“The Bridge” just aired what may be its final episode. (I reviewed the finale here.) A few weeks ago, I spoke with producer Elwood Reid at length about this much-improved second season, which didn”t leave a ton left to ask after the finale. But I emailed him a few questions, and I have his answers coming up just as soon as I bring my rubber band ball…
You told me that you originally wanted a more open ending to the season, but FX talked you out of it, given the ratings and the possibility this could be your last episode. Under other circumstances, how would the season have ended?
Elwood Reid: I had two original endings to the show. One was Marco gets Fausto, and then the Americans take him away; the other was Marco and Sonya get Fausto only to have the CIA agent Alex Buckley kill Fausto. FX rightly pointed out that our folks needed some wins – not just with Fausto but with Eleanor. The tricky part was how to do both and have Marco and Sonya present for the win. I think we managed to split the difference. They get both Fausto and Eleanor, but there is a sense of unease that their stories aren”t over. Hopefully, I get a third season to play them out.
Even though many of the bad guys get caught or at least publicly identified as such, you still leave a lot up in the air, like how (or if) Mexico will prosecute Fausto, what happens to Sonya for killing a man in Mexico, whether Frye and Adriana will be able to expose the larger CIA involvement in this operation, etc. If a third season should be in the offering, how much of that do you intend to follow, and how much might just be a new direction?
Elwood Reid: That”s exactly right. Part of what fascinates me about the border is nothing is ever truly fixed or solved. Both the Eleanor and Fausto storylines would be part of a season three because I think they still have roles to play on the border. What's important about Fausto and Eleanor is that they are merely products of this unique place and it would be folly to think that others won”t rise to fill their niche.
Given where the story has been going the past few weeks, I worried we might not get much, if any, of Marco and Sonya together in the finale, but she gives him a lift out of the desert, and he turns up to help her at the end. Was it important to have them together for that last scene?
Elwood Reid: It as important and again I think that was also a concern for FX. They very rightly pointed out that the audience wants Sonya and Marco together. I struggled with it being too neat and pat at first but then found a way to get them together without exactly putting a neat bow on it.
You once described the Eva/Linder story to me as being like Bonnie & Clyde, but they actually get the closest thing to a happy ending of anyone in the ensemble. Was there ever a point where you thought things were going to end badly for one or both of them, as opposed to Hank finding a wounded Linder in the truck?
Elwood Reid: Linder was dead a few times. What kept pulling us back was this strange connection he had with Eva. Yes, they do horrible things in the name of revenge, but there was this loony sweetness to their mission that was really seductive to me. Plus we shaved Thomas Wright, who plays Linder, and that is one handsome bastard.
You mentioned in the comments to last week's review that you had to cut a scene where Ray has become a male stripper in the wake of Charlotte's murder. Were there any other notable scenes or conclusions to character arcs that had to go so you could focus on the main storylines? Is there a lot of Lyle Lovett on the cutting room floor?
Elwood Reid: Yes, we had that scene. We all really wanted it but it didn”t seem to fit with the tone of the ending we had designed. Plus the actor was on another show in Canada. If we get a third season it my fervent hope that we will see Ray in a thong and puka shells bumping in to “Fancy” in some seedy strip club. Ray is a survivor and I think he brought some much needed relief to the show. As for Lyle, we had a bunch of crazy ideas for him. Monte golfing. Monte and Hank at a horse show. We have tons of Lyle stories and are lucky to get him when his busy schedule allows. If we have a third season, I imagine old Monte would be right there in the action, tucking his jeans into his boots and wading through the next bloodbath.
Have you heard anything more from FX since last we spoke? When are you expecting a decision, and do you have a belief about which way it's going to go?
Elwood Reid: Just that they are watching the numbers for both live tune in and DVR viewing and will wait until all the information is in about the show ratings wise. Creatively they are very happy with the show. But as we all know it is a numbers game. I really want a season three and hope I have a chance to keep telling those stories, because I can tell you I have just scratched the surface of this world and these characters.
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at email@example.com