Random Thoughts on FX’s The Bridge – Episode 5: The Beast

[SPOILER WARNING This is not a full recap but events are described so please see the episode before reading.]

The Bridge, the new summer series on FX aired Episode 5 called The Beast last night. As much as I have liked this series for its mysteries and puzzles, and the admirable leads – Detective Sonya Cross played by Diane Kruger and Detective Marco Ruiz played by Demian Bichir, my view is that this episode was all over the place. Not so much that you’d say incoherent – but at minimum – heading in that direction.

For example – there’s a young girl at the police station in El Paso, the one where Ruiz and Cross work. We know nothing about her. She was detained for something and her Mom never came to pick her up. Her Dad and her mom are divorced and the Dad’s new g/f isn’t much into kids. Next morning, the Dad offers to drive the young girl home but she declines.

Next thing we know, she crosses into Mexico. Wanders around. Gets picked up by a Mexican man who offers her some beer. We come to learn that this guy is going to hand her off to the cartel for kidnapping/ransom purposes. At the last-minute, the girl is aided and is able to escape. She will return home to Texas. Later we will find out that her Dad has been brutally murdered. She is hiding in a closet when Cross and Ruiz arrive, and she tells them that she saw the murder.

Who is the now dead Dad? And who killed him, and why?

The Mexican Cartel boss, Galvan, interrogated some guy, who finally gives up the name of Linder, the one who kidnapped the Mexican girl in the very first episode. The Mexican killer who already had been pursuing Linder, both in El Paso as well as Juarez, shows up (again) to kill Lindner. But Linder fights him off, and kills the attacker. Not pretty at all as the killing instrument is a hot iron. Linder was pressing his shirts when the guy arrived. Bludgeoning and burning are not a nice way to go.

Linder struggles with the body and eventually he gets it to a barren and lonely place. In the hot sun – he digs a grave. Only, and this is almost amazing because it is in the middle of nowhere AND the next day, Galvan shows up, and points to the corpse rolled up in a carpet – That’s mine. As we leave, Linder is in the grave. Alive but in the grave. We will have to wait until next week to see what Galvan does with him.

Cross has Aspergers’s and on this episode she a) hands over Marco’s Ruiz wallet to him while they are sitting down for dinner at Ruiz’s home. Ruiz’s wife and kids are there. You left this at Charlotte Millwright’s. Oh no. 2) When Ruiz’s wife asks Sonya why she isn’t eating the food, Cross says, it doesn’t taste very good. 3) She offer’s Ruiz a place to stay since his wife has tossed him after he admitted that he slept with Millwright. Only Cross does this very publicly in the office.

We get that she hasn’t a sense of time and place, we get that she cannot self-censor her thoughts, and we get that she lives along rigid guidelines and cannot adjust easily. But this week it was too much.

We also learn that the FBI has some secrets.

We learn that Marco Ruiz will bend or break any rule in the pursuit of the truth. He steals Frye’s phone. This is not the first time he’s done something contra to the police rules, and each time he does something like this, we see that Cross knows, and is bothered by this.

We also learn that Millwright’s previous lover from Tampa has arrived at her hacienda. And he’s eager.

I gather this week was a slow down (ep 5) and things are going to accelerate rapidly going forward. We still have no clue as to the identity of the killer. The girl saved last in last week’s episode (Maria of the Desert) wants to talk but she wants a visa for the US. Hank Wade, Cross’s boss makes that happen. Maria then discloses that the car that picked her up was a police highway cruiser. So we immediately think of that fat State Trooper who killed the coyote.

But that seems too easy of a connection to make, and the rigging of the electronic surveillance video camera of Maria as she was being roasted in the desert sun, seems a bit too technical for that Smokey. But I could be wrong.

So what does the FBI know and won’t tell. Who is the killer? When will Cross sleep with Ruiz, and finally – why did Ruiz tell Millwright to just live her life and pay no attention to the comings and goings of the tunnel that begins in Juarez and ends on her property.

Any ideas?

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