The Bridge "Maria of the Desert" Review: Message Received, Loud and Clear

The Bridge S01E04: "Maria of the Desert"

Hola, compadres. "Maria of the Desert" marked another wacky week for FX's The Bridge, which has established itself as something of an anti-show. So far, the series has broken a lot of the rules of traditional television, what with its dangling stories and broad message (though that's narrowed considerably in the last two episodes); that's what makes it a perfect fit for FX's maverick brand. 

But I still think The Bridge is struggling to find itself and clearly present an identity. Maybe it needs to pretend it's a recent college grad and set out on a solo backpacking trip through Europe to try to find itself. The Bridge is almost an art film, it's almost a gritty police murder drama, it's almost social commentary, but it's not quite any of those things on the whole, and the result is a project that is obviously trying to be all of those things without mastering any of them. 

Yet "Maria of the Desert" frequently hit that sweet spot where the show's disparate elements come together, and it was one of the better episodes of the series' young run. Maybe it's just because a guy got his head cut off, maybe it's because another dude got nail polish remover thrown in his face. Probably it's because things feel a bit more comfortable now that we've been hanging out in this world for four weeks now. But stuff happened during the hour, and if The Bridge continues to put out more episodes like this one, it'll be in pretty good shape.


"Maria of the Desert" could've easily been called the second half of a two-parter as it wrapped up the mess made by the killer last week. Poor Maria was slow-roasting in the sun and her cooking was being broadcast on the internet for all the world to see (I'm still confused about why a website would show that, and I'd like to know how the killer surmounted the technical puzzle of live-streaming from the middle of the desert; I barely get cell reception in my house). But the killer screwed up, allowing a shift in the sun to reveal the shadow of a pumpjack. Apparently there aren't as many pumpjacks in Texas as I thought, and finding Maria was a matter of canvasing a handful of oil sites. Though I wouldn't be surprised if the killer planned that ahead of time, given that his message is to point out the police will put a lot more effort into solving a crime against a white woman than they would put into a crime against a brown woman. He never intended to kill Maria, she just became an unfortunate piece of his theory, and given the way the sun works (it moves across the sky), it wouldn't be hard to position his victim and the camera so that the giveaway clue was timed to later in the afternoon. 

And the killer was right. The Feds who took over the investigation sucked. They couldn't get the cash he requested, they sat on their thumbs, and they didn't even know what they were doing because the FBI put their C-team on the case. Frye said it best, if it had been a big-tittied blonde lying out there in the heat, SWAT teams, helicopters, spaceships, and Superman would have been right on the scene. And once the Feds arrived at the drop, Gedman (played by David Meunier, Justified's Johnny Crowder) got his head cut off! Oops. That's not in the handbook. Hopefully this won't be another show where the Feds are cursed with The Following levels of incompetence, because me and my zero hours of FBI agent training could have gotten the same results as Gedman did. (Has any of The Bridge's police work been that impressive so far?) That's the curse of serial-killer shows; the killer has to stay one step ahead of the authorities  in order to build him up as a potent adversary. The nasty side effect of that? The cops look stupid and frequently end up dead. Maybe it's just me, but that's why I'm typically not a fan of the genre.

Let's circle back to the money and the new character we met tonight, Fausto Galvan. Holy smokes is that guy even acting? Because he's frickin' scary. It's like he's actually doing drug deals and buying off cops because no one told him this is a show. He will be in my nightmares. It's been years since I smuggled mass amounts of drugs across a border for millions of dollars, so I'm not totally following the logic behind his strategy of paying Maria's ransom. But if I had to guess and potentially make a fool of myself, I'd say he's buying goodwill with Marco. One of the best aspects of The Bridge's cop side, and what differentiates it from other cop shows, is the way it portrays the two police departments. Sorry to drop the truth on you, but sometimes the Mexican policia work in conjunction with the bad guys. Maybe it's a straight bribe, maybe it's a situation like the one we saw with Marco, where he wasn't going to let this woman die because U.S. red tape kept the authorized cash from coming in and Galvan offered him a tempting alternative. He'll probably owe Galvan something down the line, but Maria gets to go home (well, back to Mexico) instead of turning into Maria Jerky, and that was Marco's priority because he's a good cop (lousy husband, though).  

And how many of us now owe Linder, Mr. Mushmouth Mutton Chops, an apology for all the bad thoughts we had about him? Or do we have a red herring playing possum in our midst? The Bridge's treatment of Linder has been somewhat mind-boggling so far, but I think I've been pretty clear in my belief that he's not the killer, and instead a peripheral character that tells more of the overall story of the border towns. Tonight our worst fears were combed out of his sideburns when we saw what he actually did with Ava Guerra—who, in case you forgot, went looking for him in a Juarez back alley in the series premiere. Linder delivered Ava to a ranch so she could get away from her old life and some bad dude named Hector. Maybe Hector was Eva's abusive boyfriend, maybe Hector was her pimp, maybe Ava flushed Hector's Chihuahua down the toilet. I don't know. But for whatever reason, Ava was running away from Hector, and Linder helped her escape him and the lack of any legal support from her native Mexico. He gave her a better life. So, point for Linder. 

However, I don't think we should be naming a street after him or letting our daughters date him just yet. The Bridge could be setting up some sort of reverse red herring situation, like an anti-The Killing. And more often than not, weirdos with aluminum trailers in the middle of the desert have more issues than just needing some elbow room. 

And it's not like we could not suspect him as the killer, because the show purposely gave us only a few dots to connect. The killer kidnapped Mexican women. We saw Linder stuff a Mexican woman in his trunk and drive her to his creepy trailer. What else were we supposed to conclude? But was it fair for the show to do that? The non-direct methods it used to make Linder seem mysterious—and possibly guilty—weren't totally effective. It didn't feel like a revelation when Linder took Ava to the ranch. Instead, it made everything leading up that moment feel like an unnecessary wrinkle. The Bridge has an unusual obsession with not giving us straight answers and leading us down the wrong path, and I'm not finding it fun. We're still developing a relationship with the show, and all we have to go on is what it gives us. If it's playing tricks on us this early with little payoff, why should we trust it going forward? This is a thought frozen in this current time (and it could change depending on what happens in the next few episodes), but if we're done wondering whether Linder is the killer or not, what was he point of that chicanery? It all seems slightly pretentious and convoluted. Anyway, end rant/concern. I think we're done with the "is he/isn't he?" part of Linder. I don't want anyone thinking I don't like Linder or that I'm not interested in his story. Quite the opposite, I find him fascinating and the best character on the show. I just want The Bridge to clear up his involvement in the main murder mystery because it's not working for me. 

But that's all water under The Bridge (sorry, couldn't resist) for now, and the series is still figuring itself out. Around here at TV.com we like to a little thing called the Four-Episode Test, where we judge a show after four episodes. While "Maria of the Desert" didn't earn the show an A grade, it certainly helped it comfortably pass. I'm in.



THE BORDER BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE NOTES

– Carl's daughter, you are a real grumpy bitch! Now that the dust has settled on all the extra plots, she's probably the most useless part of the series. Watching a spoiled brat sit around at daddy's house, whining like Billy Madison, is not particularly compelling. Hurry up and find out about the tunnel and demand your cut of the profits from Charlotte, would ya? 

– Charlotte, what are you doing showing up to the police station with Marco's wallet? Are you that dense? You have a phone, right? Call the station. Now everyone knows you boned him. And Marco, how in the world did you not realize you forgot your wallet? You should have searched every inch of that guest bedroom to make sure you didn't leave any adulterous evidence behind. For all the things this show does well, there are some real idiotic things, too. 

– If you were Maria, would you be psyched or upset that people left you alone with Cooper and his weird mustache?

Comments (109)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Aug 15, 2013
I disagree, we started watching the swedish/danish version, and then our border vertion appeared. Aside from being surprised by Demian Bichir and the rest of the cast, I found it profoundly realistic and for the first time, the good guys weren't just on your side of the border, nor the baddies on mine. And, oh, yes, i'm proudly Mexican.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
I like this show very much. The comparison to The Following in my opinion is rather offensive. LOL!

The Spanish speaking cast is excellent!

There are some stories that become a bit convoluted: true, but so far this is a keeper. I do not feel like I have to give it "another chance", like I did after every episode from 1 to 5 to The Following!

It seems like Svanehjerte below wants the characters to be likeable... I guess that is a bit old fashioned now... There are no perfect heroes any more so even less perfectly "good" characters, not even in the comics... ;-) It is all a bit grey, the way normal people are... We are all fallible...

In the end this is all Entertainment. What I find entertaining might not be what you like. We can still discuss its merits though if you want to...
7
Reply
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
I think you can always find an interesting trait in every character, even the evil ones. The fact that some characters have despicable actions doesn't stop me from liking them. I actually find it more entertaining that way. Take Sons of Anarchy, for example, which has zero "decent" characters. They're nothing but a bunch of criminals, but I really like them, either because of their complexity or their loyalty to their peers. That doesn't mean I agree with what they do. As for The Bridge, I think Marcos is so likeable! I don't agree with cheating, but I thought the way it was done very realistic. I also agree with you about the Spanish speaking cast - they're great! Apart from some stretches and the super-killer kind (which I'm a bit tired of after so many years of TV/Movies), I think The Bridge is an excellent show.
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
This show has gotten better and Sonja isn't so wooden which is an improvement. I'll stick with it for a while see how it goes. I was disappointed to read (despite the FBI incompetence in this episode) the reviewer even mention this show in the same sentence as "The Following", without a doubt the most ridiculous show for Police incompetence and complete unbelievability ever put on air. I gave that show about 6 eps and have left it in the dust. From what I read it's only gotten worse.
I hope the Bridge doesn't get anywhere near like the Following or it'll be left in the dust as well.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I keep screaming about the hypocrisy of this premise: the whole preachy if it were big titted white girls thing...notice the "brown" girls in peril on this show are all thin, young, and hot...if these were chubby, middle aged mexican ladies, would there be a show? LAME.
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Totally agree about Linder...
Fausto paid the ransom because the investigation means extra cops which is bad for business. The sooner it's over, the sooner he can get back to business as usual.
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Yes the storytelling is kinda slow and confusing but there is so many interesting characters to keep me watching.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Yeah, Eva (which you did a great job spelling, btw) flushed Hector's Chihuahua down the toilet. Brilliant line of writing. It's clear which side you'd land on in the ignorant race war the show is calling attention to.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I agree with 2 things. First, Fausto Galvan is one creepy dude and hope he does not appear in my dreams and second the police and specially the FBI seem to be doing a crappy job, and that kinda sucks... cause they will have to keep showing up... i think.
I disagre with 1 think. I don't mind the fact that "The Bridge" is making us reach to some hasty conclusions... I kinda like it.
And am I the only one who thougth... damn if cesar dies bimbo widow (sorry but dropping the wallet at the police station didn't help her getting some sympathy points from me) will be so screwed (in the bad way)? I mean he is sort of like the efficient butler who does everything in advance and looks to his employer like saying "you would be so lost without me" Love Cesar, he is cool.
Ok, I need more Linder and addict-periodist whose name can't recall, time.
And Sonya well even though I kinda like her I don't love her... well maybe I don't have to but "The bridge" needs more interesting female characters.

Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I think Ava flushed Hector's Chihuahua down the toilet. Also if I was Maria I would upset and scared that they left me alone with creepy mustache man.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Maybe Matt Lilliard should stick to drama. His character Frye is fascinating. A journalist chasing a story in a time when print media is dead. What's does he want from this story? This was only the fourth episode and its settling in nicely. Annabeth Gish made a real dumb move, what were her motivations now that she finds herself with Nancy Botwin's tunnel. Its just funny because she's always been Mary Louise Parker's lost twin sister and now she finds herself in a story with a tunnel and Demian Bichir in her bed Still feeling the 'Weeds'. There are a lot of cop shows on over the summer. For my money, the best this summer has been 'Longmire'. Its become a great show in its second season; hope it gets a third.
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Totally feeling the Weeds vibe. She really is a long lost Botwin. Lol
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
And yeah, stupid for EXPECTING other countries/nations to solve THEIR crime... As if USA didn't have enough crime to solve themselves, are they the ones that need to care and solve the girls' deaths and disappearances in Mexico as well? Perhaps he should have made a point by killing off the real bastards (the cartel) instead of "innocent" whores. For some reason the serial killer shows love to kill off whores. It's a little unoriginal, that's all. Try the customers next time, that'd be more fun, lol.
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
As for killing off "whores", wasn't the first victim (of which we were aware) a judge?? Hardly a "marginal" occupation.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
The feds got involved because this was a serial killer, and not just that, but he was killing people on American soil. Doesnt matter if they what ethnicity they were
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I don't know how long I will keep watching this series because it is just so damn unlikable. There is not one decent person in this series - they're all idiots, whores, murderers, cheaters, whore customers, adulterers, sluts and so on. I find it hard to watch a show where I don't give a shit who lives or dies. I can't sympathize with anyone so what's the point, right? Marco was supposed to be the likable "good cop" yet he is a cheating asshole as well. It sucks that I'm actually starting to think Linder is the only good character, lol. It might end up being too sleazy for me to forgive it much longer.

This episode was not very good...

+ it must be the worst serial killer ever, who complains about how little Mexican girls' deaths are worth, and then killing more of them himself. Stupid.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Very simplistic approach. I'm sorry but you need to go back in 80s where "good" (one-dimensional) cops exist.
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
It doesn't need to be one-dimensional, but it NEEDS to be likable or there is no point in watching.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I was in fact, hoping he would remain a good cop throughout the series. So it was very disappointing that right after showing him to be a family man he's cheating on his wife,and only FOUR episodes in. The whole scene just seemed unwarranted. There was no foreshadowing, so it was pretty confusing.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Exactly.

I don't share the opinion with people who think bad sides/grey zones/bad traits = deep/multidimensional characters. It is very possible to be multidimensional without being a bad or unlikable person. That is my problem with this show. There are no likable people so I don't care if any of them lives or dies. Mostly though I just want them to die, lol.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
Awfully judgemental, Svan ... I'm not sure what world you live in but I've seem some very good people do questionable things in times of trial and tribulation. It's the paragons of virtue who tend to be the least trustworthy -- just wound too tight.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
And how can you NOT sympathize with Sonya. To struggle through life trying to make sense of those around you, even those closest to you, and in a near constant state of doubt? Man, I feel for her. (Of course I've known people with Aspergers so maybe I'm assuming facts not in evidence).
1
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
How does Marco's cheating undermine his good copness? He's still good cop.
7
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
But he is a bad person/has bad traits for being a cheater and that makes him unlikable. I can't sympathize with him anymore...
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
IMO I believe that there are no good people only and bad people only. I think that people make good choices and bad choices. People who make bad choices aren't necessarily bad people, cause they can always redeem themselves by making good choices onwards. It's just a way of life. I guess we all try and fail in our lives. The only ones that come close to being a bad person, are those who are damaged beyond the point where there's no hope left for them to come back and make up for their bad choices. Even those people were good people at one point. Society is a huge part of the reason why we become who we are. Also that saying...terror starts at home. I can sympathize with people who make bad choices. Because it will most likely haunt them for the rest of their lives. Even if they do everything right in the book, which is quite sad.
1
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
check out the disney channel--I think they may have pure good and pure evil characters.
I hate cheaters but no one is perfect and the fact he cheats doesn't make him bad at his job.
4
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
So if he is a good cop and solves the case eventually won't matter one bit. I won't like him any better. Besides, it's the least one should expect from him - to do his job!
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Yea I got nothing in regards to the name of the episode in relation to any overall theme of the episode.

I think the show is all of those things. And I think they are doing it well. Look at it as a marathon rather than a sprint. We can't really see the big picture, just as the cops can't see the big picture that the Killer sees. Just sit back and enjoy the 26.2 miles.

I think they are settling into their stride so to speak. As is the killer. The killer has been implementing this for a while and he knows all of the players as he so emphatically pointed out by leading the Agent to the money drop and cutting off of his head. This is all how the killer has planned everything out. Right down to who was making the drop and knowing that Sonya was going to see the pumpjack and find the girl. This harkens back to my thinking that the Killer considers himself as Death. Because he is controlling all of it and they are all just marionettes.

But the only problem with that is he couldn't have known the money was going to come in on time. Nor could have have truly known that anyone was going to be able to see the shadow of the pumpjack. What was going to happen if there had been a rogue cloud? And that apparently it wasn't that far out in the desert because the bar was just down the street. These are little things that don't necessarily dilute the quality of the show, but give the killer a sense of mythical power that isn't necessarily ground in reality.

He did pick the Feds though. Now I wouldn't say they are The Following quality of stupid. Mostly because this killer is actually intelligent, not pompous and this isn't even remotely supposed to be the A team. MY guess is El Paso doesn't even warrant the R team. But I like it, this is going to be a competition between the Killer vs Sonya and Marcos. The lame feds need not apply, especially those who are secretly scumbags.

But what the Killer might not have contended with Cartel. This new guy Fausto is interesting. He is going to do what the cops can't. Why? Because the killer is going to mess with his bottom line and that is a no no. He produced the money because the search for the girl was catching his smugglers. Costing him money. Which is why he used the tunnel. The million that he spent for the ransom is nothing compared to the millions that he is going to earn on the drugs that he is trafficking over the border. The killer is going to increasingly be a drain on his smuggling. The killer is also pointing out the influence of the Cartels as to why these murders go unsolved. The Cartel is going to come after him. Marcos working for him is interesting. He might not be on the take from the Cartels, but he isn't stupid enough to go against them.

Also, it appears that Marcos has a taste for the ladies. Which is a nice follow up to him having sex with Charlotte.

Linder is also a curious character. Initially I admit i though he had some nefarious intentions with some of the women. But it turns out that he is just a good guy that is trying to help down trodden prostitutes in Juarez and sneaking them across the border. I don't think that is going to be the limit of his story or his character. But interesting none the less.

This episode also did one thing. It deepened the competency of the killer. He knew who the Agents were going to be. He knew about them before hand. He is familiar enough with the area to go unnoticed. He is competent physically. He showed this in the way he easily dealt with Marcos, he has had training in Martial Arts or combatives. He also is apparently really quick with a saw. Because Gedman wasn't out of contact for that long.

Overall the episode was fantastic.

The daughter was/is an unnecessary addition. I see no reason for her to be there save to provide Charlotte with stress.

Charlotte was stressed. Charlotte relieved a little bit of that stress with Marcos. She wasn't returning the wallet as much as she was looking for round 2. And my guess with Marcos' wandering eye there are going to be a few more rounds.

Well she isn't staked out anymore for the animals. So Cooper wouldn't look that bad. Plus he had water.

More+
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
you should review the show instead of Tim because you understand the show and the goals of the show/writers/producers/etc....
It's not NCIS or a case of the week show--maybe Tim should review NCIS (I'm not trashing NCIS since I watch it but it is a different type of show--more fluffy then this show)
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I think this was the best episode so far and the way the stories are told is growing on me. I still wonder what the connection between the main characters and Linder is but I'm good with that because I'm not bored when the show switches from story to story (well, maybe with Charlotte I am).
I really like how The Bridge is off from 'stereotypical' storytelling on a TV series and that's what brings me back every week.
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
It seems to me that Kruger is slightly changing her approach - Sonja's starting to look less awkward and show some emotions (even tearing up in car with her boss). And that kinda worries me. I like robotic awkward Sonja who talks about murders and dead people without any emotions. That is fun. So it's kinda strange that she tears up when she talks about her sister. In original series Saga never shed a tear even wheh she talked about her sister (she just retold the story to danish Marco and that was all).
And last second beheading of FBI guy was superman-ish. American version is trying too hard to differ from original one. Serial killer in Bridge is not only omnipresent as devil but he can also behead someone pretty quickly. That's too much. But that's FX, what was I expecting? Other than that I have no complains.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
That is not entirely accurate about Saga. She did become emotional after Hans confirmed his transfer had been approved, tears and all.

I do agree that the coordination required for the decapitation and body placement of Agent Gedman seems totally unrealistic. Definitely lost cool points for trying too hard.

I think the US series is distinguishing itself from the Swedish/Danish series in a number of areas. Sonya is being fleshed out differently, with a bit more depth than Saga. Similarly, Marco, after this episode, is far less likable than Martin. Martin was a serial monogamist; Marco is a philanderer.

It would be interesting to start a discussion on the differences between Bron/Broen and The Bridge. Which we might be able to do once we have a proper community. Anyone have any details on when/if that might be happening?
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
The best ep so far, I had great expectations and it hasn't dissapointed. Idk what you mean by the show trying to figure itself out, like Vicky8675309 pointed out, this isn't NCIS neither is trying to be, but most importantly, why isn't there a The Bridge Community yet?
If Under the Dump has one I demand one for this show as well!!!
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
I heartily concur! This show is definitely worthy of thoughtful discussion although I doubt it'll provide the yucks that "TheUnderdome" and "Fallowing" do.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
lol--under the dump---I love that! I quit that show after 2 episodes and am irritated that Tim complains in other reviews about pure procedural shows but then give him a intricate show like this and he still complains....

I am loving this show and it has so much more potential. I hope the cartels get more involved!

I'd love a The Bridge community.

I've been to El Paso and it is so safe compared to Nuevo Laredo / Laredo.

I'm in San Antonio, TX and the majority of the population is hispanic (I'm a minority here-Caucasian but I'm fine with it and use to it since I use to live in the Republic of Panama--grew up there). My husband doesn't speak Spanish and gets irritated when he grocery shops that the labels are often in Spanish---lol.
7
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
just skimmed through the comments and it looks like no one mentioned it, but Fausto did not give the money out of the kindness of his heart. He lost tunnels, mules and a whole lot of drugs due to intensified police action at the border.
That could get interesting if the cartels start getting involved in finding the killer.
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
And, as someone else mentioned, any time a criminal does a cop a favour, there will inevitably be strings attached. Not today, or even tomorrow, but inevitably. Corruption doesn't begin with one big bribe ... it's far more insidious and gradual.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I've finally figured out what bugs me the most. Sonya can't be so effing surprised every time she learns new stuff that "normal" people do in their everyday life. She's lived on this planet for 30 something years and the cartoonish surprise EVERY goddarn time is really annoying. Other than that the show is growing on me.
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Not certain I agree with "...The Bridge is struggling to find itself and clearly present an identity." The Wire took 5 or 6 episodes before people were like, "OMG this is the greatest thing since sliced bread", and from that point everyone was going around talking like Jimmy McNulty. I'm good with easing into what is shaping up to be a complicated, ambitious drama with heavy emphasis on choreography and intelligence, provided they don't cock it up in the next several episodes. There are areas that could stand improving, but it is not clear to me yet that these are not intentional and will reveal themselves to be aspects of the larger work as more is revealed. For instance, to me the scene transitions at times feel jarring and/or it seems time is given to some scenes that is unnecessary (and consequently comes across as heavy-handed) whilst others are rushed or disjointed.

"Sorry to drop the truth on you, but sometimes the Mexican policia work in conjunction with the bad guys." This is true, however let's not behave as if corruption is a factor of being brown and/or living south of the border. US Law Enforcement has its own long and shameful history of abuses. The NYPD and the LAPD; 'nuff said about that. The CIA has a long and checkered past dealing with the criminal element, especially in Latin America (but really anywhere in the world where we don't like the group currently in power, be pretty certain the CIA helped them to get there: e.g. Castro, Taliban, Mugabe). That is not to say that the corruption in Chihuahua and throughout Mexico is not epic, systemic and violently maintained, but I think the day to day realities in which the "bad guys" are people that the police still have to deal with are more readily embraced and accepted than they are as portrayed in the US media. When you boil it down, there is not a great deal of difference between Marco accepting the ransom money from Galvez knowing it comes with strings, and the criminal informant system or a prosecutor giving some scumbag immunity in exchange for testimony. It is simply the way business gets done.

"The Bridge has an unusual obsession with not giving us straight answers and leading us down the wrong path, and I'm not finding it fun. We're still developing a relationship with the show, and all we have to go on is what it gives us. If it's playing tricks on us this early with little payoff, why should we trust it going forward?" I think the show is constantly challenging the audience, subtly and overtly, to confront its judgments, underlying prejudices and preconceptions. We don't want to think that deep down we're snobby, elitist, racist, classist, xenophobes, but the truth is at some point most of us think people who don't look like us are suspicious, people who don't act like us are weird and people who can't afford to be us are probably going to try to steal something from us. That is why Linder was an easy mark for being a "bad guy". Perhaps he really is some emotionally stunted and socially awkward do-gooder with a personal mission to save at-risk women, but because he's kind of creepy we are not entirely willing to eliminate him from suspicion. If he looked like a disaffected hipster and went about spouting lyrics and movie quotes with the same underground railroad behavior would we all still think he might be keeping dead bodies in a shed somewhere? Probably not.

I appreciate when media exposes some facet of myself I'm not entirely comfortable with, and I am guilty of both thinking Linder is a total psycho and unwilling in the face of contrary evidence to absolve him of suspicion. I'll have to accept the truth of myself that I am not as nice a person as I wanted to believe, but perhaps in the future I'll be a tad more open-minded with people. Probably not. Regardless, I'll continue tuning in to have my notions challenged.
More+
13
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
If I wasn't sleep deprived I would of said the same comment--lol, j/k (I wish I could of worded my thoughts, which align with yours, as well as you did).

FANTASTIC comment--all of it!

I do miss being able to pay off the cops with 5-10$ in Panama for speeding tickets;P Yes, corruption is in all countries and in all types of businesses including law enforcement. People are people....

The CIA put Noriega in power (Republic of Panama) and then when he no longer did what they told him to do they used some BS excuse to invade the country to remove him from power (they blew up my father's warehouse--he had a contract with the military to move out the personal belongings of the soldiers/remaining people on the military bases before all of it was turned back over to Panama...so they blew up their own stuff....fyi: insurance doesn't cover acts of war even though the US didn't declare official war).

Don't get me wrong~ I LOVE America but everywhere has corruption to varying degrees.

Your comment--> Perfect insight(s) and stated much more eloquently then I could state it: " I'll have to accept the truth of myself that I am not as nice a person as I wanted to believe, but perhaps in the future I'll be a tad more open-minded with people. Probably not. Regardless, I'll continue tuning in to have my notions challenged"

I wish you and Mate wrote the reviews for this show;-)
More +
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
Noriega helped the CIA to move huge amounts of blow.
When he refused they put him away like nothing.
But all this is a joke compared to what's going on nowadays. Don't get me started...
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Very kind. Thank you! I'm happy to add to the conversation.

I did not know that about insurance but now I want to dig out our homeowner's policy to see if that applies to residential as well. There are stories similar to the Noriega debacle all over the globe. I was a little kid when Iran-Contra blew up and there were people I knew, parents of friends, whose lives were ruined, both in the States and in Nica, who had legitimate, legal connections to operations (or so they thought), so I get where you are coming from. The saddest are the places that are abandoned, like Zimbabwe, where it too often feels like recovery and justice are impossible ideals and the people have little to hope for.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I think you hit it on the head when you mention that it is a complicated ( e.g. sophisticated) series and some comments show how people are into instant gratification. This is certainly not a linear series; and in fact even the why the serial killer is killing prostitutes is subverted when we see in the end that this particular one was killed by one of the cops in the investigation. Also, why has Mario been spared?
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I don't know how Sonya could be OK with Marco's suspicious money, since that was such a flagrant breach of protocol, much more so than letting the ambulance pass in the pilot. Has she suddenly developed the faculty of common sense?
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
She's toned down her act since the Pilot episode. I think the writers realized it was one thing to have Sonya be quirky it's another to have her be more wooden than a lumber yard!
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I'm a little confused about the "social commentary." It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The killer keeps coming back to why is a white girl so much more important than the Mexican girls. Why isn't he directing that question to the Mexican government? Why is the "white" community or the United States supposed to be the target? That's like saying that the British should care more (or at least the same) about the killing of people in India as they do for their own citizens. Should the Canadians care more about deaths in the United States as they do their own citizens?
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
I'm a little confused as to why you would expect a rational, consistent, and coherent political ideology from a serial killer.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
The "border" is essentially an invisible line and there should be no distinction between the populace on either side. If these killings were happening literally a mile north, many resources would be allocated in order to abate it. The killed is saying a death is a death, a life is a life, regardless of border. He isn't addressing the Mexican government because they have neither the money or the will to do so.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
The point is that there is no border.The difference between here and Miami, for exemple , is that here cartels are physically present and in Miami (or wherever) they operate through intermediaries. The realities are the same.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Even if there were no cartels there would still be coyotes smuggling people into the country. An illegal dies in the US--it is investigated but people never want to talk or give information---even other illegals...so it doesn't get solved. If they die on the Mexican side of the boarder then it is Mexico's jurisdiction.

The pragmatist in me wants to say crimes need to be prioritized but I'm not sure how to prioritize them...to political for me to get into here. However, all murders should be investigated (but once the case goes cold then it is not practical to continue to devote resources to a crime that will most likely not be solved (futile).

i'm finding it difficult to put into words what I am thinking. Yes, investigate all murders but at the same time you have to use the resources you have to cover all aspects of the job (all crimes) and if there is a very low likelihood that the crime will be solved (exhausted all avenues) then redirect the resources to other crimes. Obviously with mass murder and/or serial killers you need to continue to investigate and should be happy to accept competent FBI help. Emphasis on the word "competent".

I'm in the minority on the following but legalization of drugs would drive the cartels out of business and would help the farmers of the USA. Watch Boardwalk Empires (alcohol is a drug). Then we would have more resources to devote to other crimes (not drug related) and crime would decrease since much criminal activity is associated with drugs being illegal.

This is NOT directed at you Kerkesh but I just started rambling here;-)
More +
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 03, 2013
@Kerkesh:
you didn't read all of my comment...I said at the end "This is NOT directed at you Kerkesh but I just started rambling here"
1
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
You didn't get my point, dear Vicky. I was only stating that on this border the fight is between two physical presenses, the cartels,serial killers, etc....In other US cities, the cartel is not physically present and uses intermediaries, like Americans, Porto Ricans, and some gangs as the Cribs (probably) and so on. I did not allude at all on whether crimes should or should not be solved and persecuted, or what type of crime should be priotized.
But I am certain that the so called "war on drugs" have been a sham and just to prove that point I have but to use two words: "designer drugs."
The truth of the matter is that there is no way to prevent someone seriously bent on destroying his or herself; they will always find a way commit havoc in their lives and the people around them.I personally think that education is the only real solution and always leave a door ajar to those who want genuine help.However, the rehab places have to stop beng the jokes they are.
1
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
It may be hyperbole to state that the "legalization of drugs would drive the cartels out of business" but I agree, it would significantly diminish their revenue structures. Organized crime syndicates in Chicago and New York had almost no business with the drug trade until the 1970s when it became obvious how much money African-American crime bosses were amounting, yet they managed to amass great wealth and influence from other areas of crime and black-market activity. A criminal will always find a way to break the law, but at least many of the cartels would suffer huge losses at the outset.

I also agree with you about the level of resources committed to the Drug War in the US. Every time I hear a politician spouting off BS about how the government needs to cut spending, balance the budget or cut entitlement programs like Social Security (which pays for itself via its own reserve and revenue stream) or Welfare (which actually accounts for less than 0.002% of the federal budget) I want to ask someone to tally up the figures on the costs, all the way through the value chain, of the Drug War, and ask the politicians with no economics background to tell me if they think it is a cost effect use of tax dollars.

I have an issue with violent criminals being released early from prison due to financial issues and overcrowding yet having prisons and jails full of people convicted of marijuana and/or possession offenses. We should redirect the money from policing those types of "crimes" into something that really is hurting our society, like banking regulation and securities frauds. Too bad the potheads haven't gotten smart and funded their own lobbying firms and political action committees like the Koch brothers, the banks and the drug cartels.
More +
3
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I don't get this either. It's not like American police officers can go into Mexico and solve murder cases for them. If anything, the guy should be targeting high level Mexican officials and not American's.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
He makes point of brown people are given less attention in general. Like there are no brown (mixed) people in US?
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
we have "brown" (or "black") president and I live in a large American city with a predominant Hispanic population (I'm a minority since I am Caucasian). I have no problems with it and everyone (or almost everyone) here is an American or wants to be an American. All of the naturalized citizens of America that I have met (many) are so proud to be Americans--more so then many of the "born" Americans.

I don't think skin color matters as much as socioeconomic status and connections.... VIP Mexicans get the red carpet (figuratively) rolled out for them where I work and many similar places...because they have $. Sad but true...maybe not sad but I try to treat everyone the same and much of it is based on how they treat me and the situation
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Tim remembered Justified, but he forgot to mention Gedman was also Sergeant Strausser, who made explicit sexual remarks about Charlie and had an epic death in the hands of crazy Rachel. How could Tim forget one of his favorite characters, after all the great times he had reviewing Revolution?
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
That wallet thing was face palm worthy... Honestly I think the show could do with a better editor to cut some of the fat, but otherwise a good episode.
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
I may be wrong (won't the 1st or last time) but I think there may be more to that wallet thing than just clumsiness. Charlotte came to the station for a reason -- not just an afternoon shag. She needs help and protection and using the wallet as a subtle reminder of debts owed (with an ingenuous little hint of potential blackmail) just might give Mario a little added motivation to watch out for her.

Or, something altogether different ...
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
thought the "gotta go" attitude Sonya and Buffalo Bill took after finding Maria was kinda rushed and Tim was right, Cooper appeared to be the freakiest dude they could find to leave w/ her. Plus my memory is kinda cloudy right now but didn't they leave her bound after discovering her.
The wallet thing was really stupid on Charlotte's part. What's she gonna say, he dropped it when he showed me his badge?
I think the tunnel thing has gotten interesting now that this Fausto guy will be using it for his own purposes. Charlotte doesn't have a clue what's going to be coming at her now. A regular Pandora's tunnel.
I missed Sonya's steady stream of personality nuances in this episode. She actually came across as someone that might be qualified for her job. Staring at the video for hours was a little strange but I prefer to hear the wacky stuff that comes out of her mouth as we heard in the previous episodes. I'm sure there's more to come so let me stop my complaining.
All in all, the best episode of the series so far. I'll be watching
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
"thought the "gotta go" attitude Sonya and Buffalo Bill took after finding Maria was kinda rushed"

I felt the exact same way. Why would they need to rush away to go meet other cops (who should be perfectly capable) and leave the girl with only one guy to guard her. That's was strange to me.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I actually watched it again and Sonya didn't want to leave her, Buffalo Bill kinda made her. And they did free her, they left the tape on her wrists which is what confused me. And Cooper came across as more compassionate then I thought at first. I guess a second viewing is the clarifier. I think this show is really starting to pick up the pace.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Another top notch epsiode. This is becoming my favourite new show this summer!
I simply love it! Reminds me of the grit & feel of The Shield. Awesome!
4
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I am officially in love with The Bridge now after this great episode,
The show is very interesting and mysterious, and i like that in a show, it doesn't tell you that this guy is absolutely good or absolutely bad, you don't hear what the characters in the show are thinking, but you see them in the action, you see them do things that sometimes make them feel evil, and things that makes them feel like good people
Notes in between:
- Marco is horny, did you see how he looked at that lady after she said that Frey can't "get it up", now i can see how he was totally okay and delighted with Charlotte boning him, maybe that the reason why he did that surgery. to make less "horny" so that he stops cheating on his wife
- Sonya is much less awkward in this episode
- And the reason why Galvan paid the ransom money isn't because he wants Marco to owe him one, but because of all the attention the girl made to the borders which is bad for the business(he lost five loads(3000K) of drugs because of it)
- I knew that Linder is going to ask her to kiss him, not that i knew why, (though i thought that she would try to french kiss him(maybe because i think that Eva is a prostitute) and that "he" would tell her to kiss him on his cheek instead)
- we had a little insight about Sonya's sister and her fate in this episode
- The Charlotte storyline is getting a little more interesting in this episode, not that she wasn't stupid how she let the whole precinct know she boned Marco, but then again there is stupid people like her in the real world, sometime a lot more stupid sadly, so it's not something to necessarily say that the bridge made a mistake with, just that Charlotte isn't a smart women at all.
More+
11
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
-it was delighting to see Marco defending Sonya against Frye, and to see them working in unison against the feds.
-was got the feeling that something bad was gonna happen to Maria, or it's going to happen to Maria when they left her in the dessert with the other cop.
-i think the killer was going to kill Marco but changed his mind when he heard him speak and realised he was mexican.
-Frye is such a great character, i love him more every episode, and the actor portraying him is perfect.
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Yes to every thing you said,
And Frey and the actor who is playing him are really great, i can't even begin to describe how awesome is he, actually all the actors are doing great job, even the ones who aren't the stars of the show, every one of them seems to be real and away from the usual tv stereotypes(maybe Charlotte is the exception here(maybe)), there is very few shows that made me feel this way
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Marco is horny. I think however he decided to go for a vasectomy (which goes against Catholic doctrine) to prevent having any (additional?) illegitimate children rather than to moderate his sex drive. Obviously the surgery has not slowed him down too much.

Good point on Galves's motivations for offering the ransom money, but there is no way Galvez does anything without there being strings attached.

I think you are also right about Charlotte. She does not seem very smart at all. If the cartels are on their game she is actually the perfect person to have on the other side of the tunnel. Keeping her alive and quiet would be good business.
3
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I hear Tims points about the show finding its identity, but I'm still loving it. If the quality keeps improving I think by the season finale we'll be clear on what the show is supposed to be *crosses fingers*
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Liked this one a lot. This female drug lord (lady?) person is pretty awesome.
Oh and why couldn't Marco carry his gun? My weekly memory sucks, I know.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I think her game is probably more human trafficking than narco-trafficking. If she were a competitor of Galvez he would simply kill her and take over the tunnel.
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
There are gun laws in the U.S. Some states don't recognize out-of-state gun permits, and especially not out-of-country ones. Marco, being from Mexico, doesn't have a permit to carry his gun.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
Doesn't seem like very good international cooperation between the law enforcement of two countries sharing a problematic border but then again, there are many American laws I don't understand.
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
That isn't so much an issue of international cooperation, it is a matter of jurisdiction. In the US police are only authorized to carry a weapon and conduct police business in their own jurisdictions (city, county, state), unless they have special authorization, which most agencies are not open to granting. A cop cannot drive even into the next city and investigate or draw a weapon without breaking laws and police rules. It is very territorial.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Again I agree with Tim. But If the killer is so pissed off at everyone for not solving these crimes and not caring enough about the brown girls why the heel is he traying to prove a point killing more of them and not the "big-tittied blonde" type?
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I'm to sleepy to type a long answer but I really like this show! If you want fast answers and a straight forward mystery then watch NCIS or shows like that. Don't get me wrong, I watch those shows but I love the complexity of The Bridge and the fact we don't know the true motives of most of the characters and if they are even "good" or "bad"--that FBI guy seemed "bad" on the video.

more later when I am awake enough to be coherent but I just had to say that this review seems to slam the show for not being obvious and for not following the stereotypical procedures.

It will be complex with intricacies that build on each other (I hope) and it just has SO MUCH GREAT POTENTIAL and seems to be living up to it. The only downer for me is the whole statement about America not caring about people in other countries....we have problems with our own citizens that need addressing first...whatever...world police-we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

There are so many directions (great ones) this show can explore and I can't wait to see what it does.

I'm really enjoying this show but then again I often like shows and like characters that others do not like.
More+
8
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I think killer makes a point of brown people having less attention from authorities in general. There are people of color in US too. It's like he chooses non-white illegal immigrant to point that in US death of illegal person is usually overlooked.
2
Reply
Flag
Aug 02, 2013
I responded to a similar comment above and I think that is an oversimplification. All deaths are investigated but if the case goes cold then they move on. The same can be said for the deaths of anyone not "connected" and in a lower socioeconomic status.
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
I'm pretty sure it was nail polish *remover* that was thrown in the guy's face. Given that its chief component is acetone, that's got to be much worse than the polish itself.
5
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
It was polish remover. Caustic stuff. Pretty certain that even at "household" levels acetone to the eyes is causing permanent damage.
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Many years ago, I ignorantly used it to clean some grime off the exterior of my [computer's] mouse. Within just a minute or two, the stuff deformed that part of the plastic shell to the point that it looked like it had been left in a hot oven for an hour. Yikes. I've stuck with safe but effective isopropyl alcohol ever since.

Still, it's a good thing to have around the house should you ever have a skin-bonding accident with superglue.
Reply
Flag
Staff
Aug 01, 2013
It was definitely remover; we added that above. Even if it doesn't cause permanent damage (which might depend on how quickly that dude's eyes are treated, but, uh, it's doubtful that salon had an eyewash station, you know?), it's definitely hurting REAL bad in the moment. And it's easier than you might think to get remover that's 100 percent acetone right off the shelf at the drugstore, so it's possible that wasn't even a "household" level! That stuff will take varnish/paint off furniture; wouldn't want it in *my* eyes.

However now I'm curious as to what actual nail polish would do to an eyeball. It's much more viscous than polish remover, so it'd probably be harder to flush out. Nail polish with glitter in it coating your retinas? Yikes.

—Jen
1
Reply
Flag
Aug 05, 2013
Like crude coloured contact lenses ...
Reply
Flag
Aug 01, 2013
Awesome review again Tim, you definitely touched on all the concerns i had about the show after watching. I was thinking Why in God's name will Charlotte show up to the police station and then hand over the wallet to that lady? I can tolerate her showing up to the station, but to actually hand over his wallet is just plain stupidity on her part. But overall like the review said, this was a much improved episode but the series can do the better. I hope it does.
1
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook