The Bridge, Season 1, Episode 10: “Old Friends”
Written by Patrick Somerville
Directed by Alex Zakrzewski
Airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX
The reveal of ex-FBI agent David Tate as the mastermind behind the rash of cross-border crimes on this season of The Bridge brought the motivations behind the crimes into focus. What it didn’t bring into focus, however, was the machinations of Tate’s plan, nor did it bring Sonya and Marco any closer to capturing him. The effects of Tate’s actions on the police begin to show this week, as Marco and Sonya react differently to the strain Tate put on them, in a solid episode that manages to keep the tension high despite very little in the way of resolution.
Daniel’s road to sobriety and addiction recovery continues to be a fascinating aspect of the show. While most of the characters on The Bridge had hidden sins that Tate has been bringing to the surface, Daniel is someone whose vices and character drawbacks were readily apparent from the start. Up until this week’s episode, he was also the one targeted the least, as he has not been in any real danger since the car bomb didn’t explode, which makes his desire to better himself more intrinsic, adding further empathy to the character. While Tate is clearly aware of Daniel’s desire to change, it will be interesting to see whether he perceives the desire as genuine or fleeting; if Tate sees it as fleeting, his actions this week will fall in line with the plan he has unveiled over the course of the season to make the people who contributed to his family’s death feel his pain. If, however, he sees Daniel’s recovery as genuine, it will show the audience another facet of Tate’s personality, as all his actions to date could have been interpreted as the work of an avenging angel. Making Daniel suffer when he has clearly learnt his lesson, however, proves that Tate is determined to go through with his plan regardless of circumstances, which bodes poorly for everyone involved. What Tate’s true motivations are, and how his actions affect Daniel, are both work looking out for.
Tate’s actions and overall plans also continue to be interesting to watch. While revealing the main villain relatively early is a gamble that could have gone poorly for The Bridge, Tate’s continued to be an enigmatic figure despite the reveals of both him and the driving motivation behind his actions. He has spent a lot of time planning this out, and it shows, as the end of the episode leaves the audience with no clearer idea of what his plan is, to the show’s benefit. The drawing out of his actions has yet to seem forced, and credit goes to the writers for that. It will be interesting to keep an eye on Tate to see how he reacts if and when a part of his plan falls apart in any way; as everything has gone per plan so far, Tate has yet to appear truly vulnerable, and whether vulnerability makes him more or less dangerous will have a huge impact on the show, as well as Sonya and Marco.
Overall, this was another great episode of the show. Charlotte’s transition from helpless bystander to ruthless protector, while initially seeming like filler, is coming into sharper focus and becoming compelling in its own right, and the deaths of both Graciela and Tim open up new possibilities for the character, possibilities she may seriously consider after the surprising lack of money from the will of her late husband, and what course of action she chooses to take will be worth looking out for. The performances this week, particularly from Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger, were particularly outstanding. The same goes for Catalina Sandino Moreno, despite the brevity of her role this week, and her underutilisation continues to be one of the rare frustrating aspects of the show. What Tate’s ultimate plan is, and how Daniel factors into that, as well as whether Sonya can manage to crack Tate’s next move in time to save Gus, are all worth tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta