Review: ‘The Bridge’ – ‘Vendetta’

A quick review of tonight’s “The Bridge” coming up just as soon as I cheer for pants…

I’m pleased we’ve gotten to the Butcher’s identity in only the season’s eighth episode, because I don’t think this mystery has been the show’s strong suit, and the revelation of whom the killer is and what’s motivating him only underscores that. I haven’t seen “Bron,” but I’m told by viewers who have that this more or less follows the killer’s story from that show. Perhaps in the original, the killer having revenge in mind against one of the two lead cops, and spending six years on a macabre, Rube Goldberg-ian plan of revenge, played better; here, it feels like the most insane contrivance yet in a season full of too many coincidences and too much strange behavior. That Tate, or Hasting, or whatever we want to call him, has spent so much time getting so close to Marco’s wife, and his life, makes me even less interested in seeing this play out than I was before. (And what are the odds that Marco never happened to come by Alma’s office and got a look at some of her co-workers?) Despite the occasional undercurrents of weirdness, “The Bridge” feels pitched at a level of reality that can’t sustain something like this, which feels like it belongs on a different, much crazier show.

I think the three main cops are terrific characters (and Cooper’s interesting, even when he’s being cruel to Sonya). I love watching Frye and Adriana, whether together or separately. Graciela, Fausto Galvan and Linder are all strange, memorable pieces of the puzzle whom I enjoy in most contexts. Before we discovered that Alma was sleeping with the killer, the Ruiz family drama was among the better examples of its type, when often family strife in a workplace series like this feels clumsily inserted. (Gus breaking Sonya out of her funk with his profession of romantic interest was a really nice scene.) There is a lot here that works. I’ll just be very glad to see the back of this opening arc, and to see this creative team forge ahead taking advantage of this specific setting and the way their writing and these actors have shaped the characters. Or, if crazy is where they want to go, then I’d like to see them just push whole-hog into that arena, rather than awkwardly straddling the space in between two types of shows.

What did everybody else think? I know a number of you have been pointing a finger at Hasting for weeks; are you satisfied with the reveal, and with his motivations?