‘The Bridge’ recap: Beads, murders, and Lyle Lovett (!)

Jul 18, 2013
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For last week’s recap, click here.

FX’s “The Bridge” is only two episodes old, but we already have the series’ defining line, delivered by Matthew Lillard‘s dickish but observant El Paso Times reporter Daniel Frye:

“Your bedside manner sucks dog balls.”

Couldn’t have said it better, Frye. We were treated to that gem following Frye’s interrogation by the increasingly awkward Det. Sonya Cross. And, boy, does her awkward have levels. It hasn’t been delved into yet, but it’s increasingly clear that Cross has Asperger’s syndrome. Diane Kruger, whom plays cross, has said as much in recent interviews. This explains both Cross’ difficulties with social interaction and her ability to focus so heavily on her work.

This week, we were treated to Sonya’s robotic mating rituals that consist of first solitarily eating a microwaved bowl of noodles and then feeding her lonely little fish before heading out to the local watering hole to pick up the first cowpoke who bats an eye at her. The result was damn entertaining. I’ve never seen a bro look so disappointed by a one-night stand that wanted exactly zero foreplay. Then again, being shown post-coitus photos of dismembered bodies aren’t exactly a sign that Sonya is someone you bring home to mom.

Two episodes in and we already have a solid handle on what Sonya Cross is all about. She doesn’t like any kind of physical contact, rebuffing both a shake of the mano from El Capitan and any physical contact from her bar fling that didn’t involve his private parts. Then there’s the fact that she can’t shut up or tell a lie, which is how she tells flatly tells her boss about her sexcapades and gives Frye a Pulitzer-worthy scoop by playing him the audio from the Killer’s bomb track.

A whole lot more went down in “Calaca” than just bedroom developments (though lovable Mexican detective Marco Ruiz learned he would be a father yet again, vasectomy be damned).

Ruiz is feeling pressure from his Juarez office when he brings Sonya to town to investigate the bridge murder. She gets him in trouble with El Capitan immediately by asking questions about shoved-under-the-table murders. On top of that, Ruiz has to reassure his newly pregnant wife that the good-looking gringa he’s partnered with isn’t a threat to their wedded bliss. Remember, she hasn’t met Sonya and experienced her alien ways. In the meantime, Ruiz tracks down the dead Mexican girl from the bridge (the legs, remember?) to a brothel that specializes in 16-year-old girls who’ll do everything your wife won’t. Real police work. See, Ruiz is a good cop, Sonya.

Over at the horse ranch, Charlotte Millright found out what was on the other side of that mysterious door from last week. It wasn’t a room full of teenage Mexican prostitutes like I guessed. More predictably, it was a tunnel leading to Mexico, creepy skeleton shrines and all. Soon, Lyle Lovett the Lawyer (I’m not kidding), sporting a magnificent bolo tie and cowboy hat, is bringing her a three (hundred thousand dollar)-bean salad from his associate, who we assume resides on the other side of the border. The former Hooters hostess can’t ignore the likely cartel connects of her late sugar daddy. Things are bound to get messy.

That’s certainly the case for a truckload of nameless Mexican immigrants we meet who take on the dangerous walk from parts unknown to Houston on foot, only to be done in by an oasis that turns out to be a deadly mirage. Water-starved in the desert, the group comes across heaven-sent containers of water, but only one of them–a surprisingly good-looking woman considering she’s been traveling across rugged terrain for several days–is wise enough to see it’s a trap. While her compadres drink bleach or something 1 and are left for Frye and his cub reporter partner to discover (thanks to a cryptic GPS tip from the Killer). At the scene of the murder, Sonya discovers a bead that matches the one she found earlier at the scene where the judge’s car was left (with half her body), making for probably the lamest killer calling card in history. My guess is that they’re rosary beads since the show has already laid on the religious imagery pretty thickly and, you know, Mexicans tend to be pretty darn Catholic. “Calaca” is the Spanish term for the skulls Mexicans use to honor the dead, a symbol that shows up both in the horse ranch’s tunnel and at the scene of the immigrant murders. The episode ends with our surviving immigrant on the side of the road, with a mysterious driver approaching her.

Let’s hope it’s not creepy Steven Linder, who apparently gets his kicks from abducting and killing young women and burning the evidence. He also works in some kind of mental hospital/shelter at night to pay the bills to keep his black lights on. I bet he owns an iguana. Though it seems Linder might have abducted the wrong seniorita lately, since he’s got a Mexican on his trail who seems equally depraved. Any guy who licks the sweat off a stranger then strangles them is someone I sure as hell wouldn’t want to tangle with.

All in all, a compelling second episode that has established several interesting plotlines that seem destined to intersect. Just remember kids, don’t drink any ol’ water jug you find out in the desert.

Notes:

  1. Or perhaps they were filled with water, but all the cancer-causing toxins in the plastic seeped out due to the sunlight. It’s science!

Texas-bred, BBQ, blues and baseball enthusiast.

  • laura

    really good show,scary part some of this is really happening in juarez.