The Bridge: Calaca Recap
With the second episode of The Bridge, it’s clear we’re going to be looking at this show through a wide lens. To me, it’s reminiscent of Lost with the sweeping stories and the interwoven characters. But unlike Lost, it seems like they won’t be delaying the gratification of answers for very long. This week we learned what that cliff-hanger door was for Charlotte – an underground tunnel from Mexico that her husband and her ranch hand knew all about. She looks on in disgust at a shrine in the tunnel, where someone “accidentally” died. I’m not buying that one for a second. I’m also not sure I buy that Charlotte is that naïve about what her husband was doing. She told the cops she and her husband had been looking at horses in Mexico. Were they really? He obviously was not there only to look at horses.
With that mystery solved, another appears in the form of Monte P. Flagman. He brings Charlotte “three bean salad” and good tidings from the unnamed associate who was operating the underground tunnel with her husband. To his very cordial request that she keep the tunnel operating for his client, she dumps a real three bean salad on his desk, throws the money he left her in the casserole dish back in his face and marches out of his office. You tell him, Charlotte! You’re not asking for any trouble with that!
And while we’re not quite at Game of Thrones-level amounts of characters, we’re being introduced to more each episode. Hector Valdez is after Steven Linder, the questionable social worker with the impressive sideburns. He’s looking for Eva Guerra, whom we saw cross the border with Steven in the pilot. Hector’s not necessarily the savior Eva may want though. We see him kill an older woman who witnesses him trying to break into Steven’s apartment.
Meanwhile, Sonya and Marco cross the border into Mexico to investigate Marco’s half of the body found on the bridge. Cristina Fuentes was found in a building with twenty two other bodies, though officially it was only released as twenty two bodies, all female. The twenty third body belonged to Rafa Galvan, brother of the cartel boss Fausto Galvan. This is Mexico, everything is tied up in cartel money in some way, and Marco’s boss had no problem accommodating this little sweep under the rug. Sonya, however, sees multiple problems with this and begins to raise a bit of a fuss. Marco talks to his boss and then gets highly upset with Sonya, explaining to her that the cartel can kill his entire family and make him watch if they want.
Luckily for us, they don’t give names to all of the illegal Mexicans we see being snuck over the border in a semi-truck. The driver kicks them all out in the middle of the desert and is promptly attacked by them. I don’t know what he was expecting with that one. The only one of the group we’re meant to care about, the woman who stops a man from killing the driver, rallies the group to survive and continue onwards to avoid the Border Patrol. Some old people stay behind, but who cares? Onto the parched desert wasteland!
Marco investigates Cristina Fuentes more on his own – heading to a Mexican brothel of sorts and asking about her there. This is interspersed with Sonya picking up a man at a bar and taking him home for sex. She treats this as straightforward and bluntly as everything else in her life, waking up later to continue looking at gruesome crime scene photos in bed. Understandably, the guy gets a little freaked out and leaves.
Daniel, the asshole reporter who was almost blown sky high in the pilot, has teamed up with Adriana, an up-and-coming reporter that works for the same paper, to investigate this murder Daniel was pulled into. They publish the killer’s recorded rant because Sonya had played it for Daniel when he was being questioned. This upsets her boss, but he takes it in stride while she seems more upset with herself.
Sonya and Marco track down the voice heard in the recording, leading them to a voice actor who claims he recorded the message three years ago. Suddenly, this isn’t a kill-of-the-week show and we’ve got a long-time serial killer on our hands here. This gets a little weird though, when the killer calls Daniel again and uses the same voice – what did this guy do? Record a lot of choose your own adventure messages? His cryptic message gives Daniel a bunch of numbers, which the plucky female reporter quickly picks up on as being coordinates.
These coordinates lead them to the illegal immigrants that were crossing the border without food or water. They came upon another creepy shrine, with jugs of water surrounding it, and immediately drank as much as they could. All but the obvious female who had to survive drank and perished right there. When Sonya and Marco show up to investigate the scene, Sonya notices a single silver bead – one that matches another bead she found earlier at a previous crime scene. This establishes the calling card for their very own serial killer, who has been planning all of this for at least three years, so you know we’ve got a roller coaster of a ride to go. And to top it all off, we find out that well-meaning Marco – who we learned in the pilot was recovering from a vasectomy – has gotten his wife pregnant. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about already, stirring up the hornet’s nest.
My one gripe with this episode was the way Sonya so openly looked at the crime scene photos in bed. As someone who has repeatedly been shown as very “by the books” and rigid with the rules, I can’t believe she would so blatantly disregard them. Then again, we did also see her play the recording for Daniel when she probably shouldn’t have done that either. What did you think of the episode? Are you hooked yet? Are you confused by who is who and what is going on? Do you prefer it to be more of a Lost or The Wire, or would you rather have another CSI or Law & Order procedural set to the backdrop of the Mexican-American border?