to use that excuse the next time I want someone to leave me alone at the beach.

Kyla, how are you not running away at a gawky teenage clip from this freak show? But Kyle’s common sense goes offline when Eleanor goes right for his groin and promises, “if you help me, I will let you touch me down there.” Yikes. Kyle, there are better ways to get some experience than making deals with murderesses who might be more than a little *cuckoo sounds* in the head meat.

Here’s an etiquette tip. When a teen boy rescues you on the promise of sexy times, it just bad guest behavior to drink milk straight from the carton and refuse to wear his mom’s outfit because pink “is for whores and little girls who want to be princesses” (Kyle, guess which she’s implying your mom is?). Kyle sneaks back into his parents’ room for more sartorial options while Eleanor creeps up on his little brother. She rhapsodizes in a whisper about “the light coming off him,” when Kyle quite reasonably asks what the hell she’s doing. “You should say goodbye to him,” she orders. Yes, that bodes well for Kyle’s future.

“Good dog,” Tim Cooper says to the taxidermied dog found riding in the back seat of the hybrid SUV at the end of last week’s ep. Sonya and Hank check out Yovani’s corpse (remember, Eleanor’s former sidekick) and bicker about the unexpected personal day she took yesterday. Oh, lunch with the man who killed your sister, is that all, Sonya? Obviously your gruff protective father figure/mentor is going to have zero problem with that. When Hank warns her, Sonya asks in exasperation, “Would you be talking to me like this if I was a man?” “Nope, you’re right,” Hank says immediately. God, I love everything about their relationship; he’s not going to keep quiet about his disapproval, but he’ll concede her point of gendered assumptions in a heartbeat instead of blustering ahead with double standards.

“I told them, I don’t do that kind of thing,” the aptly named taxidermist Bludhorn tells Hank and Sonya when they drop by his shop for a look-see.

Hank faces down one of the episode's beasts.

Hank faces down one of the episode’s beasts.

They assume he’s talking about the dead doggy, but turns out he’s got something wackier in the basement, a different job from Eleanor and Yovani. They threatened to kill his family and hack off his hands, he blathers as he leads them downstairs. Plus they paid cash. Hey, cash, why didn’t you say so? Totally understandable. Sonya and Hank open a compartment to reveal a horrible smell and a slowly desiccating corpse covered in beetles. Yay?

In Juarez, Marco says goodbye to his lady friend with benefits from next door and insists on paying for his absolutely delicious looking pastry (I swear, I tried to Yelp 24-hour bakeries when I saw that thing) when his local baker tries to comp him. Marco is barely one gulp into his coffee before he spots a man surveying him across the street.

At the Chihuahua police station, Marco finds men laughing and saying “he was scared shitless”; his stalker is in that jerkwad clique. When the man who took aim at Marco during last week’s house raid mouths off, Marco pistol whips him, slams him against a file cabinet and starts whaling on him on the concrete floor. “You want to shoot me, asshole?” Marco roars, waving his gun at the now-bloodied man. “Right here, take it!” Oh my god, Marco, what was in that pastry?

Okay, clearly if Abelardo the Prosecutor didn’t wander in, just then Captain Rojas would not have stopped that beating. Great example of institutional ethics, dude. “Those stains won’t come out,” Abelardo mentions when he finds Marco scrubbing at the blood on his dress shirt in the bathroom. Well, sure they will, soak them in a little OxiClean and — oh, aha! *touches finger to nose and nods wisely and waits for Abelardo to pull out Macbeth references* By the way, don’t fuck with Marco today, Abelardo. He’s so on his last good nerve.

Hank shows Sonya the bullet the taxidermist took from the dog, but Sonya only has eyes for an animal skull in a fish tank being gnawed on by beetles. Um. That seems like dangerous zoning out there, Sonya. Back at El Paso’s police station, the DEA guys who were railroaded by the newly elected Mexican officials last week want Sony and Hank’s case. They declare the taxidermied dog one of theirs: Yankee (oh, so that’s the ref to last week’s title!). And the dead man in Bludhorn’s basement also had a DEA connection: he was Yankee’s handler, undercover Agent Jimmy Tecca.

While Hank tries to sweeten a deal where they can still share the case with the DEA (Agent McKenzie starts eating through all of Hank’s sea salt caramels, and how does a show this focused on blood and corpse gnawing bugs keep making me hungry?), Sonya questions Bludhorn. When he recognizes a photo of Yovani, she asks about the woman with him, who he says looked “church-y.”

As Sonya joins Hank, McKenzie, and the humorless Agent Rivas who “doesn’t do sugar…it’s poison” (what what what? Oh my god, dude, eat one of those scrumptious-sounding caramels!) they identify Yovani Garza as one of Fausto Galvan’s men. “Our suspects wanted Agent Tecca mounted, but the decomp was too bad,” Sonya says inconsiderately (urk, try for a less horrifying way of relating that to a guy’s friends next time, Sonya). She insists on keeping keep the taxidermied dog as evidence until Hank mediates. “That dog is a goddamn hero; I’m not having it sitting in some evidence room gathering dust,” McKenzie fumes.

So Sonya’s still not great at playing with others, and we’ve got a parallel of Season 1 when the FBI wouldn’t let the El Paso P.D. run the body-on-the-bridge case on its own. I’m guessing we’re going to run into DEA corruption and outright involvement in more crimes in Mexico as we go along. And I know Sonya’s already on the same page as me. As McKenzie warns, “Don’t make any moves without coordinating with us,” you can practically see the “the hell I will,” wheels turning in Sonya’s head.

Kyle skips out to Eleanor hiding in his parents’ garage, carrying a PB&J and news that he got on the bus but then ditched school like she told him. Great, so no one will realize he’s missing. *facepalms* “Good boy,” she says, echoing Cooper’s praise of the dead dog. “So, do you want to touch me now?” she asks, already beginning to disrobe. Not here, Kyle says, because he always imagined the first time he felt up a murderous inked religious nut, it would be, I don’t know, special.

Meanwhile, Daniel Frye and Adriana Mendez search for Raul Quintara in a motel + drag queen themed karaoke bar arrangement. “It’s rude to stare,” Adriana scolds when Daniel grins at one drag queen. “How can you not, he’s six foot four and gorgeous,” Daniel asks incredulously. I like this possibly sexually flexible you, Daniel. When they spot Raul, he’s performing onstage in fabulous drag. Daniel seems halfway soused already and undermines Adriana’s serious questioning about the link between Raul’s aunt dying and his deportation back to Mexico. When Daniel tells a panicky Raul to “Chillax, bro,” he takes a right hook to the jaw. Raul storms off.

“You were right; come take a look,” Cooper tells Sonya. Hey, let me say that I love Cooper being Sonya’s ally on the force rather than the jerkwad who guffawed at her social awkwardness at the start of last season. His fishing buddy at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) got him footage of a border crossing, including Yovani in line. And this is why you should always cultivate in-the-know fishing buddies! “Would you call that churchy?” Sonya asks, pointing to Eleanor a few people ahead of Yovani. “I’d call that downright devout,” Cooper agrees. Sonya tells him to put out an APB and refuses to alert the DEA agents (they already pulled the same tapes and didn’t tell Sonya & Co).

Abelardo the Prosecutor shows up early to his meeting with Marco in a bar. He tries to pry into Marco’s situation, calling his beating up of the other cop “smart”. “Enough of this bullshit; what do you want to know?” Marco demands. Abelardo slides over a picture of Hugo Marquez, shot dead at a stoplight (at the end of last season) soon after he and Marco argued (about Eva’s abduction and sexual assault by Chihuahua police officers). Abelardo points out Marco’s station is known as “a place where young women come asking for help [and] they never leave.” “You’re stepping onto a very dangerous path,” Marco advises. So we’re not leaving the Lost Girls of Juarez aside entirely then? And we’re tying the Chihuahua police’s corruption right into it?

“Please tell me that’s a bag full of Oxy,” Daniel groans as Adriana gets in the car with him and tosses him something. Nope, it’s aspirin. “If anyone asks, I did this defending your honor at a biker bar,” Daniel says petulantly. Oh hey, it’s Raul in street clothes sneaking into the car! “Sorry, honey, I had to do that,” he tells Daniel before explaining “weird shit” has been happening since his aunt died, including someone following him. “Chuchito” is the man who helped his aunt with money; when they find him, would they “tell him to call his bomboncito [cutie, sweetheart]?”

Hank calls Sonya out for failing to tell him she had Cooper pull the ICE video and reprimands her for putting the APB out on Eleanor. “We need you to follow protocol,” he says in exasperation. “Something like this is liable to set them off, and if they shut us out –” Is he just mad at her because of Jack Dobbs? “Nope, this has nothing to do with that.” When she declares defiantly she had sex with Jack, Hank looks like he’s at his wit’s end. “And I’m sorry about the APB,” Sonya adds grudgingly before she departs.

Time for Hank to visit Jack Dobbs poolside at his skanky little motel complex with threats to stay away from Sonya! As a bonus, Hank brings warnings that he thinks Jack could have just as much “messed up shit” inside him as his brother does. Jack lights up a cigarette in defiance of Hank’s request he not smoke and says, “We both know what happened in that hotel room.” Right, Hank’s role in Jim Dobb’s arrest/brain damage. “Do the Christian thing, see your brother into the ground, and then go back to where you came from,” Hank advises. Jack’s gritted teeth let us know exactly what he thinks of that advice.

Just to emphasize how Sonya is over-focusing on things — the beetles eating the skull’s flesh, her general bad idea fascination with the Dobbs brothers — she chips away at tiles that are crumbling on the side of her bathtub, injuring her hand in the process.

“Are you an ogre man or a troll man, Rivas?” Agent McKenzie asks his partner as he paints tiny fantasy figures in his DEA office. Hey, nice little reference to his turn as Olaf the Troll on Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day! “I like Call of Duty and pussy,” Rivas says flatly. God, Rivas, you just have zero sense of fun. McKenzie wants to hang Fausto Galvan on a wall, same as Fausto wanted to hang their agent. Okay, he’s going to stand back and let Sonya and the rest chase Eleanor as a way to keep the CIA out of this circus. “I want the whole enchilada: Fausto arrested in the US, convicted in the US, and locked up in one of our prisons.”

At Chuchito’s apartment, we see Warhol-esque portraits on the wall of Raul in his drag persona (awww, clearly someone thought the world of poor Raul) while, in an echo of Sony and Hank earlier, Adriana and Frye cover their faces because of the strong stench of a dead body. They soon find it in a body bag, and also come across bank slips from “Rayburn National Bank” (that friendly neighborhood institution from last week with the assaulted and earless fetcher of tea/assistant, remember?).

Marco is awoken from a wait, how many empty beer bottles are those? nap by a police officer summoning him to the Captain. My fears Marco is about to be taken to meet a can of whoop-ass at first seem valid when we see the man Marco beat up at the station standing menacingly with his nose taped. But it turns out the Captain actually is inside a nearby house. And whose house is it? Yovani Garza’s, Fausto Galvan’s enforcer and Eleanor’s bridge-crossing ear-hacking frenemy.

Captain Robles asks Marco to get involved with the case of Yovani’s murder. Ah, it’s at Fausto’s request, and he’s lurking on the back terrace (I was wondering when he’d turn up). “This favor you asked for me, vengeance for your son,” Fausto opens by saying, and sshhh, Fausto, that was totally supposed to be a private deal with the devil and not for nosy Captain-ly ears to hear! He wants something in return — help finding his “valuable package”, i.e., Eleanor, “before the Americans do.” When Fausto’s smarmy suit-wearing toady scoffs he doesn’t trust someone like Marco, Fausto disagrees. “We are men of our word. Isn’t that right, Marco?” Ye, yes indeedy, our soul-selling word; you got it in one.

“I’m replacing the bathtub, the tiles are bad,” Sonya says defensively as soon as Marco arrives at her apartment and notices her bandaged finger. It’s actually a nice little moment, her telling him an odd and blatant fib (“Do you know how to do that?” he asks. “No,” she answers immediately), because Marco is someone who is often able to see when Sonya needs help when she herself misses it.

Marco and Sonya reunite, now on different sides.

Marco and Sonya reunite, now on different sides.

But guys, I wanted Marco and Sonya back together, but not like this! With Marco working for a mob boss by way of his corrupt captain, so that the syndicates responsible for the majority of crime in Juarez can interfere in Sonya’s case? Though Sonya is skeptical that now Marco has been sent “to keep an eye on the Americans?”, her suspicion is only for Captain Robles. She’s glad he’s the one assigned to partner with her, and immediately shares all the evidence she’s been amassing. I just. Oh, Sonya.

Let me tell you something about kids. Teen boys don’t want to have their first time groping an adult woman in their parents’ garage, but storage units are apparently a-okay. While Eleanor easily plucks out the information she’ll need to locate Kyle’s friend Dex (Kyle, how is that not suspicious to you?), she beckons Kyle inside Storage #99. “Why do you have all those tattoos?” he asks. Okay, yes, but Kyle, soooooooo many better questions could have been asked here! “Marks to remember the demons I’ve known,” Eleanor says ominously and then clarifies, “not real demons.” “Okay, cool,” nervous Kyle answers, on board with whatever as long as he can grope some boob.

Blake's "Ghost of a Flea", a spiritual parable of the threat of destruction should a small terror assume monstrous form.  Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that's what's ahead this season for Eleanor!

Blake’s “Ghost of a Flea”, a spiritual parable of the threat of destruction should a small terror assume monstrous form. Call me crazy, but I’m guessing that’s what’s ahead this season for Eleanor!

“What’s that smell?” he asks. “A raccoon that crawled in and died. It’s okay.” NO, IT’S NOT, ELEANOR! Seriously, how many dead teenage boys are already in this storage unit? She gets him to step onto plastic tarp, oh my good lord, RUN, KYLE, RUN! She explains ‘what’s shared in private should be kept private; don’t you agree?” Though he’s definitely psyched to get to touch her, he objects that he can’t see anything in the dark. Dude, that’s your biggest concern? “That’s okay,” she says, embracing him. “The light will come.” Kyle, HOW is your stranger danger alert system not even tripped by that last one??? As they press together, she reaches for a knife. At his shocked gasp, a look of ecstasy crosses her face.

Okay, so we still have no idea what’s going on with Linder, we haven’t gotten any glimpses of Charlotte or Ray, and I can’t believe we’ve got no idea what Monte the lawyer did with Chip the slaughtered real estate broker’s business card that he found in the murder/model house! Lots to unfold as we head to next week’s ep of The Bridge, “Sorrowsworn” (not like that sounds ominous or anything). Be sure to join me then!