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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. 


– "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? 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/1/2014

Season 2 : Episode 13

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