TV Review: FX’s The Bridge 2×2, “Ghost of a Flea”

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At this point, if you walk into a random apartment that supposedly houses a person connected to drug cartels, but that person has been replaced by some kind of foul odor, it should probably be assumed a dead body is in there somewhere, right?  I enjoy the Daniel/Adriana combo, but these two know what they’ve gotten into and should have been a bit more prepared for what they found.  With that said, I would rather be them than the boy who was like a fly in the trap of a spider, when it came to dealing with Eleanor with the man tattoo.  “Ghost of a Flea” was an even better outing than last week’s season premiere episode of The Bridge, “Yankee,” as it moved away from trying to both open things up for new viewers and carry on with its new plans.  Having the premiere out of the way allowed the show to actually do what made the most sense: let its established characters play around in this world.

This episode picks up where “Yankee” left off, as we watch Eleanor cleanse herself (her most likely word choice for washing off the blood of someone she murdered), before two kids come across her and wonder what is going on.  This immediately sets up the downfall of two innocent youths, as one may get away, but because she knows he was there, he will surely be killed, just as Eleanor eventually killed young Kyle.  The kicker is that Eleanor’s entire plan to presumably get clothes, while acting weird around Kyle’s house, depended on her ability to lead a young teen along based on the promise of boobies.  For all the nasty stuff The Bridge offers up, it certainly knows how to use very simple motivations to advance its story, which leads me back to Daniel and Adriana.

Following up on leads, the two wander into a drag club and simply bribe a bartender to find who they are looking for.  This leads to Daniel getting smacked in the face, but it also leads to an apology and the information that leads them to the dead body I began this review with.  I am interested to see how the Quintana case leads these two amateur sleuths back around to everyone else, as The Bridge is nothing if not a very focused (and very gritty) procedural tied to one main case, but a show this bleak does manage to have at least one pairing that lightens things up a bit.  Matthew Lillard and Emily Rios have a natural chemistry that was good enough to keep me satisfied, while waiting for the inevitable to happen – the reteaming of Sonya and Marco.

Before we get to these two becoming a team again, though, we have to deal with where they are coming from.  Diane Kruger’s Sonya does not have to do much to maintain my curiosity at this point, as her deliveries tend to come from such an awkward place, but something about her staring at a skull being ravaged by bugs was practically hypnotic.  That said, listening to her argue with Hank about her handling of protocols basically makes me worry for Hank.  If there was ever a major character this show could take out in an effort to increase the dramatic stakes, it is Hank, as it is the kind of thing that comes with playing the Obi-wan role – inevitable mentor death.  Still, while Hank deals with Sonya, worrying about her choices in men, namely the brother of the guy who killed her sister, Sonya is going to stick with her current case and has the means to do so, given knowledge of the target she is after.

Marco is coming into this thing from a different angle that is kind of perfect, as far as a show like this and a character like him goes.  After dealing with being something of a black sheep in his own precinct (because he’s basically the only good cop there) by way of beating the hell out of one of the other cops snickering behind his back, he is dealt with.  Marco has of course talked to the investigator Abelardo Pintado (Manuel Uriza) about the corruption all around him and the little he can do about it, but that does not mean he can stay away from random calls to duty by officers late in the night.  Marco is pushed into a new opportunity arranged for him by his own captain and Fausto (Ramon Franco), the major cartel leader who is the thorn in the side of the DEA agents pushing around Sonya.  It is great how all of this connects, isn’t it?

So yes, Marco and Sonya are brought back together to work on this case that leads to Eleanor.  Marco may be in it for reasons extending beyond stopping a villain, but this is The Bridge adding some very welcome flavor to a case that could have just been another ‘chase the killer’ plotline.  The added fact that they all know who they are after makes me wonder how far this season can make the investigation last, before heading in a new direction.  The Bridge is doing a lot right in this second episode of the season, as it has me anxious for more.  It may be dark and focused on some depressing characters, but it is accomplishing a lot and saving space for the weird new force that is Eleanor.


Extra Info From Daniel Frye’s Notepad:



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