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FX (ended 2014)

The Bridge S01E11: "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll"

"Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" was a perfect example of how many new dramas are dressing themselves up as their successful predecessors and expecting to just earn a quick pass into the Great Drama Club. We're currently in an era where cable thinks that all it takes is a combination of grim subject matter, a tough guy screaming, and cool POV shots, and while I've mostly enjoyed the rickety first season of FX's The Bridge, it's one of the poster children for this current phenomenon. (I'd put Showtime's Ray Donovan and AMC's Low Winter Sun in there too, but in the interest of full disclosure: I only watched the first two episodes of each of those shows before deciding they weren't for me.) 

On paper, this episode had it all. A ticking clock counting the seconds until a character's demise! A standoff with a lot of shouting and a smug psychopath! B-O-M-B-V-E-S-T! Cops scrambling! Three major characters getting shot! That's good, right? Yet the bridge standoff that dominated "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" didn't feel like great drama to me. It didn't slap me around like it should have. In fact, at times it felt like a chore that I just wanted to be done with. Whereas previous episodes of The Bridge had that fun element of zaniness mixed with an accelerated pace and a handful of micro-developments, "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" slowed down and dragged after a promising start.


David Tate's latest mega-elaborate torture plot had him revisiting the site of his family's hit-and-run death with Marco, which just so happened to be on THE bridge. With no regard to traffic or anyone looking to get into Mexico for a quick bum tickle, cheap tequila, or generic prescription pills, David blocked off the bridge and removed his jacket to reveal a vest made of Semtex. He then asked Marco to grab Daniel out of the trunk and shoot him in exchange for the location of Marco's drowning son, a ploy that was made somewhat obvious last week. It was pretty standard psycho-killer stuff, and a little less sophisticated than what I've come to expect from a killer who's displayed such creativity and showmanship in his previous outings. In fact, let's rank David Tate's torture tactics! With your host, David Tate!

Official Ranking of David Tate Torture / Murder Plans

5. The bomb vest on the bridge and the demand that Marco kill Daniel in exchange for his son's safety. Kinda trope-y, and it dragged on too long. Not to mention that it didn't exactly work out for anyone.

4. Daniel Frye trapped in a car with a bomb and the beheading of Gedman. I love a good beheading, and this was his first big plan that we got to see. Not a bad way to start a career as a professional jerk!

3. The barrel slowly filling with water with a duct-taped Gus inside. It was the green glowstick that really showed David's attention to detail; it provided just enough light for Gus to see what was going on. And the level of sustained horror for Gus was quite impressive! Chinese water torture... with a twist.

2. The throat-slicing of Santi Jr. at a gala held in honor of Santi Jr.'s dad. Ouch! That's gotta hurt Santi Sr. almost as much as it hurt Santi Jr.! And the way David did it by just excusing himself and heading toward the bathroom like it was nothing was impressive.

1. The locked cabin and the live grenade for Alma, with the two daughters inside. Still the most fun ordeal of all! Alma could have been in there for days. 

But what really made the bomb vest plot the worst of the bunch was its repetition. There were no new details to divulge, there was no swinging pendulum of who was in control, there was no new character development. It was David Tate monologuing over and over again about the accident that killed his wife and son and how he wanted Marco to feel his pain. It was Marco repeatedly auditioning for the Yelling Hall of Fame by scream-asking about Gus's whereabouts shout-denying that he's the kind of man who could kill Daniel Frye as part of David's latest sick game. It was Sonya saying that some things didn't fit and that other things were part of David's plan. It was Daniel, shutting up for once, which seemed so out of character for him that I wasn't sure that was actually him. Aside from Daniel's sudden case of the mutes, these were all things we'd seen in the last few episodes. The Bridge didn't save anything new for us.


There were some little sparks, however. Like when Marco couldn't shoot Daniel (even though he got close like five times) and David shot Daniel anyway, sending him toppling over the side of the bridge and into the Mexi-sewage below. That river is NOT sanitary. If Daniel came out with only five syringes poking into him and just a little bit of some spring breaker's diarrhea leaking into his open would, he'd be lucky. There was also the moment when Sonya showed up after finding Gus, and she told Marco that Gus was alive so Marco wouldn't shoot David, but Marco didn't listen—so Sonya shot both Marco and David (just little baby non-fatal shots) and salvaged as much as she could from what was a really bad day for everyone. 

But otherwise, the standoff was a lot of the same circular chatter about how David was pissed that his wife and son were dead and Marco's howling "Wheerrrrrre eeeessss myyyyyyy sonnnnnnn!" and "Ahhhhm nottt gunnnnaaa dooooooooooooo that!" (Marco's screams simultaneously hit my emotional core and my funny bone. I feel bad for the guy, but I laughed, too. When was the last time Marco said anything at a normal volume? Episode 7?) 

It wouldn't have felt so tension-free if The Bridge had done a better job of elevating these characters in previous episodes. Instead, Marco became a character who we didn't really like as his weaknesses were exposed. What little we did know about him was that he was a committed adultery on a wife who loved him, he wasn't a good dad (even though he wanted to be), and he'd been involved in some shady dealings as a police officer, all of which overpowered the decent human being we knew was in there somewhere. It's not that I don't care about Marco (I want to like the guy), it's more that after 10 episodes, I don't love him, and that's where this episode struggled—there wasn't enough potency to the supposedly high stakes. The fact that Marco's son was taken from him didn't change the fact that Marco isn't a guy who you'd go out of your way to root for.  


I liked the attempt to push Sonya and Marco's relationship somewhere new when Sonya lied to Marco about Gus being alive and Sonya defended her decision with "I only did what you taught me friends would do for each other." Even if Marco's lessons were about small-time things like loaning someone twenty bucks for flowers or keeping misplaced wallets hush-hush from untrusting wives, it showed that Sonya was listening and that she was making an effort to change her ways. Contrast that with how Marco has been developed (or lacked development) and it's easy to see why Sonya is such a popular character among all of you. I wish earlier episodes had spent more time on the education of Sonya Cross, because this scene would have resonated more and upped Marco's stance with us. Instead, Sonya's attempts at normal socialization were rebuffed by Marco, and he told her they weren't friends and that they were over. That made me a lot sadder than when Gus died, and it's because Sonya had been trying so hard to help Marco and Marco was too blind with "Wheeerrrrrreee eeeees myyyyyy sonnnnn" rage to see it. 

At the end of the David Tate nightmare, no one came out a winner. Marco was the biggest loser, which is exactly what David wanted, but that didn't necessarily make David a winner because he'd planned to have Marco shoot him (how that completes his plan, I don't know). Sonya got screwed, too. She was minutes away from being the hero (though the way she tracked Gus by chasing pipes throughout a house didn't make a ton of sense), and instead she ended up partnerless and friendless. Daniel sustained a laundry list of injuries, including brain and spine trauma, but at least he survived. And the poor drivers who were just trying to make quick cocaine runs were stuck on that bridge all night long! David Tate buzzkilled a lot of people's nights. 

There was only one non-cop scene in this episode, which happened to be the pre-credits opening, and that's too bad because it was probably the best scene of the night. Ray dragged his dead friend Tim through the tunnel, probably to drop him off in Mexico as if he was an unwanted pee-stained couch, but then found a bunch of tunnel people dead. Spooky! Then Ray shot a Mexican guy down there—the guy may or may not have been the shooter who killed the other people—and framed Tim for doing it (convenient!). Then he made off with a mysterious package with a scorpion logo on it. Was it drugs? Money? Information? Live scorpions? What were those people doing down there? Why was that one gun gold-plated? Why didn't Ray wear gloves? I don't know, but the whole thing had me clamoring for more. And I never got more because the rest of the episode was spent telling us that David was still mad about his dead family.

I'm about to walk down to FX Headquarters in La-La Land and punch a hole through the office wall of whoever is in charge of deciding how much screen time Stephen Linder gets in each episode of The Bridge. That's two weeks in a row that our favorite weirdo who never lets a shirt button go undone has been absent, as the series changed its focus from statement on society to slasher spree. He has to be back next week though, right? 

The biggest question going forward is "Where does The Bridge go now?" There are two episodes left and only Ray and Charlotte's story has any hint of momentum. But it's so self-encapsulated that none of the other plots can smoothly intertwine with it. So what's left? I don't think Marco and Sonya having a long conversation about friendship and making up is enough to send Season 1 out with a bang. A trial or continued investigation into the David Tate case would be a snoozer. Linder is literally in the middle of nowhere, picking daisies or something for his crush. And Galvan must be on vacation, because he hasn't shown his scary face in a long time. I don't know what The Bridge will do for its final two hours, and it's not one of those "OMG where will this go?" good feelings; it's a bad feeling that the end of Season 1 won't do much at all.



THE BORDER BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE NOTES

– One more thing on David's plan: Say Marco did shoot Daniel, how was David going to hold up his end of the bargain and save Gus? Did he ever plan to save Gus? Did he have another remote control on him to turn the faucet off to stop filling the barrel? Or was he just going to give away the location of the barrel and leave it up to the cops to get there in time?

– No Cesar again this week either. Cesar where are you? How was the movie? What did you see? 

– Has the ATF realized that Tim is missing? Or was Tim right and they're so disorganized that they have nothing going on. Those gun bugs were planted a long time ago, but the ATF hasn't done squat (at least that we know of). 

– FX still has not renewed The Bridge for Season 2. Earlier this year, the network re-upped on The Americans after three episodes, even when it wasn't blowing up the ratings. I have to think that the chances we'll see more of The Bridge in 2014 aren't looking good. It might depend on how FX's pilots look, but The Strain needs a spot in the lineup, and it could be a great summer series.

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What happened with the detonator? David Tate said that if he took his thumb off the detonator, everything would blow. Then he tosses it to the side a couple of scenes later and nothing happens. What did I miss?
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Come on Tim this was a good epi..Yes it was slow and I got really tired of Marco the tool screaming like no ones business, I can't stand Marco. But Gus dying and the way he acted towards Sonya really broke my heart. I even had tears on parts of this one. I don't know how it will pan out for Daniel but I hope he gets better. I like him, he makes this show interesting. I really hope they renew this show. I would like to see where it is going. Yes they just didn't show enough of the nut job Ray arch. And where the hell is LINDER...the epis are just better with mumbles in them.
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Come on you dont like Marco because you stereotype him as a mexican macho, when you don't even know how to define the "macho" word.
yes its going really slow, and its crazy how much they spent on the bridge but the fact that this shit page dares to say "And the poor drivers who were just trying to make quick cocaine runs were stuck on that bridge all night long!" when they are the primordial reason of weapons in México doesn't make sense at all ;) yea people come to México to get high as well they can go to California...
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I enjoyed this episode but wanted more Charlotte (I don't care about Cesar, i.e., the dutiful laborer~~so far a "nobody" imo)

Brief synopsis of next 2 episodes:

All About Eva (episode 12)
Sonya uses Linder's latest problem to repair her relationship with Marco. Charlotte forms an unlikely alliance.

The Crazy Place (episode 13)
Sonya and Marco search for a missing girl. Charlotte meets someone who knows too much about her new business venture. Marco makes a decision that could change everything
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I don't think the problem is not liking Marco enough to create some drama, it was not liking Gus enough. If we like Gus we want him to live and as such, want he and Marco to build the relationship they both want. But Gus was almost a non character who's only relevance to the entire story is being the kid of the guy who we've been following around. Not a very compelling reason to wish for his safe return.

If I'm honest, I thought this was the season finale and felt a little cheated that Ray and Charlotte's arc was left hanging and got zero resolution on mush mouth. But there are two episodes left? What exactly are they going to do to fill two episodes with the same pacing and content of the previous 10?

I don't know what was the intention for either, but unlike 'The Americans', I'm not seeing any real long term viability here. It's not like Sonja would ever return the favour, cross the border and become Marco's partner in Mexico and with Tate in custody, there's no reason for him to stay.

If I had to make a call, this is one and done, either by design or by reality.
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"Marco became a character who we didn't really like..." I'm really turned off my Marco now; not because he's a serial cheater, but because his machismo/ego gets in the way too often. He spent half the time on that bridge trying to dominate the situation (not a good time to beat your chest when the other guy is wearing a bomb vest). And in an earlier episode, when he (loudly) proclaimed: "I am a man...I am a father...!" Dude, we know your gender and familial status...humble yourself a little bit and try to make saving your family a priority, m'kay?
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I still don't buy any of the reasons to not like Marco, but at least you brought up the cultural difference - what you call "machismo". When he was saying that sentence, I believe he was referring to his humanity - his life wasn't a game. Because Sonya was telling him that Tate was "playing" with him. There is nothing "macho" like about it. Somebody claiming that your life is something serious, that's all. BUT you have eventually interiorized Marco as a latin man with latin attitudes and you don't like that. That's fine, but remember that we are all a part of our cultures with their faults and greatness. He is not treating women badly (I remind you that cheating in wives is a universal practice) but he is gifting them flowers and protecting them as he has been taught a nice men should do. Now, I find a bit harsh to dislike somebody just for that. It is insensitive.
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I will admit that I missed the mark on the context of his declaring his manhood and fatherhood in an earlier episode. But if he's just a part of his culture (faults and greatness), then why was his son Gustavo disturbed by his behavior? Please forgive me; I wasn't intentionally implying that his Latin roots had anything to do with his behavior (in my book machismo occurs in pretty much every culture -- some more subtle than others). So I'll amend my dislike and say that his ego was a problem for me.
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I didn't see the ego thing myself as you describe it, but you know what, i think that the reason why we are inclined to like Sonya better is that the show has given us more explanations about her motives. Without saying anything explicit about her condition, we know that she struggles. So we have easily forgiven her about not wanting that ambulance to go through the bridge (you know, episode 1, to save a human life) and other similar strange reactions. However, nothing has been said about Marco's motives yet. When he cheated on his wife or slept with his friend's wife, what led him to do that? We can see he's not the kind of guy that abuses of child prostitutes, for example, and he seems to love his wife. But he still acted wrongly in some situations and we don't know any of his thoughts about it. He just looks selfish to us. I have been thinking that maybe the show wanted to give Sonya a head start of sorts, as she is presented as "Detective Frosty" :). But don't know.

I appreciate your politeness when talking about this subject. I imagine the cultural contrast subject will come often with this show, since it is a part of it.
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Big yawn. Gus being killed didn't really surprise me - they didn't kill Alma so of course they would have to kill someone "important". Couldn't care less, honestly. And Tate had a bomb vest on! Right from TV's super-killer handbook: I can't stand these tricks anymore. Stopped caring about this series a couple of episodes ago.
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Why do Americans make remakes of perfect series ? It is an awesome series in its original Danish Swedish . Don't understand it Just leave it alone
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Ever since this show turn into just another "personal vendetta" It's lost all its intrigue for me. (What happened to the social commentary on Mexico/ USA relations?) This episode was the worst of the series for me. All the build up just for THAT?!?! I'll give the writers credit on three things(1) Killing a important character.(2) The pre credits scene (3) The intensity of the showdown. But of course it just went on too long and left me flat. I also gotta give props to Damon Bechir ,the dude is money. If this series gets cancelled get him on another one PRONTO!
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I thought it was awesome, they broke my heart. They killed Gus. Tate's anger seems irrational and misplaced. It was just scary to me honestly.
I really liked Gus.
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So much potential slipped away at a snail's pace.
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What Tate wanted is to make Marco be a version of himself after everything was over. To be fired from the police, to have lost family and everything. Did he manage to do that? Will now Marco try to get revenge over the whole of humanity? Marco says himself he is a different person than Tate. He said to Tate that a lot of people suffer awful losses everyday and they don't become killers. He didn't kill the reporter because he has this thing inside him telling him that he is not that man. Is the rest of the season going to be about this? Maybe.

There is also a chance for Tate not to be the real bad guy after all, but the chances seem slim. However, if he was not, we would get a chance to get answers to all those things that don't make sense yet, from all the cases we have seen so far.
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The alternating shots between the bridge standoff and Sonja rushing to save Gus seemed like something we've seen many times before.
I didn't follow Sonja's train of thought in her search for Gus that lead her from the kitchen sink to the garage.
I kept wondering what Tate's next move would have been if Marco had thrown the gun off the bridge instead of directly at him (would any cop, even a distraught one, toss a weapon to a killer?)
I still enjoy the show, but I was more interested in what was going on with the tunnel that what was happening on the bridge.
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The biggest problem for me with this ending was that I felt NOTHING for the bad guy strapped in semtex. I didn't feel his pain, I didn't even care about his fate which I think I needed to do, especially after such genius shows like Breaking Bad and Ray Donovan. I didn't even finish watching.
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As usual, very much in line with what I thought of it. Why do shows still use those incredibly long "so when you did this to me, I felt like that and now I will do this to you". I agree with the poster who mentions Gus' death, it was realistic and original, poor kid. Harken back tot he pilot, there was a great call back where Marco grunts as he gets up from the gruesome body and 20 minutes later we learn he just had a vasectomy. That's great work, subtle work and the actor is good in the complex role. Now, as usual, the writers need to step up tot he plate and do better!
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For a while I thought this was ending up like The Killing, with slightly more eccentric characters, and to be honest I was getting pretty bored of it, but I thought the last episode was pretty good. If Gus had been saved, I might not think the same thing, but alas he was not, and the fact that he was not, and that she tried to lie about it, was progress in a show that became stagnant.
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Meant to add.... The Bridge has really got to pick it up if they want to be renewed. There's potential for the current sub-stories going on, but there is no reason now that the one dude was been caught that the Mexican officer needs to be working together with the American division. So they either have to drag it on, or make up a way in which he can keep working with his female partner. Either way seems unlikely to gain viewers. I think the show is toast.
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When I watched this episode, I thought it was the finale. And I would have been totaly okay, if it were. Some unanswered questions (tunnel) for a (maybe) new season. But the main plot is over and Marco did his long walk in the last scene..
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I would really suggest watching the original series 'Bron'. All what is wrong and did not work for The Bridge they nailed in Bron. It's not the actors fault because, they did a great job with a sloppy rewrite of a great script.

The Bridge pulled their punches with Sonya's autism and therefore missed a lot of situations/conversations between her and Marco to create their dynamic.

The Bridge also spend a lot of time on the tunnel and all those involved without going anywhere. That time should have been spend on Marco and Sonya. I really don't know where they were going with that, but the adventures of dimwit and the widow just felt like unnecessary filler material in a show stuffed with good material.

They also made the Linder story way to dominant in the beginning and then realized he was just a suspect in the investigation and decided not to do anything with it. Would have been better to have him killed by Cesar.

And last but not least.... David, you delirious psychopath, why have an elaborate plan to kill all parties involved in the most torturous of ways for maximum suffering and effect, and do you only slit the throat of the one actually responsible for the accident killing your son and wife? Seems to me Santi jr deserved the worst of it.

But I have to say I enjoyed The Bridge very much, Bron was just better.

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I agree with your assesssment. Bron worked as Scandinavian series but did not entirely translate well as an American remake. But now that it is finished, we can hope for something else with new material.
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I am a big fan your reviews, Tim, but I think you are being too tough on The Bridge. I agree that this episode was the most problematic of all the ones aired so far, but I like this show a lot and hope it gets renewed.
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I can't help it, but I am utterly disappointed by the turn THE BRIDGE has taken. What started with atmosphere, edgy characters and a dark and somehow mysterious mood has evolved into a paint-by-numbers routine that gives the impression that everybody is happy to have ended this misshapen field trip - except for there are still two more episodes to go.
Sonya (whom I wasn't particularly fond of in the beginning) turned out to be at least ONE of the characters who developed a little bit of depth (besides maybe David with his drug and persona struggles). Everything else - even the Magical Mumbling Man and his eerie adventures - became stale and shallow during the past four episodes, while the whole plot changed from a somewhat sociopolitical dark mystery into a dull (yes, there were some twists and turns - but first, they weren't too extraordinary and secondly, I simply didn't CARE any more) revenge-of-the-cuckold-gone-cuckoo-widower story.
Despite all the holes in the other back stories (I bet the creators will pull something out of their hats for the remaining two episodes that already feel completely detached from the rest of the season), there is not much left that leaves me full of hope for this series. And if Tim is right with his suspicion about FX demolishing THE BRIDGE, I won't be too unhappy about it. It's just a pity that something that started out to be something different and not-too-mainstream turned out to be another go for average and empty.
Thanks to SLEEPY HOLLOW for lifting up my spirits after this disappointment - eat your heart out, Tim Burton! ;)
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I wholeheartedly disagree with the review. The Bridge is almost as good as Breaking Bad in my opinion, it's gonna help soothe the blow of loosing BB if the series continues. Incredible ambiance and very smart writing!
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I can not believe they had the guts to kill Gus. That was a bold move.
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I think in perspective, killing Gus makes Sonya and Marco equal in their pain and in the drive both have to be a genuine partnership. Sonya became herself when her sister died and now Gus will provide the same impulse to seek justice beyond the limits of the criminal geopolitics on that bridge.
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It is a good point. It certainly is a conexion point for them, as we saw at the bridge. Sonya doesn't need any further information to understand his pain. However, Marco might blame himself for the events. We have to see how they sort that out.
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he's defenitely insane - how can you make somebody else go through that pain (and I mean Gus) when your son died like that. What kind of sense of justice is that. How come the guy from the beginning that was so justice-oriented is now just a regular crazy fellow?
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I agree with this review in most points. I felt like it was a weak episode that required a lot of suspension of disbelief. Of course, I have felt that way throughout most of the series as I am weary of the bad guy character who is omniscient and omnipotent. That David Tate could be in control of all the things he is purported to have been in this series seems pretty ridiculous. I actually think the acting was pretty bad also in this episode, but that has to be because the writing was so bad!

I agree that this is just another typical new grim show with the same dramatic elements as so many others. It didn't start that way--it has some unique and intriguing elements at the beginning--but it is ending up that way. The side stories are definitely more interesting than the main story now--Linder and what is going to happen to him and what Charlotte and Ray are going to be doing next. I don't care about Sonya, Marco, Alma, etc, any more.

Finally, I don't find the disjointed nature of this how artsy or edgy--just frustrating.
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I will have to disagree with this review as this show has become one of my favorite shows this season along with Ray Donovan. :) This episode is actually the best of the season imo. I'm also happy that they are really ending this storyline in this season. As a viewer, I'm pleased.
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I liked this episode.
However a few things put me off:
Damien Birchir's performance didn't do it for me on the bridge(literally,lol). Sorry, but it didn't made me gnaw on my nails but it should have...
And the way he handled the gun? Did he visit the Brad Pitt's Stage-Gun Handling School? Looked weird, he's supposed to portray a seasoned cop.
It would be sad to see this show get cancelled, I think the story with Fausto, Linder, Charlotte and the tunnel has potential - although I don't see how they integrate Sonya in this.
Sonya is great, I really have to eat my early words when I chimed in the rants against her wooden act in the beginning. A Data/Abed character is always much beloved but nonetheless it's hard to deliver without being unbelievable.
And what did Ray in the tunnel? Left a lot of prints but then he staged a false scene to get "easily" rid of his dead buddy. The cops on both sides don't know about the tunnel, right? But who were these dead guys anyhow? And who shot them?
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Have to agree that the part that tugged most at my heart strings was Sonya getting rebuffed by Marco at the Hospital. I have to say that from one of the all-time wooden characters in the beginning Sonya has grown on me.
On the fence about whether I care if this show is renewed. Based on where we are at now, I don't really see where the series goes from here. The Charlotte side-plot is just that, although that arc has become more interesting not sure how it carries the show. We'll see how the final two? eps. play out but I don't have huge expectations.
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From the two Scandinavian American remakes we have on our disposal; The Killing and now The Bridge, we can have some educated guesses. Both were in their own way the faithful translation of their original to an American setting. To me, this indicates that there are great odds that the deal to promote these shows in the US had a clause that these have to be done "as is". Again and again, many of us commentators and reviewers where criticisizing the discrepency of logic that would apply to a Scandinavian setting and realities and certainly not to an American one.
However, I think the creators of The Bridge learned of the mistakes made by the The Killing, namely how to end season one of the originals. The Killing nearly ended its run by pursuing the finall resolution to season one in its second season; which created extreme confusion for the many in its audience who were sincerely making the effort to like the series and become its fans. This loss of momentum was never really regained and in spite of a very strong and brilliant third season The Killing looks like being doomed.
This prompted The Bridge to take the opposite route. With this episode, the Bron original is finished and done with. We can say that we liked it or not, but really- and this is the important point: for all intents and purposes, season two is beginning next week and an extra episode to consolidate it. This is why if you are a fan and want to find out how season two will end, you will have to give it your highest support now.
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I totally agreed with what you said and I do think this might give the show a chance. I really like the beginning and though this episode was not one of its best but it does wrap things up for season 1 nicely that it could have been the finale. The last 2 episodes does seems like a start for season 2 and I hope it will be good !
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I think in the end it was a matter of copyright that both the original and the American versions had to be near identical. This is why season 3 of The Killing was so strong, because it was entirely new Ameerican-oriented material and now we have the same for The Bridge.
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I think we all agree: Cesar needs a spin-off. The series would be about him just being an all-round good guy in every episode; helping people out, brushing horses, digging the occasional grave, and shooting a bad guy every now and then. You know, classic Cesar stuff.

As you said, this episode fell flat. There was none of that tension that was supposed to arise from the face-off between Tate and Marco. But enough about that. I'm more mystified about the other plots in the show. Why introduce all these characters which seem to have nothing to do with the main story? If they were supposed to highlight the lawlessness around the border, the very thing that Tate initially preached about, then they really didn't amount to much. As much as I like Linder, why make such a big deal about his escapades, if his path never crosses Marco and Sonya's? Maybe the creators of the show are laying the foundation for a possible second season called the "The Tunnel", or "The Bridge: We Don't Need No Bridge, We've Got A Tunnel".
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Did we watched a different show Tim? because I thought it was great!

I cried my eyes out about Gus and then again when Marco broke at the hospital; he knew he wasn't a good dad and all of this was his fault. That feeling must be horrific.
So you are wrong, I care about Marco a lot and surely want to see what will happen to him next.
And I want a second season!
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God bless your kind soul.
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This really felt like a season finale. Other than Charlotte and Ray, there's really no more stories to tap into. I guess The Bridge will be turning into The Tunnel... lol
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I'm just about to watch it. One objection: Ray Donovan got way better after the first two-three episodes. Your miss, Tim.
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I am probably going to get slaughtered after confessing a misdemeanor. I never did watch The Bridge yesterday, I was too tired and plowed through all three episodes of Tamras OC Wedding. Great brain rest.
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Definitely, totally agree! I was ready to let it go but I'm very glad I didn't.
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I agree. The last few episodes of Ray Donavan was way better than the beginning.
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Ray Donovan is awesome!!
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I must have been watching a different episode even though the details that Tim used to describe this episode were the same as the one I watched. I liked this installment, I mean, I really LIKED EEEET! ! I thought Marco's inability to supposedly save his son by killing Daniel was poignant and touching. Him screaming "I can't do that" almost made my eyes go moist. And when Sonya came running up and said Gus wasn't dead was some of the best acting of the entire hour. You could tell she was doing her best to lie because that is what a friend does, even though it goes against everything her condition prescribes. Diane pulled it off wonderfully. Regardless of how good-looking she is, her characterization of Sonya would make the hardened person want to just give her a big bear hug.
I'm sure Marco will re-friend her down the road (I can't remember if he did already). He must finally blame her for causing all this mess by getting him thrown out the house with the "Charlotte dropped your wallet off" remark.
I didn't think even The Bridge would kill off a character that was so closely tied to one of its main stars but it did. Frankly, I didn't care much for Gus anyway but it was still a psuedo-shock when it happened.
Tim is right about the absence of Linder. The killer-preacher-farmer must make one hell of a ham salad sandwich because Linder's been MIA ever since they went to lunch.
I sure do hope they re-new this series.
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I am quite disappointed, especially with David Tate.
Not for killing Gus
or all the other dead bodies
or for banging Marco's wife
or for his poorly planned end game (someone watched Se7en a lot)

I am disappointed with his poor trade skills!
That pipe work for Gus' tank was really shoddy. No one who takes pride in their work would have run the pipe through the corridor like that - more likely it would have been run through the ceiling/loft. Being a sociopath is no excuse for poor workmanship!
This showed he is obviously a poor planner, so its not surprising his big "oooh Marco kill me!" plan didnt work

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Especially since he had all this idle time on his hands.
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"One more thing on David's plan: Say Marco did shoot Daniel, how was David going to hold up his end of the bargain and save Gus? Did he ever plan to save Gus? Did he have another remote control on him to turn the faucet off to stop filling the barrel? Or was he just going to give away the location of the barrel and leave it up to the cops to get there in time?"
... of course David never intended to reveal Gus' location. His goals were to have Marco kill Daniel, then provoke Marco into killing him by telling Gus is dead. A "suicide by police"
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I thought it was a fun episode. It Certainly isn't what most of us who didn't see the first version of this show thought it was going to be. But the revenge plan from Tate was kind of Genius. However, I get that he is probably smart, I get that he might have a genius level IQ. What I don't get is how no one else, engineers, electricians, etc figured out how he controlled the Bridges power. That seems a bit off.

Only Gus dying seemed strange. Daniel, conceivably, should have been killed by the bullet and the fall. Him living would be based on the presumption that Tate would miss when he shot him. And literally the whole of the season kind of says that he isn't the type of man to miss. Not to mention the fall, likely would have also killed him.

The only problem I have with this is that it isn't the finale. There are still two more episodes. Now granted Tate might be the kind of guy to escape or still have perfectly timed out tricks up his sleeve. But it seemed that he wanted his end game to be him dead and turning Marco into the revenge seeking person that he was. So I am not sure where they are going to go with all of this.

Sure there are plenty of threads that they have put forth that haven't been resolved yet. Ray and Charlotte, Fausto, Linder etc. But that felt more like the finale.

Notes.

Tate's intention was for Gus to die. He was going to die no matter what. Instead of drowning in his blood, as Tate's son drowned in his own blood. Gus drowns in water. Plus there was no time to save him at all.

That is a good point where is Cesar.

The ATF is playing a long game. You plant the passive trackers into the guns and see where they go. Even if they sit for a while, they let them sit. You don't wait for them to go across the border and then swoop in and arrest them. You see where they are going and where they end up. That way you get a better understanding as to how their organization works and where it has permanent stops and houses. As for Steve, probably the same thing. With informants you let them have a little rope. However, likely he should have checked in with them by now.

I am not sure there is a renew in this future. It will largely depend on the next two episodes. They haven't set up anything yet for a second season. Likely, this is the only season we see Tate. So they have to weigh whether or not Charlotte, Ray, Linder, Fausto and the rest of the greater El Paso and Juarez area is enough to bring people back next year. I am not sure it is.


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I think this is exactly how season two might play; that the ATF brings them back together to solve the problem related to the tunnel and the dead bodies Ray found there. For one thing, I have been told by a Mexican friend that some of the Cartel killers are known for some particular weapon or physical attribute and the golden gun is a kind of reminder to the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun. This movie may have prompted a famous assassin to have himself custom make a gold plated gun. By this I mean, that perhaps after the ATF bugs debacle a special assassin was sent to kill Ray and Charlotte and ended up dead in the tunnel.
Now the presence of Tim among the dead may trigger a major investigation.
Or not.
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Regarding the ATF's wait-and-see plan, the US government recently did exactly that in real life, with (to put it kindly) less then stellar results. Many considered it to be something of a debacle, which resulted in numerous deaths and which was pretty quickly swept under the carpet as much as possible.

I'm not saying that I would have had a better plan, only that the one that was implemented wasn't exactly a resounding success.
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Yea. I was trying to skirt the whole Fast and Furious thing. I try to stay away from political issues on here. But well done on your wrap up of the issue.
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I have been a huge fan of Diane Kruger since I saw her in Inglorious Basterds. She was also good along side Liam Neeson in Unknown. She is the main reason I watch this show every week. I also enjoy Ted Levine, as well.

I agree with Tim in that the main issue with The Bridge is the fact that it jumps around from story arc to story arc with no continuity. There have been some awesome scenes but they feel more like vignettes rather than story lines or character development. I really don't know where the show is headed either.

Best line of the week: When Sonya tells Coop she needs a gun, he replies, "I have several."
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I'm with you on liking Diane a lot in general. As much as I've enjoyed her more recent work, I had totally forgotten that she was the awful female lead in the National Treasure movies. That role is definitely best forgotten. (But hey, I just learned she's married to Joshua "Fringe" Jackson, too, so more points for her.)

I also agree that Ted Levine has been good in his limited, supporting role. Same for the guy playing Cooper.

Sadly, I also agree with your second paragraph. This series has never quite gelled as a cohesive tale and isn't likely to bring it home in the remaining two episodes. IMO, it just hasn't been up to FX's usual standards of excellence. I'll be neither surprised nor particularly disappointed if it doesn't get renewed for a second season. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ride while it lasted, but I just don't see it getting renewed.
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What's most disappointing to me is the the potential for this series. I'm not sure that the failure can be credited to the writers or producers. It just seems that there is a blatant lack of leadership, a fact that has killed many a great idea.
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I liked this episode... Everyone I know was expecting Sonya to save Gus and rise as the hero. Sonya went against everything she is trying to save Marco from the eminent jail time by lying to him because she appreciates him and believe they were friends. Marco was just being a little B*tch, everything happened because he has never been able to keep it in his pants, and now he's blaming Sonya for not letting him kill Tate? He's an Idiot!
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If I was Marco, i would be mad at Sonya too. I would want to kill the man that did this to my son. Maybe you are a better person than that? Hopefully, he would come around and realize that she actually saved him, but I don't see how anybody could blame him for being mad at the world right now. Then we will get to see how he handles this better than Tate did, hopefully - or not?
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I actually thought this episode was very good, but I think by comparison to a lot of you, I came into this series because Demian Bichir is awesome, so maybe I just like Marco a lot more than some of you do.

My big issue though is this really felt like it should have been the finale, and I'm a little confused as to how they're going to give Sonya and Marco something to do for two episodes? Yes Linder and Charlotte have storylines that I'm sure go somewhere, but persaonally I don't really care too much, I was on board for Sonya and Marco and the Bridge killer, and that story is over (although there are obvious ramifications).

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Well, maybe there's something even bigger waiting, this show's rythm has been a bit special after all, let's not loose faith...

I like Marco's character, I cannot help it. Tim (reviewer) says that we don't know anything good about him, but that is not true. We know he is refusing money from very dangerous people. We know he could not kill that horrible reporter even to try and save his son. We know he is nice to Sonya and has patience with her condition. And he's so very human and makes so many mistakes, how could I not like him.
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Your transcription of Marco's dialogue is spot-on!

"Ahhhhm nottt gunnnnaaa dooooooooooooo that! Wheeerrrrrreee eeeees myyyyyy sonnnnn!?"

Perfect!

The episode was okay. Like some of the previous commenters, I didn't find myself caring much about Marco or Gus. I liked Sonya quite a bit, though.
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The ending parallel left me cold: Two young, attractive, serious, good-hearted women helping two older, weather-beaten sinners. I wanted to yell at the women: Don't seek the approval of these messed-up men! It's not your job to save them from themselves!
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Harsh. And I speak on behalf of all messed-up, self-absorbed, middle-aged adolescents everywhere. Without us, popular culture would collpase for lack of anti-heros.
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Is it wrong that I felt more sorry for Sonya, when Marco rejected her friendship, than for Marco losing his son?
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While I think it is really difficult for someone with Aspergers to arrive to the point were Sonya was and be rejected like this, I cannot help it, I think loosing a child is also a horrible thing to happen. I don't have children myself, but still. And to make it worse, we are talking about a son that died of horrible death. And it was somehow your fault. I know what Tim and yourself refer to, but really, you didn't care? Even Sonya cares!
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I didn't say I didn't care, I said I felt more for Sonya than for Marco. I know his situation is terrible, losing his son is an awful tragedy, but I don't find Marco sympathetic. He's not evil, but he's self-centered, a serial cheater and little more. His relationship with Gus was strained. I don't doubt he cared about Gus, but he was an absent and crappy father.

Sonya, on the other hand, is working hard to adapt, to connect and to learn. When her efforts misfire, like the scene in the hospital, I feel for her, because I connect with this character. Marco, on the other hand, leaves me cold and slightly disgusted in general, so I'm sorry for him, but not that deeply.
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Marco is a mexican police officer that refuses money from very dangerous people. He is one of the few to be patient with Sonya's condition. He helped that lady in the desert by advicing her to ask for asylum, when he didn't need to. He could not kill that journalist to save his own son on the bridge, because he values human life. He cares about people more than he cares about money. Did you see Tim reviewer above mentioning any of this? Is this not important? Where you at the toilet when all these things happened? The situation with Marco and Sonya is dramatic because they are both right. Marco is right to be upset about his son's death and mad at Sonya right now. Sonya was right to save him from making his situation even worse. If you feel more sorry here for one of them, I think you must have other reasons. Cause the drama here is about them being put in opposite sides unfairly by that killer.
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Do you know how difficult it is for someone with Asperger's Syndrome to try and make an emotional connection with another human being? When Sonya cried on the bridge after shooting Marco, that was like an agoraphobic spending two hours shopping at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. She took a huge leap and was shut down. However, I feel both characters will recover and move forward. I believe Marco's reaction is not only grief but guilt in that he knows his past actions are partially responsible for Gus' death.

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Without getting too pedant, I would like to point out that there was a lot of Kierkegaard's philosophy in the way that both the Scandinavian original and Diane Kruger's rendition of the role played into the character and using Asperger's was the way the creators chose to handle this.
For those interested further, read about Kierkegaard's "leap of faith" to further understand better Sonya.
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As someone who has to deal with mental health issues, I look forward to reading about this topic. Thank you, Kerkesh!
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I agree with Tim, the Sonya/Marco scene in the hospital was a little unnecessary because they didn't take the time in previous episodes to make Sonya's compassion have any impact. That was a waste. This was, in my opinion, the weakest episode of the season because it was mostly predictable (didn't see them kill off Gus, though, that was a surprise). I'm curious what the next two episodes have in store, I still don't see how the Linder/Galvan/Charlotte stories tie to all of this. And since we've established that this isn't the weird, different, unusual kind of drama, I'd like to see everything come together.
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The stand off with Tate was very the film 'Seven'. Ie if Marco shot him, he'd probably go to prison and his misery would be complete sorta thing. Bleak episode. I agree that I can't see where this show is going from now on. Maybe the writers were told there would be no season 2 so they decided to wrap it up super quick?
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I was highly disappointed in this episode. I was thinking the exact same thing about the bridge scene. Nothing new was expounded, nothing came about it. Nothing intense happened. Tate, Marco, and even Daniel all came off as trite one-dimensional people who weren't particularly clever at all. I wouldve loved to see Daniel drop to the floor and beg and grovel and plead for Tate not to kill him. I would have loved to see Marco say something meaningful instead of yelling like he was stuck in some telenovela. And I wouldve really appreciated had Tate put more pressure on Marco. A scuffle wouldve been nice, a balls to the walls fight or something. Instead we got very disappointing dialogue with not much resolve.

Sonya was great. I honestly felt for her more than anyone. She did the best she could and still suffered for it.

Did anyone else think Gus would wake up on the operating table? Lol. From the way Marco was gripping his chest I figured he knew some ancient Mexican curse that could bring dead folk back to life.
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Please renew the series...pleaseee
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This episode lacked intensity more than anything. The level of intensity was close to watching a giraffe chew something in the zoo. There were some movements but i couldn't care less what it was chewing. Sonya was interesting but her timing and demeanor kind of became formulaic. more and more she reminds me of the the balding guy in the big bang theory too much.
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"Has the ATF realized that Tim is missing? Or was Tim right and they're so disorganized that they have nothing going on. Those gun bugs were planted a long time ago, but the ATF hasn't done squat (at least that we know of). "

Sounds about as efficient as our beloved agency is in real-life cross-border scenarios, don't you think?

I thought the whole gunwalking plot was a criticism and reminder of the ATF's Fast and Furious scandal. People are still being murdered with those guns... a Mexican police chief was murdered this summer with one of our ATF's "tracking" rifle. It fits with the shows early criticism that Americans don't give a damn who suffers across the border, even though we are a big part of the reason why there is violence in Mexico, from guns to drugs.

BTW, solid review Tim. I was left with a feeling of "is this it?". I have no clue where the show is going in its final hours; I never expected David would be captured with 2 more episodes left, and no obvious endgame.
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It felt like this series was over. There's two more episodes, right? Cause this one ended making everyone feel like sh*t :( And to what purpose, exactly?
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Another perfect review, Tim. Reading your review while watching the episodes feels like watching with a roomie, with wine & cheese OR Dos Equis w/chips & salsa. Thnx so much. I HOPE you get to review AHS, not that I plan to miss ANY. I dig your paralleled humor.
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Sorry, I enjoyed it. Tate was a decent villain but didn't make all that much sense as far as his motive--crazy is as crazy does, I guess. The episode went by fast and this story is now complete. The final two episodes will break new ground and Marco will relent with Sonya, I'm fairly positive. I've enjoyed this from beginning to end and I do see Tim's point, but all that didn't bother me as much as it did him. The whole beginning of these episode will probably play out for next season and I'm looking forward to it.
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