After weeks of ominous and vague promos, we've finally gotten to see the premiere of FX Network's new series, The Bridge. The hour and a half long episode was packed with dead bodies, the shadow of Mexico's drug cartels, interesting characters, and lots of questions with few answers. Basically, it was awesome television. And it seems like someone you could easily get lost with if you miss an episode, so be sure to get in on it now.
The story opened under the cover of darkness and a security camera blackout when the body of an outspoken, anti-immigration judge was dumped on the bridge spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. Police from both sides of the border respond to the scene. Diane Kruger plays the American cop, and her character demands that it be her case since the victim is American and the head landed on the U.S. side of the border. The laid-back attitude of Demián Bichir's Mexican cop character immediately pushes her buttons and, since this is television, you just know they are going to have to work together at some point. Such teamwork becomes necessary when the judge's body turns out to only be the judge from the waist up; the lower half is that of a girl missing from Juarez, Mexico.
The twists and turns keep coming throughout the episode. In a side plot, we follow a guy, who may or may not have been the one to drop off the judge's body, as he smuggles a beautiful woman across the border from Mexico. He takes her to his rundown trailer where he might have killed her. It's a little unclear. But if a creepy guy in an alley tells you he's "the one," don't get in the trunk of his car. It can't end well.
We also met a journalist, who seems like a jaded douchebag, who didn't know his car had been used the prior night to dump the body on the bridge. He ends up locked in his own car with a bomb and has apparently pissed enough people off that he can't narrow down a list of people who would want to kill him. He probably pissed them off with his articles, but it could just be by being a jerk. He seems the type. And if he's worked for big name newspapers like he says, what is he doing at a little-read paper in El Paso? Interesting. Regardless, instead of exploding, he gets a message when the timer runs out from a mysterious voice upset that the few deaths of white women in El Paso get such attention and the many deaths of Mexican women in Juarez are overlooked. The message promises more violence to come so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
While the crimes depicted and mentioned in the episode are intriguing, the fascinating characters are why I will definitely be tuning in again next week. Diane Kruger's character is clearly going to be the driving force of the show. Her portrayal of a detective doing her job while dealing with Asperger’s is compelling. It's obvious that something is a little off-kilter with her social interactions, especially when she notifies the judge's husband, but I really hope the give a name to her condition in more than just the show's description so some viewers don't think she's just a bitch. Demián Bichir's character seems like an honest cop trying to make a dent in the corruption on his side of the border even when he knows it's a losing battle. This is especially apparent when he discusses how some cases are made to be swept under the rug and when he explains to his son how the drug cartels draw young people into their clutches. The talk about his vasectomy felt a little out of place but, with the heavy drama of the episode, the light moments were appreciated.
And let's not forget the couple who had to be let through the bridge crime scene so the husband could get medical help for a heart attack. They kept popping up during the episode. Where do they fit in? All we know is that the husband's last words to his wife before he died was that he wanted a divorce, he had a mystery cell phone on him that a strange woman called, and he had the key to a super creepy tunnel in his wallet. Does it lead under the border? Is it a storage area full of hookers or dead bodies? Was he keeping a secret family somewhere? I don't know. Maybe it's all three; or maybe it's something I haven't even thought of, but I want to know. Here's hoping next week gives us new questions and some answers to old ones.
Here's a preview for next week:
Other law enforcement agencies get in on the case.
A woman is staked out in an unknown location in the desert and footage of her is broadcast live on the internet.