The Bridge Recap: "Rio"

The Bridge Recap: "Rio"

Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen The Bridge Season 1, Ep. 3 – “Rio”.

I can’t figure out this show and I think the problem is that it can’t figure itself out either. It feels like it wants to be a crime saga with a message, a complex drama that “says” something”, but it sure is taking its time saying it and it’s not always being said in the most interesting way. Clearly The Bridge prides itself on being a puzzle with many pieces, but everything is so fragmented and we know so little it’s hard to be captivated by what’s going on. Basically, it’s difficult to care when you don’t even understand.

This week The Bridge made some efforts to bring these pieces together, but they were clunky at best. After realizing that one of the migrants escaped the ricin poisoned water (the premier poison of the American Southwest) the detectives were quickly led to Steven Linder’s sad little trailer which happened to be close to the crime scene. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Linder is the reddest of herrings and while he may be up to some shady stuff (and I’m even questioning that at this point. Right now he mostly looks like a sad guy looking for his sister with a subsequent softness for lost girls) he is not the evil mastermind who orchestrated this spree. So his interrogation lacked the suspense I’m sure was intended. Just like Law and Order doesn’t catch the killer in the first 20 minutes, a serialized crime drama doesn’t catch the killer in the third episode.

The interrogation also saw a dramatic character shift in Marco. Suddenly he was channeling his inner Juarez officer and playing a very mean cop. Was it just an act? If so it seems just as unlikely of a move because it’s pretty clear to everyone that Sonya is incapable of playing good cop. Crazy cop, disinterested cop, cop with clear signs of Asperger’s? Sure. Good cop? Not so much. But perhaps it was just a set up to prepare us for an even larger change of character.

The incorporation of the not so grieving widow, Charlotte Millright, started out well enough. The late Mr. Millright was named in the killer’s ransom as one of four Texas millionaires asked to front the million dollars to free the escaped migrant currently abandoned in the desert. Fair enough, though it does make me wonder if the other three men also have ties to Mexico. Then Marco showed up at her house to have her sign a statement that she didn’t give him money to wave through the ambulance at the initial crime scene. Also makes sense, no problems there. But then Charlotte started subtly asking him not to leave by shoving her tongue down his throat. And he went with it, which was the most confusing of all. Did I miss an episode where he hinted at marital strife? Or did the writers just miss the TV writing class where they explained at least one of your main characters should be likable?

New Clues in the Ever Evolving Mystery:

The killer has somehow found a way to stream live video from a remote part of the desert and instead of selling this discovery and making millions of dollars; he is using it to project a live stream of the escaped migrant sacrificed to the elements until those aforementioned millionaires fork over the ransom. What does this have to do with the “message”? No idea.

After Charlotte made it clear she prefers her three bean casserole with actual beans, not Benjamin’s, the mysterious “client” showed up in person. Sometimes you just can’t send a man to do a woman’s job. She gave a pretty soft sell and Charlotte was having none of it. So next came the Godfather sell; a dead horse.  Will this convince Charlotte to participate in the human trafficking/drug smuggling/whatever else that tunnel could potentially be used for or will she go running to her new cop boyfriend, thus bringing even more pieces together?

Sonya’s one night stand showed up at the police station because he didn’t have her number and desperately wanted to take her to dinner. Look, I know she’s insanely good looking, but she’s also certifiable. I am now completely suspicious of this man’s actual motives.

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