Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Bridge!

Over the past few years among the shows on my must-see short-list has been FX's The Bridge. The first season was enthralling, a mysterious and atmospheric search for a serial killer brought together American detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and Mexican detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) and the two are dynamic. Cross, a singularly dedicated officer plagued by demons about her sister's murder and her own Assbeger syndrome is a fascinating and unpredictable character. Ruiz, an experienced and capable officer is a man of many passions and seeming contradicitons, love for his family but with a roaming eye. One understands only the truth and the other understands all too well the nature of lies.

Cross and Ruiz are wonderful on screen, visually different and at this point pleasantly not romantically connected. That would be a mistake as it fundamentally alters their effect on one another.

Sonya is also very much influenced by Lieutenant Hank Wade, a man who is all but a father to her. Ted Levine is one of my favorite actors and it was his presence in this role that first made me give this show a chance. Wade has some secrets of his own, as have been revealed in the second season. More on that later.

Running parallel to the story of the two detectives is the sub-plot of two reporters. Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard) and Adriana Mendez ( Emily Rios) are two friends of sorts who seek the truth at significant cost to their personal lives. "The Story" seems to be the most important thing to both these characters as it is of course to the audience as well.

The villains in this show are everything though. After the first season the serial killer was disposed of and I wondered how the show would continue. They started with a real bang this year introducing Elaneor Nacht (Franke Potente) a lapsed Mennonite murderess and large dark secrets as well as startling tatoos. She's a full-blown nutcase, but weirdly fascinating.

Always entertaining is Monte Flagman played by Lyle Lovett, who adds some homespun whimsy to a show which can be exceedingly dark. He's not a good man, but he seems to have some limits, though this last season showed him a bit darker indeed.

And it's this current season which almost got me off the show. It started with a blood-saturated bang, but some episodes have been pretty undeveloped and while important I realize lacked the punch of last season. I was just considering getting out of the show after this year when the most recent episodes the show has picked up the tension missing from the middle and I'm back in the saddle.

The show is very unconventional, and when it degrades into a mere cop show it loses its way. It's more about weirdness and the depraved nature of men and women and how that percolates through the culture at all times despite the lies which are perpetrated to keep the lid on. This is ain't cops and robbers, this is about evil and the how that evil is in the very heart of every man and woman alive.

Sonya and Marco look in as much as they look out. Sonya relentlessly seeking the truth and Marco trying to make sense of the lies. Both fight desperately to save innocent lives.

If you ain't watching The Bridge, you might consider starting. It's a hoot.

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