Previously on The Bridge: Marco tried to protect Romina while Hank and Sonya took on Eleanor and a larger conspiracy.
Though Hank tells Sonya to wait for back-up to pull over the van she’s following, he flags down the semi he’s trailing despite his injuries. When the driver escapes with a shotgun, Hank fires his gun. In one of the best shots this season, he peers under the truck to keep an eye out for his adversary, and sees a liquid dripping that looks to be gas or oil. When a limp hand falls down, though, it’s clear the dripping was blood. Hank is a scary badass, y’all.
The truck cargo? Of course it’s tons of drugs. But surprise, it’s also Steven Linder, somehow still twitching and alive despite being Robles taking him down at close range last ep. “Holy shit,” Hank says. Omg, Hank, SAME!
Hanks people, “think there’s ten tons here, at least,” of the drugs, he tells a stunned Agent Adler (the DEA guy). “Holy shit,” Adler echoes. When Sonya calls, wanting to take on the van driver who has stopped, Hank makes her promise to sit tight until he can get her backup. Yeah, like that’ll work.
Daniel Frye tries to take a woman home for some sexy fun times, only to find Agent Buckley in his apartment, ready to burn the evidence Daniel and Adriana stole from Agent McKenzie’s garage. After his “date” gets sent home in a cab, Daniel scoffs at Buckley’s threat that he can kill Daniel, make it look like an overdose.
But when Buckley threatens Adriana, it’s a different story. “Maybe she tries to hurt herself like she did two years ago. Only this time she succeeds. You didn’t know about that?” It’s testament to the screwed up but fiercely protective relationship Daniel has with Adriana that he looks astonished and sick at this threat. And great, now I’m doubly worried about Adriana — first she breaks up with Lucy, leaving Daniel as her only stable-ish relationship, and then it turns out she’s vulnerable to self-harm? DDDD:
“She needs to rest,” Marco argues when Romina collapses. Fausto wants to keep death-marching her and Marco, though, saying, “Get her up, or I leave you both to coyotes and snakes.”
Sonya OF COURSE doesn’t sit tight: she heads into the garage where the van is hidden, yelling, “El Paso PD! Down on the ground!” Agent Buckley shows up to clean up another mess — he moves fast, y’all — and knocks her out cold. He puts his henchman’s jacket under her head, though: “It’s bad luck to kill a cop.” But of course he shoots the henchman instead, and calls for “removals, asap!” “Yes, I’ll hold,” he says irritably. Wow, his stock in the CIA has fallen to subterranean levels.
Sebastian takes Eleanor to an industrial area. “Can I ask what you plan to do with him?” he asks, giving Eleanor a key to where he’s holding The Acorn Man. She plans to take him home, to the oak tree. Sounds ominous to me.
“I want the demon to see my face,” Eleanor says, rejecting Sebastian’s assistant’s offer to open the cage for her. “Hello father,” she says calmly as we glimpse the wild-eyed man inside. But we had guessed the Acorn Man was her father long ago, right? This gets staged as a revelation, but it just feels like a catch-up moment before the episode finale’s ka-boom moment of whatever the hell is going to happen to Eleanor and her abusive father.
Sonya wakes up to daylight and an empty garage; Hank and Adler arrive soon after. “You stumbled on the pipeline,” Adler says reluctantly after conceding Sonya’s angered claim that Buckley was the one who knocked her out. The CIA was “flushing dye into the system” of the drug cartels, “see[ing] where the money ended up.”
When Adler shrugs off the fact that the CIA couldn’t control their operation, Sonya vows someone will be held responsible. “It’s bullshit,” she hisses to Hank as he pulls her away. “Yeah, it’s bullshit,” he agrees. What is there for either of them to do, though, knowing they’re little more than small drops in the vast ocean of this conspiracy? (Hush, I’m not being overly poetic; just borrowing Hank’s metaphor from last week’s ep).
“I won’t do it,” says Marco when Fausto orders him to “fix” a withdrawal-shaky Romina with drugs so they can walk faster. “What’s the plan?” Marco demands when Fausto huffs that he’ll do it himself and starts cooking the drugs. There’s a hidden truck nearby, Fausto offhandedly explains before getting distracted by Romina cooing at him and rubbing her foot over his groin.
When Romina tells Fausto to “slap it” (her foot) to help her find a vein, Fausto and Obregon are both distracted, snorting at the “horny woman”. Romina takes advantage by grabbing the syringe and plunging it into Fausto’s neck, YES! Romina, I didn’t know you had it in you! I’m putting this moment of surprise badassery in the same file as Lucy stabbing her attacker with knitting needles!
Marco flies into action, suggesting the two of them have been planning this surprise attack (even more awesome! Romina conspiring with Marco while she’s suffering withdrawal? *slow clap*). He subdues Fausto, but Obregon shoots Romina before Marco can get to him. “Where’s the truck, asshole? Take us there now!” Marco shouts, just before the drug-injected Fausto vomits alllll over Obregon’s groin.
“This piece of junk is dead,” Marco says, frustrated after being unable to start the hidden truck Fausto spoke of. “I’m in no hurry,” Fausto adds when Obregon notes rats probably chewed the wires. “We can watch this pretty girl die,” he says, indicating Romina. “If I die, they write songs about me. You take me to prison, I’ll still be king!” he taunts Marco.
Still addled by drugs, Fausto reminisces about Marco’s father, his drug cartel role model. “My father died in a fire,” Marco says shakily when Fausto offers to take him where his father’s really buried. Nah, Marco’s dad was killed — five men were sent to assassinate him, he killed four, but the fifth shot him in the back. “He grew dope,” Marco protests. “He abandoned my mother, left her with nothing.” “But he had balls,” Fausto muses, even if he was buried in a landfill surrounded by trash and dead dogs. Damn different ideas of fatherhood and heroism here.
“I have no idea how I got in that truck,” Linder tells Sonya and Hank from his hospital bed. Well, pretty sure this is an out and out lie, but I’m not surprised he doesn’t want to let drop how he was trying to murder Captain Robles.
“Hey, don’t let her fall asleep,” Marco says to Obregon about Romina. When Fausto takes offence at Marco giving orders, Marco threatens to waste both Obregon and Fausto if Romina dies. He phones Sonya at the hospital to get her help with Fausto Galvan.
Marco tries to comfort the suffering Romina, though he’s honest when he reveals her father has sent no help for her. When she begs him to give her drugs, he refuses, afraid she’ll OD. He tells her she doesn’t have to be like her father, and promises her she’ll recover. It’s a poignant moment for two people let down by their fathers, and even more poignant when you remember Marco has lost the chance to comfort his own children through crises.
Daniel tags along to Adriana’s meeting with a CIA informant, who turns out to be Carla, Agent Buckley’s’ boss. “We done sniffing butts, or can we get to my statement?” she asks after Frye asks to see her credentials. She floats the narrative that Buckley is a sick man with psych problems. “You’re wasting our time,” says Adriana. Where’s Buckley now? “He’s being evaluated.” Adriana and Daniel set off to find Buckley themselves before the CIA can take him out of the picture.
Sonya arrives at Marco’s location, having told no one of what’s happening. Wow, she and Marco will freaking hide anything for one another. They drive off, Obregon and Marco in the back, and Romina languishing in the middle seat. Marco wants Sonya to stay with Romina at the hospital. When she insists they go after Eleanor, he says,” We take down Fausto first, and then we see.”
Agent Buckley meets up with his assassin pal under an overpass, and shares his delicious caramel corn. But when Buckley offers to give him a job offing Adriana and Daniel, the guy pulls a gun on him instead. Is there no honor among candy corn sharers? “What kind of shit is this? Carla?” “I didn’t get her name, just the money,” the man tells him before shooting him in the chest. He takes Buckley’s wallet and abandons him.
Sonya and Marco get Romina to an emergency room. “Keep her safe,” he tells Sonya, giving her a gun. Soon after he interrupts Captain Robles sad solitary downing of Mezcal with a surprise appearance, and shocks everyone at the Chihuahua PD by hauling in Fausto and Obregon. Though Robles tries to bluff his way into taking Fausto away, “No, senor,” Marco says calmly. “I’m not letting him out of my sight until they come for him.” “You’re first on my list, shithead,” Fausto interjects to threaten Robles. Oh, Robles is so very screwed.
Marco takes Fausto to an empty cell and enters with him. They sit side by side on the bench, echoing each other’s postures the same way Sonya and her mother did in a previous ep. The family relationships are strong in this episode — we get a visual reminder here that Fausto and Marco grew up both with complicated relationships with Marco’s father, and that they’re similar despite their very different paths.
“Now what?” Fausto asks. “Well, you’ll live in a cage for the rest of your days,” Marco answers. “And you become a hero?” “No. I’m no hero,” Marco says heavily.
You know, I had started to worry, despite Sonya’s obvious proclivity to do whatever the hell she wants to do, that she was following Marco’s directives too easily this episode. But it turns out she’s not just going to follow through on protecting Romina, but plans to broker her in a deal to find out Eleanor’s location from Sebastian Cerisola. Makes way more sense.
“Nice work,” the prosecutor tells Marco, but in the same breath informs him that “Discussions where to house Mr. Galvan are ongoing.” So it’s not a given that Fausto will head straight to jail; everything is deals and covert arrangements in this world. When he hears Robles skedaddled without his badge, Marco looks wary and protests, “No, I’m not interested in being captain,” to the clearly interested prosecutor.
Okay, so this seemed like a possible outcome, making Marco the new sheriff in town. But how the hell would he corral that department? How many of them have stalked him or actively tried to kill him since he became involved with investigations ferreting out corruption? It would be a fascinating direction for the show to take, though, if we get lucky enough to see a season three renewal.
Seeing Linder get shot was one of the more exciting twists last episode, so it honestly to me feels like a letdown to see him not only live against all odds, but stagger his way back to Mexico to reunite with Eva. I can only think someone in the writers room clearly wanted to give Eva a somewhat happy ending after using her as the plot-propelling victim (with Linder, though? Seriously?). Because seeing the two of them reunite and hold each other close feels completely random and doesn’t serve the narrative even a tiny little bit.
“Well, I’d say karma’s a bitch, but this goes way past karma,” Hank pronounces when he joins Cooper at the crime scene where Buckley lies dead. They see past the staging of a robbery, and Hank hands a huge break to Daniel and Adriana to cover the case because he owes them a favor. Daniel and Adriana banter a little about the case, but he pauses, concern clear on his face, and asks if she’s happy. “Yeah, don’t get all mushy on me,” she says, ready to cover the story.
Honestly, I feel like there was enough to worry about with Adriana, given her family’s rejection of her, her sister gone missing, and her relationship ending with Lucy. But sure, if the show wants to bring the self-harm thing in to next season, okay. I’ll just be glad to see more focus on Adriana that’s not only as Daniel’s right-flying sidekick, much as I love their friendship.
Cesar drives Eleanor to a dirt road and offers to wait for her. “No, I’m fine,” she says with that preternatural calmness of hers. “Go be with your family. I’ll be with mine.” She drags her father, who is clad only in dirty underwear and a ratty shirt, up to the oak tree and mocks him with details of how he raped her. “Touch me, daddy,” she taunts, having chained him to metal pipes. “The demon is still inside of you.”
But Eleanor underestimates her father’s madness and her own security: her father lunges forward, pulling himself loose, and begins to strangle her. “Stop,” Sonya yells out, having arrived on Sebastian’s tip. When the two don’t separate, she shoots Eleanor’s father, which is, quite frankly, really weird. Sonya’s own demons with family don’t seem to focus on an abusive father figure in the slightest, and she’s so abiding by the rules in many cases that this feels more like the show forcing a parallel between her and Eleanor than what truly exists.
We’ve been waiting for a stand-off between Sonya and Eleanor all season, but the quiet conversation that follows is anti-climactic. Though Sony momentarily seems to consider Eleanor’s contention that she could kill her right there, she instead holsters her gun and calls Marco for help.
“You could have just let them kill each other, you know?” Marco says when he shows up. “I didn’t think of that,” Sonya replies. Lamenting she’ll likely be fired when the police department learns what she did, Sonya says she doesn’t know what to do with Eleanor. “I have some ideas,” says Marco. Is this Marco taking charge, possibly bringing Eleanor to the Mexican side of the conspiracy to take down more of the drug-dealing machinery? Will he take the job as captain, and bring Sonya on his side when El Paso probably lets her go for severe breaches of protocol? I want to echo Fausto’s question: “Now what?”
“You can grab her, put her in the car,” Marco directs Sonya. “I’ll take care of Daddy.” The camera pans out up to show the wide top of the oak tree, all the way up to a satellite image of the larger area. It’s hard to say what this bigger framework is meant to show us — Sonya’s and Marco’s pursuits of justice are tied in to broader problems? We know that already. How even individual crimes can be tangled in regional politics? That’s what this whole season was about.
Perhaps if The Bridge gets its third season, we’ll find out how the characters are meant to be situated in a wider perspective we can’t yet imagine. Thanks for joining me for this season of The Bridge. I hope we will get more of these characters and their stories; let me know if you think the show will be renewed, or tell me what you thought of “Jubilex”!