Last week I got sucked into FX’s new show, The Bridge, and a bunch of you emailed to tell me that the Danish original is so much better than the US remake. That may well be, but I’m holding off on watching the original. The Bridge ought to stand on its own and I’d rather judge it on those merits than be comparing it to the original. I’ve already been through that this year with World War Z and I’m not quite over the heartbreak yet. Onto the second episode!
Big thanks to everyone who informed me that Sonya Cross’s weirdness is because she has Asperger’s. On the one hand, now knowing that, I’m judging Diane Kruger’s performance through the proper lens—her stiffness and weird beats make a lot more sense now—but on the other hand I was looking forward to seeing how the show unpacked that. Oh well.
Recap if you skipped the pilot:
Sonya Cross – El Paso detective
Marco Ruiz – Chihuahua police
Rich widow with a mysterious room (or tunnel)
Matthew Lillard did not blow up
Two victims, cut in half
250 missing girls from Juarez
We’re starting with the rich widow. Her dead husband’s mystery key opened a tunnel to Mexico. Her husband was ferrying illegal immigrants into Texas. She wants to board it up but her ranch hand is like, “Probably shouldn’t do that.” She’s totally going to piss off some cartel.
Speaking of illegal immigrants, here’s a cattle truck full of them. This girl stops that guy—we’re getting into a no-name problem—from killing the truck driver and they set off to walk across the border. I assume this will all link up at some point.
Surprise—Matthew Lillard is playing a jerk. He is unhelpful re: why the killer put a bomb in his car.
Sonya has a message from the killer—let’s call him Doug, because I’m getting tired of typing “the killer”—about Christine Fuentes. Sonya wants to go to Juarez and Marco is like, slow your roll. I like the chemistry between Kruger and Demian Bichir. They make a nice odd couple.
Another new person—some dude in a trailer trying to burn a cell phone that starts ringing. …Doug?
Marco is either clued in that there is something different about Sonya or he’s the most laid back, take-em-as-they-come dude ever. He seems amused by Sonya’s briskness and not annoyed like he was before.
Cartel politics. Fausto Galvan’s (cartel boss) brother got killed, but they stole his body from the morgue and never recorded his death as a homicide (which annoys Sonya), so that Fausto’s rivals wouldn’t have the satisfaction of knowing they killed his brother. I wonder how much of this stuff is based on actual cases and how much is exaggerated.
Marco’s captain is giving off strong perv vibes.
Yeah, Sonya’s straightforward by-the-bookness is totally going to f*ck sh*t up across the border. She’s been there ten minutes and is not coping with their blatant corruption at all. I hope she doesn’t end up getting Marco killed.
Marco: You’re going to get me killed!
(She totally is.)
Oh I forgot about the girl trying to cross the border who may or may not wind up in a sex trafficking ring! Some dude is looking for her.
Matthew Lillard is such an over the top asshole. And maybe also a drunk? Whatever—wishing Doug had actually blown him up.
Sonya’s boss is terrific. He’s a crusty cowboy but he has a big ole gooey soft spot for her.
The shady cowboy lawyer—who undoubtedly represents the equally shady interests on the Mexican side of the mysterious tunnel—is played by Lyle Lovett. Excellent. Now if we can just get Dwight Yoakam on Justified.
While Marco is interviewing child prostitutes about Christina Fuentes, Sonya is out trying to pick up a guy. Her approach: “Do you want to have sex? Good. Let’s go.” Never say she isn’t direct.
The creepy guy from the trailer, Steven, may be Doug. He’s weird enough to cut women in half. And he works at a…halfway house?
Marco’s wife is pregnant. Game of Thrones has conditioned me to immediately expect the worst for anyone experiencing any kind of happiness.
Um…did all those people walking in the desert at the beginning of the episode die? The close up of the empty water jugs is confusing/ominous.
Okay, I really like Sonya’s relationship with her boss. Matthew Lillard leaked Doug’s “how long can El Paso look away” message and his reaction to Sonya’s guilt—she played the message for him—is great. He’s not fatherly, but he’s affectionate and sympathetic while still being her boss. I also like the little shoulder-bump thing he does when she’s upset. In lieu of hugs, I guess.
Whew—the desert people aren’t dead!
The widow opens the condolence-casserole Lyle Lovett brought with him. Surprise, it’s actually a casserole of STRAIGHT CASH.
A sheriff’s deputy killed a coyote that was messing with a crime scene and stuck it on a pike as a warning to other vermin. I’ve tried that with centipedes. It doesn’t work.
Sonya found a bead.
Rich Widow dumps actual casserole on Lyle Lovett’s desk and returns the cash. She’s going to inadvertently start a border war.
The water jugs explained: Someone (Doug?) left them out around a “shrine” made from what appears to be an actual skeleton. One of the immigrants—let’s call her Smart One—is like, “Whoa, this is kind of f*cked up, maybe we shouldn’t drink this water.” Everyone else drinks the water.
So Doug hired an actor to record his ominous message. THREE YEARS AGO.
Matthew Lillard is drinking again and Doug is calling him with GPS coordinates to a spot near the border. Am worried about the desert people.
Okay, the guy looking for the girl that Steven picked up and took across the border is a straight up psychopath who kills housewives.
Yep, Doug’s coordinates lead Matthew Lillard and the spunky cub reporter helping him with the story discover the desert people, dead at the skeleton shrine. But Smart One got away, kind of. She’s in pretty rough shape and a mysterious stranger picks her up.
At the skeleton shrine, Sonya finds another bead. What does it mean?!
After two episodes we’re still setting the table, but damn. Beads, skeleton shrines, mystery tunnels, cash casseroles, Lyle Lovett, Smart One’s fate, the missing hooker and her psycho pimp, Creepy Steven and Doug’s real identity—it’s getting engrossing.
Attached – Diane Kruger wearing the same t-shirt Justin Timberlake had on last week. Click here a refresher.