Television dramas thrive on big reveals and shocking plot twists—and those kinds of things work best when they don’t shock for shock’s sake, but fit into the overall arc of the show. The Bridge upended two of my expectations in “Eidolon.” One is that Eleanor, she of plain clothes and even plainer hairstyle, has been skimming money from Fausto Galvan. Is she putting all the extra money in a retirement account, or building a dream dungeon for her acorn abuser? Skimming seems like a pretty ballsy move—even for Eleanor.
The even bigger and more shocking reveal? Fausto is the CIA’s plant. What? This vicious, ruthless, murdering Cartel leader is someone the CIA thinks they can control?
What’s so interesting to me about this season of The Bridge is that the show has actually been playing around with time, and we haven’t really known it. The opening scene in the season premiere with Monte walking through a bloody home didn’t end with the show putting “three months earlier” on the screen, before we went to the next scene. All this time I thought that massacre was part of Eleanor coming to El Paso—that that was why she was so bloody when she met poor, naïve Kyle, and why she went to see the bank manager and cut off Timmy’s ear.
But we learn that everything we’ve seen this season preceded the massacre. In retrospect, that makes total sense. How many housing development massacres could Monte cover up? And wouldn’t Sonya and Marco have discussed the mass murder? As Sonya says, “This is two year’s worth of murders in El Paso.” It all seems so obvious now.
The episode also took viewers back to the night Eleanor killed one of Fausto’s men, and left him in the car. Turns out he did make unwanted sexual advances on Eleanor, just like she told Fausto. But he also discovered that she has been skimming from Fausto. He wanted sex in exchange for his silence. So did Eleanor kill him because he made unwanted sexual advances, or because he knew too much and could rat her out? I’m thinking the latter.
As we saw in the season premiere, Monte arrives to help with the clean-up. He takes Eleanor to his hack of a doctor who performs surgery in a dingy garage (because THAT’S sanitary). Eleanor lives, and all she wants is her ledger back. I’m not quite sure what Monte’s role is in all of this—I thought he would be bringing Eleanor, who Fausto knows has betrayed him, to Fausto.
Sonya and Marco rush out to Red Ridge to find Hank, and stumble upon the bloody house. Later, the police catch poor Jaime with all the dead bodies in the back of a delivery truck—and all he wanted to do was eat some tacos.
Thankfully Daniel and Adriana are back. Daniel may be a drunk, but he’s a hell of an investigative reporter. He comes to Adriana with news of the murders at Red Ridge. “It’s not about the El Paso Times. It’s about us. I need to know if you’re in or out,” Daniel tells her. Now they’re on the trail of the CIA’s connection to the Cartel.
Hank escaped, and Cesar, who has become quite the menacing character (et tu Cesar, et tu?) finds him, but not before Hank hides Eleanor’s ledger. Cesar takes Hank to the doctor who treated Eleanor because everyone needs Hank to live at least until he tells them where the ledger is. “Just kill me now. I ain’t gonna tell you. We both know that,” Hank tells Eleanor. But Eleanor has a plan—she’ll go to Hank’s house and torture his wife. Everything about Eleanor Nacht is ominous. Franka Potente is turning in an amazing performance.
Eleanor does not know Jaime has been caught, and as she is driving off with Hank, Sonya and Marco hit her with their car. Eleanor tries to escape before collapsing on the ground. A great end to a strong episode.
Other thoughts on “Eidolon:”
•I had the chance to talk to Demian Bichir about this season of The Bridge. You can check out my interview with him here.
•That was Andy Buckley as the shady doctor treating Eleanor and Hank. He played David Wallace on The Office.
•Another week without Eva and Steven Linder. Can’t say that I’ve missed them—at all.
•You know who I do miss, though? Ray. I hope we get to see him again before the season’s done.
•I need an update on how Adriana’s girlfriend is doing.
•The look on Marco’s face when he realizes Charlotte is among the dead is heartbreaking. He didn’t help her when he had the chance.
•“You been going to meetings?” “No.” If The Bridge doesn’t get picked up for a third season, I’m still pushing for my Daniel and Adriana spin-off.
What did you think of this week’s episode of The Bridge? Talk about it below.
Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.