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Due to the Dead: She volunteers to take Jim Dobbs' ashes after Jack refuses, but struggles to make a decision on what to do next. Sonya rather unceremoniously dumps the container into a dumpster.
Erotic Asphyxiation: Has taken to experimenting with this after Jim Dobbs dies. Her obsession with asphyxiation is especially unnerving, because that's how her sister Lisa died at the hands of Jim Dobbs.
Lack of Empathy: This gets her thrown out of the house of the husband of the murdered judge.
Missing Mom: Her mother was an absentee junkie around the time that Lisa was murdered. In the present time, she is a homeless druggie who Sonya only rarely visits.
My God, What Have I Done?: Has this reaction when she fires a shot at a Juarez cop who was snooping around the prosecutor's hotel room. While this may not seem so important as she and Marco were in danger, not only is she not authorized to use a firearm outside her jurisdiction, she was carrying one in a foreign country and actually fired it, and Sonya is very much by-the-book, no-nonsense rules cop.
Disappeared Dad: Marco's own father walked out on him and his mother to continue pushing drugs, and the true circumstances of his death were not what he had always been led to believe.
Honor Before Reason: Despite having no obligation or expectation to do so, he returns a suitcase full of money to a ruthless drug lord. And then, just to make it clear that he's not a Corrupt Cop, he turns down a reward from said drug lord.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:In the last scene of the first season, he asks Fausto to help him get at David Tate so he can kill him personally. Subverted in that, when the opportunity becomes available, Marco ultimately rejects the easier choice of killing David and instead puts his thumb in Tate's already injured eye, while damning him to suffer longer.
Knight in Sour Armor: Admits that most murders aren't even investigated in Mexico, due to the sheer number of them.
A wealthy widow whose rancher husband suffers a myocardial infarction on the Mexican side of the border and dies back in El Paso. Shocking secrets about his cross-border activities quickly come to light as Ruiz and Cross' investigation commences.
Dark Secret: Discovers that her late husband smuggled illegals across the border through a tunnel to his ranch.
Extreme Doormat: Most of her Character Development is geared towards evolving away from this trope, whether for her late husband, for Graciela Rivera, for her stepdaughter Kate, or for Ray, towards a woman who makes her own decisions for her own destiny. Occasionally it resurfaces, as when Ray tries to haul ass to Alaska.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He escaped his abusive father as a youth, intending to return to rescue his sister; by the time he was able to, she had already died from a drug overdose at a homeless shelter in Tulsa.
A newspaper reporter whose once-promising career has been derailed by a life of parties and substance abuse. Midway through Season 2 his editor fires him on the spot for attempting to publish a damaging story about Grupo Clio without any named witnesses and for insubordination.
The Alcoholic: It's no secret that Frye is an alcoholic. He's tried to get sober a few times, but it never seems to take.
Small Name, Big Ego: In his initial appearance, as seen in the character quote. His harrowing experience at the hands of the Bridge Butcher, his growing friendship with Adriana and his attempts to quit drugs and alcohol make this Characterization Marches On.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: After a failed hit on Adriana which results in her girlfriend being grievously harmed, Adriana decides to break up with Lucy to spare her from the danger that comes with investigating this story.
Heroic BSOD: After the incident that led to the arrest of Jack Childress
Pet the Dog: Despite his clear resentment of Sonya receiving favoritism from Hank, he has had some softer moments, like looking after Maria in the desert after she's found and after capturing Jack Childress when he laments the death of Manny Stokes on whiskey and a banjo.
Captain Alejandro Robles
A mostly corrupt captain of the Chihuahua State Police. Marco's boss. At the end of Season 2, he is a wanted fugitive for kidnapping, rape, and abuse of power.
Played By: Juan Carlos Cantu
Dirty Cop: He is not the least bit ashamed of his connections to Fausto Galván and regularly abuses his authority.
Faux Affably Evil: Usually puts on a magnanimous appearance for the public and for the Americans but can be downright apathetic to civilians and contemptuous of his American counterparts. He also takes part in "parties."
Good Parent: Probably his only redeeming quality, lampshaded by Eva and Linder when they spy him playing basketball with his sons.
Hazy Feel Turn: He drops the ball quite quickly. He is kidnapped by the Marinas of the SEMAR (Mexican Marines) and quickly divulges Fausto Galván's hideout.
Laser-Guided Karma: As soon as he outs Fausto's location, Marco submits Presecutor Pintado's affidavit to Mexico City, and the Attorney general files charges on his crimes.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Goes on the run after Fausto Galvan is captured and before he himself can be dismissed from the Chihuahua State Police and tried for kidnapping and rape.
Sex Tourist: Visits prostitutes in Mexico, one of whom include the young woman whose legs were placed on the Bridge of the Americas.
Agent Joe Mackenzie
A DEA agent who is involved in an elaborate scheme to capture leading figures in the narcotics trade, one of which is Fausto Galván. Appears to have suffered a setback from less-involved cooperation from Mexico's new Attorney General.
Played By: Abraham Benrubi
Expy: Of Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad, a blustery DEA agent with a surprisingly geeky hobby.
Dirty Cop: Agent Buckley and the CIA are in cahoots with the whole money-laundering scheme between Rayburn National Bank and Grupo Clio. He also hires an assassin to take out Raúl Quintana after the latter squawks to the El Paso Times.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Handpicking Fausto Galván as the successor to the Juarez cartel and resorting to bureaucratic secrecy has resulted in messy consequences on both sides of the border. He is eventually even killed by the same hitman that he himself hired to silence witnesses on the order of his superior.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fancies himself as this, but in truth he is just a vain, arrogant Dirty Cop who's in over his head and incapable of producing real results. Even his bosses eventually lose patience of him.
Karl Millwright's daughter, Charlotte's stepdaughter.
Played By: Emily Wickersham
"Marco! You ever been to Norway?"
A powerful drug lord in Mexico. In Season 2, he spends much of his time in hiding because a change in government resulted in a greater crackdown on crime by the new authorities. Midway through Season 2, his hideout is raided and he briefly becomes a fugitive from justice before he is outwitted and captured alive by Marco.
Big Bad Friend: To Marco, although in truth there is no one person who fits the role of the Big Bad in this series. Their fathers started the business together and they grew up together. And while they are on opposite sides of the law and have never explicitly called each other friends, their close connection appears to say otherwise.
After Fausto hires a hitman to kill Sonya for meddling, all bets are off and he turns into an Evil Former Friend.
Dragon-in-Chief: He is really this, having been chosen by the CIA to lead the cartel because he was perceived as the one most likely to acquiesce to their demands. Too bad for them....
Deal with the Devil: Marco inevitably finds himself relying on Fausto for guidance more often than he likes.
No Celebrities Are Harmed: He is this show's version of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, a real-life Mexican drug lord. Both of them are rough-and-tumble criminal bosses who eschew overt display of wealth, could move as they please in their stronghold cities, and are willing to use brute force to eliminate their rivals.
Pragmatic Villainy: Fronts up ransom money for a woman kidnapped by the serial killer, just to get the Feds out of the picture and resume business
Punch Clock Villain: In a twist, he is the Jefe of his cartel. By mid-season 2, even he appears to tire of the drug lord life and hints at wishing to visit the fjords of Norway. Understandable as he has been in hiding from the authorities for the most of the season and feels cooped up.
Villains Out Shopping: Usually seen doing this, but not enough to cross into The Drug Lord Who Doesn't Do Anything. He has been seen shopping for new clothes with his girlfriend, paying a visit to another organized crime boss in a nail salon or attending his son's tomb. Important conversations do take place though.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When the Marinas raid his hideout, he immediately knows that someone snitched, and to make his circle of associates smaller, he kills his other bodyguards except for Obregon.
"Do you want to be a pet?"
A creepy bookkeeper for the cartel.
Played By: Franka Potente
Bait the Dog: At first she appears to express kindness by hiring a Mexican dayworker who seems to suffer from a mental disability, despite several others vying for her attention. But then she barks at him to walk faster.
Blue and Orange Morality: Appears to operate on an entirely different plane of existence. Has no qualms of killing a teen and sticking his body in a drum filled with bleach, but takes the opportunity to build a makeshift headstone for a roadkill armadillo.
Combat Sadomasochist: To the extent that she'll jam a pin into her own chest just to get her rocks off.
Evil Counterpart: To Sonya- they're both women with No Social Skills who were set on their respective paths when a surrogate father rescued them from their biological parents.
Faux Affably Evil: Appears polite and demure at first, but you'd better not set her off.
Hates Being Touched: As demonstrated when the bank intern tries to help her clean up the spill on her dress.
Not So Stoic: When she loses her ledger, she loses her cool.
Rape as Backstory: She grew up in some sort of devout religious community where her father raped her repeatedly as a child. Eventually, the community found out, and rather than punish him, they punished her, casting her out. She was then taken in by Fausto Galvan, who offered her vengeance by arranging for her mother to be murdered and her father to be castrated and then locked up in a hole in the ground. In exchange, she became his loyal bookkeeper.
Would Hurt a Child: Zigzagged. While she had no qualms offing Kyle the overeager teenager, she does spare his younger brother and his friend Dex, because she saw an innocence in him (he didn't want to touch her and he wet his bed.)
One of Fausto Galvan's sicarios. His girlfriend, Eva Guerra, tried to escape from him by engaging the services of Steven Linder.
Played By: Arturo del Puerto
Ax-Crazy: Kills a woman in her apartment after she complained about his banging on her neighbor's door and threatened to call the police. Most likely also killed the homeless paint huffer as well in his search for Eva.
Determinator: Almost nothing will stop him from finding his girlfriend Eva. Who knew a hot flatiron would?
Good Parent: Treats her stepson Gus like her own, even after she kicks Marco out of the house for cheating.
Put on a Bus: After the whole David Tate affair, she takes her daughters and obtains a divorce from Marco. She doesn't even show up to sign the divorce papers, instead handing that responsibility over to her lawyer.
Rape as Drama: After Linder informs her of Hector's death, she returns to Juárez and begins work at a maquiladora. One day after work, a driver in a red car offers her a ride, which she accepts with hesitation. Later, she is seen at the police station to report being kidnapped, but then the police drug her and take her to a party to be raped. Another police officer is tasked to kill her in the desert, but he has a change of heart and leaves her at a nun's monastery.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: when she faces off her former captor who is now bound in Bob's shack and is taunting and attempting to humiliate her.
Sicario Princess: As Hector's girlfriend, she is this to him. Of course, this is also the type of life she is trying to escape.
Chekhov's Gun: Those drawings that he made for Sonya? Including the ones on her fridge? Two of them lead to a water tower with a body buried underneath in the dirt.
Lonely Cremation: His cremation is attended by exactly two people (not counting the cremator), his younger brother and the sister of the woman he murdered.
Retired Monster: A bullet to the head left him with severe brain damage, so he's unlikely to be a threat to anyone else. In the first season, he was still capable of making crude drawings, but by the opening of the second season, his condition has deteriorated to the point where he's bedridden.
A young El Paso girl, first seen at the police station being held overnight for shoplifting.
Hypocrite: While she berates Adriana for being a lesbian and encourages her to work less and marry a man, she and her lazy daughters were more than happy to live off of Adriana's paychecks until Daniela found work at a maquiladora.
Adriana's younger sister. She stopped going to school to work in a maquiladora.
A young Mexican woman, whose bottom half was found on the Bridge of the Americas. Came north to Juarez to work in the maquiladoras, but turned to prostitution.
Played By: Natalie Amenula
Posthumous Character: She is already dead (obviously) long before the events of the first season. T He upper half of her body was dumped in a house that was filled with the dismembered corpses of cartel men (one of whom was Fausto Galván's brother), and her other half was preserved until they were placed on the Bridge of the Americas with the judge's upper half.
A Mexican woman trying to cross the border.
Played By: Karen Sours
Steven Linder's coworker at the homeless shelter.
Played By: Diane Delano
Monte P. Flagman
A mysterious lawyer, employed by Graciela Rivera, Charlotte's husband, and eventually Charlotte herself.
Played By: Lyle Lovett
Amoral Attorney: Sort of. He doesn't appear to be worse than any other lawyer; he just represents some very evil people.
Field Promotion: He gets an impromptu promotion to Prosecutor of the State of Chihuahua by the Mexican Attorney General in his first appearance onscreen.
Killed Off for Real: He is abducted and murdered in broad daylight by Juárez police because he was coming too close to exposing the abductions, rapes, and murdered conducted by police officers and had procured a signed affidavit from one of their surviving victims.
Naďve Newcomer: Treated this way by Captain Robles and everyone around him.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Is intent on ridding corruption from the Chihuahua State Police, starting with Captain Robles and working his way to Fausto Galván, and tries to convince Marco to assist him.
"In public, power is best wielded with a gloved hand, not a clenched fist."
The CEO of Grupo Clio Internacional, one of the largest holding firms in Mexico.
Played By: Bruno Bichir
Affably Evil: Is quite friendly to Marco when he and Sonya pay his company a visit while investigating.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: It's not known to what extent his relationship with Fausto Galván goes, but seeing how chummy they are with each other, you can expect some shady dealings. He brokered a deal with the Attorney General of Mexico to shut the DEA out of Juárez in return for less violence.
Hazy Feel Turn: The repercussions of Prosecutor Pintado's murder, the Rayburn bank manager's suicide, and the murder of the teens who hit Fausto's cargo are so huge that Sebastian quickly dumps his support of Fausto and the Red Ridge money laundering as a liability.
Morality Pet: Clearly loves his daughter Romina, who unfortunately is a junkie.
"Franco is a pseudonym. He is an assassin.
Played By: Júlio Cedillo
The Atoner: Played straight after immediately killing Raúl Quintana and seeing Jesus on his cross in the same room, he becomes guilt-ridden and later decides to "confess" to the El Paso Times reporters (who are wearing hoods) in a local chapel. Ironically, talking to reporters was exactly the reason why his last victim was murdered. Ultimately this is defied as he is sent by the CIA station chief to silence Agent Buckley.
"Franco": But I was gentle in the end. I listened to them, wiped their tears, and let them have their moment.
Professional Killer: He is hired by Agent Alex Buckley of the CIA to kill Raúl Quintana for talking to the El Paso Times. He also murdered Raúl's friend Chuchito. He claims to have killed at least 243 people.