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FX (ended 2014)

The Bridge S01E13: "The Crazy Place"

The Bridge turned in one of its weaker middle-of-the-season episodes with "The Crazy Place," which clocked the show's second consecutive hour of "Umm, where are we going with this?" But the episode's biggest problem wasn't its meandering feel, it's that it was The Bridge's Season 1 finale, and most TV viewers expect to see some fireworks when a show is about to hibernate for nine months. The fireworks never came, though, and the finale ended with the revelation that Marco wants to kill David Tate. Well, duhhhhhhhh. 

Who can really be surprised by this uneventful exit, though? Ever since Tate's killing spree ended in "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" (Episode 11 of 13), we all wondered what The Bridge would do with its final two hours. Well, the answer turned out to be "move slowly and run out the clock." The way The Bridge structured its first season reminds me of that Saturday Night Live skit where Dana Carvey, playing George Bush during a presidential debate, finished a response with plenty of time left and was forced to stall, repeating the same things over and over as he waited for his allotted time to end. 

And speaking of waiting for things to end, I'm already scrambling for things to say about "The Crazy Place" because the episode didn't leave us with much to talk about. Let's quickly go over what happened: Sonya continued to push for taking the Eva Guerra case because Linder saw American plates on the car that Eva was last seen getting into, and she teamed up with Marco to look into it. Marco, using the convenient information he got from Celia, snuck Sonya into the Chihuahua police department to review some security footage, and they found a clip of a cop taking a groggy Eva out. Then Marco beat up that cop to get information about where Eva was, and he and Sonya found her at a monastery. Eva was in bad shape, so they took her to Hank's ranch, and Linder was reunited with her there (that was sweet). Elsewhere, Daniel and Adriana stumbled upon a huge pile of cartel cash, and Charlotte finalized her deal with Galvan and learned that she was being watched, probably by the ATF. 

None of those events were particularly exciting because we didn't really have any expectations going into the finale. So much of what pushed The Bridge forward ended in Episode 11. Episode 12 stalled, grinding all momentum to a halt and setting up very little. These final two episodes weren't the thrilling end of a season, they felt like a slow start to Season 2. Except now we have to wait until next summer to see the next step in these barely developed plots. 

But eventually we will see them, so what are we working with? I'll assume The Bridge is steering toward a big takedown of the Chihuahua state police, with Sonya and Marco taking the lead. Charlotte's tunnel will finally coalesce into something really good, and the tide will turn as Galvan's millions—the money that Daniel and Adriana found—are confiscated by the police and he's forced to give Charlotte more power in order to increase his production and make up for his lost income. Ray will screw something up, and Cesar will ascend to Charlotte's number two. David Tate's in custody, and I know Marco wants to kill him, but as far as I'm concerned, that story is over. I don't care what happens to Tate now. As for Linder, I don't know, but it will probably involve lots of mumbling and maybe some slobber. Also, I just thought of all that off the top of my head, so please don't hold me to any of it.

Look, it's not really my place to tell showrunners how to pace their seasons, as I've created exactly zero television shows that have made it to air, but I'm baffled as to why The Bridge took the route it did. It can't be the right route, because not only was "The Crazy Place" a boring final hour, it left us with almost nothing to talk about. I'm a big fan of pushing things in new directions and trying daring stuff, but in this case, it just didn't work. If The Bridge had put more effort into character development early on, seeing Marco and Sonya deal with the fallout of the David Tate case might've been an appropriate and interesting capper. But it didn't, and the show's strengths—the dynamics of its setting and its weirdness—were largely ignored in the final two hours, putting a damper on what was already a problematic first season. 



THE BORDER BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE NOTES

– "Forget the money, who is Millie Quintana?" Is now really the time to start asking more questions like that?

– Now it looks like one of Adriana's sisters has gone missing. So we have that to look forward to in Season 2, I guess. Seeing mom wait by the bus stop was heartbreaking, though.

– The cop who took Eva got shot by some mysterious gunman at a traffic light. Was it another cop who pulled the trigger, and did he find out that the first cop never killed Eva like he was supposed to? Is the killing of a character we don't really know well by a character we don't know at all supposed to tide us over until Season 2? Weird choices all over the place!

The Bridge will probably offer a much different experience when future viewers stream the first two seasons on Netflix. But in 13-episode chunks it's not ideal.

– I don't think I'm mad about the way this season ended, but the more I think about it, the more I might be. 

– Are you excited for Season 2? 


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I am sure it did not last due to the realistic connection between the drug wars and the US connection...Americans would rather be sheet and not be leave the government is involved in such dirty dealings. VERY good show
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I loved this show, but why do the powers that be feel that they have to drag it out two seasons? What's wrong with a mini series?
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The first season feels like one huge set-up for the upcoming event and I like it. There are quite a few puzzles thrown into the place and I am looking forward to seeing them merge together at some point in the next season.

Only thing that I didn't like in the first season was actually the main serial killer, David Tate. He seems to be the only puzzle that does not go with the potential big picture. David Tate was not the larger-than-life tale I signed up for.
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I liked it very much. Can't wait to spend more time with those interesting characters !
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I'm still hooked. It was pretty unusual for the show to have it's last two episodes of the first season be somewhat of a slow setup for season two, but i think most don't get that this show isn't about David Tate. It's about all the people involved and all the shit that happens to them. Fair to say it was kind of misguided how the first couple of episodes played out and promised something different, but i still think The Bridge pulled everything off in a way they did with great writing. And I loved it all.
You say the finale offered nothing? Couldn't disagree more. Every character has something going on that will make for great storylines further down the line. This is far from over.
Forget about David Tate's case in season one, forget cliffhangers (Kerkesh below me is on the money there), and just get into the cast and their troubles. It's fascinating.
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This finale proved once and for all for those of us who still doubted, that we are addicted to hard cliffhangers. We bitch sometimes that it this one is disappointing, or that one missed the mark, or did not correspond to what we believe that the series should project. But we do want a cliffhanger that looks like a cliffhanger, we demand it. We want the violent, dramatic, tragic cliffhanger; but do we really need it every single time?
I disagree with those many of you who believe that the ending was weak and lacking pizzazz was therefore wanting. By under acting, remaining undertone, Marcos has taken the very same path that Tate took these many years ago. Sonya, in spite of her relational disease, was herself able to percieve that Marco wanted to kill Tate himself. But this is different from Marcos saying it to Galvan in his house, drinking his wine. This is criminal conspiracy right there.
From the third scene where we see Marco entering the home of Galvan and asking his chief to investigate the murder on the Bridge, we saw him as the exception, the clean cop, quietly proud not to be on the take. We quickly understood that he had a special relationship with Galvan, as childhood friends,as both fathers were trusted partners in the creation of this cartel. It is not easy to say it but the cartel is part family business to Marco. Yet, while Galvan chose to pursue a career in it, Marco took the other path and entered the police academy and became a police officer. We can imagine this did not go well with his father. In spite of the fact that in that Mexico, police and cartel were intertwined into the same ventures; even in that toxic environment for justice, Marco still was honest and was allowed to remain so. This goes to say how essential and fundamental it is for Marco to be the good cop, the honest cop. This is why the soft cliffhanger of the transformation of Marco into what he despises the most is very significant and very strong.
Season two has two very etrong plots to lead it.The first is one mentioned above, whether Marco will go through his plan to murder Tate and what will this mean to hos relationship with Galvan and Sonya. The second is the intrinsic criminal corruption and involvement of the Mexican police and maybe cartel to the human trafficking between the TexMex border. I think there will be action enough to rekindle the interest of the fans.
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Well the promos will make the difference. I better see something very intriguing coming next season or else I won't be back. It's not a bad show but not a great show either. I'm really not spending my time on shows that don't rate must see for me anymore. This finale with reporter chicks sister missing and Marco wanting to commit murder are firmly meh for me.
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The series has been getting weaker and weaker since its logical ending point a couple of episodes ago. This season should have ended with some kind of finality. Instead, they used two episodes just as set up for next season. The plot line is straining the limits of credibility. I might give next year's first episode a try on the strength of the earlier episodes, which were great, but I think this one is taking a major nosedive.
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I agree with those defending this finale. Sure, this is no typical season finale, but it still does its job as a season finale : first, it gave us a better idea of the link that may exist between all the secondary stories and the main one ; second, it was full of echoes of the premiere, for example the story of the ambulance crossing the border, which shows how much Sonya has changed since she first met Marco. It bugged her to allow something illegal, but she went on with the plan because it was the best she could do to help Eva... And third, it opened narrative perspectives for season 2. The cliffhanger is not spectacular, but it still exists and I want to watch next season, not because one of the main character is minutes away from dying, but because all the characters, not only the leading ones, are in a suspended situation : will Marco kill Tate, or is he feigning it to get closer to the man behind the vanished girls of Juarez ? Will Sonya find a way to stop whatever is happening with thoses girls and across the border ? Will her stubborn sense of justice put her in danger ? Will Adriana's sister be found ? Will Charlotte work with the ATF ? Etc...
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The pacing is definitely weird, but it didn't bother me too much; I actually found myself enjoying the last two episodes of wrap up, oddly enough.

That said, they probably should have had the Tate stuff wrap up on the second to last episode instead of third to last episode. The penultimate episode having the climax followed by a final episode of denouement seems to work pretty well for the premium channels.
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I actually liked the season finale. Yeah it was odd pacing to have all the fireworks of the David Tate story erupt from eps. 8-11 and then leave the last two as stage setting for S2 but there is plenty on the bone to carve from to run another season. I actually think they are moving it in the direction it was originally billed as and the whole David Tate storyline was in fact a distraction.
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The premise for this series is actually a very interesting one with many possibilities. The writing for the most part is poor, jumping around from one thing to another in the beginning mostly to set up the hackneyed Tate plot that almost totally derailed the show.
The direction the writers seem to be going now is police corruption in Mexico.
Gee i don't think I've ever seen that before!
Kudoos to DiAnne Kruger for completely changing my mind about her acting as she has actually become the most interesting aspect of the show.
they need to hire imaginative writers who know something about character development and are willing to actually explore the real situation happening at the border.
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Some others and me have commented 3 weeks ago episode 11 was the finale. So to the few of us, we have already seen the finale. To us episode 12 and 13 is opening of season 2. This last 2 episode was actually the 1st 2 episode of season 2, it is a built up to a second season with a new case. Granted now we have to wait 9 months for the 3rd episode but I am interested to see how it goes.

I agree the show is NOT as good as The Americans or Justified but still good enough for me to come back for season 2.
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Well said!
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Yeah I agree it was a boring episode I mean not even Cesar's appearance made it better, and that's a lot to say cause I love the man.
It didn't feel like a season finale it felt like one of those episodes along the middle of a show that just gives you facts, not really entertaining ones but facts that will get the spotligth along the series.
I will watch the second season whrn it airs but I won't be particularly excited and that's a shame cause this series used to be good.
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I am not sure what this show wants to be, but it is failing if is trying to be edgy and have some artistic value. Basically, it relies on chaotic scene changes to "make it exciting" or show dramatic moments. I think its creators are trying too hard.

I know I should be more interested in the social commentary that comes with the missing girls, but I find myself more interested in what is going to happen with the tunnel. I think maybe the missing girls part of the show just makes me too sad to be able to endure a story line about it. On the other hand, the tunnel story line angers me, as it is a reminder of who is buying the drugs from Mexico and causing so much misery--rich Americans who just want to get high.

Basically, I am finding this a grim, sad show with the only redeeming human connection being between Hank and Sonya. Marco will not win me over after all the misery his infidelities have caused.

Not sure if I will watch this next year.
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I'm going to watch season 2 - i like the show - but this last episode could probably have been better as the opener for season 2
MVP of the night = Cesar
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I can understand why episodes 12 and 13 are disappointing in the context of episodes 1 to 11. For me, I prefer the direction the show has taken in the final two episodes. I think there is great potential in the upcoming season and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Finding Eva in the sanctuary and watching Adriana's mom at the bus stop are the type of scenes I want to see. Also, with almost childlike naivete, Sonya thinks she can bring down years of political corruption just because she has set her mind to it.

I hope that Marco reconsiders his alliance with Galvan, but it will make for an interesting story arc if he follows through.

Bring on Season 2!
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Well that is a thousand miles from where we thought it was going in the beginning.

It was a good episode. But like it has been said, it just didn't feel like a finale.

What we are left with is going to be an interesting second season. And I can't wait to see what they come up with. I think Charlotte is going to be a stronger character, I think Fausto and her are going to get along well. I don't think Ray is long for their world. As soon as Fausto meets him, or he screws up a delivery, he is going to go bye bye.

I think Marco is going to cross that line that he had never crossed before and I think that is going to effect the potential outcome of the girls case. Because Fausto is goin to use his knowledge against Marco.

Sonya, I am just not sure what is going to happen to Sonya.

Overall good series. Not as great as The Americans due to its slight inconsistency throughout the plot arcs. But way better than the dreck that SOA has turned into. I hear Tig is still alive as well as Clay. I can't say that I am shocked.
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If we make two teams, the ones that watched the Danish version and the ones that didn't, we might get to the conclusion that those of you who watched the original cannot be fair judges of this show. The Mexican/US border univers and characters created by this show cannot possibly have nothing to do with Denmark/Sweden. The side characters are entirely a creation of this show. The original claim about unfair treatment of the brown victims (and the dissappearing girls), applies to Mexico/US only. And basically the David Tate crime, that wasn't very convincing at the end, it is what comes from the original show! So let's have this show create its own stories, fully connected between each other, and we might get something just AWESOME.
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I will definetely be watching next season. There weren't fireworks but it doesn't bother me; I look forward to a number of things that we got glimpse of these last 2 episodes:
1. How Linder will deal with the news that mexican police was behind what happened to Ava.
2. What will he do about it, will Ava accept his proposal?
3. What exactly is the relationship between Marco and Fausto?, in ep 2 or 3 we heard an argument where Fausto says something to Marco about "the work of OUR fathers", so was Marco's dad once a drug lord? or were they just good friends?
4. What happened to Cesar in the desert??? oh and Ray too...
5. Will Adriana's sister be saved or foudn dead?
6. If so, will Daniel make it his mision to write about it and expose it?
7. Is Ted Levine coming back as a regular or guest since his character is retiring in the show?

Loved The Bridge...
Looking forward to season 2.
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It was clear since the eleventh episode that the season finale will be more like transition to season 2 than an actual ending.
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With the number of finales that you've had to watch where the show runners contrived, cheated, manipulated and short cutted their way to a big explosive ending and create a cliffhanger that nobody cares about, I'm surprised Tim that you didn't dig this more.

The Bridge is all kinds of crazy, I don't think that's really up for debate any more. The path they've taken to get from beginning to end is FAR different than just about every other show would have. It stepped outside of the box, through the window, onto the ledge and dangled just daring you to look away. From episode 1 through 12 this show has always been a little off, so why expect it to be traditional in it's finale.

So rarely do I think I get things right, but I said that these past two episodes are the equivalent of the cliche 10 minute cliched exposition that so many of us hate about season premieres. Where for reasons that make no sense within the universe they inhabit, one character will go out of his way to explain to another character, who should already be in the loop, what happened over the summer vacation. It sucked in grade school and it's even worse when adults have to do it.

Could they have made this an 11 episode season and condensed these past two into next year's premiere? Sure, but that's not how this show rolls...it's a crazy muff diving, naked meth dancing, an in your tightie whities with a hot iron beating mofo. To 'The Bridge' I say, in the imortal words of Rod Tidwell, "You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you!".
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At first, I have had my doubts about the outcome of this, but now I definitely KNOW that THE BRIDGE is basically a lesson in "How to make a series fail".

Here's how:

1. You build up a decent and rather unique atmosphere, with a lot of local color, wahed-out and dusty cinematography, mellow and cool music. Then,
2. You present a female lead that seems somehow "wooden" and misplaced - but explain it with a slight mental disorder, which makes her somehow sympathetic again. Then,
3. You add a mixture of mystery and socio-political theme with a cruel and ruthless murderer who want to shed a light on injustice.

(All of the aforementioned would account for a GOOD series!)

AND THEN:

4. You turn everything into a dull and foreseeable cat-and-mouse game with meaningless side stories and a killer whose reason for all his mayhem is ADULTERY (sigh!) and a FATAL CAR CRASH (*hits his hand on his forehead*). And THEN,
5. You end his storyline, which you have basically established during the first ten episodes in the eleventh, leading to two more empty shells of this and that, before the viewer is finally redeemed.

And that's how it goes.

I admit that this may seem a little harsh, but judging from the POTENTIAL this series (or, let's not be too cruel: this season) had in the beginning, the outcome is less than meager. - I must admit that I even came to like a few of the characters (which, strangely enough aren't really the two leads - hmmm...), but from all the mainly foreseeable mess I am not sure for how long I will follow this path to THE BRIDGE.
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The Bridge was at it's worst when they deviated from the original script. And what was not in the original script were the last two episodes and all the side stories that didn't work.

We are now stuck with corrupt cops, Marco who wants to kill David, another girl missing, Linder and Eva and Charlotte stuck between Galvan & Law enforcement and Sonya desperately wanting to clean up Juarez.

Since when is Sonya an emotional wreck making non-autistic decisions?

So conclusion after one season. It could have been great, but then they screwed it up in the writing room deviating too much from the original script and compromising quality over a lot of side stories that are not interesting at all.
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Tim, you should have watched the original series. That story ended with the confrontation on the bridge and (let's call them by their US names) Sonya visiting Marco in the hospital. His wife was sitting next to him en he seemed to be in peace with Sonya's decission to shoot him. Whatevever happened to the 'David"who was also shot is unclear in it didn't feel neccesary to know. I rewachted it last night to compare it (again) to the US version.

The original series did not have any of the sidestories that were in the US version and it didn't need them. The characters were more interesting and better developped. That's something the US version never realised. I'm not really invested in the characters (apart from Sonya and Cesar). The original series did much more with less. For some reason US series need to present itself in a spectaculair way, thus trying to take the attention away from the lack of character development and interaction. It's as if they don't take US viewers serieus. They could learn from a series like Rectify where is was executed beautifully.

I enjoyed the series enough to watch it, although I was hoping every week that it would improve. I'll probably come back for two episodes next year. But that series will completely be different from the second Danish/Swedish series so it will need to be able to sustain itself. And, from what I've seen so far, I'm not sure it will be able to.

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it is always difficult to watch a show as new when you have seen another version - don't you think it is a good thing if they star creating their own story? I do care about the characters here, and I think you would probably care more if you didn't have other characters to compare them with... don't you think that this can grow to be its own thing?
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I agree with you that it's agood thing they start creating their own stories. It probably will help appreciating the characters more. I find Marco more unlikable (and I put is nicely) then in the original series and Sonya/Kruger seems almost timid at times, particularly when compared to the Porsche-driving, leather-pants-clad force of nature the original detective Saga is.

But this is the difficulty every time a series is remade. They remake it because the origianl was (at least) very good, so chances are the remake is not as good as the original one. I'm from Europe/The Netherlands so chances also are that I've seen many of the original series that are remade for the US. To be honest, I won't stop so I can see the remake first :-).

I am very curious what Broadchurch will bring. It was a brilliant series and the original has already been broacasted by BBC America. Now David Tennant will be part of the remake. Maybe the'll make something even better. I probably will watch it to see what happens.

Sometimes the series of film is better then the original one. No tv series comes to mind at this moment, but I always use Jaws as an example. The book was pulp and the film very good. So a good cast/director can make something better of it.

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Sometimes is worse, sometimes is better and sometimes they have nothing to do with each other. I have watched Broadchurch, and I know that I won't be watching the American version, specially if David Tennant is doing it. There is no point. And once you have seen and loved an original, you cannot watch any adaptations with a free mind. They will always be worse. So that's why I'm saying, you cannot be a fair judge. It is a little different with the classic literature or comics because there's already a lot of versions and more time has past, but still we tend to compare to something and discard the new versions. But there at least there is a chance to actually appreciate the new take. With the newest tv shows, I don't see any chances.

I am in Europe too, and I have also seen a lot of adaptations of our European TV or films to the US. So I know how it is.
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Yeah, you're right.

It's like music, usually you like the first version you hear the best.
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Tim, I LOVE your reviews, but I can't agree with you on this one. Where's the law that says all TV shows must end on an explosive cliff hanger? I like that they paced it to the story, not to the air dates. We got that explosive cliffhanger episode earlier, rather than dragging out the story, followed by a denouement, followed by the start of a new storyline. I like that the pacing is unexpected. The missing girls of Juarez looks to be a big story for next season. Adriana's missing sister makes it more personal. The character exploration of Marco planning to kill Tate is also intriguing to me. I'm excited for season 2.
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I have to agree with this. I totally understand Tim's points and I am also surprised by this decision of the show (ending at a slow pace with no cliffhanger). I wasn't very happy with David Tate ending neither. But I have to say, this is one of the shows that I look forward to watch every week. They have created a very cool set of characters, and I do care about them. Now that we know that the rythm will not be the usual one, we will be ready for it in season 2. And it is kind of exciting that it's all a bit random! There is always good about each episode anyways. Even if it's just hearing Daniel and Adriana's conversations or some beautiful emotive images. I'm so glad to know that we have a season 2! I cross fingers that the will tune it up from an improvement vs this season.
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It does bother me that the show cant seem to settle on one strong theme, but I like that they're starting to zone in on the sex trafficking problem that isn't really known to so many people. I just hope they tell the powerful story it can be and don't try to overly Hollywoodise it to boost ratings.
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The only disappointment I felt with tonight was based on a concern that the show may be turning into a run of the mill goodies Vs baddies cop show.
No more dumb white boys being grabbed by their ears while their face is ground on a soggy barranca magnífica would be more tragedy than TV has shown all year.

The Crazy Place was no adrenaline soaked shoot fest but I'm cool with that as long as episodes swap tone & voice as often as they did in season 1.
Who can forget how homeland season 1 which was great & off the wall, 'celebrated' season 2 by degenerating into a B grade mummer fest for mediocre actors.
we got to watch has-beens & never-will-be's over emote with increasing hysteria each week in a dance of the desperates towards emmy land.
Must not miss became a must not see in the space of about 4 episodes.

If the Bridge regresses into some ploddingly xenophobic attack on Juarez police being shown how to enforce law by a magical white woman and her loyal if unfortunately mexican side-kick I'm gonna put a boot through the decoder thingie.
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This episode felt like it should have been the first episode of season 2 or something :/ not the best but here's hoping for a better second season :)
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hmm might have to do with the fact that they couldnt plagiarize from the original show (it concluded on the previous episode). Let's hope the dane/swedes make another season so they can copy it for season 2
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The second season started two weeks ago and has nothing in common with the issues set up in the last two episodes of the US version.
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I agree it was weak, but I really like Sonya, and Yes, even Marco. I also like Linder, of course, as well as Adriana and Daniel. They all deserve much, much better story lines and better writing. I sincerely hope the character development and plots improve next season. AND THEY HIRE NEW WRITERS.
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The finale was WEEEEEEEEAAAAAAKKKKKK! Aside from saving Eva (which was nice, but not essential to the story), there was absolutely no intrigue or action in this episode. Where was the cliffhanger that was supposed to leave me anxiously awaiting it's return next year? I know it's already been renewed for a second season, but this finale was lesson 101 on how to lose the last remaining die hard audience members comprising the dwindling fan base of a show that needed to try harder.
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I spent a good third of this episode going who is that...this scorpion thing was important..wtf is going on? Can we possibly petition that Daniel and Adrianna be the main focal characters next season?
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