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Series: The Bridge US

The Bridge is a television drama that premiered on the FX 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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ate His Gun: De Large, the Rayburn Bank branch manager.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Tate accomplishes his revenge.
  • 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".
  • Book Ends: The episode 'Rio' opens and ends on a shot of the searing hot El Paso sun, the former during Karl Millwright's funeral and the latter when Maria is staked out in the desert.
  • Boom, Headshot: Deputy Stokes meets his end in "Destino" when Jackson Childress puts a shot through the back of his head that explodes out of his face.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Sonya and Childress are both wearing them when they shoot each other in "Destino".
  • The Bus Came Back: Provided by Fausto Galván for Marco. He essentially hands David Tate to him on a silver platter to do whatever he wants to avenge Gus's death.
  • Butt Monkey:
  • Cannot Tell a Lie / Will Not Tell a Lie: Over the course of the season, Sonya ventures in between the two.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Linder does this in "Vendetta" when the girl he's having an Erotic Dream about morphs into an evil drug lord.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.]]
  • Diagonal Billing: For Kruger and Bichir.
  • 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.
      Jack Dobbs: What are you doing?
      Sonya Cross: Foreplay? This is weird.
  • Driven to Suicide: De Large, the branch manager of the Rayburn National Bank whom Eleanor visits about the compromised money.
  • 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Galvan, as The Don of a Mexican cartel, has killed plenty of people, but can't understand why someone would enjoy the act.
    • 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.
  • Eye Scream: Happens to David Tate in the episode "Eye of the Deep." Twice. In the same eye.
  • Fair Cop: Yeah, that's Diane Kruger as Sonya. She played Helen of Troy once. Also Demián Bichir.
  • Fake Guest Star: Matthew Lillard appears in all but one episode in the first season, more times than both Annabeth Gish and Thomas M. Wright, who are both series regulars. He's promoted to series regular come season 2.
  • Faking the Dead: "Vendetta" reveals that FBI Agent David Tate did this, and assumed the identity of Kenneth Hasting.
  • Fan Disservice: Ray goes down on cartel boss Graciela as payment for her agreement to run guns through the tunnel ("Destino"). Ick.
  • Foreign Remake: Of Bron/Broen, as noted above.
  • 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.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted; see Pretty Little Headshots below.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Sonya: I'm sorry if I didn't exercise empathy.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Right after having a vasectomy, Marco finds out his wife is pregnant.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Juárez cop who Bob captures at his safehouse is subjected to one by Linder.
  • No Social Skills: Sonya. After she takes her shirt off in the bullpen Hank reminds her that she's supposed to do that in the restroom.
  • Noodle Incident / Noodle Implements: Whatever led to the felony Bob committed in Tulsa way back when.
    Lt. Wade: You see, I ran your name, Bob. You wanna tell me what happened in Tulsa?
    Bob: Beat. Which thing?
    Lt. Wade: Felony assault with a dirt bike.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Previously on The Bridge
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Both Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard) and Adriana Mendez (Emily Rios) for the second season.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Revenge: The killer's real motivation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slashed Throat: Santi Jr. receives one in "Vendetta".
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Daniel Frye makes it through the end of the season, while his counterpart Daniel Ferbé from Bron|Broen is gassed by the killer at the end of the seventh episode.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge:
    • David Tate puts Gus inside a septic tank where he slowly drowns to death.
    • The teenager Kyle in season 2's "Ghost of a Flea" and "Sorrowsworn," in which Eleanor quietly kills him in a storage locker and then dumps his body in a drum filled with bleach.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: Sonya and Marco.
  • Take It To The Bridge: Try not to take body parts there, though.
  • 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.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Adriana drags Daniel to an AA meeting in "Old Friends".
  • Trophy Wife: Charlotte was this. Her husband's daughter hates her for it.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Santi Sol, Jr.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Graciela is having a pedicure when Fausto meets her. Also Fausto is seen literally shopping for clothes and boats. Eleanor engages in this as well. All three are still very intimidating.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Marco realizes that the killer is deliberately targeting him for revenge.
  • 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.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "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.
  • Wham Line: "I want to kill him myself."
  • 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.

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