The Bridge: “Rio” (Episode 1.03)

TV Reviews The Bridge
The Bridge: “Rio” (Episode 1.03)

Once we knew Karl loved horses, we had to assume that a dead horse was in Charlotte’s future.

In “Rio,” Charlotte once again refused to open the tunnel to any illegal activity only to find Karl’s beloved horse hanging from the rafters. Why must the horses always suffer?

Charlotte has quite a few problems—starting with her alcoholic stepdaughter who hates her. Before he died, Karl told Charlotte he didn’t love her and he wanted a divorce. Could this little tidbit of information be something he also shared with his daughter?

In a rather out-of-nowhere plot twist, Charlotte and Marco sleep together. It’s far too clichéd a path for the show to go down and turns Marco into a much more stereotypical and less likeable character. Just last week, he was a deeply devoted husband with a pregnant wife. Now he’s sleeping with a widow without even hesitating a little. (A little hesitation would have been nice, Marco.) Perhaps the show will take Marco and Charlotte’s dalliance in an interesting direction, but I did not care for this latest plot twist—at all.

The episode’s most interesting action belonged to beleaguered reporter Daniel Frye, who is such a screw-up that he will actually snort cocaine in a police station moments before going to talk to a lieutenant. When Daniel sees someone shot to death on the streets of Mexico, he spends the night in Adriana’s home filled with her lively siblings, who all have multiple children. How, Daniel wonders, did Adriana manage to escape what appears to be her destiny? She doesn’t like boys and that, she tells Daniel, “saved” her. The Daniel/Adriana friendship is currently the most compelling relationship on the series.

When I reviewed the first episode of the series, I feared that Diane Kruger’s very specific take on Detective Sonya Cross could become gimmicky, and it kind of has. I laughed out loud when her one-night stand showed up at the police station and she said, “What are you doing here? I can’t have sex at work.” Kruger’s delivery of that line was pitch-perfect. But I don’t want her character to become the comic relief for the series. And her bewilderment at things is quickly becoming old. She’s so perplexed when Marco lies and tells Kitty that he and Sonya both brought her flowers for her birthday. But surely Sonya must have witnessed a white lie being told in her lifetime.

I’m spending a lot of time talking about things that don’t have to do with the serial killer, and that’s because the show did too this week. Solving the crime appeared to be an afterthought. Marco and Sonya’s path leads them to Steven Linder and to his trailer. Even though they find burned women’s clothing in his trash can, the police still don’t have enough to hold him, and they let him go after questioning him. The show is fixated on Steven, a character who isn’t that interesting and is extraordinarily difficult to understand (his dialogue could use subtitles). Steven may be an accomplice, but he clearly isn’t the mastermind behind the murders. I’m ready to move on. As for the sister Steven is searching for, it’s got to be someone we already know, right? Could Charlotte, who has a previous life she has made great efforts to leave behind, be his long-lost sibling?

The final scene has the killer live-streaming footage of his latest victim tied down and gagged in the desert. He’s awaiting his ransom money from the four wealthiest men in El Paso. Like many things in this episode, this turn of events was more gimmicky than necessary.

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