Previously on The Bridge, everyone was a lying liar who lied.
Christ, is that Sonya’s mom about to shoot up in Homeless Tent Town? Sonya uncovers a keepsake box of her sister’s and removes a pendant with a lock of hair. “It’s over,” she says quietly, leaving the item in her unconscious mother’s hand. After watching Sonya leave, Eleanor takes the trinket and smells the hair, because Eleanor is creepy and terrifying lots of the time.
At a street food table in Juarez, Capitan Robles emblemizes the fact that someone can support a horribly oppressive and misogynistic system and enable a series of violent and sexually degrading crimes against women, and yet be kind to little old ladies. He calls off some young dudes harassing an abuelita selling herbs and gives her enough cash to take the night off. Seconds later, a squadron of men aims automatics at his head. “Do you know who I am?” he asks indignantly. They sure do! They’re Marinas, and they’ve figured out he can lead them to cartel leader Fausto Galvan.
“You okay?” Marco asks doubtfully the next morning at the station when he catches Robles trying to put himself together in the men’s bathroom and leaving droplets of blood in the sink. The Capitan will be taking time off, and Marco’s in charge. Marco, you do NOT want that job.
“She took a knife to the ribs, fought back somehow,” Cooper updates Sonya at the scene of Adriana’s house where Lucy was stabbed. Yeah, you’re damn right Lucy fought back somehow, because Lucy is clearly AWESOME, fending off assassins with her knitting needles! Even though so far she’s basically a character created to put the heat on Adriana and Daniel for their expose and to remind us that Adriana is a lesbian scorned by her family and community, I am a big fan of “oh no you don’t!” Lucy, who, as it turns out, is still alive despite a trained killer coming after her. Mark my words: she’s going to live to furnish more evidence to put this cartel down and to create cable knit patterns for awesome coffee cup cozies. I need this to happen, okay? *starts a Lucy booster club*
Ugh, poor Adriana looks wrecked. Lucy’s family doesn’t want her at the hospital, and Sonya is pressuring Adriana to tell her everything about Daniel Frye, Groupo Clio, and the real-estate tied money-laundering scheme they’ve discovered.
“We were careful,” Sebastian Cerisola assures Fausto when he arrives at the Garage Hideout. After Fausto needles him about cigarettes being gay (because they totally look less like a phallus than the cigars Fausto smokes, amirite?), Sebastian scolds him for mishandling things in the USA. Though his work in Mexico is good, “you can’t kill your way out of this,” he warns. “This needs a delicate touch,” Fausto decides when Sebastian departs, telling his minion to get “The Chopper”.
Over at Red Ridge View, we check in with yet more plotlines and lay the seeds for developments will presumably come to fruition some later episode. Sonya’s reluctantly summoned to chat with DEA Agent McKenzie in his creeper surveillance van. He doesn’t want the CIA involved; for the past ten years he’s nearly gotten Fausto numerous times only to have them interfere, “so I’m left with my cock in my hand and Fausto slithers away.” Wow, that guy has no shame in recounting his past humiliations. Then again, someone who paints troll dolls for fun might be way past the shame sphere by now.
“I want Eleanor Nacht,” Sonya interrupts him. Though McKenzie agrees Eleanor has the roadmap to all of Fausto’s money operations, he claims he doesn’t need her because he’s got someone on the inside. McKenzie, I think you are placing a TON of trust that things with Charlotte Millwright have no chance of going belly up. Sonya slyly mentions the CIA. “Are you threatening me?” McKenzie demands. Nope, but she wants in. “We keep a tight circle on this,” he warns her. “Only you and Hank Wade.” When Sonya protests Marco is part of the case, McKenzie drops the bomb about David Tate’s murder and Marco being boyhood friends with Fausto Galvan.
A motorbike rider doing tricks and jumps gets pulled away from his stunts to view a photo of Sonya. I guess that there is The Chopper. Later, we see him arrive on the USA side and get the keys to a car. Inside is a secure case with his money for the deal to kill Sonya.
Eva and Steven Linder stalk the corrupt cops who raped her in their 1970s Chinook, and talk childhood memories and trauma.
Eva gains little in the way of characterization when she recounts an all-too-familiar tale: she grew up in a small town, they had no money, she wanted to see the world — wait, she met her abusive boyfriend who was part of Fausto’s crime syndicate when she was thirteen? Ugh. Hey, there’s the guy who lured Eva to the cop sexual assault party by offering her a ride. They follow his shiny red car.
Daniel Frye, on another bender, decides it’s a terrific idea to confront Sebastian Cerisola while he’s picking up his little son from school. “He sells drugs,” Daniel shouts at the little boy, and is seemingly surprised when Sebastian’s bodyguards hand him off to police. Wow, that is one effed up drunk tank scene; Daniel glances at the guys all around him with the DT’s and does his level best to avoid the vomit drain. Nasty.
Eleanor and Cesar find Jaime, the mentally incapacitated man who helped Eleanor get rid of her teen boy witness in a barrel of acid a couple of eps ago. “He’s very good at following instructions,” she explains when Cesar murmurs “we can do better than that.” “You listen to him now,” Eleanor tells Jaime, pointing to Cesar, before giving Jaime children’s candy to eat in the back of Cesar’s El Camino. I actually like that Cesar is wingman-ing Eleanor; it gives us much more of a chance to see his complicated brand of family-man who supported human-trafficking and now drug cartel money-laundering friendliness.
With Marco’s help, Adriana bails out Daniel Frye, who will be charged with assault. When Daniel rails about how Marco and Sebastian and Fausto are all the same, Marco is shocked and tells him, “You should know better; you don’t mess around with those names here on this side of the bridge.” Daniel retaliates that someone tried to kill Adriana on the USA side of things. “Detective Cross knows,” Adriana murmurs to Daniel, who looks frustrated she gave up their scoop to Sonya. Ah, crap: Marco realizes he’s out of the information loop, because Sonya hasn’t told him jack about all this.
“Shit,” Sonya mutters as she watches footage of Marco visiting the prison where moments later David Tate was killed. She drives over to Hank’s ranch, where he’s sitting outside, probably on leave pending the investigation of his duplicity in the Jim Dobbs case. “I need your permission,” she says stiffly; she wants him to approve her working with DEA Agent McKenzie. “That sounds too easy,” Hank says immediately to the news they’ll be delivered Eleanor Nacht. “They don’t want Marco involved,” Sonya explains as the catch, and Hank reaches up to still the wind chimes.
“Have you asked Marco about that?” Hank asks calmly when Sonya blurts out she fears Fausto had David Tate killed for Marco. When she adds angrily that McKenzie told her Marco’s and Fausto’s fathers used to run together, Hank further damages his father-figure/mentor credibility by quietly revealing that, yeah, he knew that already and never mentioned it to Sonya. “I figured he was his own man, though,” he explains. Sonya doesn’t respond; she’s so clearly been misled and betrayed by all the male figures in her life at this point — Jack Dobbs, Hank Wade, and now Marco Ruiz.
“Those Fed types, they don’t give a shit about whether Eleanor Nacht is held responsible for what she did to that little boy,” Hank advises Sonya. “I’m doing it anyway,” she says stubbornly; she seems ready to strike out on her own and ignore Hank’s advice even though she came to him for approval. When he tells her he won’t be back to El Paso PD “until they figure out this deal with Dobbs,” she says sharply, “Good. Seems only fair; you need to be held accountable.”
Will Sonya be a problem, Sebastian asks Eleanor at her apartment? “She’s police; they may ask questions,” Eleanor murmurs as she examines the ledgers and books. “She’s an interesting person,” she adds. Okay, so I think neither of them have any clue about Fausto’s/The Chopper’s plans for Sonya.
Instead they cautiously dance around talk of making an alliance together that would leave Fausto out of the loop (Sebastian is confident the “Marinas” will soon get Fausto anyway) and let them edge out of the Red Ridge deal. But “You don’t have what I want; Fausto does,” Eleanor quietly says. “Maybe you could tell me?” “What’s shared in private should be kept private, do you agree?” Eleanor asks ambiguously.
Oh, Eleanor’s Acorn Monster is in his little cage right below Fausto’s garage? The man starts like an animal as we hear gunfire above; the Marinas *have* come for Fausto and his henchmen. “Stay calm, sir, stay calm,” one of the Marinas tells Eleanor’s Acorn Monster when they’ve shot their way through Fausto’s thugs and found the secret entrance to the tunnels. One asks for bolt cutters; they’re going to set the man free.
Sonya and Marco both show they have the worst poker faces ever, Sonya when she tries to look calm as Marco demands to know why he’s being left out of the loop, Marco when he reacts to David Tate’s death as though this is the first time he’s hearing of it. Soon enough they’re close to exploding at each other right there in the El Paso PD detective pen. “You either do the right thing, or you don’t,” Sonya argues, frustrated Marco’s been lying to her the whole time. “Your way gets us killed,” Marco says in anxious exasperation. “My way keeps us alive!”
“I don’t trust you anymore,” she tells him in a low voice, and jeezum crow, Demian Bichir is SO GOOD, the look of PAIN that crosses his face! She demands he leave, and they both look wrecked as he walks away.
Marco returns to Juarez PD to buzzing about Fausto Galvan being caught. In his office, Capitan Robles pours himself and Marco a shot, saying, “To a new day in Juarez.” It only takes one moment and a head-tilt for Marco to realize, “It was you, wasn’t it?”, that Robles gave away Fausto’s hideout. “Things are changing,” the Capitan says heavily. “Choose your friends wisely.” Marco leaves, telling Robles, “Enjoy your drink.” Well, that burns worse than tequila going down.
Fausto hurries ahead in the tunnel with a few key henchmen but, “Something isn’t right,” he says, pausing. “I’ve always trusted you,” he tells Obregon. “Do you trust me?” “You know I do,” Obregon says quickly. “Then it’s settled, we tighten the circle.” It’s a direct echo of McKenzie’s demand that Sonya tighten the circle, keeping things between them and Hank only and leaving Marco out, but Fausto’s rapid-fire method of dealing with the situation is just that: he shoots the two other henchmen leaving only him and Obregon.
“You ever play soccer?” Fausto asks Obregon curiously as Obregon tries not to have a panic attack from witnessing this cold-blooded murder. “Concentrate on your breathing, in and out.” “In and out,” Obregon repeats, shaken, until he casts one last glance at his dead colleagues and follows Fausto further underground.
Steven Linder tells Eva more about his sad childhood with an abusive father who hurt both him and his sister. As he explains in voice-over how he intended to rescue his sister after escaping their father on his own but later learned his sister died in a shelter in Tulsa of a drug overdose, we see Linder sneak inside the house of the man they’ve been following.
While their target sets up an elderly woman in a wheelchair to watch television (an interesting counterpoint of Robles’s seemingly benevolent charity to the old woman at the episode’s start; both have no compunction about Eva’s rape but show kindliness to older women they view as non-sexual), Eva watches from outside as Linder kills the man who kidnapped Eva. He failed his sister, Linder tells Eva in the voice-over as we see Linder check the man’s pulse in real time; he won’t fail again.
Sonya lets herself into her apartment; as she takes off her jacket and turns on lights, we see an intruder’s dark shadow cross in front of the camera. “Hi,” he says calmly when she spots him. “Cell phone, please.” She takes in the gun he’s pointing at her and drops the phone to the floor. “Thanks,” The Chopper says evenly. “Now, I need you to come with me.” When he reaches to pick up the phone, Sonya makes a grab for his gun. In the scuffle he smacks her hard, knocking her out. The final shot shows Sonya, unconscious, sprawled in The Chopper’s arms.
Okay, so that last suspenseful scene got my blood pumping. But ugh ugh ugh, I DO NOT LIKE Sonya turning into this season’s Main Victim! I am so unhappy with the idea that Marco and Hank will have to ride in to her rescue while Sonya, our incredibly sharp and capable female detective, languishes in the arms of the villain! So much of this episode felt like another series of set-ups for the final arc of the season, and if Sonya as Quarry is the main tale we’re going to see unfold, it makes me want to explode like Marco and Sonya in a truthiness fight.
Gah, I don’t know if I can watch a scenario like the one I’ve described and not get incredibly angry at a development like that. But I’ll try to reserve judgment until we see how things play out starting next week with “Rakshasa”. Be sure to join me then! And tell me what you think of Sonya’s capture and Marco’s plight, and the increasing pressure on Daniel and Adriana, as well as the probable partnership between Sebastian and Eleanor, in the comments!