The Bridge Ep. 2.05 “Eye of the Deep” benefits greatly from some thematic unity

the bridge 2.5

The Bridge Season 2, Episode 5 “Eye of the Deep”
Written by Mauricio Katz
Directed by Alex Zakrzewski
Airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on FX

 

If there’s been a common theme among the main characters of The Bridge, it’s exploring the darker avenues of dealing with great loss. It occurs on both a human level, and with the larger plots at play: while Fausto and his organization scramble from the $70 million loss they just took on the other side of the border, characters like Adriana, Marco, and Sonya are dealing with the loss of family members, and Charlotte and Ray find themselves at a loss for freedom under Galvan’s violently oppressive thumb. And as all these plots begin to coalesce, “Eye of the Deep” reaches farther and deeper than the episodes before it to go out of it’s way painting a group of people reaching their wit’s end with the current state of affairs – and in the process, delivers the best episode of the season so far.

Surprisingly, there’s a lack of action in this episode of The Bridge: save for David Tate’s disfiguring at the hand’s of Galvan’s gangbangers, the only plot movement in “Eye of the Deep” comes from what is suggested. The CIA may be protecting Galvan’s organization (as Ceasar finds out in very hilarious, unnerving fashion), and Cerisola (the CEO of Groupo Clio, and close confidant to Galvan) turns out to have a junkie daughter (a lovely bit of irony): besides these two things, David Tate’s return is the only progression “Eye” makes with any of its stories.

So how is it the best episode of the season so far? After a month of tweaking its formula slowly, The Bridge‘s noir-ish new look is beginning to come together, both in its aesthetics and its storytelling devices. It certainly helps the episode focuses more on Marco than Sonya: for all her trips to the bathtub and growing relationship with Jack Dobbs, there’s an unsettling feeling that something bad is about to happen to Sonya, something worse than the insults thrown her way when she interrupts Galvan’s attempts to kidnap D.A. Pintado outside Marco’s apartment. But “Eye of the Deep” never reaches that point, letting Jack stare off in the shadows and forcing the audience into the uncomfortable place of seeing Sonya drop her guard around another human being, one that the show’s filming and writing has slowly suggested to us is disturbed in some yet-to-be-revealed way. As a woman trying to navigate the loss of her sister – something that’s only now hitting home, with her killer being cremated – Sonya is an interesting character; as a woman who is slowly walking into a hornet’s nest that the audience can only vaguely see through the shadows, it’s not as rewarding to see her make emotional leaps with Jack (which for her, is a kiss goodbye), because we know somehow this isn’t going to end well for anyone.

Marco’s story, on the other hand, continues to be the emotional anchor for The Bridge, even in its second season: his decision not to kill Tate (at least not yet) may be a predictable one, but it speaks to that impact of human loss that I mentioned earlier, and Galvan speaks about at the tomb for his own dead son, one murdered by a trigger man whose head now rests in a jar at his dead son Oscar’s feet. Galvan tells Marco how the pain of losing a son can never subside: there may be “consolation” in the form of murder, but it’s merely a short-lived distraction from the everlasting pain of Gus’s death, a weight that Damian Bechir has carried so well for the handful of episodes we’ve had since Sonya was unable to save Marco’s son from the wrath of Tate.

It’s simply wonderful acting: and it makes a scene like Marco’s decision not to kill him a little less cliched than it really is: there’s serious weight given to Marco’s choice, a certain suggestion that no, not everything is written in stone sometimes. Vengeance is not always a requirement – though in Fausto’s business, it is a currency like anything else, from fear to happiness to the shadow Galvan casts over the border and onto the US government (something it looks like Daniel and Adriana are about to stumble into, thanks to the DEA agent sending them tips on Euro bills). Marco realizes, on some level, he can’t play both sides of the fence forever, and the re-emergence of David Tate appears to be a direct challenge to where Marco’s morality lies. Will he continue to obey Fausto, or is it finally time for him to side with Sonya, Eva, and the rest of those in the US trying to take him down? That question remains the heart of The Bridge‘s second season: and for the entirety of “Eye of the Deep”, it’s a light burning bright in the corner of every frame, casting long shadows across the faces of its characters as they head into uncertain waters, both politically, morally, and personally.

 

— Randy

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