A The Bridge Community
FX (ended 2014)

The Bridge S01E02: "Calaca"


Our first visit to The Bridge was a nice one. We got settled into the show's border-town setting, we met some people (one of whom was a total weirdo; hello, Sonya!), and there was a murderer to chase. But there was still a question of whether or not this show knew what it was, or more likely, whether the pilot had done a good job of conveying to us what it was. At times it did, and at times it didn't. Bringing in all the sensitive topics that come with a show set on the border between Mexico and the U.S.? Good! Disassociated plots that never folded into the main story? Questionable, but let's see where you're going with this, The Bridge

That left a lot riding on tonight's episode. Would "Calaca" accentuate the things that worked in the pilot (the scary reality of Juarez, the unusual team of Sonya and Marco) or would it spend more time with things that didn't (repeatedly reminding us that Sonya is awwwwkward, adding threads that didn't fit in with everything else)? Well, there was a little of both with maybe more stress on the latter. 

But that doesn't mean the show got worse because of that. It represents an evolution of the series, for me. After two episodes I'm convinced of what I suspected from the pilot: The Bridge isn't really about two detectives chasing a serial killer across the border, it's about the border itself and everything that goes on around it. And gosh, I hate to bring up the holiest of all holy television shows into the discussion, but it *gulp* might be headed in the same direction The Wire went with its depiction of Baltimore through the eyes of the Baltimore PD and the street thugs that kept 'em busy. (After that thought popped up in my head I read an interview where The Bridge creator Meredith Stiehl said The Wire was a model for her show, so I guess I wasn't far off.) But like The Wire, it's difficult to get into the show after only a few episodes because it's unlike the traditional television structure that's built on decades of reinforcing instant gratification. You know, things like closure, an obvious focus, and happy endings. Seriously, did anyone REALLY love The Wire after two episodes? But didn't everybody LOVE it after about four once that "Eureka!" moment hit? (Source: my own private polling among friends.)

Instead, the focus of The Bridge, when compared to other dramas on television today, is so broad that everything seems murky to the viewer. That's intentional because The Bridge wants to tell the story of a creaking political, cultural, and societal system that lords over those it affects (again, like B-more and The Wire). This is big-picture, satellite map television. That's why we saw a pack of illegal immigrants dumped out of a horse-toting semi and trek across the Texas desert with little context. That's why we discovered Carl the rancher's dirty little tunnel secret and learned of the wealthy white men who want to keep it that way. That's why we saw a scary Mexican hitman threatening a bum for info on who took Ava Guerra and eventually pound on the door of Mutton Chops, a star of his own tangent within The Bridge. That's why we saw Mutton Chops (real name Steven) stuff a woman in his trunk and carry her over the border in the first episode, and go about his evening shift at a shelter for troubled souls in this episode. These extra stories will all be told concurrently with what we believed the show was about: Odd Couple cops chasing a deranged killer. There's more to El Paso and Juarez than just Sonya and Marco and their biz, guys. And it's the killer's message (paraphrasing, "Ummm, there's messed-up stuff going on in Mexico while America looks the other way") that will tie it all together, and the hunt for the killer that will keep The Bridge clinging onto some semblance of normal television. (To set the record straight, I really enjoy these extra stories.) This could all change by Episode 3, but after two episodes, this is what I'm picking up.

If The Bridge is indeed trying to emulate The Wire, then good luck, The Bridge. There's a reason one of the greatest television shows of all time spawned few imitators (Treme, also from The Wire creator David Simon, is probably the closest in philosophy) while Celebrities Do Stuff disasters are remade weekly. The Wire created its own genre, a TV academic's dream that was full of names that were more popular among rap sheets than IMDB. That also meant pathetic ratings. It's very likely ratings will take a hit if The Bridge strives to become too intellectual and not enough *bang* *bang* *bang* *ENHANCE* *boom!* *yer under arrest* that we're used to. Sorry, that's just my pessimistic outlook on American audiences.

And that's my dissertation on The Bridge as the Tex-Mex version of The Wire, and why I feel a lot more comfortable with The Bridge now that I know what kind of show it's trying to be. I'll admit I wasn't too hot on it until the whole connection to The Wire hit me. Now it makes a lot more sense.

But let's discuss what actually happened, okay? Obviously we're starting with Sonya again, who at this point should be on everyone's nerves right about now. She's hitting me with equal parts fascination and annoyance with the overplay of her condition (the secret's out, it's Asperger's). And I still don't know what makes her a good cop other than the fact that she does very little else other than eat buttered noodles, masturbate, and pick up strangers at bars. Should we make a big deal about her having random sex with cowboys she picks up from the butcheriest of meat markets? She seems to be a selfish lover and a terrible cuddler, and her "game" is weak but she can get away with it because she's a German model who once played the hottest woman in the history of the world, so it stays in synch with her social foibles. But what was the whole point of watching her hand go south then bouncing on a bed screaming "faster, faster"? I'm not even going to pretend to know. Like I said, The Bridge is almost cinema verite in its in-the-moment storytelling and I'm still figuring out this show and its relationship with the viewer.

Marco's time in Episode 2 only reinforced what we already knew about him. He's a good guy! He busted up a prostitution operation (at least when he wants information), he was disgusted by the thought of a 16-year-old girl spreading her legs as a job, and he even turned down a freebie. He's still a family man, and those pipes apparently weren't double knotted because some soldiers broke free and got his wife pregnant... AGAIN. Aye, dios mio! It was only when Sonya asked too many questions in Juarez that Marco showed another side of himself, one that doesn't feel the need to be overly polite with Sonya all the time. 

As for the central murder mystery, we can add beads and elaborate middle-of-nowhere altars worshipping the patron saint of poison to our list of clues. How did he know the illegals would be crossing that path? I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out how he (it's a he, right?) caused a power outage on two sides of the border in the opening of the last episode. It's probably a futile exercise to try and get ahead of the investigation, especially this early into the series. 

And really, the murder investigation isn't as fascinating as the slice-of-border-life that The Bridge is trying to show us. It's just one of many stories that The Bridge is trying to tell. Whether or not all these stories add up to something "television-y" when everything is said and done is to be determined. But if it opens its audience's eyes up to the reality of something we've refused to look at, it has its own importance that crosses the border of pop culture and settles into global culture.




THE BORDER BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE NOTES

– How would you feel if the lady you just horizontal-Lambada'd starting thumbing through pictures of half corpses after you were through?

– One thing I really didn't like about the episode was the way the second half jumped from short scene to short scene, not letting any single moment sink in or breathe. Some of the scenes even seemed trivial, like the short check ins with the traveling pack of Mexicans in the desert. The whole second half felt very choppy to me.

– Daniel writes about the Puppy Palooza? Did he do that while the Greendale gang was in the study room playing Dungeons & Dragons? 

– The killer knew to give Daniel the latitude and longitude of the poison altar, but how did he know the Mexican immigrants would take the bait and be dead? Was he watching? Did he have a GoPro there recording everything and beaming the footage back to his laptop?

– Hey look it's Lyle Lovett as a lawyer from one of Carl's "business" partners! He adds a bit of a Lynch-ian (as in David) cred to this whole project, which is becoming increasingly weird.

– What are we all thinking about Diane Kruger's performance as Sonya? There were a few moments that made me want to check her SAG card. Specifically, when she was visiting the Juarez police department she came off as far more wooden than what I thought her character should be. We're going to discuss her performance and Sonya's character all season long, aren't we? 

168 Comments
Comments (168)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I am late to the party and just staretd watching the show.
Loved the first 2 episodes.
Sonya character is unique and intriguing.
Loved the banter and rapport she shares with her superior...hope the show continues to impress me.
Reply
Flag
The second episode was not that appealing nor good... It was too sleazy and Sonya just lost a few points with me for being that cheap. :S Too much sleaziness in this series if this is the way it's headed. So many unlikable characters (pervy men) and too many prostitutes (always prostitutes getting killed and girls being used etc.). Not that much happened in ep 2. I hope it gets better, episode 1 was not too bad.
1
Reply
Flag
Aaaaand POINT to me!
I was right about the basement leading to a tunel, HA! Now onto see if the use they give it is what I thougth aswell (rich white cowboys going under thru Mexico to play sick games with kidnapped mexican girls), my money is on it.

How did Mr. killer knew about the inmigrants path and the Altar? Well, he probably put it there himself, there are urban legends about this Texas Ranchers (nice & evil ones) that go to the desert and build altars in random places, (usually the paths used by the "coyetes") and leave food and water for the people who has been walking for days, they are called the desert angels, but in this case I'm guessing is based in the stories about this evil ones who are supoused to go and leave poisoned stuff and, you get the picture... if so, well played, haha, writers doing their research, but is maybe once again my twisted imagination.

Sonya, tone it DOWN.
Reply
Flag
Sonya's one night stand.. He has a familiar face, not sure from where though, which makes me think we'll see him again. So maybe not just a one night stand after all.
1
Reply
Flag
I don't get people's crankiness and complaining about Sonja's behavior. Even Surette makes such a big deal out of Sonja's hook up. I suspect less attractive reasons for it. Because nobody was bothered by Hannibal cop weirdness (someone called him almost kinda autistic or having some disorder, but no one questioned his ability to be a cop with that weirdness and never complained about his at times dissociative behavior). If Sonja was a he I suspect there would be less complaints and crankiness and questioning her behavior and how it is justified.
2
Reply
Flag
I really like Sonya, but full disclaimer: we share the same name. But I do. She reminds me of Parker from Leverage, and that's a really good association to make. I didn't think her sex for sex sake scene was bad or anything. She asked if the guy was married first and then let him know what she wanted. It wasn't like she led him on with false promises of cuddling. Also, what makes her a good detective (from what I can tell) is her ability to assess things without emotional context. The fact that we haven't seen her figure anything out yet makes it hard for us to see how this assists with actual investigations since she's stuck on one that probably won't be solved for a while.

But also, I know Sonya is the really interesting one of the duo, but I also really like Marco, and I feel like we should give him credit where credit is due. The man is a secret badass, and then he turns around and is a real sweetheart. I loved how he just laughed when he found out his wife was pregnant (Psst, his surgery wasn't the culprate, btw, he said he had the surgery done "just a few days ago" and so his wife most likely got pregnant 2 to 3 weeks before). I thought it was a very telling moment, and the way he got really ticked when he found out that prostitute's age. But he also knows his place, which is why he was willing to get in Sonya's face. He didn't care what she thought of him, but his family was more important than her opinion.

I like it. I'm sticking around! Keep it coming.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
I'm enjoying most of it, especially the smaller character moments. I'm not totally hooked yet.
1
Reply
Flag
if the bridge continues it blatant copy of broen, the show will end up nothing like the wire. What have you been smoking tim? That been said there are some subtle differences i am enjoying from the remake. The strangler is a bit intense compared to his domestic violent counterpart in the original and the im not sure where they are going with the social worker character, will he interact with the cops in this show? And the son seems to be having less time in this series even though his role was pivotal in the original series. The reporter is pretty much the same character so that's no surprise.
Reply
Flag
I could only JUST BARELY get through the first season of The Wire, so I hope this isn't going in that direction. I thought The Wire was about as entertaining and addictive as watching molasses drip down a board. So far, The Bridge seems to have about ten times as much personality and I actually enjoy the characters (I'm sure many people disagree, I know I'm in the minority about severely disliking The Wire). From where I'm sitting, it can only get better.

I have all sorts of D'AWWW moments with Sonya, but that pick-up was way too awkward even for me. I am super thankful my boyfriend (who also has Asperger's) has at least the common sense to never do that. It also bothered me she gave the guy wine and watched him drink it without having any herself. Zero tact. None at all. Fluctuates between adorable and having to look away in embarrassment.

The phone call bit and Sonya's reaction was enlightening on a personal level so I enjoyed it. It will be interesting if they actually introduce a love interest for her who sticks around at some point. Show it's not entirely unrealistic for someone like her to sustain a relationship.

I am still waiting for her to have a classic autistic meltdown. See what kinds of things trip her up. I also wanted to see what was in her fridge. I bet she has some weird crap in there.

I think the pregnancy is the show's way of letting us know Marco is way too much of a MAN to tie those bad boys down. He's a fantastic bit of eye-candy -- I mean, male lead.

I'm pretty cool with the subplots as well; I was iffy in the pilot on the woman whose husband died and I was boggled as to why we kept following her, but it makes sense now. It looks like Mutton Chops might actually be the killer and not a mislead as I thought during ep1. They are just gonna drag it out, which is fine by me. You don't get enough sideburns like that on TV on anymore.

More+
Reply
Flag
I still like Sonya, but I do not approve of her one-night stand.....but hey, they both got what they wanted and the guy didn't seem too upset.
Did they actually say that she has Aspergers? If so, I totally missed that part....
Reply
Flag
I don't see what the issue with her having a one night stand is. Some people have their needs fulfilled that way, some people don't, it's anybody's business.
I'm a little angry at your "from a statistical standpoint women often feel crappy the morning after a one night stand (vs. being in a committed relationship). Also, the reason most women have one night stands is because they want to feel flattered"
Where do you get that from? I'm sorry but as a woman, I feel kinda offended that, once again, the "women's goal is to be in a relationship and if they aren't they feel like shit" and "everything women need is to be reassured" theory is bursting out. Quite honestly, it pisses me off.
A lot of women don't want to be in a relationship at certain points of their lives, and it doesn't take away the fact that, like men, they have sexual desires and might want to satisfy them in another way than masturbation.
I don't see what's wrong with that as long as everything is safe, sane, and consensual. So please (and I'm talking about quite a few commenters around here) don't make gross generalizations based on what society makes women out to be, and don't judge.
More +
3
Reply
Flag
do you not approve of sex before marriage or just one night stands (i.e., want the couple to be in a relationship). I'm just curious.

I like her pragmatic approach to fulfilling her sexual needs...wanting sex with another human but not wanting (or understanding/needing) the messiness of emotional relationships. It may not work for me IRL but I find it refreshing to see a leading female character take this approach (of course she has to have Aspergers....what about all the male characters in other shows who have one night stands without any real emotional connection to the other person~~hmm, kind of like one of my favorite shows [Banshee] when Hood has sex with that waitress/bartender in the pilot).

equality for one night stands;-) lol
5
Reply
Flag
For what it's worth, in the original Danish version the female lead has Aspergers too. And Danish/Scandinavian shows often have a much more lax approach to female leads being on par with their male counterparts in one night stands.
So I do not think the Aspergers is thrown in there, to "defend" her sex life.
Agree it's refreshing to see the women catching up to the men, on screen in this regard. :)
1
Reply
Flag
I think that her having Aspergers lets the writers and viewers be more accepting of a woman having a 1 night stand then if she didn't have Aspergers. I don't think the Aspergers is thrown in to defend her sex life...the Aspergers is essential to her character. I guess I just wish it wasn't such a big deal to everyone (would anyone of said anything if it was a guy having a 1 night stand) that a woman chose to have a 1 night stand.

Regardless, I am also surprised with how many men and women are upset with it. I don't mind if they didn't care for the scene or acting (I liked it) but I don't like the double standards IRL and in film/tv.
1
Reply
Flag
Both. However, I think one night stands are particularly unhealthy both emotionally and physically.
Of course, the argument could be made in Sonya's case that she doesn't need that emotional connection, but I think she does - that's what makes us human, our emotional interaction with other humans. Plus, we know that she does have an emotional connection with at least her boss, so we know she's capable of relationships and that she values them (she cried when she found out he was retiring, for goodness sake!).
2
Reply
Flag
I bet you've read New York Times "Sex on campus" idiotic article written by idiotic journalist who makes generalizations of all young college girls after asking few girls on campus about their sex life. Actually, average college student has only 1 hookup in a year and 7 in 4 years of college. That's very small number. And mostly only tiny percentage of white middle-or-upper-middle class students engages in hookups on campus.
Reply
Flag
condoms!
;-)
Reply
Flag
If both parties are fine with it? I see nothing emotionally wrong with it.
I would say it's a lot more healthy for a person to get sexual release this way, rather than sexual frustration being a motivator to enter a relationship that may not be "true love".
3
Reply
Flag
It coult be not that crying. It could be something different. Reasons I mean could be different for her tearing up a bit. She's autistic and has different approach to emotions. But she's highly functioning autist so she can build a friendship I guess. Hey, what do you mean one night stands unhealthy? Ar u serious?
1
Reply
Flag
Emotionally, from a statistical standpoint women often feel crappy the morning after a one night stand (vs. being in a committed relationship). Also, the reason most women have one night stands is because they want to feel flattered (not in Sonya's case, obviously) - to me, it's sad that any woman would have such low self-esteem that she would have sex just to feel wanted.
Physically...come on, STDs. Something like 1 in 4 college students have an STD and everybody knows even safe sex isn't completely safe. They're not only having sex with some random person, they're having sex with every person with whom they're partner has had sex...and if they are both having regular one night stands that's a lot of sexual partners and there's a huge chance of getting something. Being exclusive with only one partner drastically decreases any health risk, and if they wait until they're married (and stay that way) the chances are 0. Also, one night stands are not as physically, sexually stimulating for women as sex in a committed relationship.
Socially, children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to drop out of school, go to jail, have a drug problem, etc.
2
Flag
No they didn't say that. So far everything kinda follows original (some scenes are similar almost to seconds) but there are slight differences of course due to setting and will of writers I guess. Why do some people make such a big deal out of Sonja's one night stand?
1
Reply
Flag
Because she obviously have emotional issues and is socially awkward/dumb. Asperger's or not. One night stands are cheap and meaningless no matter what... I would say the same for slutty males so you get nowhere by using that argument with me.
2
Reply
Flag
come on, geezuz. if you don't like them it doesnt mean they are cheap and meaningless. sex is fun. sex for sex is fun. socially awkward is not dumb. actually Sonja is very talented smart detective.
Reply
Flag
"Why do some people make such a big deal out of Sonja's one night stand?"
maybe because they are being "girly"--yes, I'm totally joking about the "girly" bit but I'm trying to say their response falls in line with stereotypical female thinking (which I don't agree with~the stereotype that is)

I'm probably not making sense...most likely because I also don't understand the dislike of her approach to sex (not the stereotypical female approach). Yes, I know, men sometimes get emotional and sex is better when emotions are involved....but sometimes a one night stand may fill the need better then masturbation
1
Reply
Flag
Not only females cranky about her hook up. Many boys here apparently can't see purpose of her hook up, which I find hillarious. They see purpose of Marco's family boring talk but can't see point of Sonja's after work life. I don't get these people, I was laughing all the way through Sonja's sexual adventure. She is fun.
1
Reply
Flag
Pace is always a tricky thing outside of action flicks. The word that springs to mind with "The Bridge" so far is "measured" and I think they're nailing it. Most of the adrenaline junkie crowd will have bailed by now but that's all right ... you can't be all things to all people without becoming not much of anything.

What I really liked in this episode, and it didn't really strike me until after it ended, was how it shifted our perspective of each character just enough warn us off trusting first impressions. These are all layered characters (even Daniel the douchebag, I suspect) worthy of the time spent to develop them.

The annoyance many viewers seem to feel towards the awkwardness of Sonya's character is not unlike the annoyance people feel toward real people who suffer from Aspergers. (Bona Fides: 25 years as a disability counsellor). It's hard to grasp the absence of empathy in people who are NOT sociopathic, who do indeed care about others but simply can't understand or display subtle emotional context. So far, I think the writers have done a good job balancing the realities of Aspergers with the requirements of drama. Like Sonya's boss, it's going to take us a while to get comfortable with that character.

I love the "mood" of this show. I wouldn't have thought of comparing to "The Wire" myself except, perhaps, for the way it creates and remains faithful to a "foreign" perspective, culturally and visually. And it's pretty -- especially the night cinematography. I'm really liking the 1080p HD on this one!

And, for the record, "The Wire" hooked me with the opening, Snotboogie scene. A true classic!
More+
4
Reply
Flag
great comment! I really like the part that says "care about others but simply can't understand or display subtle emotional context"...reminds me of how some commenters can get into fights on message boards even when they both agree with the point, because of interpreting the wording differently then it was intended.
1
Reply
Flag
I've watched the original series and although the setting is totally different, the script looks a lot like the original Swedish one. Which means the series will only get better. I do hope the American writers changed the ending though because I didn't like the cruel ending in the original Swedish series. If they didn't then for me this will be like watching 'the red wedding' episode of Game of Thrones after reading the book :-(.
1
Reply
Flag
Put the Asperger's in the basket!
It's all about the message people. In The Wire the bad guys (whether blue or white collar) didn't want you listening but in The Bridge the Big Bad, at least, does. Both shows feed into the wider picture whilst illuminating it at more micro levels - and that's where oddities of minutiae in seemingly disparate lives do in fact interplay in some way toward the much larger socio/eco/crimianl landscape. But the two depart big time in The Bridge where people literally appear to be an expendable means to an end.
I think a bastardisation of Lord Acton's, absolute power corrupts absolutely fits in with the Mexican backdrop in a kind of corrupt desperation. In that, mostly, both the lower and upper
echelons in criminality or law keeping are desperately corrupt and just how far that goes depends on their power levels within. And as such the BB is willing to use and see them all as targets for whatever the agenda is.
The Mexican issues are huge though and I hope the show doesn't get too swamped in it with the illusion of providing solid solutions. The story is meant to centre around the main killer's viewpoint and intentions and how these have an intended butterfly effect.
Tim, Marco's wife discovered she'd already fallen pregnant just before his op, hence the joke.
The Asperger's being a problem for viewers is somewhat ironic considering the amount of, I'd say, overemployment in US shows to say, hey this guy's weird and so expect awkward brilliance. Although the problem thus far is that Sonja's character has demonstrated far more weird than wonderous insight. An obvious example, was what can seem as strange compartmentalising of her sexual desire to be satiated, in the truest of pragmatic style, without consideration to social norms or other's feelings. And thus the bloke she just bonked was no doubt empathising with the pieces of meat on her tablet more than she ever could!
Kruger's problem is that she's trying far too hard to be dissociative and little else. However, some of the lines she's being given aren't helping, such as her being clueless and asking for assists from her boss (put the Asperger's in the basket!) in social situations that, at her age and in her job, she'd of come across time and time again - or never got through police training in the first place.
Daniel is the classic once worth his salt journo' who gets targeted by the BB as his, possibly redeeming, voice piece. These things rarely end well and are often baffling in the first place; as the killer here previously demonstrated just how reachable and disposable Daniel is in full on dramatic style.
If the big bad can mastermind the initial crime scene, I'm sure setting up some illegal border mob wouldn't be a stretch. The scenes with them has me recalling some (nameless?) drama where there's the wise/lucky one that apparently gets away. This is a remake of sorts, which is both adding and subtracting bits, and so the background behind the show's Moriarty will hopefully prove worthy.
Lyle Lovett had me thinking, Utto. Are they going to delve into David Lynch territory? That's surely an overly weight-of-weird that can only spell commercial death for this.
The widow rancher - with a face like a spanked arse - is also not exactly warming either. And the tunnel story has me getting flashbacks to Weeds.
Overall, Det. Marco Ruiz is the easiest to like and chops to Demián Bichir's portayal. Oh, and the much underemployed Ted Levine - time for a mirror dance, I feel...
More+
Reply
Flag
Why is that for show to be chewed by US viewers character needs to be easy to like? That's kina lowering the bar for US viewers if we gonna have only easy to like characters. Characters should be all different. And you'd probably dislike Sonja's character in real life because in my mind Kruger's depiction of autistic person is pretty accurate. So far Sonja and her version from original Swedish/Danish show are quite similar in their cool and dissociative behavior. I don't see Kruger trying too hard. It's not in fact trying too hard, it is an autistic person. I know there is trick part to not know if actress is weak or just being autistic character. But so far Kruger in my mind doing good job. And weirdness that makes character genius and brilliant is kinda horrible cliche already, don't u think? House, Monk and rest legion. If US version gonna follow original it won't do that. She did good job and was doing at times great detective work but she's also messing up. Why her autism should be used as side effect for something good and likable (like mega brainy) but not just to show how such person navigates in life, how works. Not every aspergers person is super smart or has incredible memory. And how about those incompetent normal cops that are hired everyday by police force. It is border's town not NYC elite PD.
More +
3
Reply
Flag
You've pretty much repeated what I said above but in different wording, as to how or why viewers may find difficulty accepting the Sonja character.
But to reiterate one point, that (and I personally found trouble with it in the original) someone with that level of dissociative behaviour would NOT make it through to being a police officer. People with such levels as the Sonja's would not be able to navigate all the social norms and conventions and professional legal practice and ethical constructs necessary - let alone handle a criminal court. The character in this version has already demonstrated NO adequate COMPREHENSION of empathy or wrong doing that c/would've led to law suits and/or death. And that's the point. Period.
The reason why 'idiot savants' (to use that horrible term) make it supposedly possible to be seen in, particularly, US police fiction is as CONSULTANTS; that separation (or conceit) ALLOWS for their being there.
Of course not all people with Asperger's are genius in some way and that's the point; only those that are would or could be used to assist the police, but ONLY assist.
I'm not saying I dislike the Sonja character overall (I like the quirk factor in things), just that it's not very appropriate/realistic in a police setting and I preferred the Swedish actress' portrayal, at least thus far.
Sorry for the CAPS but the options for italic etc. weren't available. Grrr!
More +
Reply
Flag
If you saw original then you should know what it is all going with Sonja and her autism. I think original was about "normalcy" and abnormal and that normal was more dangerous for society. But US version is too early to tell where it will go.
And about police force. I don't find it implausible. Because exams in certain states are very easy to pass and physical training too. And Sonja such as Saga are highly functioning autists (there is a wide spectrum of disorder) and such character with mild autism can do police job and going to court for testimony (is that so hard, really?). And we saw that Sonja doesnt interrogate suspects (may be coz her boss said her that they have special people for it but in fact he just protecting her). I agree with you on few misteps in pilot in Sonja's depiction. She was too robotic at times (and that final line with victim's hubby was redundant and too obvious, in original it was shorter talk). But after pilot things got better. It can be linked with fact that autistic person (founder of website about spectrum of disorder) was consulting actors and director from the 2 episode. He's highly functioning autist himself and not everyone can tell that about him. If he has no concerns about Sonja's character and Kruger's depiction of mild autism then I'll sleep. You don't know may be such mild autist can be working with you right now.
More +
Reply
Flag
The cop you cite slipped through the system and was shown to have not been fit for duty. Moreover it was a real case that demonstrates what happens when someone mentally unfit is hired.
As far as the fictional Sonja goes, we'll have to agree to disagree AssandroJourn. :)
Flag
There are plenty of circumstances and reasons why she would passed psychological elements. Look at hannibal cop in NYC who planned horrible crimes. How that person got passed? I see Sonja functioning like normal person most of the time except some obvious slips. With help of her boss she def would passed these tests. It's not universal story.
Flag
Specific to the character, she wouldn't pass the psychological elements for a police detective.
There's no point in talking of degrees for some. We can talk about degrees of anything.
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I just want to put it out there: I love the character, Sonja, and think the actress is doing an excellent job~very realistic. People need to remember that the presentation of the disorder falls along a spectrum ranging from mild to severe (or something like that). Great point about "them" not all being "like mega brainy"! Breaking through stereotypes;-)

I like "different" characters and "complex" characters.
4
Reply
Flag
I'm talking with reference from a police detective specific to this role. My second post elaborates.
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I haven't watched The Wire. I'm sure it's earned all the praise it got, but I can't really compare.

The Bridge is a really good show, that it's taking a big risk in exploring a handful of issues seriously... and I'm afraid this is going to be its downfall. It looks like they're going to take their sweet time developing each thread and character carefully. I enjoy and respect these choices, but I've been watching television for too long not to recognize general audiences don't like heavily serialized shows. That and the fact that it feels too disjointed and slow could lead to a big drop in ratings. I hope this doesn't happen, because I'd love a S2 if it continues to be this good.

Sonya fascinates me most of the time, but she also annoys me. I don't think being annoyed by her is a bad thing. We are meant to and I love it, because she keeps me on my toes guessing, what she's going to do next.

Kruger's portrayal seems to be a big hit among people in the spectrum, so I have no doubt she's doing a great job for the most part. I have noticed a slight shift on Kruger's acting from last episode. Sonya looked more vulnerable, relaxed and ready to smile in this one. I don't know if the American audience is ready for such a character though. She's not Sheldon or Abed, her quirkiness is not meant to feel us good about ourselves or to make us laugh and that's a bad sell for a main character.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Sonja's quirkiness is not meant to make us laugh? Don't know, but I was laughing all the time in all awkward moments Sonja has with others. Not in those like with victim's hubby of course. And in her hook up adventure I think she showed some kindness and understanding that is available for such person like her to show. I feel like many who annoyed by Sonja are missing the point. Their TV expectations of TV character's likability were put to test in this one. I think some lazy TV viewers can't grasp unpredictable characters. They cannot be put in viewers' expectation box. That is what mostly irritates some viewers I think.
And I disagree that show taking so much risk to exploring each story carefully with detail. It is cable show not network. Even Lost was pretty good first two years and it was on network. But people know what to expect from cable. There were plenty of shows like that on cable. Sons of anarchy doing same stuff. If some people expect strict procedural from cable cop show, it's their habit. Problems that Bridge can face are implausible ways to connect all stories together. That's a hurdle. And to get carried away with red herrings like Killling did.
More +
2
Reply
Flag
So far I really enjoy this show.

I think we will discuss Sonya's character and Ms. Krugers performance all season. But I really enjoy it. And I laughed my a** off in front of my TV when sonya went to pick up the guy and have sex with him. The akwardness is hard to comprehend for someone who doesn't have Aspergers. But she had an itch, and went about scratching it in the most efficient way. Loved how she only offered him a glass of wine and didn't pour any for herself. great details :D
I don't know how I would react if that happened to me, but it would definitly be a different experience. Maybe even refreshing :)

Otherwise I liked your reference to The Wire, but one could also make a case for a comparison to The Killing, as in: They go for the one season - one case approch as a structure. Even the seemingly unconnected storyarcs are a parallel.

In the end - if The Bridge gets as long a life as The Wire did, we should be very appreciative. :) I for one hope it does.
3
Reply
Flag
Gee, Tim Surette annoys me at times with his weird childish complaints. It was so hard for reviewer to watch at least one episode of original series to know what is what. Only now he realized it's Aspergers. And why are Surette making so much big of deal of Sonja's awkwardness? Surette asking why we need to watch Sonja's hook up and eating noddles and touching her crotch. And I asking then why we need to watch her mexican patner's family life and his kissing and lying in bed with wife? What is the purpose of it? I was having more fun watching Sonja's little adventures then her mexican partner calm family life. But in all fairness we need to see this coz we need to know our characters. Sonja's slice of life after detective work is there to show us her another angles so as Marco's family life to show us his another side. I saw more kindness and understanding in Sonja's character during her awkward hook-up then I saw it in Marco's character when he talked to mexican 16 year old prostitute.
And to expect Sonja act normalor more warm and likable is ridiculous. It is accurate depiction of autistic person. Wooden or not, that's how it is. May be Kruger's not that great actress but her performance as Sonja is spot-on. I bet Surette would hate original female detective character even more. What really annoying is "Ray Donovan"'s female wanna-be singer character. That is just awful work. She tries to be lively and energetic but comes off as cardboard.
And Wire as measure of all good things on TV is kinda doubtful claim. Not only Wire turned cop's investigation into all-around story of the city, its politics and its citizens. Wire doesn't have prerogative for these kinds of shows. Bridge is FX show so I doubt it will go in Wire direction (i.e over-intellectual, academic-like tv cop show). FX shows are more middle-brow. Or no-brow. And I liked 2d episode even more. It's getting more interesting. And all stories seem to connect somehow. But FX has habit to fall into stupidity and high implausibility (like it did in Sons of Anarchy). But it's more solid already than I expected.
More+
3
Reply
Flag
I liked it, it was slow but in a good way.
3
Reply
Flag
Great review, as always Tim! I'm new at this, so here we go....

As for Sonya and the part you said =And I still don't know what makes her a good cop…=

I find Sonya fascinating as it is. I don’t think we should expect her to have any special abilities (like Monk or House), some super-detective skills (like Sherlock) or seems to know it all (like Grissom or Brennan) to balance out her condition or justify her being in law enforcement. I might be wrong and she will eventually show something special but it would be totally ok by me if she doesn’t.

It’s not like she was presented as “the best detective in town” or anything, I don’t think she is supposed to be that kind of character (the Hero-Genius kind), she is just a detective, more down to earth, more realistic; like some people of weird and socially awkward but still need a job to put food on the table and pay the bills and I think it’s great that her boss gives a chance to do so despite her condition.

I think the deal here is to see her struggle with the part of the job that does not come naturally to her. I think what makes her a good cop is the fact that she goes by the rules, is thorough and detail oriented as opposed to other cops who are sloppy, careless, mean or even corrupt just for the fun of it and yet are considered to be “normal” and thus easily accepted since there’s nothing “different” about their personalities/behavior.

Also I appreciate the way they don’t talk about her disorder because when you meet someone in IRL people just don’t come out and say something like that right away, it just takes time, if they even choose to say anything at all; but still keep making it so evident and relevant because it gives the character a very distinctive trait that is most unusual to have in a show lead (not played as an advantage). We are so enclosed by these perfect women cops that even have the gorgeous hair that perhaps we discard some like Sonya almost immediately; for me the imperfection is what makes her so interesting. She is great, at times hilarious other intriguing and Diane Kruger is doing a brilliant job. If there’s an issue shouldn’t it be pointed to the writer/director of the show and not to the actress herself?

I can’t wait to uncover her back story and I’m so looking forward to find out who is this person she is supposed to keep ignoring (as mentioned in episode one at the morgue by Denise the coroner)
“– Have you been by to see him?
– Not recently.
– Good, don’t give him the satisfaction.”

Let’s just give The Bridge some time to unfold.

ToddMurray, couldn’t agree more with you and couldn’t have possibly said it better myself. Cheers!

Mate, hats off to ya’ great analysis & comments.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
Sonya annoys me a little because she she has problems connecting with people, and we like to see a main character building her relationships. I have nothing against picking men in a bar like she did, but even then she couldn't connect with the guy and see him like a human being. She even tried to be nice, saying he could sleep there, but at the same time she was totally ignoring him, and he looked like a decent fellow.

Now, what REALLY annoys me is when a reviewer spends most of the review talking about another show, particularly one I haven't seen. It's The Wire this, The Wire that. I haven't seen The Wire, so all these comments don't help at all. Next time, I hope the review is, you know, at least mostly about The Bridge, not about a dead TV show.
1
Reply
Flag
lol, you want a snuggler/talker;-)
3
Reply
Flag
Nothing wrong with some good ol' snuggling/talking. It seems that Sonya is one of those complicated characters that will take forever to get romantically involved. She won't get any of that from Marco because he's a swell of a nice guy, and a happily married one who couldn't care less about a German model even if she came with the latest robotic technology. I've been thinking perhaps Sonya would get along with Sheldon Cooper.
2
Reply
Flag
she's fine on her own--with the random hook ups! Otherwise she has no need for a man;-)
2
Reply
Flag
Well, obviously what the character does need is her work and to solve the case, because that's how the character is constructed. As for the rest, I think we both have different perspectives on the matter. I think companionship is a basic human need we all share. But maybe Sonya doesn't NEED a man, and just as well, Marco's wife doesn't NEED to call him every hour to see how he's doing (a simple act of human kindness Sonya seems totally unable to comprehend), but she chooses to do so because these are the small things that make life worth living.
Flag
@mad-pac the want for sex doesn't not need she NEEDS a man in her life--the occasional interactions are fine but that doesn't equate to needing on in her life permanently.
I think we will have to agree to disagree on this issue
2
Flag
@Vicky8675309 - Yes, I read that part, and the fact that she needs occasional hookups (which might as well be more than just occasional) shows that she needs a man in her life. After all it's perfectly possible to live without intimacy of the opposite sex as many people do for lengths of time, but she chooses not to, therefore she needs it.

Yes, it's a personal point of view. People who miss human connection are missing something very important, and I think that's a sad situation. And I don't think that should be confused with strength and independence. A person who's really fine on his or her own handles personal connections. As the song goes, people who love people are the happiest kind of people...

That doesn't mean I'm looking down on people who have Asperger's. For all we know, the show has made no references to that yet, So to me, at least so far she's just an unlikable character.

Come on, this is TV Asperger's. It can go many different ways. You're not expecting the real thing, are you? Besides, a TV show that requires previous reading is not a well-written one.
1
Flag
@mad-pac: you didn't read what I said which stated that she was fine on her own--with random hook ups.
She has Aspergers syndrome--read about it before making predictions on her changing. If she isn't sad then why are you sad for her. If she is sad then it hasn't been shown imo
2
Flag
Oh, I disagree. If she picks up men in bars, she does need a man, otherwise she'd go for a vibrator. What she doesn't seem to need is human connection, which is sad. But I bet she'll change after being exposed to constant Latino kindness.
1
Flag
it would have been weirder if the guy saw the stuff on the screen and got horny again
3
Reply
Flag
You should watch The Wire
4
Reply
Flag
One day I might, though I hear it's extremely depressing and leaves you with the impression that no matter what the good guys (if there are any) do, the system is screwed, so we're all doomed anyway.
1
Reply
Flag
Its not that depressing, its very layered and well paced. The scripts and direction are all very good. It show's the organisation and dedication on both sides of the law
1
Reply
Flag
you should get into advertising/marketing~lol, j/k;-)
2
Flag
Without wanting to give too much away about the show (I've seen the original Swedish/Danish series) I can tell you it is a VERY heavily character driven storyline and the charm of the series for me was the relationship between the two main characters.

How this works out with the actress portraying the dysfunctional/savante Sonya I can't tell (I haven't seen the US version yet) but the original was epic,

1
Reply
Flag
Uh yeah, I think that's a symptom of Asperger.
2
Reply
Flag
First time I ever say a socially awkward woman grab her cooch and then go hunting for sex that was one hell of a way to end hump day no pun intended.
1
Reply
Flag
The only thing that got me asking questions in this episode was why did the killer kill the immigrants, i am really baffled because of that and very eager to see how the writers and the series will "unbaffle" me
It's obvious that the killer have some kind of sense of justice, he killed the judge because she was racial, he stored the bottom half of that girl for months(or was it years?) so he can later use it in his "message" and his "Plan",

He isn't a sick weirdo who kills for an urge inside him like "usual serial killers", he isn't impulsive, he is methodical, he kills for a goal other than his pleasure or urges,
He isn't Ted Bundy or Ed Gien (famous US serial killers and psychopaths), he is not a sociopath, he is Machiavelli,
He thinks that he is doing the right thing, he thinks that he is doing this for the greater good,
So what part of his greater plan does killing those immigrants accomplish, it really seems out of character to me, i am sure that there is more to murdering those immigrants than what meets the eye, but for now i am really baffled,
Did he do it so the US police dig it's nails more into Juarez??, did he do it to show the people of El Paso know how illegal immigrants are dying in the desert so they could reach "The American Dream" that the people of El Paso are living??,
How did he justify it??, did he justify it with the almost absolute chance the immigrants have of dying, so that they don't die in vain he killed them and used them as part of his plan??,
I am not sure of anything, but i am sure that there is something important that this murders plays in his plan, i think that a big part of his plan will depend on it .

As for Kruger's performers as Sonya she is great actually, and Yes Sonya fascinates me.

It's right that Sonya is a perfect mold for people with Aspergers, but she isn't the only mold, Autism(Aspergers is a type of Autism) is a spectrum, which means that no Aspie(someone with Aspergers) is the same as rest of Aspies,
Some people with Aspergers could spend their whole life and get married and have kids without even knowing they have it, so even though Sonya's portrayal for Aspergers is correct, don't expect that if you people meet an Apsie that he/she will be like Sonya at all.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Are we sure that the killer only killed the judge and the other lady bevore that group of immigrants?
I got the impression that he has been killing a lot more and fairly indiscriminately in Mexico.
I agree with you though, that he is trying to make a point about "the value placed on life" in both countries.
Reply
Flag
are we sure there is only one killer?
1
Reply
Flag
Never saw The Wire but this show has been the only good thing about summer TV thus far.
1
Reply
Flag
Go watch Luther with awesome Idris Elba it's a helluva crime show.
2
Reply
Flag
Yup, Season Three in progress!!
Reply
Flag
I still don't know if I really want to keep watching it, but I like Diane Krugger character so I'll wait a little longer.
Reply
Flag
So far this show is too disjointed. I have never seen The Wire, so I don't know if it has that problem also. I don't find this disjointedness clever or artsy. A really good show tells the story in a way that the viewer can readily grasp the plots involved--and that can be done in a number of interesting and unique ways and still make good sense. So far this show does not live up to that criteria for me.

I am turned off by the sex scenes that were in this episode. They were unnecessary.
3
Reply
Flag
Might be a little early comparing the show to The Wire, which is one of the greatest and most well made shows of all time
1
Reply
Flag
Wire is not a measure of all good TV shows. FX has different approach to crime shows.
Reply
Flag
Ah! I too thought of The Wire after I watched this episode. Get out of my head you witch.

Although, your comparison to The Wire seems to be a bit more intricate and complex than mine. I just thought of it because of the pacing. This episode was slow... it felt slower than the pilot, and that was pretty slow too. And when I think of slow pacing but good drama, I think of The Wire (and the first season of Breaking Bad).

I didn't mind Sonya and/or Diane Kruger at all. There was one time, though, where her character/acting kind of took me out of the moment and made me actually think about her acting, and it was with her line: "Why was her body dumped in that house?" I think it was because she delivered that line kinda like William Shatner might: "Why... was her body... dumped... in that house?" The pauses weren't as long as Shatner, but they were still noticeable and took me out of the moment. I shrugged it off, though, because I assume it can be explained by Asperger's... maybe it was a bit difficult for her to show frustration... maybe she thought she had to match Ruiz' loud tone but wasn't comfortable with it... maybe she felt awkward about making eye contact with him... *shrugs* If someone with a better knowledge of Asperger's can tell me those wouldn't apply, oh well... I can still live with her acting.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
From what i know there isn't pauses like this, but what she was doing - i think - is to imitate his state of anger(his voice got louder angrier, and people with Aspergers usually have a problem with their voices being to quiet and low pitched), if Kruger was going for that, then that was really really really really great, i mean that was genius if she was meaning to do it
Reply
Flag
Accidentally hit flag instead of More. Didn't mean to.

Also some people with Aspergers do pause or emphasize certain words in their speech. It isn't widespread by any means. I am not sure if that is what she was going for. I chalked it up to her just being a little wooden given her response to the environment. But she hasn't really done it in her conversations with Hank or Marco or anyone else really.
1
Reply
Flag
The Wire is one of my favorite but there was episodes in between which I did not like too. So far the bridge is quite good. It is certainly different from what mostly is on TV and you are right about the ratings probably will drop. I am just glad it is on FX which means likely it will survived and even get a second season.
3
Reply
Flag
I am loving this show and I think comments by mate and toddmurray sum up the show the best (and answer the questions asked in the review).

The only thing that annoys me is the killer's message (but he/she/they are serial killers so the message isn't that important to me except for how it will help solve the crime). The "And it's the killer's message (paraphrasing, "Ummm, there's messed-up stuff going on in Mexico while America looks the other way") "--hello, it's a different country and it's up to Mexico to ask for our help (we've already loaned them $). Plus the killer should be pissed at Mexico for not doing anything about the corruption in Mexico (the US has its own problems with corruptions but not as bad imo) and Mexico's inability to solve the crimes.
6
Reply
Flag
What should annoy you more is the fact that the killers message makes no sense

He complains about the amount of murders in Juarez compared to El Paso and then he kills a load of Mexicans?

Makes no sense
3
Reply
Flag
not making sense is annoying
2
Reply
Flag
Not really, obsession over a subject like death can lead one to commit murder themselves. I still think that this guy might view himself as death. He could be pissed that death is made so important north of the border and is just another day in Juarez. It could insult his very being. It could be that he feels in order to bring the attention that his cause deserves is to up the body count and start killing and threatening those that can bring attention to it. That I think is why he targeted the Reporter. What better way to get the attention of a member of the media that ignores all the death south of the border than to make him wiz his shorts by placing a bomb in his car.

Remember this guy is mentally unstable. It only has to make sense to him. All of the serial killers in the history of the world had their own individual reasons or compulsions to do what they did.
1
Reply
Flag
He needs to go to Columbia!
1
Reply
Flag
Yeah that was really out of character in a way that i yet to understand,
1
Reply
Flag
It's a different country yes, but the cartels work on both sides and affect both sides, one more than the other
The Mexican cartels works and crimes are done to smuggle drugs to the US, so it's understandable why he is angry at the US, and even that the US and Mexico are different countries, that doesn't mean that the US doesn't have a say on whats going on in it's borders, i am pretty sure that if the US wanted to make task forces to track and stop the cartels at the borders, i am sure the Mexico won't reject the help, and it's not just about helping Mexico, if the US stops the cartels working in the borders, the crime rates will drop significantly, the cartels may not affects El Paso, but they sure as hell affect America, the cartel point of origin may be Mexico, but the goal is always the US, so yes the US have explaining to do(and responsibility) when it comes to cities on the other side of the border, because the cartels doesn't benefit from Mexico, but from the US, and it's true that they affect both sides, but it's certain that they affect the side of Mexico a lot more(see Wikipedia pages about El Paso and Juarez and see the crime section to get what i am saying)
More +
1
Reply
Flag
The US does have task forces and works with the Mexican police so I don't get why you say we don't! It's been a lose lose situation and there are bigger problems the country is facing imo.

Also many drug traffickers bypass mexico and come in through other routes (columbia to panama to the use and maybe a few stops in between)---at least the "good drugs" from what I hear. I've heard people talk about "mexican dirt weed" but they may just be racial pricks...they only want the hydro grown in the use. I have an addict brother and have had friends who struggled with addiction problems. Most cocaine is from Columbia and they are quite inventive in how they smuggle it into the USA.

The USA, despite claims by other countries is not the worlds police. Just decriminalize drugs and spend the money on education/prevention and treatment. Just like alcohol and the prohibition leading to the rise of the maffia....making some drugs illegal just brings crime into it. It didn't work with alcohol but that is now considered "socially acceptable" but causes more harm/deaths then marijuana.

I think there are studies to support the following but I'm not sure and it's to late to research it. I seriously doubt making cocaine legal will cause someone to suddenly decide to use it especially if there are well thought out programs to educate people and available treatment for those wanting to detox. Obviously, driving while intoxicated and similar situations need to remain illegal.

There was a study in the 90s (I think) that should that providing free clean needles to drug addicts that shoot up does NOT lead to increased number of people who decide to shoot up and it helped society from a public health standpoint. There maybe more recent data that contradicts this.

What do you propose the US do? Build a wall, invade Mexico and wipe out the cartels, impose our will on their government--we been trying but it doesn't seem to help

It's economics: supply vs demand. The US tries to cut down on supply (I don't know if they still spray peraquat (sp?)... Also the cartel are probably better armed then any official Mexican police/military. Should we send out soldiers in to engage in gorilla warfare. Ok, let's look at it from a demand standpoint.

Since we work with the Mexican officials/government (complicated politics especially with the corruption there) do you propose we impose our will. Whenever we get involved in other countries business we are the bad guys.

Heck, we put Noriega in power in Panama and when he didn't do what we wanted then we took military action--total BS imo.

I'm sure I am the minority but I say decriminalize the drugs to eliminate the cartels (no longer profitable)...it's more complicated then that but I don't think we are responsible for the actions in Mexico even if we are part of the "demand". They choose to be the suppliers and their people haven't put a stop to it despite the harm it is causing their country.

Are we still paying farmers not to grow crops here in the US? I haven't keep up with that. If so then let them grow marijuana and whatever plant cocaine is derived from...mind blanking and to tired to look it up. Use the money spent on the DEA and other "stuff" in the "war against drugs" to fund prevention/education/treatment programs.

I'm sure almost everyone will disagree with me on this but I've never been shy to give my opinion.

I'm tired of the world saying American needs to fix other countries and then hating us when we try. I do understand that the politicians pick and choose the "battles" and usually have a selfish agenda or retaliation as a motivator (corruption everywhere) but we need to stop trying to be the world police.

I have very mixed feelings about a wall across the border--I think the cons outweigh the pros (but have mixed opinions because I can see both potential pros and potential cons). I'm all for people coming here for a better life but would like the criminals prevented from coming over here.

Sorry for typos and grammar errors--it's late and I'm tired
More +
2
Reply
Flag
May be he meant those immigrant girsl that crossed border and found dead in US. But you're right his justice killing message kinda weird for now.
1
Reply
Flag
Because Mexico in regards to the local Government is beyond caring about it. Border towns are run by cartels and the cartels only care about money. 1 or 10,000 deaths to them don't really matter. So seemingly the only way to bring attention to it, is to start killing people in the American city that has the lowest murder rate. In order to bring it to the attention of people. We could sit here and spend days speculating as to his motives or why he started this. It could be that he thinks the US should take over Mexico to straighten it out. It could be that he is pissed at the War on Drugs for causing the wealth and power disparity in Mexico resulting in the mess they are in. It could be that his wife was killed in Mexico and no one cared about it and it set him on a a spiral to bring those feelings to all that were apathetic about it. And his desire to show people has only been fueled.

Don't forget though methodical and intelligent, this is an extremely mentally disturbed individual and though it makes absolutely no sense to us. To him filtered through what could be a variety of disorders, physiological problems, compulsions, etc, ad naseum, it makes perfect sense.
More +
3
Reply
Flag
In original show it was more realistic message. Here it's kinda weird claim. Why US cops should care about mexican deaths on mexican soil? If he's going for immigration issue that's understandable. (like in original) But his phrasing then is weird.
2
Reply
Flag
Excellent show so far. I've seen the Danish/Swedish original (and have not seen the Wire), so I have an idea where this is going. I must admit, the transition to the US-Mexican border is well done. Also, it has gained a completely new dimension, given the undercurrent of violence, poverty, and prejudice in that area. - On the other hand, Sonya and Saga (the Swedish detective in the original) are extremely similar both in looks and behaviour, so I'm like revisiting an old acquaintance. (On a side note, the initials of the cops in both shows are the same: SN and MR.)
I'm impressed, and this show is one of the first I fish out of the DVR.
2
Reply
Flag
We all have our needs. It's good Sonya is taking care of hers. However, she should invest in a good vibrator. It's a safer way to relieve sexual tension then picking up strangers in bars.

Other then that I have no issues with the Bridge. I like both protagonists and I'm curious to see what happens next.

Funny thing - everytime I see Sonya's captain I expect Mr. Monk to enter the room.
3
Reply
Flag
May be she's going for stranger coz others do that to relieve sexual tension. She imitates some things others do.
Reply
Flag
Sonya is awesome, not finding her remotely annoying in the slightest, think you lot whinging about her need to stop smoking crack, or please start smoking crack and leave excellent dramas and excellent acting alone!
6
Reply
Flag
I'm on the fence. I like it but also finds Sonya too annoying. My oldest son has mild Aspergers and something's off with a big WHY. I can't explain it, I'm just gonna keep watching thanks to the ever sooooo sexy Carlos.
2
Reply
Flag
This is going to be long. Real long. You might want to go get a snack.

Calaca is a slang term for Skeleton. But it can also mean much more, more on that later.

I don't really feel the various scenes were dissociated mostly because of the name of the episode. Like last episode they have an idea of the episode and the characters within their universe's action exemplify it. Last week was apathy. This week was Calaca, Calaca does mean skeleton, but it also means death. This was the episode that followed a few deaths. The death of the Judge, the woman, the husband, an apparent death of the girl that Steven kidnapped, the almost death of the reporter. The thousands throughout Juarez. Death is an interesting thing. And it comes with a numerous amount of reactions to it. This episode was showing those responses to it. Some seek to solve it, Sonya. Some seek to prevent it, Marco. Some seek to rebel against it, the wife, the Illegals. Some seek to cause it, the cartels, the Sicario, perhaps Steven. Some seek to ignore it and are continually apathetic about it, virtually anyone not directly involved.

The show might be trying to emulate the Wire. I can't say, mostly because I never saw The Wire. But in my opinion it is also trying to emulate an iconic movie. More on that later.

Sonya. In my opinion Diana Kruger is doing an excellent job. One of the other various reposes to death is intimacy. In order to have intimacy it requires a closeness, it requires empathy, sympathy and love. All attributes that Sonya lacks due to her disorder. But she can witness it and be perplexed by it as she was with Marco and his wife and Hank and his story about his wife. Sonya doesn't understand it, she is incapable. But she does understand the material aspect of intimacy, most notable in this episode, sex. And sex is very matter of fact for her. It is a pick up in a bar, it is sex, particularly mechanical (selfish) sex, not for true intimacy but for her to achieve orgasm and her "intimacy." This coincides with what we know of the rest of her material aspects of love and intimacy. She has an idea of love through her sister. But it too is very materialistic. Rather than memory, fondness and feelings. She likely has what I believe is her sisters jacket, her sisters truck, her sisters tape stuck in the deck. That is her sister, that is her love of her sister as she understands it. Of course this comes of to the average person as weird. Because we can't possibly comprehend her. And Kruger, is playing this character's various issues, so unbelievably well. But she is a great detective because of her disorder. That is why she found the bead. That is why she is going to find the view point that the killer watched the death of the immigrants from.

However, this does open her up to risk. She is hunting for physical pleasure in an area where it isn't safe to do so. And I am not sure she understands that. As this case progresses, her name is going to become known to unsavory people. People who may want to cause her problems. And that is an opening and a weakness that she can't afford to have. And it makes me wonder how the show is going to touch that, if they touch it.

Marco might be correct. His friendship with Sonya is going to get him heat, it might get him killed. Her coming to Juarez was a huge mistake. Mostly because she lacks the ability to play the game down there. She doesn't understand why the 23rd body is important and the risk of asking questions about it and pushing those questions. The people in power down there, don't have time for it and all that she is to them is the cost of a bullet. And also the new baby for him is interesting. Mostly for the contrast of the episodes theme.

The killer is likely a he, half bodies are heavy. He moved them rather quickly with the power outage. He hiked a good deal to the area where the immigrants ended up with seemingly no problem. This man is methodical. He knew exactly where they were going to end up. How? Easy. Immigrants along the border do not take the well traveled road. That is a quick path to "La Migra" and a quick trip back across the border only to have to do it again. They go the hard road, they go miles out of the way in order to cross. They follow the natural geography of the area. That wasn't the first group to take that path and despite the deaths, it won't be the last group that takes that path. It does make me wonder who this guy is those. He knows that La Santa Muerte is trusted by immigrants and drug runners and used that trust, and their desperation against them.

And more on the Killer and the follow up to Calaca. This killer is methodical. More so than the average serial killer. He has a stated cause, and he has been working on this for years. The voice over actor did those voice overs 3 years ago. 3. That is a lot of time to plan. But it is even longer. The killer had to plan and plot for a great deal time of before he even got to the point where he knew what he wanted to say. This guy has likely been spending the better part of a decade planning this. He has had jobs to help him facilitate it, hence the knowledge of the border and the electronics of the bridge. He knows the players, he perhaps has Steven as an emissary. And he has walked around both El Paso and Juarez and has seen it all, but was likely glossed over by everyone.

With this for me, where for Tim it reminds him of The Wire. But the killer for me reminds me of Kevin Spacey's character in the movie Seven. He planned everything out to a T and that is exactly what this killer has done. He has a point and he intends to make it. And like the killer in Seven, he is just starting.

Calaca also means death. There are sayings in Mexico that the Calaca took him or her. In response to the death of someone. So in essence to many the Calaca is death. It is our Grim Reaper. So the killer, with his showing of his ability in the death of the judge and the prostitute, the manner in which he staged the bodies. The luring of the immigrants to kill themselves at the Stature of La Santa Muerte. He to me is saying that he is Calaca. He is Death.

To me the murder investigation is fascinating.

Notes;

I dated a medical Examiner for a year. That wasn't weird to me at all.

Lyle Lovetts character is great. He kind of nails the smarmy corrupt lawyer types that the Cartels employ in order to conduct business across the border.

I think Sonya came off wooden because it was a perplexing place for her. She is familiar with her department and hers alone. And People are used to her there. So she acts and reacts in a more comfortable manner. When she is presented with things that are similar but completely different, she shuts down a bit. Hence the wooden.

Great Review TIm. I am glad you are reviewing this show. I would have never made the comparison to The Wire.
More+
14
Reply
Flag
Love your reference to Seven. I love that movie and love the intricacies in Spacey's murders.
1
Reply
Flag
another excellent comment. Between you and ToddMurray I don't have much to say except that I am loving this show.
1
Reply
Flag
Sonya fascinates me, I know people with Aspergers, one mild, one very severe, and I honestly think that we are watching the first truly great portrayal of a high functioning severe suffer.

Most of the time it's either played for laughs (Big Bang Theory), an excuse to act like a dick, or a super-power... this might be the first time I've seen it as the actual mental disorder it is.
9
Reply
Flag
Tim you can't base how good The Bridge is off of the sort of show it wants to be. Whether or not its trying to be 'the story of a creaking political, cultural and societal system that lords over those it affects' and whether is actually ever will become this remains to be seen. But my first impression of the show is not a great one, annoying/ boring pair of protagonists, disconnection storyline (which I have no doubt will eventually link, as one did in this episode), and other then gruesomeness of the central murder, it's investigation thus far has been mind-mumbling key tedious. Don't know whether or not I'll continue watching.
1
Reply
Flag
I felt hillariously uncomfortable during Sonya's horny episode. I'm gonna write that off as good acting. She should definitely go on a date with Abed, those two are a match made in heaven.
Other than that I thought they chose just the right line between revealing what some of the random storylines from the first episode had to do with the bigger picture and leaving some (and adding new ones) to ponder over.
4
Reply
Flag
Well I am really liking this show. I know it has only been 2 episodes but I can already tell this is going to be one of my must watch. Yes it is weird and a odd show but very entertaining. I like shows that are think worthy and visceral in nature. No need to give out too much information. I just go with the flow and glean bits out as I go. I watch The Killing also and this is along the same lines as that show. I am really liking the small side stories a lot. Yes Sonya is strange and a little irritating but, I am fascinated with her and I want to see where here character goes with the story telling. I will give this show a chance. At lest until it is a few episodes in and then I will make a final judgement. Now I need to watch some of The Wire because I have never watched that one. I will get back to ya on that.
3
Reply
Flag
Loving this show so far! Assumed it would be interesting...FX doesn't really drop the ball these days. I figured Sonya had Asperger's. She showed most of the typical signs in the first episode. Interesting development there...don't think I've seen this on tv before. Btw, Tim, the practical problem solving and difficulty with "normal" social ability common in people with Asperger's is what got us that straight line from Horny to Acquire Sex to Achieve Orgasm to Move On, Problem Solved. Pretty funny, actually. Maybe it's because I'm looking at it from a woman's perspective, but if a guy had acted that way at the bar, that would be a no go for me. For the sake of argument, though, let's say you get back to his place. Do you really drink the glass of wine from the already open bottle (noticing he has none) while he just watches you like he's waiting for the Rophies to kick in? And assuming that doesn't have you backing gently towards the door, do you then endure unsatisfying sex, only to wake up to him paging through the photo gallery of Modern Bloody Corpse & Butchery, and NOT excuse yourself to the bathroom so you can climb out the window? Really? I dunno....maybe men don't have to worry about that stuff. That guy didn't even seem concerned. I can't wait to see if he comes back.

LOVE that Lyle is in this...he's always fun.

Having a hell of a time deciding if it's just a smidge of bad acting, or if it's supposed to be the Asperger's. So I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.

I hope they don't cancel it. Having spent the last 6 years in Texas, I can relate to the story and the issues a lot more than I could to The Wire...but I think it could be just as good.
More+
5
Reply
Flag
It was pretty clear to me how the mystery killer knew where the illegals would be. He arranged for them to be dropped off where the semi driver let them out (when the went the wrong way / got dropped off in a location other than what was agreed to). After the dead illegals were discovered by the reporters and the cops were called in, one of the border agents said something to the effect of that alter being there because it's a specific route the illegals are forced to take to avoid the fence, outposts, border patrol, etc. Odds were that the illegals wouldn't be able to carry enough water to get them the entire way to safety from the location that he had them dropped off, so he knew they would take the poisoned bait. He watched it all unfold from a high vantage point, which is how he knew to drive out and find the one girl that got away.

Mutton Chops Steven appears to be the actual psycho serial killer that's been preying on the young girls of Juarez. Not sure if the mystery killer knows about him specifically, but that Mexican hitman sure found out in a hurry (maybe the Chihuahua State Policia should hire him? Just a thought....).

Marco's a good dude in an impossible situation with corruption all around him, starting with his Captain. I'm fascinated so far by Sonya's high-functioning Autism or Asperger's. She has no capability for empathy or normal emotion, so she will always come off as cold and wooden. Anytime she flashes a smile, it's simply a learned behavior applied to elicit a response from another. Clearly she hasn't learned that someone offering to buy you a drink is a good thing when trying to scratch your horny itch. :)

Enjoying it quite a bit and find the slow reveal of it all very intriguing. Looking forward to the next episode!
More+
13
Reply
Flag
Great comment, says everything i would want to say and a lot more,
The only thing that got me asking questions in this episode was why did the killer kill the immigrants, i am baffled because of that
It's obvious that the killer have some kind of sense of justice, he killed the judge because she was racial, he stored the bottom half of that girl for months(or was it years?) so he can later use it in his "message",

He isn't a sick weirdo who kills for an urge inside him like "usual serial killers", he isn't impulsive, he is methodical, he kills for a goal other than his pleasure or urges,
He isn't Ted Bundy or Ed Gien (famous US serial killers and psychopaths), he is not a sociopath, he is Machiavelli,
He thinks that he is doing the right thing, he thinks that he is doing this for the greater good,
So what part of his greater plan does killing those immigrants accomplish, it really seems out of character to me, i am sure that there is more to murdering those immigrants than what meats the eye, but for now i am really baffled, did he do it so the US police dig it's nails more into Juarez??, did he do it to show the people of El Paso how illegal immigrants will die in the desert so they could reach "The American Dream"??,
How did he justify it??, did justify it with the almost absolute chance the immigrants have of dying, so that they don't die for nothing he killed them and used them as part of his plan??, i am not sure of anything, but i am sure that there is something important that this murders plays in his plan, a big part of it.

As for Kruger's performers as Sonya she is great actually, and Yes Sonya fascinates me.

But you are wrong in one thing about Sonya, people with Aspergers are capable of empathy, but not the normal "empathy", and saying that they are not capable for it is kind of an insult(the only people with no capability for empathy are psychopaths - i am sure you didn't mean it this way but still some people might think that you did and think of it as an insult).

It's right that Sonya is a perfect mold for people with Aspergers, but she isn't the only mold, Autism(Aspergers is a type of Autism) is a spectrum, which means than no Aspie(someone with Aspergers) is the same as rest of Aspies,
Some people with Aspergers could spend their whole life and get married and have kids without even knowing they have it, so even though Sonya's portrayal for Aspergers is correct, don't expect that if you meet an Apsie that he/she will be like Sonya at all.
More +
1
Reply
Flag
Yes, I was speaking specifically about Sonya's persona / behavior, not anyone else with with Asperger's or Autism and any unintentional inference of something different was not intended.

Interesting thoughts about the mystery killer and why he would take out an entire group of illegals. You're correct, he has an agenda to call attention to a larger problem, which he did with the half n' half body on the bridge. So why was this necessary to further that agenda? Excellent questions you've posed. I hope we find out soon!
1
Reply
Flag
perfectly stated!
1
Reply
Flag
TY! :)
1
Reply
Flag
Going back to early in episode 1, when the guy picks up the girl when she leaves a club, she asks him "Are you the one?". He replies that he is and he puts her in the trunk of his car, without much of a struggle from her. What was that all about? What did she mean when she said "Are you the one?" Do you think we'll ever find out? And what did he give her?
Reply
Flag
I'm guessing "the one" is the guy who just killed the psycho's neighbor...he was waiting outside the club like he expected her to be there. I was assuming coyote at first, but he seemed a bit intense for just a coyote. More like a trafficker.
Reply
Flag
Haven't seen it yet, but maybe take her over the border? Coyotes (people who take other people across the border) operate like that sometimes.
2
Reply
Flag
I'll bet you're probably right, even though you haven't seen it.
1
Reply
Flag
My only big issue is that I'm not really getting the serial killer vibe yet. I know we have the carefully arranged scenes, scary voice recordings, and media taunting but it still feels like the Cartels are the real "bad-guys". I also sort of dislike the widow/tunnel side-story and feel like it belongs in a network-quality show instead. Lyle Lovett came so close to the creepy character they were shooting for but in the end came across as more of a sitcom guest-star as himself kind of thing.
Reply
Flag
Ok if it's similar to The Wire in styling and possibly as enjoyable (high praise indeed) then you have certainly convinced one viewer to give it a go.....too bad I don't affect ratings in the U.S.

Your poll amongst friends is totally correct, episode 4 is when The Wire's eureka moment truly starts, and by episode 6 (titled 'The Wire') you know it's not just great but truly as awe inspiring as TV can get.
2
Reply
Flag
Are you talking about The Wire's first season? I watched only season 1 and after 13 episodes, I had no desire to continue on. I know a lot of people found it to be the best tv show ever, but I found it to be a total bore.
1
Reply
Flag
Your loss.
1
Reply
Flag
Maybe my views on season 1 are a bit biased due to influence from my love/appreciation of the show as a whole.

The first time I watched episode 1 I did it whilst doing other things and didn't give my full attention, when I later came back to it I realised the error of my ways. The show is complex and requires concentration and multiple viewings to unlock all the hidden excellence. To date I have watched it all through three times and I can see myself returning to it at least bi-annually as it really is that good.
Reply
Flag
The Wire can be a bore. It's the reason I didn't watch it when it was on TV. I'm one of those "Saw it all on DVD and now consider it my favorite drama ever" people. It's slow, it's deliberate, and sometimes it seems to have scenes where absolutely nothing happens. And I think that's why I enjoyed it so much more on DVD than on TV where I didn't have to watch one episode a week. Burning through season 1, then season 2, etc. made the experience of The Wire so much better because you get into its rhythm and get a better feel for the plots, characters, etc. It really is great TV if you can stand a bit of boredom
1
Reply
Flag
Well, it all depends on whether you like mature story telling, immaculately rendered, written and performed, characters, awesome actors, realistic scenes and plausible scenarios, and generally an unbiased, truthful and informative view of one city in America.

There are no obvious heroes or villains, just people, doing what they do. You choose whose side to back, and who to root against. It doesn't hold your hand, and required patience. Some people can't handle that.

The Wire is the best show ever made, and probably the best show anyone will ever make. Breaking Bad is a close second.
4
Reply
Flag
Well, that's the way the world goes. Some reviewers pan a movie as terrible while others absolutely love it. People are just different, that's all. All I know is that I watched all 13 episodes of Season 1 on DVD and didn't like it. Friends have advised me to continue on to Season 2 as it gets better, but seriously, who would continue after watching 13 hours of a show and not liking it? If you're honest, hardly anyone would.
1
Reply
Flag
Like I said, the Wire is the best show ever made. The fact that you don't like it tells me quite a bit about your tastes.
1
Flag
I concur with everything you say, apart from I would put The Sopranos second and Breaking Bad a very very close third.
Reply
Flag
I do love Breaking Bad. I think it is the best tv show I've ever seen.
1
Reply
Flag
Never saw The Wire, although maybe I should check it out...I am partial to The Shield myself. Although, I can already tell
The Bridge is a much different animal though. How good remains to be seen, but I'm willing to give it the 5 episode test. As of now, color me intrigued..
Reply
Flag
Actually, I'm just getting into The Shield now and I'm loving it. Bought the entire DVD box set. Better late than never!
1
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
1,900