Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen The Bridge Season 1, Ep. 7 – “Destino”.
Well that was… something. Look, I know this is the part where I’m supposed to recap what happened and perhaps shed some light on what it all meant. Well, as soon as a figure that out I’ll be happy to share. Because seriously, what was that? The Bridge has clearly cemented its reputation as the quirky crime drama. And I appreciate that quirkiness most of the time. When it works it works well (Linder, Sonya), but it often shifts into being weird just for weird’s sake (exchanging oral sex for gun smuggling).
Perhaps the weirdest part of “Destino” was that it clearly meant to build tension and yet there was none. We’re a little more than halfway through the season so the odds of finding the killer seem very, very low. So low that I kept thinking I was missing something. Surely they didn’t actually believe this was The Beast? This had to be something else, but no, they kept treating this psycho like he really was the mastermind they’ve been chasing all summer.
I hold fast to the belief that Jackson Childress, manifesto writing, gun enthusiast that he is, is not The Beast. For one, as I’ve said, it’s far too early in the season to solve the overarching mystery, and two, his reveal felt extremely anti-climactic. After weeks of no solid leads and The Beast remaining about 20 steps in front of the police at all times, suddenly a lead was found and led directly to the killer in a matter of minutes. Sure, that could happen, but after all the buildup and the peripheral storylines still blowing in the wind it felt off to have a conclusion presented so quickly.
But perhaps catching The Beast was never the point of The Bridge. Perhaps the fact it feels weird to us, coming at it with preconceived notions about what a crime drama should be, is because we aren’t supposed to have those preconceived notions. Perhaps this is, and always was, about creating an interesting and unique world filled with fascinatingly quirky people.
The tagline, after all, is “everybody is connected”, not “The Beast is gonna get you”.
And coming at The Bridge from that point of view instantly discredits most of the frustrations. Sure, these characters still don’t behave in realistic ways (at least in my opinion), but if you compare them to the characters of Twin Peaks, another crime drama more interested in weirding people out then solving any actual crime, they’re downright average.
Also looking at it this way opens up possibilities for just how everybody is connected. Right now very few people are tangibly connected and if you assume that The Beast is the main plotline you assume that case must be what connects everyone. But, if The Beast is just yet another peripheral storyline in the greater story of “the wacky people living on the border”, suddenly the ways in which these people could be connected grows exponentially. In fact, by framing it in those terms, I suppose they already are connected.
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