Previously on The Bridge, Marco rushed to save Sonya, and a simple business deal at the Red Ridge ended in a shocking outcome.
Eleanor opens the ep with an impatient conversation with a gas station attendant who is trying to get her to buy a 2-for-1 energy drink deal. She just wants one, okay guy? “I prefer wet naps,” Eleanor says stiffly when he offers her a tissue for the murder blood on her collar (whoopsie). “Wet naps are awesome,” the guy agrees awkwardly.
Okay, odd, stilted opening, sure, but when Eleanor gets into the car outside, who is sitting next to her? Yovanni (he of the violent de-earing of DeLarge’s bank assistant). So we’re not just meandering around in the beverage aisles; we’re looping back to the season’s beginning, for more answers about Eleanor and context for the shootout that happened last episode at Red Ridge. *cracks knuckles* Let’s do this thing!
“Turn right here,” Eleanor advises Yovanni, who she caught examining her ledger on her way back to the car. When she confronts him, he strikes back by revealing he’s spotted her skimming off the top. “It’s cool,” he says, “but you have to do something for me.” When he tries to negotiate sex for his silence, Eleanor stabs him with a pen. Blood spurts from his jugular while his foot slips off the wheel, making the car turn in an aimless circle (and here I thought Eleanor set up that performance; it was just happenstance). Rattled, Eleanor gets out of the car and walks off into the darkness.
Back at Red Ridge, Monte gets out of his car and — oh my god, it’s the sequence we saw in episode 1 of this season, “Yankee”, which it now turns out was a flash-forward to Monte arriving on the scene after the shootout that took place in “Rakshasa”. So we’re at present day, but the narratives of violence are dovetailing together, pieces of a larger puzzle that’s being revealed.
“Not good,” Monte observes as he wades across the bloody floors and watches the murdered notary being dragged out. Charlotte Millwright compromised them, Eleanor rushes to tell him; Hank Wade escaped, Cesar explains. “All right, friends; cleanup time,” Monte announces, telling Eleanor they’ve got to get her fixed up.”
Sonya has no use for the groceries Marco’s brought to her place: “we don’t have time [to eat and rest]…we’re starting now.” When he gets with the program and declares Fausto “needs to pay for everything he’s done to you and my city,” Sonya thanks him stiffly for saving her.
“I’m bleeding in your car,” Eleanor says dazedly as Monte drives. “No worries, it’s leather,” he assures her. “It’ll clean up fine. Just don’t die in the car; that’s bad luck.” Though she’s close to going into shock from her wounds, she sidesteps his questions about what exactly is in her missing ledger and asks him, if she dies, to “take my ashes home” to an oak tree in the desert. “Will you bury me under it?” “Okeydokey,” Monte agrees casually. Um, okay.
When Obregon tells Faust, “It went bad, boss,” with the raid on the house at Red Ridge by Fausto’s thugs ending in Eleanor’s escape, Fausto decides it’s time to “change the strategy.”
Okay, so I think I’ve mentioned a time or two that I love Lieutenant Hank Wade, right? In passing or something, no doubt. Ahem. HANK!
He’s no question one of my favorite characters on The Bridge, due in no small part to Ted Levine’s excellent and subtle portrayal of the role.
And now, as we see Hank frigging pushing Eleanor’s ledger book in front of him, grunting in obvious pain from his gunshot wounds, I’m yelling, “Hank! Hank! Hank!” No joke; I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t apply a broom to their ceiling.
But can you blame me, watching him holding the ledger book in his damn teeth as he crawls at a snail’s pace and TRIES NOT TO DIE? Ladies and gentlemen, the absolute badassery of this character is legend.
Meanwhile, Cesar follows Hank’s trail of blood. Though Hank nearly catches the attention of a man nearby in a utility truck, Cesar catches up to him and eludes Hank last attempt at defense, a thwarted grab for his gun.
Marco and Sonya stop by El Paso PD, only to have Cooper mention that Hank left with the DEA agents. “We’ve got to go,” Sonya says, and they rush to Red Ridge while calling for all available units.
Busting into the model home’s bullet-riddled door, they spot the candy Jaime abandoned on the bloodied floor before finding Hank’s hat and the dragging trail of blood headed outside. Though they run to follow the path, it ends. “Someone caught up to him,” Marco says grimly.
“I’ll tell her that you died and the cops will pick you up,” Cesar tells Hank where they’re obscured behind a car. “Just tell me where the ledger is.” “What ledger?” asks Hank, who, again, is dying. BADASSERY!!!
“You were right,” Sonya admits in a shaky voice. “The war is here. This is two years’ worth of murders in El Paso.” Marco assures her Hank is okay and then pauses. “Eleanor wouldn’t use machine guns,” he points out, saying she’s more “cerebro than sicario,” using muscle rather than gunfire. If there’s no way Eleanor was the assassin, “someone else was here too.”
Daniel Frye waltzes back into the offices at the El Paso Times, even though the editor put a restraining order on him. “That’s a pussy move,” he scoffs before asking Adriana if she’s still his partner. It’s not just the story they’ve got so far; he’s on to the Red Ridge shooting already. “I’m in,” Adriana decides, and they rush out to the scene. Um. Is Lucy alive? Guys?
Okay, so Monte does take a now-unconscious Eleanor to a doctor. Granted, he’s a secret doctor who gets paid top dollar and drinks beer while basically operating in a garage, so. Is Monte getting Eleanor patched up so that he can bring her in to Fausto? Or does he have ties to Sebastian Cerisola? Either way, Monte’s switching out of his blood-stained light hat for a fresh black cowboy hat doesn’t do much to convince me he’s any sort of a good guy.
Oh, hello, random suburban couple and their two fighting kids (my goodness, I didn’t know kids looked up from their iPads long enough to still give each other wet willies nowadays). What’s that spattering on your windshield from the van ahead of you? Why, it’s a whole mess o’ blood from the bodies Jaime’s transporting away from Red Ridge! Ewwww! “Holy shit,” breathes one of the cops who searches Jaime’s vehicle to see the mess of bodies piled upon one another.
“There you are, welcome back,” the doctor tells Eleanor as she regains consciousness. But his advice to watch for infection and his comments on her “very interesting tattoos” soon give way to Eleanor putting the examination table between them and snapping, “Don’t touch me!”
The doctor’s problems are only compounded when Cesar shows up with Hank, who they need to save because Hank won’t say where he hid the ledger. Though Monte expresses reluctance to mess directly with a figure of the law, and the doctor notes he might not be able to save Hank, Eleanor retorts, “I don’t care about your ideas.” She needs Hank alive now.
Sonya and Marco hurry to the crime scene of Jaime’s truck, yanking off body bags to find DEA Agent McKenzie and Charlotte Millwright among the dead.
Marco laments not listening to Charlotte when she hinted there was something going on with her ranch, and I lament the show’s lost opportunity to do something far more substantial with Annabeth Gish.
The police on the scene lead them to Jaime, who doesn’t speak English. This is where I feel like someone screwed up big time on continuity: Marco quickly grows frustrated with Jaime’s whimpering (come on, patient Marco? Remember how he has several small children?) Then Sonya, known for multiple instances of oblivious coldness in dealing with witnesses, immediately bonds with Jaime using wide-eyed smiles and friendly questions about candy he likes. Yeah, did I miss a whole character development arc or something?
Aaaaanyway, Jaime reveals to Marco and Sonya the sharpie-inked instructions Eleanor wrote on the palms of his hands. Nearby, when Cooper exasperatedly sends Adriana and Daniel Frye away from the crime scene with cracks about Frye’s alcoholism, Daniel spots CIA Agent Buckley. They follow his car.
“It’ll kill him,” Doctor Shady says when Eleanor demands that he wake up Hank. “you talk too much,” she tells him ominously. “Put this in him or I’ll put it in you.” The doctor is so immediately frightened of Eleanor that he shakes too hard to inject the stimulant; Eleanor injects the steroids himself. Hardcore!
“You have something of mine; where is it?” Eleanor demands as soon as Hank gasps and snorts and jerks awake. “Go to hell,” Hank says in a scratchy voice, BECAUSE HE’S AWESOME. “We’re already there,” Eleanor says calmly, channeling her creepy big time as she starts sticking fingers in Hank’s bullet wounds.
Marco reveals he recognized some of Fausto’s men among the dead bodies, and Sonya tells Marco about McKenzie’s idea that the CIA knew about Red Ridge being part of Fausto’s laundering operation. “Eleanor betrayed Fausto,” Marco decides in shock.
CIA Agent Buckley meets with his superior at a barbeque joint. Though she threatens to “end your career in a diner with horseshoes on its walls,” he makes a play to salvage his operation. Turns out he’s part of the reason Fausto is in power. Well, holy shit — this isn’t just the CIA bargaining with Sebastian Cerisola to get Fausto out of the way; apparently the CIA has had a hand in determining who runs the cartel from the get-go.
“Fine, make it happen, then. Fix it,” Buckley’s supervisor tells him. Is he lying to her about who he’s going to put in charge? He mentioned “Sentenza” as a replacement for Fausto, but never raised the issue of Sebastian Cerisola, hmmm. “Shit just got legit,” Daniel Frye murmurs to Adriana over at the counter. “Do you know who that is?” he asks of the CIA boss. No, she replies. “Neither do I, but she looks like a boss,” he says, impressed. Back at the table, Agent Buckley orders his waffles “dry.” The hell?
Oh great, Fausto and his men have Sebastian Cerisola’s druggie daughter Romina in a hot car. Fausto leers and strokes her cheek, and then pulls a gun at her temple, blowing cigar smoke at her when she cries at the empty chamber click. “Find your camera,” he tells Obregon. “We’ll make a little movie for Sebastian.”
“Just kill me now,” Hank orders Eleanor as Cesar carries him. “I ain’t gonna tell you; we both know that.” “We will go to his house and torture his wife,” Eleanor decides, because she is a freaking terrifying former Mennonite, indeed. When Cesar expresses ambivalence, Eleanor asks if he loves his children. Yeah, okay. Cesar puts Hank in the car as ordered.
When Marco and Sonya arrive on scene, they nearly follow the doctor. But “it’s her, hold on,” Sonya calls out, spotting Eleanor in the other vehicle. She crashes their car into them on purpose, a mirroring of David Tate’s planned traffic collision that let him kidnap Marco’s son last season.
They stumble from the car, aiming guns on Eleanor and the others. “Stop,” Sonya shouts while Eleanor appears to walk away calmly. “Get down on the ground!” Eleanor turns, blood spattering her clothes and skin and dribbling out of her mouth. For a moment she seems to stand defiant; a second later, she crumples to the ground, unconscious.
Well, holy crow. Three eps left. What the hell is in Eleanor’s ledger? Will Hank live after all? And what hell is Fausto going to unleash by harming Sebastian’s daughter? Tune in with me to watch Marco and Sonya in “Beholder” next week. And hey, flail with me, and let me know what you think about “Eidolon” in comments!