Previously on The Bridge, Sonya made a deal with Agent McKenzie; Linder and Eva went all Natural Born Killers roadtrip childhood-trauma-style; and Fausto Galvan tightened his circle and went underground.
Cesar and Eleanor bond over vampire erotica and family talk (turns out Eleanor had a son “taken from me”; now there’s a season three seed if renewal is a go, right?). Cesar’s briefly insulted when Eleanor asks if he can use a machete (“Why, because I’m Mexican?”). But don’t worry; she’s not being racist. It’s only that she wants him to train Jaime to kill people in newer and more violent ways. Whew!
They watch as The Chopper hauls out an unconscious Sonya. “No, don’t,” Eleanor says calmly as Cesar moves as if to help. She knows him and “he’s a demon”; she calls Sebastian to update him on the situation. Meanwhile, we have a COMPLETELY GRATUITOUS shot of The Chopper groping Sonya’s breast. Okay, so it’s confirmed: Sonya’s victim-y, he’s rape-y, and Cesar and Eleanor are very much not the cavalry riding to the rescue? Okay then.
I’m not at all okay with reducing Sonya to a limp body ready for violation, by the bye; just in case that wasn’t abundantly clear. I feel like last season’s project was to put substantial characterization into the standard random-female-victims procedural formula. I don’t like the turn of taking our well-characterized female lead and literally gagging her and making her nothing but a body for storyline (culling from tons of evidence: despite getting tons of camera time, Sonya gets very, very few lines in this episode, and very little chance to exercise her standard razor-sharp quick-thinking).
Oh, while we’re at it, let’s continue last week’s theme of a character’s relative getting ready to shoot up/smoke crack. This time it’s Romina, Sebastian Cerisola’s daughter, who wriggles against her dealer in a bra and panties cooing, “I want more.” Yeah, he’s not giving her more without money; he slaps her ass and throws her clothes at her. Great.
As soon as I saw the police outside watching Romina stumble out to the ATM, I froze. It’s a bit of a dangerous trend for The Bridge; every cop in Mexico except Marco automatically gets marked as dangerous and corrupt. Surely there are more people with integrity all throughout Mexico besides Marco and Abelardo the Deceased Earnest Prosecutor, right?
The cops approach her all friendly-like but are soon stuffing her in the patrol car while she shrieks to be let go and they say, “Don’t resist us.” Um, she’s not actually doing anything illegal, right? If this is headed into Police Rape Party, Part II, I am actually going to scream aloud.
At Chihuahua PD, Marco catches them bringing in Romina and immediately knows it’s Sebastian’s daughter. WTF, did that detective actually say Romina refused to speak Spanish? We just heard her — clearly if Marco hadn’t shown up, right?
He heads to her cell with water and tries to get her to care an eensy bit that this is all going south very fast indeed. Despite her apathetic protests, he calls Sebastian.
Cesar brings Eleanor an iced something: “one sugar; I told him light on the ice, just like you asked.” Great work, Cesar; now bring Eleanor Charlotte Millwright. “The Millwrights have been very good to me and my family,” Cesar says, worried, but she swears everything will be fine. “You work for me now,” she reminds him after she mentions she could as well just “send Jaime.”
Hank heads back to El Paso PD despite the fact that he’s technically still on R&R; it doesn’t seem Jack Dobbs is going to press charges, he tells Cooper, so maybe Hank’s in the clear? The DEA agents await him in his office, and he’s soon chewing them out for not following chain of command and making a deal with Sonya. Though he gets they’re using the police to avoid the CIA, he reluctantly acquiesces to their plan. I did love Hank just utterly ignoring McKenzie’s partner’s offered handshake; screw those guys.
Obregon, Fausto’s right-hand man, arrives at their new mountain hideout with raisin bran and news that Fausto’s all over the papers and internet. Though Obregon guesses it’s Capitan Robles who gave them up, Fausto suspects Sebastian Cerisola and decides “Eleanor betrayed me too.” “If they want blood, I can give them blood,” he says, hacking away at a calf a butcher is cutting for him. “On both sides of the border.”
Sebastian shows up at Chihuahua PD to thank Marco for his discretion with “this delicate matter” and to blow off Capitan Robles puffed-up assurances that they’re totally on Fausto’s path.
Taking Marco aside, Sebastian suggests they help each other, and gives up the information that Fausto sent The Chopper after Sonya. “If anything happens to her,” Marco says, and cuts himself off, horrified at this turn of events.
The Chopper continues to act the asshole, turning up the music in the van to block out the annoying sound of Sonya’s kicks to get free, driving her to the middle of freaking nowhere, and telling her offhandedly, “I’ll make sure the animals don’t get your bones.” When he returns with a shovel and pickaxe, Sonya says, “I have to pee,” so we can stage the humiliating tableau of The Chopper pulling down her jeans and underwear while she squats in the desert to piss.
Ah, so Sebastian Cerisola is totally in bed with the CIA — or, at least, gets to play model city with that CIA agent who lorded it over McKenzie. CIA dude is confident they’ll get Fausto “when his needs become acute.” Meanwhile, in terms of Sebastian running things, the agent asks, “She’s working for you now?” about Eleanor. “Do you have what she wants?” Sebastian inquires smoothly. “He’s a little shy in the daylight. And he bites.” The agent puts an acorn down on the table and leaves.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” Sonya insists to The Chopper after he catches her trying to totter away while he digs her grave.
He philosophies about how she is, of course, because “It hurts to die, first off,” but also because “death is a reminder that you really don’t matter.” In a clear playing-with-your-food maneuver, he changes her bindings so her ankles are untied but she’s hobbled at the calves and thighs. “Go on,” he says calmly as she continues her seemingly futile escape attempt. “I’ll find you when I’m done.”
Meanwhile, Marco has already located The Chopper’s assistant, slammed him against a motorbike shack, and forced him to show him the way The Chopper has taken Sonya.
Hey, it’s the model home realtor I can never believe is actually still alive, Chip Diaz! He sets the scene to show the home with cookies from a bakery, mugs with his name on them, and by joshing with his own cardboard cutout. “What are we doing here?” Charlotte says outside as Cesar assures her they’ll be fine. “Transferring the property out of your name,” Eleanor answers.
While Jaime embarrasses Cesar by scarfing down cookies, Eleanor explains to Chip that “the gardener” (Jaime) is “doing some cleanup work for me.” Charlotte heads upstairs to use the bathroom and texts DEA Agent McKenzie that it’s going down at Red Ridge. On the first floor, Eleanor grills Chip about what he told police and tells him calmly, “I don’t like liars.” Cesar and Jaime take Chip to the kitchen, suffocating him with a plastic bag.
“He spoke to the cops,” Eleanor explains flatly as Charlotte is shocked to see Jaime and Cesar dragging Deceased Chip away. “I want to leave now,” Charlotte says, but too late; Eleanor commandeers her phone and learns her passcode, 1-2-3-4. After admonishing her use of a weak passcode (true enough), Eleanor promises Charlotte: “When we’re done? You’ll be free.” Um, is that like, free of this scheme, or spiritually free because *makes throat-slitting gesture*
While Sonya stumbles across the field under last season’s heat camera filter, Marco threatens The Chopper’s assistant, who assures him, “He’ll take his time with her.” Can I get a triple UGH?
Eleanor does business in the kitchen with the buyer’s representative as Charlotte smokes outside. We switch to Fausto, who’s already learned what’s going down, and that Eleanor is at Red Ridge. He tells Obregon, “Kill everybody. And that bitch, torture her.” I’m assuming he means Eleanor.
Okay, so The Chopper’s assistant did actually take Marco to the right place. Just as The Chopper gets out of the grave he’s dug Sonya, Marco shoots him, and he falls in the hole himself. When he hears Sonya calling for help, he sprints after her. “No!” Sonya shouts, panicked, when she sees a shadow. “Soy Marco, Soy Marco,” Marco assures her, gathering her too him and telling her she’s going to be okay. Together they stand at the head of The Chopper grave until Marco helps Sonya walk away.
The poor hapless notary Eleanor got to ratify the deal heads to the bathroom upstairs while Unsavory Business Dude drives away, gloating to his contact that “we’re gonna do okay,” with this location so close to the border. “Let him run, we’ll track the money,” Agent McKenzie tells Hank as they watch the scene. “Just keep your eyes on the prize”: the ledger book Eleanor carries that will let them put away Fausto Galvan.
“What have you done?” Eleanor demands when there’s a knock. “You’re lying,” she declares when Charlotte insists she did nothing; Charlotte grabs her gumption from wherever she’s stowed it and smacks Eleanor in the head with her ledger. Eleanor slams Charlotte at the table, and she falls to the ground.
As the DEA Agents and Hank come in — and seriously, they’re going to cover this whole thing with three of them? — Hank touches Charlotte’s head gently, as if to assess her injury and partly reassure her.
“It’s over, Ms. Nacht,” Agent McKenzie says, full of bluster. Um, NO, IT’S SOOOO NOT: Fausto’s goons enter with a spray of gunfire, killing the two DEA Agents, hitting Hank, Charlotte, and Cesar, HOCRAP. Eleanor and Cesar return fire, and it’s chaos.
Back at her apartment, Sonya again becomes one with water, splashing her face (I am starting to worry there’s a drowning in Sonya’s future, to be honest). When she berates Marco for his connection to Fausto, he says, “I saved your life today, and you still don’t trust me.” But if he got the tip from Sebastian, he’s still connected to Fausto she argues, so how can she trust him? “Because I work for the State of Chihuahua, not those assholes,” he retorts.
The war is finally here at the border, he tells her, and the US won’t be able to stop it. Man, he is the long view guy all through this season, and she’s the can’t see the forest for the trees kid. “We need to get everyone responsible,” Sonya tells him and “Yes, we do,” he agrees.
“Miss Charlotte,” Cesar says in a broken voice as he realizes she’s dead. But even so, he looks around to see there’s a trail of blood through the broken glass and mess from the shooting, and a cowboy hat still on the kitchen island. Holy hell, Hank DRAGGED HIMSELF AWAY, totally shot in the chest and probably barely clinging to life. You go, Hank! Seriously, go go go! Please please please don’t die! *jitters anxiously*
Okay, so at least Sonya only occupied the silenced victim seat for one episode? Either way, I really do not like the show using this threat of death and rape against her as a way to bring her and Marco back together, with the white knight riding to the princess’s rescue gambit, forcing her trust back to him. And though I am 10000% behind Hank being the hero, because he so would freaking crawl away while bleeding out to salvage whatever he could of the mission, I have very mixed feelings about using his actions as a way to make Sonya get over his decades-long deception about the Dobbs case.
We’ll see how things play out in next week’s episode, “Eidolon”. Meanwhile, join me in comments to tell me what you think of “Rakshasa”!