The Bridge FX

It’s hard for any series to follow up on what is arguably considered its best effort. Last week, The Bridge delivered “The Beast,” which was easily the best episode of the series thus far. I didn’t have any expectation for this week’s episode – “ID” – to surpass it in terms of overall quality, but I had hopes it would pick up where it left off and, at the very least, not diminish the high we were left with. As predicted, “ID” wasn’t as perfectly formed as “The Beast,” but it took charge where it needed to and certainly kept the ball rolling, even bestowing us with one of the most heartbreaking scenes we’d yet seen on The Bridge.

It’s hard to believe we’re only six episodes into this first season. It feels like we’ve been following this case for a much longer period of time and I mean that in a good way. Each week, we’ve experienced so much, yet we’re nowhere nearer to unmasking the killer and tying together all the loose ends. We find ourselves with even more information in the wake of Peter Meadows death. His daughter, Gina, is brought to the police station, where Sonya immediately questions her about what the killer looked like. Unfortunately, Sonya’s general lack of understanding pushes Gina, frustrating her to the point she can’t concentrate and recall the features of the man who killed her father. It’s no surprise Marco treats her more warmly, sneaking her a cigarette. Eventually, they manage to get an accurate description of the killer’s eyes, but Sonya again pushes too hard, too fast, and Gina becomes emotional.

It’s hard to watch Sonya sometimes. She’s rough with people, but she’s obviously very good at her job in other areas. I like that she recognizes her inadequacies, but attempts to brush them aside because this case needs to be solved and – in her mind – there’s no time for dwelling on horrible events when a killer is on the loose. She can’t fathom why Gina doesn’t understand there’s a ticking clock. I love all of this about her character, which is why I was glad we were able to learn more about her backstory through Marco and Tom. Marco discovers Tom was once a patient of Gina’s father. Tom goes into detail on how he took down the man who raped and murdered Sonya’s sister – he shot him in cold blood and later said he saw the man reach for a gun. Unfortunately, the bullet didn’t kill the man and now he’s barely functioning, left to drawing childlike drawings in prison. He turned to shrink to deal with robbing Sonya of the chance to get answers.

This conversation between Marco and Tom doesn’t become very important until the end of the episode. Tom takes Gina and Sonya out for burgers in order to relax a little, but Gina has other ideas. She goes to the bathroom and sneaks out a window, leading Tom and Sonya on a merry chase through the streets of El Paso. Sonya hears Gina’s scream too late and finds her in a parking garage, bleeding out on the concrete. The killer was watching them and knew Gina was the only person to have seen his face. It’s really quite a terrifying realization just how close the killer is to the investigation, confirming he must be someone in law enforcement. And poor Gina, asking Sonya if she’s going to die as Sonya looks on in horror, unsure what to do as Gina passes away except to ask repeatedly for help.

I have to wonder, was Sonya’s determination to interrogate Gina about what the killer looked like born from her sister’s death? Did she see saving Gina as a substitute for saving her sister? When she visits her sister’s killer ­– we’d been told she does so on occasion and puts his drawings on her refrigerator – she watches him in fascination. Is this her attempt to get answers? It’s almost as if she feels some connection to him. She even reaches out and grabs his hand. She doesn’t linger, but it’s worth noting. And then two tears streak down her face. Why does she visit this man? He’s not in any shape to explain why he did what did. Sonya is a tough nut to crack, but she’s one I am adamant to open up.

Sonya’s complicated journey was the high point of “ID,” but there was much more to see. Marco spent some time trying to reach out to his wife, but she’s standing firm against his adultery. They will talk when she talks to him. The idea of Marco as a flawed moral center of the show still works quite well. He might be a crappy husband, but he’s no criminal. He returns Faustos money, saying it was the right thing to do and gets sneered at for being so moral, as if he thinks he’s better than those who make their livings doing less honorable things. He assures Fausto they have merely taken different paths and that he doesn’t think he’s any better a person and is content knowing he did what was right, even if no one else will.

Charlotte’s storyline has become increasingly detached from the main proceedings – Linder didn’t even show up, which made me quite sad – spending her time sleeping with her old friend who she then turns over the dealings of the tunnel to. It’s completely uninteresting, though there might be a spark left beneath the cold embers; someone ratted out Charlotte’s friend, who used to run drugs, and now the FBI are keeping tabs on him. Perhaps he and Charlotte have a much bigger role to play yet? With how intricate the killer’s plan seems to be, I’d be thoroughly disappointed if Charlotte didn’t find herself entangled in something more interesting than what we’ve been getting.