The Bridge is a television drama that premiered on the f(x) network on July 10, 2013. Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir play Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz, American and Mexican police officers (respectively) who must work together when two halves of two bodies—that is, the top half of one body and the bottom half of a different body—are placed on the Bridge of the Americas between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. The two jurisdictions must cooperate because the body parts were placed precisely on the border between the two countries.The Bridge is the American remake of a Swedish/Danish joint production also called The Bridge (Bron in Swedish and Broen in Danish), also remade as the British/French production The Tunnel.
Aborted Arc: The whole tunnel-under-the-Millwright-ranch thing is never mentioned again in Season 2.
The federal agent (Arliss Frome, played by Timothy Bottom) at the end of Season 1 is never seen again after making plans with Charlotte to capture Fausto Galván. In the middle of Season 3, Agent Mackenzie tells Charlotte that he was reassigned to Latvia.
The FBI disappear from the Bridge Butcher case after Agent Gedman is killed.
Similarly, we never hear again from the ATF, who admittedly were disorganized.
Absentee Actor: Thomas M. Wright missed three episodes and Annabeth Gish missed one episode in the first season, despite receiving billing for every episode. They also are absent from the first two episodes of season 2.
Ambiguous Disorder: Just what is up with Sonya isn't specified, but it appears to be Asperger Syndrome-style autism. Word of God, however, states that it is Asperger's, and the actress even has Alex Plank (creator of autism community website Wrong Planet, and someone who has Asperger's himself) as her advisor.
Dex, the teen who encounters Eleanor in the streets and bikes away. Has to be reminded by his mother to concentrate at the police station.
Jaime, the dayworker that Eleanor hires, appears to have some sort of mental disability. The other dayworkers say he "had an accident."
Anachronic Order: The opening of Season 2 doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the episode. For most of the season, it appears that this occurs immediately after Eleanor visits the realtor with Yovani later in the same episode, but by episode 2.09 "Rakshasa," the mystery is solved. Monte P. Flagman is actually arriving at the Red Ridge View housing development immediately after the big shootout between Fausto's crew, the DEA, and Eleanor and co.
Artistic License: The systematic kidnapping, rape, and murder of young women in Juarez is something that was in the background of Season 1 and looks to be the focus of Season 2. Juarez actually has a lower-than-average femicide rate, and most of the women killed in Juarez are victims of domestic violence, as this article points out.
Asshole Victim: Buckley. By the end of season 2, even his bosses in Langley lose patience of him.
Between My Legs: Ray is framed between Charlotte's legs as he swims in her pool ("Destino").
Bikini Bar: Daniel Frye is at one in the flashback that opens "Vendetta". Hilariously, the sign outside the Bikini Bar says "Totally Nude".
Blackmail: After Marco is forced to kill his two colleagues who were looking for Eva Guerra's signed affidavit against members of the Chihuahua State Police, Capt. Robles makes him lie under oath to the investigation of the murders and accept a commendation for being a "hero" and he won't go after Sonya and Eva. Marco counters with another blackmail: if Captain Robles goes anywhere near Sonya or Eva, he'll deliver the affidavit straight to Mexico City and make sure it'll be the end of Robles.
The end of season 1 sees Sonya and Marco's relationship repair, they rescue Eva from the Juárez cops, but David Tate has succeeded in killing Marco's son and destroyed his marriage, Charlotte's new enterprise comes under government suspicion, Adriana's little sister failed to return home from work, Eva is still drugged, traumatized, and comatose, Sonya's sister's truck is damaged beyond repair, and Marco strikes an implicit deal with Fausto Galván to go after Tate. Not to mention the piles of bodies left in the wake of Tate's rampage.
The end of season 2 ties up some loose ends, but others are Left Hanging and most are not happy endings, if any. Eleanor Nacht has been captured, but not without Sonya compromising legal/her own moral codes and actually killing a man outside her jurisdiction. This will also complicate things back in the US for Sonya because Eleanor is also wanted for the murder of a young teen. Fausto Galván, Juárez's most notorious drug lord, has been captured, but his capture has left a huge power vacuum with smaller gangs vying to take control of the illicit cross-border trade. This affects most Juarenses firsthand. It is also implied that the actual legal process to prosecute Galván will be tied up by corruption and government bureaucracy, not to mention his huge influence in federal prisons on both sides of the border would most likely benefit him. And after spending much of two seasons trying to navigate two sides of the law, Marco decides to favor the side of justice, which would no doubt have repercussions in the near future. While there is a minor victory for Eva not only reuniting with Linder, but also in that Captain Robles will be served justice, he flees before he is taken into custody. Agent Joe Mackenzie's hard work at exposing the CIA's involvement in cross-border illegal trade came to an end with his death and the destruction of his secret files, but his legacy continues through Frye and Adriana. Speaking of whom, their investment in their investigative journalism has taken very deep tolls in their personal lives: Frye has essentially become a high-functioning addict and Adriana has broken off her relationship with Lucy to protect her. Finally, the CIA have had enough of Agent Buckley's incompetence, silenced him, and essentially can write him off as a rogue agent, thereby removing them from liability and making it much more difficult to touch them legally.
Call Back: A couple instances occur over the course of the show.
In the pilot, when Sonya is informing Judge Gates' husband of her death and simultaneously questioning him, she asks him if he would like a glass of water twice after he doesn't respond well to her questioning. In 'ID,' when she is questioning Gina about her father's murderer, Sonya asks if she would like a glass of water.
In the pilot, Det. Cooper tells Hank Wade about Sonya's bottom drawer. Later, in 'ID,' Sonya opens her bottom drawer and we see what appears to be the evidence box full of her murdered sister's belongings.
Det. Tim Cooper: Have you seen what she keeps in the bottom drawer of her desk? Listen, if you've seen it -"
In 'Maria of the Desert,' while Sonya and Lt. Wade are searching for Maria, they have a conversation about Sonya's sister, in which Hank mentions that Sonya has to remember the good times the two of them have had as well as the bad times. In 'Vendetta,' when Sonya is questioning David Tate's former sister-in-law, the latter says how it's bad to talk shit about the dead and Sonya counters that it's alright to have bad memories of loved ones.
In the pilot, when Marco is bringing the case file on Cristina Fuentes' murder at 4 in the morning, he brings a bag of pan dulce in an attempt to charm Sonya. In 'All About Eva,' Sonya travels to Marco's home and tries to cheer him with a bag of pastries.
Call Forward: As it turns out, the entire opening scene of season 2 is this to the aftermath of the shootout in Red Ridge View. Clues include blood-splattered floor, Jaime's discarded yogurt cup, the notary's body lying on the steps, the creepy cardboard cutout of realtor Chip Diaz, and the machete that Eleanor wields.
Car Fu: At the end of "The Beetle," David Tate rams his car into Sonya's truck, taking Gus and leaving her for dead. Sonya's sister's truck is so badly damaged that it becomes a Tear Jerker when she is told that it can't be salvaged.
In "Eidolon," Sonya and Marco use this to capture Eleanor. Everyone in both cars get injuries.
CIA Evil, DEA Good: The DEA intends to arrest Fausto Galvan and take down his empire, whereas the CIA only wants to manage him and let him do business in exchange of reduced violence. The twist of it is that CIA's endgame is not necessarily bad per se; it doesn't work because the agent in charge, Buckley, is a hopelessly incompetent fool who, despite his Smug Snake attitude, cannot exert enough force on the Mexicans.
Comically Missing the Point: Sonya does this a lot, such as when she reads texts from Gus calling her a "MILF" and objects to the characterization because she doesn't have kids.
Continuity Nod: Sonya still carries that bullet bruise-wound that she took from Jack Childress's gun from 1.07.
Crapsack World: Ciudad Juárez, overwhelmed by uncontrollable drug-related violence.
Dead Guy on Display: After Galvan's sicario is killed by Linder, Galvan has the rest of the cartel stab the body all over with carving knives and hangs it from a telephone pole. Nobody dares to cut it down.
Fausto seems to love this trope. [[His dead son's grave is decorated with the preserved head of his killer.]]
Eleanor tried to have the body of an undercover DEA agent taxidermied!
Eleanor herself. She and Fausto have a deal that stems to her earlier, more vulnerable years in which she was sexually abused by her father. Fausto had Eleanor's father castrated, fed the dog, killed her mother who was a bystander to the abuse, and "made [her father] a pet." In return, she has served as her loyal bookkeeper.
Disproportionate Retribution: In the Season 2 opener "Yankee," an intern at a bank accidentally spills tea on Eleanor's dress. She has her enforcer take his ear as punishment for "not listening."
Also David Tate's ultimate revenge. His wife cheats on him with his best friend and dies in a car accident with their son while leaving him for said friend? Take said best friend's son and ruin his marriage as well.
Do You Want to Copulate?: In "Calaca", Sonya goes to a bar looking to get laid. A guy at the bar offers her a drink and she declines, failing to understand this social cue. Then after he walks away she walks over to him and says "Do you want to have sex with me?".
Season 2 premiere "Yankee" has Sonya meet Jim Dobbs' brother. She later invites him over to her apartment and when he's about to leave, she asks him to stay and then starts groping him.
Driven to Suicide: The branch manager of the Rayburn National Bank whom Eleanor visits about the compromised money.
Dumb Muscle: Obregon. Curiously enough, this works in his favor: it is exactly because he's so dimwitted that Fausto Galvan trusts him entirely. Galvan knows Obregon is too stupid to betray him.
Dumbass Has a Point: After their dope shipment gets robbed, Ray, Charlotte's idiot boyfriend, asks her to just leave the business, disappear, and start a new life together. Charlotte refuses, and later ends up dead, murdered in the crossfire between Galvan's cartel, the DEA, and Eleanor Nacht.
Elephant in the Living Room: In the season 2 finale "Jubilex," Marco casually frog-marches FAUSTO GALVÁN!, the most notorious drug lord of Juárez (and a wanted fugitive) into his precinct as his colleagues look on in shock.
Establishing Character Moment: For our two detectives in 'Pilot,' their respective response when faced with the dilemma of allowing an emergency ambulance to drive over the crime scene.
Season 2 opener "Yankee" has cartel member Eleanor Nacht orders her enforcer to cut off the ear of a young hapless bank intern. He accidentally spilled tea on her dress.
Graciela Rivera, the co-owner of the tunnel beneath the Millwright Ranch, has no involvement in narcotics of any sort. Not above trafficking weapons though.
Evil Power Vacuum: After Fausto goes into hiding in the mountains, several smaller gangs fight for control of the drug trade and extort small businesses for "protection money." It literally hits home for Marco after his friend's bakery is trashed for not paying on time.
Evil Gloating: Eleanor falls victim to this, using this in combination with Ironic Echo as she lashes out at her father. Unfortunately his leash wasn't secured well enough.
Eye Poke / Eye Scream: Happens to David Tate in the episode "Eye of the Deep." Twice. In the same eye.
The Faceless: Hank's wife Carmen is mentioned more than a few times, but the only time we ever see her is a quick shot of her sleeping face-down at the end of "Rio."
Fair Cop: Yeah, that's Diane Kruger as Sonya. She played Helen of Troy once. Also Demián Bichir.
Foreshadowing: In the series "Pilot," Marco warns his son Gus about falling into the wrong crowd after smelling marijuana in his room, as any involvement can lead to owing them a debt of payment. In the season finale, Marco asks powerful cartel eader Fausto Galván to help bring justice to David Tate. In return, in the season 2 episode of "Ghost of a Flea", Fausto asks Marco to find Eleanor Nacht before El Paso PD or the DEA do by availing himself on his American connections to work on the case.
Girl on Girl Is Hot: Daniel is clearly pleased to be near the center of the action at Adriana and Lucy's house.
Heroic BSOD: Det. Cooper has one after the violent death of Manny Stokes.
I Have a Family: Marco does this when the killer has him at gunpoint in a warehouse.
I Have Your Wife: Alma and the girls are locked into a creepy cabin in the middle of the desert with a live grenade. Later, David Tate kidnaps Gus and locks him into a septic tank that's slowly being filled with water.
In "Eidolon," after the disastrous attempt to capture Eleanor, Fausto instead turns to Sebastian and kidnaps his daughter Romina.
Ironic Echo: A nonverbal version: Sonya, oblivious to the inappropriateness, changes her shirt in the bullpen in the first episode; she does the same thing in the sixth episode, but this time it's because she's gotten Gina's blood all over it.
In the pilot, Marco warns his son Gus about becoming indebted to people from organized crime. Come Season 2, Marco becomes indebted to Fausto Galván, a drug lord.
Insistent Terminology: In the Season 2 episode "Yankee," Sonya refers to the act of ferrying Eva Guerra over the border as "sneaking in an illegal immigrant," whose status Marco corrects as an undocumented immigrant. Reflects Real Life usage, where using the former over the latter is a Berserk Button issue.
Jurisdiction Friction: Not surprising when body parts are strewn smack dab on an international border. Not only are there issues between agencies of two different countries, there are issues with agencies at the local, state, and federal level.
Lack of Empathy: In the pilot Sonya apologizes after her brusque manner causes a grieving husband to throw her out of his house.
Missing White Woman Syndrome: In the pilot the serial killer asks why the murder of the white judge is such a big deal while no one cares about the piles of bodies in Ciudad Juárez.
On the other hand, there is also one aversion of this. Bridget Rowland, a young white woman who went missing six months before Lisa Cross's murder, was dismissed as a runaway by the police even though her family insisted otherwise. Her body is found more than 15 years later.
Leave No Witnesses: At the Red Ridge shootout, the notary who witnessed the handover of Red Ridge and the aftermath of the shootout falls victim to this.
The Main Characters Do Everything: Fausto Galvan, jefe of a premier Mexican drug cartel, personally sneaks through the border to retrieve Hector's corpse, taking only one bodyguard with him. It doesn't seem to occur to him that he could just dispatch one of his guys up north.
Mood Whiplash: The hilarious coke and Rush -fueled two-person party between Frye and his sober companion Greg comes quickly to a halt when Greg crushingly realizes that he threw away 5 years of hard-earned sobriety.
Greg:(dejected) The system doesn't work.
My God, What Have I Done?: Frye's sober companion has this reaction after a cocaine and alcohol-fused two person party with Frye.
Mysterious Informant: At the end of Season 1, Daniel and Adriana receive a Euro note with the words "Who is Millie Quintana?" written on it. In "Yankee," Frye meets a messenger from the informant who relays info about other Quintana family members. It's DEA Agent Mackenzie.
Bob: (Chuckling) Well, it was one of those "stand your ground" things; just happened to be on a Yamaha. There might have been some meth involved.
Odd Couple: Warm, friendly Marco working with cold, distant Sonya.
Off with His Head!: Happens to FBI Agent Ralph Gedman, courtesy of the serial killer. In "Eye of the Deep," this is what happened to the murderer of Fausto Galván's oldest son. Fausto made sure to take his eyelids first so he could watch himself be beheaded.
Oh, Crap: In "The Beholder," there is a quinceañera taking place near Fausto's hideout lodge. When Fausto arrives with armed men, there is a collective silence that halts the quinceañera to a complete stop. Fausto walks up to the girl's father, asks for everyone to forget he was here, gives the girl a wad of cash, and asks her for the first dance.
Pragmatic Villainy: Cartel leader Fausto Galvan comes forth with the ransom money for one of the victims, simply because the law enforcement presence on the border because of the serial killer is terrible for business.
Pretext for Arms and Narcotics Raid: Turns out the house that Marco and his unit raids at the beginning of season 2 didn't actually have any drugs or illegal arms. Captain Robles justifies the raid by claiming that one way or another, those kids would have turned to the illegal trade anyhow. And then he takes a photo op with the kids and the procured drugs and arms.
Pretty Little Headshots: Gruesomely averted in "Destino". Deputy Stokes gets nailed from behind by a sniper-rifle wielding Jack Childress, and loses his entire face as a result.
Hector's murder of Steven Linder's neighbor and the abduction of the migrant woman Maria by the Bridge Butcher has brought unwanted law enforcement attention to Fausto Galván's operations.
Fausto's revenge against the teenage wannabe gangbangers who stole his cargo (leaving his calling card with their bodies) and his to reign in Captain Robles' police from killing the Chihuahua state prosecutor has put Sebastian Cerisola's deal with the Mexican Attorney General's (less cartel violence in Juárez in exchange for shutting out the DEA) on thin ice.
Doesn't matter how badass he's been, once he's in prison David Tate is as easily fucked as anyone else.
Trying to take revenge on a highly-experienced Corrupt Cop with just a rock? You get shot. Just ask Steven Linder.
What happens to you when you give your bosses in Langley nothing but bullshit and bloodshed on the northern side of the border? They disavow you, label you as a rogue agent, and put you on a kill list. Ask Buckley.
Red Herring: The Bridge presents a few suspicious folk who seem like the Bridge Butcher.
Steven Linder is seen putting a young Mexican woman in the trunk of his car in the pilot.
Deputy Manny Stokes seems to, as Lt. Wade puts it, "show up at the darnest time" whenever something important happens.
Jackson Childress, the kooky former police officer/extremely racist conspiracy theorist.
Agent Mackenzie: And if I don't comply, I wind up stationed in what, East Africa?
Agent Buckley: Sierra Leone.
This is also what happens to Arliss Frome, the federal agent from the "The Crazy Place" (the season 1 finale). He was reassigned to Latvia.
The Reveal: You know Alma's shy-looking colleague at the university? Turns out he is David Tate and has been using a dead person's identity.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the wake of Eva murdering one of her attackers, she and Linder skip town and begin one against all those who wronged her.
After the raid on Fausto's warehouse hideout, Fausto immediately begins one against all those who he believes to have double-crossed him, whether or not they actually informed the SEMAR. This leads to the massive shootout at Red Ridge View where Agents Mackenzie and Rivas, Charlotte Millwright, a visiting notary, Jaime, and the hit squad sent by Fausto are all killed, and both Lt. Wade and Cesar are injured.
Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sebastian Cerisola and Fausto Galván, respectively. The former wields power with a gloved hand, the latter with an iron fist. It even goes down to how they smoke: Fausto smokes big cigars while Sebastian uses electronic cigarettes.
Serial Killer: Of the "Mission Based" subtype, as the killer likes to talk about the violence in Mexico and the lack thereof on the American side of the border. However, that in itself turns out to be a Red Herring.
Shaggy Dog Story: Sheriff Manny Stokes looks at a painting of a desert with wind turbines while he's getting his braces removed and has an epiphany on solving the case. He tries to share his epiphany moment with Marco, but is shot in the head when he's about to share his revelation.
Too Dumb to Live: We first meet Gina when she gets into trouble and has to be picked up by her father. Instead of going home with him, she crosses the border into Mexico and wanders around for a bit before sitting outside a random apartment and then going upstairs with the tenant when he invites her in (he's a complete stranger to her, mind you), although to be fair, her dad isn't exactly father of the year, and her mother was not available). So she isn't exactly the brightest bulb to begin with. Then later she becomes a witness to the murder of her father, and while knowing the killer is still out there, she runs away from the police. Where is she running to? We'll never know because she gets killed very quickly after she goes on the run.
The too eager to please teenager helping Eleanor at the start of season 2. It's hard to feel sympathy for someone with zero survival instincts, instead, viewers will be morbidly fascinated by his death that can be seen from a mile away. If a strangely-tattooed and naked woman washing blood off of her body seeks your assistance, at best, be a good samaritan on high alert; if she dresses in an extremely sexually-repressed manner yet offers you sexual pleasure after you assist her, alarms should be going off inside your head; and if she offers sexual intercourse with you inside a storage container with a dead animal inside, run away.
Trophy Wife: Charlotte was this. Her husband's daughter hates her for it.
The Unreveal: We never do find out the full contents of Eleanor's ledger, only little snippets here and there. What we do know is that they include Fausto's bookkeeping accounts, Eleanor skimming off money for some unknown purpose, names and addresses of people involved in the money laundering, a sketch of a map for a drug distribution point, sketches and drawings of demonic images (and Sonya's mother), little keepsakes from people she meets (like business cards and a strand of hair), and something that hints at a miscarriage she had.
Villains Out Shopping: Graciela is having a pedicure when Fausto meets her. Also Fausto is seen literally shopping for clothes and playing pool. Eleanor engages in this as well. All three are still very intimidating.
Fausto projectile-vomits on Obregon after Romina Cerisola injects him with heroin.
Your Cheating Heart: Marco sleeps with Charlotte. Later, Alma gets revenge by screwing her boss. It turns out that Marco has also slept with Jill Tate, the wife of his partner David Tate aka Kenneth Hasting, and this comes back to haunt him.
We Can Rule Together: Sebastian offers this to Eleanor after Fausto's actions garner too much attention and Grupo Clio's involvement comes to light, to which she neither really agrees to nor disagrees to.
"Vendetta" - The serial killer is revealed to be none other than David Tate, who has assumed the identity of the deceased Kenneth Hastings and has been romancing Alma Ruíz.
"Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" - Sonya and El Paso PD are too late to save Gus, thus accomplishing what David Tate had set out to do: to hurt Marco where it hurts the most.
"Eye of the Deep" - Fausto grants Marco the opportunity to kill David Tate. Eva agrees to Abelardo Pintado's request to testify against the Juárez cops behind her kidnapping and rape, including Captain Robles himself. Chihuahua State Police are onto Pintado's plans. The CIA is revealed to have been involved in the money laundering operation gone awry at the Millie Quintana house. Agent Mackenzie is revealed as the informant who has been leaking clues to Daniel and Adriana.
"Harvest of Souls" - Jack discovers that Lisa Cross may not have been the only woman that his brother murdered. The prosecutor Pintado is kidnapped and murdered in broad daylight by Chihuahua State Police. The assassin Franco confesses to Daniel and Adriana. They submit their story after an unsuccessful attempt to interview Sebastian Cerisola at Grupo Clio, but it's rejected and Daniel is fired. Both journalists have also found themselves as Cerisola's next targets. Sonya and Hank's visit to Fausto's land development has made the former a target for Sebastian Cerisola and Fausto. Eva finds the Juárez cop in the shack, and after much deliberation, murders him; she and Steven hop onto his motorcycle and drive away into the night. Sonya and Marco break into the prosecutor's hotel room to look for Eva's signed affidavit, but are ambushed by the same cops who killed Pintado, and in the ensuing fight, Sonya fires a shot at one cop and Marco takes care of the rest. A more offhand discovery is that Cerisola was involved with getting the DEA shut out of Juárez, so this government corruption goes all the way up to the federal level.
"Rakshasa" - Sonya has been kidnapped by a hitman hired by Fausto, but is ultimately rescued by Marco. While Eleanor gets Charlotte to transfer Red Ridge to a new owner, the latter alerts the DEA, and the DEA and Hank confront Eleanor and co. Fausto, who is hiding in the mountains, orders a hit on Eleanor and co and tells them to bring he back to him, so they ambush everyone. In the ensuing shootout, the hitmen, the DEA, Charlotte, and the notary are all killed, and Eleanor, Cesar, and Hank are injured. Hank manages to crawl out of the house with Eleanor's ledger despite being heavily wounded.
"Eidolon" - In a flashback, Eleanor killed Yovani not only because he tries to sexually assault her, but he had also taken a peek into her ledger, which carried sensitive information (like the fact that she's been skimming off money for herself). Hank, who is badly injured, manages to hide the ledger and won't give up its location, so Cesar takes him to Eleanor, who has also lost a lot of blood and is with a Back-Alley Doctor. Meanwhile, Frye and Adriana tail the CIA Agent Buckley and learn more about the CIA's involvement in Mexico. Fausto, who is angry that the hit went wrong, instead has had Romina Cerisola kidnapped. Sonya and Marco eventually chase Eleanor and co, and are able to capture them.
Where It All Began: The final confrontation with David Tate takes place on the Bridge of the Americas, where the first two bodies were dumped, where Sonya and Marco first met, and also where Tate's wife and son died in a car crash.