Wednesday, October 1, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Bridge' - Marco Faces Off with Fausto, Hank Finds the Drugs & Sonya Confronts Eleanor in 'Jubilex'

FX's The Bridge - Episode 2.13 "Jubilex"

Marco's loyalty is put to the ultimate test while Sonya attempts to tie up loose ends. Eleanor yearns for closure. Frye and Adriana land an insider source.

The Bridge really stepped up its game in season two. Sure, there were a few moments at the start of the season that were slow-going or confusing. And yet, the show has always had a strong grasp on the mood and atmosphere of the communities on both sides of the border. Then around the season's midpoint, the arc of the season truly started paying off and it was wonderful to see. Every single piece of the puzzle felt important and distinct. Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir have continued to be great as detectives Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz. This season challenged that pairing in interesting ways. Frye and Adriana continue to be this amazing odd couple pairing and their investigation paired alongside the detectives was quite impressive. They don't follow the same rules and that's interesting in how they both come across new information that unravels new parts of this gigantic puzzle. Ramón Franco, Franka Potente and Bruno Bichir have been compelling bad guys - as Fausto Galvan, Eleanor Nocht and Sebastian Cerisola respectively - for our heroes to be chasing.

"Jubilex" is a very satisfying conclusion to the season as well as leaving some things open-ended for a potential third. The ratings haven't been that great this year so a third season is not a guarantee. And yet, I think there's enough in this finale that is fulfilling. Marco manages to flip the odds into his favor and captures Fausto. But more importantly, no one else in the corrupt Mexican government gets in the way and lets Fausto escape again. Sebastian's daughter is safely taken to a hospital - after getting shot in the gut by Fausto. His arrest is pending but with Fausto in custody it is inevitable (although not a certainty). Hank and Agent Adam Arkin manage to stop the latest drug truck from hitting the American streets. And lastly, Sonya catches and arrests Eleanor.

Everything about this episode feels like an ending. And yet, there still is the potential for more. The police and reporters aren't able to connect the CIA to the Fausto investigation - though Agent Buckley does take a bullet. It's complexity that is rewarding to this universe. Not everything is going to go well for the main characters. They are battling major forces on both sides of the border and everyone has their own agenda. They are facing an uphill battle. In the end, they get the major faces of the corruption. Sonya will finally be able to bring Eleanor to justice for killing the kid. Fausto will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Captain Robles will face charges for rape and conspiracy. But all of these actions come with consequences. The season ends with Sonya having to kill Eleanor's father before he can kill his daughter. She's in Mexico and isn't legally able to shoot and kill someone as a US agent. It's the second time she's in a situation like this. But instead of facing the legality of her actions, she instead chooses to call Marco who will help her cover up this mess in order to serve the best identity of justice. That is satisfying because it shows character growth. Sonya is finally accepting the world that she lives in. It's a crazy world. But it's also a world where she finally gets Eleanor.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Jubilex" was written by Elwood Reid and directed by John Dahl.
  • It was haunting seeing Eleanor drag her father up the hill to the tree and then to recount every detail about that traumatic experience from her childhood.
  • Agent Buckley doesn't kill Sonya because "it's bad luck to kill a cop." Sure I'll accept that.
  • I was so worried that Linder was dead following his run-in with Robles last week. And yet, he makes it out thanks to Hank finding him on the drug truck. That reunion with Eva was a great moment.
  • It's nice to see that the finale also includes a concluding moment where the El Paso police and the reporters are working together.
  • Should the series return for a third season? I think so.