The Bridge Season 2, Episode 3 “Sorrowsworn”
Written by Patrick Somerville
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on FX
“Sorrowsworn” is an interesting turning point for The Bridge, both in construction and delivery: continuing the trend of the last two episodes, “Sorrowsworn” layers more intertwining characters and stories into the larger story, while at the same time attempting to find intimate moments with characters, an interesting experiment in pressing on the gas pedal while slightly massaging the brake at the same time. It makes for an uneven ride at times, sure, but like last week’s episode, there’s the growing sensation that The Bridge is finding its direction as it continues its sophomore transformation.
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In “Sorrowsworn”, that dichotomy comes from the “large” and “small” moments: when The Bridge is focused on the “bigger picture”, it still feels hazy as to why all these stories co-exist along side each other. At times, it actually gives scenes some much-needed emotional levity: when Sonya and Marco discuss the loved ones they’ve lost, The Bridge‘s aspirations to be more character-focused pays dividends. Other times, however, that attention detracts from the larger, more dramatically intriguing ideas in play: Sonya’s obliviously-rude nature in multiple scenes feels rehashed, material that takes away from things like her continued sexual pursuit of Jack Dobbs and the search for Kyle, a search that puts her in direct eyesight of the show’s other troublesome characterization, Eleanor Nacht.
Like it does with Sonya’s character, “Sorrowsworn” simply reiterates Eleanor’s character traits: she’s weird about death and murder, she intimidates with her mannerisms, and she dresses like the most conservative-thinking women in the Western world. There’s really nothing added to her character in this episode, spending lots of time reminding us that she’s some kind of threat, one that Fausto and Sonya both need to be on the lookout for: and with her true importance to the plot unknown (while it sounds like she worked for Fausto, who knows what’s going on there), the repeated instances of characters describing her unorthodox nature feels repetitive, limiting the show’s attempts to stretch in both directions (character-centric vs. plot-driven) and hamstringing its ability to give characters depth.
And it’s attempts to grow smaller in scope are somewhat erratic: there’s still the journalists-running-around-Mexico story line (this week, the friendly cross-dresser gets a “pretty” death from some cartel assassin, who then thinks he is cursed for what he did) and the rest of the Missing Girls of Juarez, bringing Linder and Bob back into the fold as they beat down the Mexican cop who appeared (presumably) on Hank’s property in the season premiere. What does any of this have to do with Fausto and his doings? The only connection we have is the Mexican cop, and even that is unclear: with the police department under Galvan’s thumb, it’s impossible to discern what importance any of this would be to the PD or Galvan (especially since Galvan himself never mentions Eva, the situation surrounding her, or why any of that matters to him). All we know for now is little punks in Bellagua are trying to challenge him, and his response is bound to be swift and extremely violent (he tells the police captain to keep away from that neighborhood for a few days, which means we’re going to get some bullets and blood in next week’s episode).
But even with the camera fluttering back and forth across the border, throwing out random stories (hey Charlotte!) and weird moments (Eleanor is a money woman who is only kind of good at disposing bodies!), “Sorrowsworn” remains an interesting watch, thanks to little scenes like Kitty and Marco sharing a friendly conversation while he waits for Hank in his office. There are certainly interesting characters on The Bridge, and when the show doesn’t default to forcing them to wallow through their own depressions (as Marco’s so often been stuck in since the middle of last season), there’s a certain feeling of momentum that keeps me drawn to the sweaty, sand-covered worlds Juarez and El Paso.
– boy, they were not being subtle about the whole “single stone” thing, huh.
– Ray’s escape plan? Move to Alaska, because Mexicans “can’t handle the cold”. Never change, Ray, never change.
– Sonya’s pillow talk is severely lacking.
– If we’re in for a whole season of staring at the Dangerous Cleavage of Eleanor Nacht, I’m going to get bored. Even quicker if she continues to stab herself with needles.