Ah, The Bridge, I think I’m out and then you pull me back in.
“Lamia,” in a way, is the episode I’ve been waiting for all season. It moved quickly, there were meaningful action setpieces, characters were developed. But most importantly it actively worked to tie the entire story together. Everything isn’t in a neat little package, as some of the storylines of the first season seemed to jam themselves into. But the episode’s arcs started to gel for me in a way that they hadn’t before. As I’ve said before, Daniel and Adriana have become the lynchpins of this season, similar to the way Marco and Sonya, who are currently adrift with their own issues, were last season. Like Marco and Sonya, they are opposites initially forced to work together in a partnership that has proven more fruitful than either of them hoped.
From the beginning to the end of this episode, I loved everything that Daniel and Adriana did, from the coke binge that got the access to the Secretary of State’s records (ruining AA sponsor Brian Baumgartner’s five years of sobriety in the process) to Adriana’s harrowing discovery of Lucy’s maimed (possibly murdered?) body. Lucy’s stabbing gives Adriana’s and Daniel’s story stakes. There are tangible dangerous consequences to their actions rather than the nebulous goal of journalistic glory. These two are what keeps the story moving, and these two are what made the episode. I’ve lamented this season the lack of interaction between Sonya and Marco, who went from near-inseparable to passing ships. They have good reason to be apart, but their partnership was at the heart of The Bridge, and their separation is partly why the storylines have failed to coalesce this year. Daniel and Adriana have gamely taken up that mantle of plot stability. But rather than emotion versus logic, as Marco and Sonya’s partnership acted as, Daniel and Adriana illustrate the constant push and pull between chaos and order. They need each other to succeed, and possibly to survive, after Eleanor becomes aware of their identities, not to mention Cerisola’s interest in Adriana after “Harvest Of Souls.” Their interrogation of Ray (“You know when the dude with the puka shells runs away from you, you are onto something”) about the money laundering condos set in motion what could be the eventual demise of Fausto Galvan, but prompting Charlotte Millwright to ask for a deal with Agent McKenzie.
The real consequence of the poor Lucy’s stabbing perhaps is not whether she will live or die, but how Cerisola will react to Fausto’s hit—whether it came from his own direct command or Eleanor’s. An attack on an American journalist is an act of aggression akin in profile to killing Pintado, especially considering their previous conversation about the fist versus quiet power. It’s actions like this that are paramount in reminding the audience that Fausto Galvan is not just the baseball-capped guy with the silly one-liners. He’s truly dangerous, a fact that sometimes gets lost in the characterization of the big cheese who just wants to escape to Norway. In “Eye Of The Deep,” we got that reminder in the form of a severed head in a jar. In “Lamia,” it comes not only from Lucy’s attack but from Eleanor’s backstory about the man in the cage from “The Acorn” (giving off shades of Reek from Game of Thrones). A monster begat a monster, who retaliated and created a pet. Eleanor’s molestation made her of a piece with Fausto Galvan. Neither have their humanity intact. Marco still has his, which explains why he would never finish the job of David Tate (who is finally gone). Marco didn’t refrain from killing Tate so that he would live and suffer, as he said he would, but because Marco was not the monster that those that surround him are.
While I enjoyed this episode immensely, I’m still not a fan of Sonya’s expanded backstory. The promise of the end of the first season was meant to shed light on these nameless missing girls of Juarez as an excuse to further explore border relations. Sonya’s thread has lost sight of that in favor of another salacious would-be serial killer. I understand that expanding on her relationship with Jim Dobbs (and, by extension, Jack) is meant to develop Sonya, and character development is rarely a bad thing, but it’s hard to empathize with her when empathy was purposefully never an aspect of her character. Everything other story is coming together, but Sonya remains apart. Hopefully, her isolation from both Jack and Hank will allow her delve back into the game with Marco, so they can partner up a la
- Just want to talk about how much I loved that opening scene. Because I loved it. So much.
- I loved the odd character pairing in this episode that we never really got to see before, such as the aforementioned Ray-Daniel/Adriana meeting, but Cesar and Eleanor’s discussion of romance novels was perhaps my favorite point (“I get swept up in the story.”) These are the weird slices of life that I love about The Bridge, less so the weird-for-weird’s-sake darker turns.