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The Bridge Stays Strong, Building Up Its Leads and Crafting a Gripping Mystery
We are now two episodes into The Bridge and I can say that I’m already thoroughly invested, if not in the identity of the killer, then in the detective work that needs to be done in order to find him. Not only has the case proven to be worthy of my genuine interest, but also the characterizations of Sonya and Marco are coming together quite nicely, painting a perfect picture of just who these two very different detectives are. We even get some movement in the supporting areas of this story, though the jury is still out on how relevant they will be to the main murder mystery. For now, I’m paying them little attention, and so is the show, only dishing out a handful of scenes to both Charlotte and Steven. Whatever their purpose is, The Bridge is not yet ready to reveal its hand in regards to them.
With so little time to introduce your leads in a pilot, dramas such as The Bridge leave the best answer to “Who are these people?” to the subsequent episodes. We know Sonya has something akin to Aspergers and that Marco appears to be the one good cop in Juárez. “Calaca” dives deeper into these characters by separating them from one another. When they’re together, the focus is usually on how they are each other’s opposites – Sonya is without empathy while Marco is warmhearted. But as we start to understand once we pay a visit to the police station in Juárez, Marco isn’t as saintly as we were led to believe. When his boss breathes down his neck about Sonya’s nosing in uninvestigated murders, Marco snaps at Sonya out of worry for his safety. He’s turned a blind eye to crime for a long time and isn’t about to cause any trouble that could put his family in harms way.
But Marco still has a conscience. He goes to in search of answers as to why the Mexican girl was killed and cut in half, taking him to a prostitute who is using the same room the victim once used. We see a whole new side to Marco as he uses violence and threats to get the answers he’s looking for. It’s good to know Marco is fallible and has his own demons. He might genuinely care about the victims he does and does not investigate, but there’s no doubt he’s not one hundred percent a good guy. But it’s hard to see him as the better of the two detectives when Sonya is so cold in her approach to, well, everything.
You have to wonder, how does someone like Sonya function in her day-to-day life? How does she cope knowing she’s the least likeable person in any given room due to her inability to empathize with even the more relatable of emotions? We got a rather humorous look into how Sonya deals with a basic human instinct: the need to mate; have sex. While pouring over her work, Sonya realizes she’s horny and slinks off to the nearest bar to satisfy her craving. She spots a decent looking fellow and smiles at him, though you can tell it’s a forced smile serving a purpose. The guy takes the bait and offers to buy her a drink, to which she says no. Feeling rejected the man walks away only to be followed by Sonya who clarifies she doesn’t want to drink; she just wants to have sex. With an offer so blatant, how can any man say no?
The way Sonya goes about getting laid is ripe with funny yet awkward moments: pouring the guy a glass of wine, nonchalantly taking off her pants, and rolling over and falling asleep as soon as the deed is done. But nothing was quite as cringe inducing as when she wakes up, pulls out pictures of a corpse, and carelessly tells the guy he can leave if he wants. I find this way of living to be fascinating and I wonder where it’s going. With someone with Aspergers, it’s not like you can simply teach them to be more empathetic, so how is Sonya going to grow as a character? We’re certainly learning plenty about her, but does she have the capacity to change realistically?
While I’m still wondering the importance of Steven – he seems to be a killer of women and a relation of his latest victim is seeking him out – and Charlotte – her husband has been running illegal immigrants through a tunnel under his estate – “Calaca” did a standup job with the story of 10 immigrants wondering the desert. While attempting to cross the border, their water supply is taken from them. When they stumble upon their water next to a skeleton, they all drink greedily except for one, who recognizes the ill omen the skeleton poses for them. And of course, it turns out the nine immigrants who drank the water were found dead hours later by Daniel Frye and his new writing partner thanks to a tip from the Bridge Killer. This is such a good example of how something seemingly of no relevance to the main storyline becomes the next big event in the narrative. The killer has struck again and in such an unsuspecting way. It really makes you wonder if it’s even possible to predict when he might strike next. And let’s not forget the one who got away. She managed to crawl to the side of the road and waved down a car, but the person getting out is cloaked with shadow, leaving their intent – to save her or finish the job – equally indistinguishable. The Bridge, you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.