“I See Your Horse Head and Raise You…”- The Bridge Season 1 Episode 3 Review- ‘Rio’
Spoilers! Lots of spoilers! Big, pointy spoilers with party hats and flare guns!
FX’s The Bridge is a tough show to write about week to week. The narrative is such a slow burn that a plot thread hardly seems to get going before the episode ends and we’re looking at tampon ads again.
Take, for instance, the character of Manny Stokes, introduced at the beginning of the episode and shipped off with Mustache Cop before the opening credits. He seems to be set up for something larger. Why introduce him at all? You’d think we’d see him at least once again before the episode ended, but he’s just gone. Poof. Shipped off like someone they were trying to get rid of, but had only just introduced. Makes it hard to write about Manny Stokes when his only trait so far is wearing cowboy hats backwards and pointing out that they should call the hospitals.
Actually, thank God for Manny Stokes. Why does it take Manny Stokes to suggest calling hospitals for the professional law enforcement officers to call the hospitals? Is he some sort of supercop in this world of corrupt authorities and authorities with developmental disorders?
I’m going to do what I can, like I do every week, and see if I can take this show piece by piece.
Like Marco last week, Sonya wasn’t up to much this week. I think this episode was much more about developing and expanding upon the colorful cast of side characters, and Sonya didn’t get much to do. This was also an incredibly short episode by most standards (clocking in at only 40 minutes flat), so there wasn’t much room for her to play. But I’m sure we’ll get plenty of her crazy later on.
Charlotte, Suddenly Becoming Relevant
I’ve been complaining for weeks about how Charlotte’s plot, while interesting, has little or nothing to do with the main murder plot. It’s fine, but feels disjointed when literally everything else about the show is directly tied to Mexican border crime. I wanted it to become entwined with the main story. But not like this. Not like this.
I prophesied last week that if Marco and Sonya started sleeping together, the show would be significantly worse. And while I’m glad it doesn’t seem like that is ever going to happen, no matter how jealous Marco’s wife gets, I have no idea what to say about Charlotte and Marco hooking up. Jesus, the moment Charlotte becomes a solidified part of the show, she causes adultery. Where did this even come from? I get that she’s grieving and that bad stuff is happening around her. She’s in a weird headspace. That makes sense. But holy cow. That was a huge jump, and there was positively no build-up to it. I’ll say that Charlotte and Marco had a bit more chemistry than Sonya and Marco seem to, but I didn’t get from their first conversation that they were going to sleep together later that day. That seems insane to me.
There’s also the whole Marco’s marriage deal. It’s been established that things are rocky, largely due to Marco not really being around very much, but I had no idea it was adultery bad. I thought the whole point of his wife’s jealousy of Sonya was so that she could be proven wrong by his devotion. But she was still at least partially wrong.
I don’t really know where this is going as it was a huge thing right at the tail end, but I do know two things: I’m really glad the threatening cowboy from last week wasn’t around again, and things have REALLY escalated since the Corleones sent people messages via horse.
Matthew Lillard, Sticking Around
This is the part of the show I truly enjoy the most. I find the performances to be great, and it seems to be the storyline that the writers are taking in the most interesting directions. Every episode, Lillard and Emily Rios are in a new situation with new circumstances and are actively pursuing a goal. It’s great to watch.
I’m going to be really sad when Lillard leaves the show. I’d love for him to stick around forever, but he’s still only labeled as a “Guest Star,” which makes me worried he’s soon going to end up poisoned next to Steven or something.
Although, Lillard, at least go in the bathroom when you do coke out of your pen. There are cops literally everywhere. You are at a place built so that cops can stop stuff like that. Get your act together, mate.
Steven, A Man Who Doesn’t Need a Voice Modulator to Mask His Voice on the Phone
The Bridge is doing far more with Steven than I originally thought they might. He now has a backstory, which makes him important, and he has prolonged scenes that advance said backstory, meaning he’s a real character. I thought we’d see him wiped away after an episode or two, but Steven and his weird voice seem to be digging in his heels for a long stretch. His photo drop was a little convenient, which almost makes me feel like he did it on purpose. We certainly know the writers did it on purpose. Forced exposition, for the win!
Also, Steven’s not a ghost right? We’re very much supposed to understand that he’s the man on the other end of Matthew Lillard’s phone, and then he vanished into the ether. Maybe it was supposed to be symbolic, or maybe it was just water vapor, but I am about 90% sure that Steven is not a ghost.
Verdict: B- — Wish the plot would pick up a tick, and some of the developments tonight were just strange.
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current writer of a list of more-appropriate women for Marco to sleep with. Be sure to follow or subscribe for every update, and be sure to comment below with your thoughts.
Keep checking back for movies and TV reviews like this one (and for every episode of The Bridge), as well as a swath of Good Stuff, and some Mexican Standoffs.
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God, this place looks hot…