The Bridge Review: Only the Beginning

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A dead woman is placed strategically over the US-Mexican border with half of her body in the United States and the other half in Mexico. That sounded more like the synopsis for a police or forensics procedural episode than for an entire series.

The Bridge took the imagery of one body split into two parts over two countries to explore the differences between the disparate neighboring countries and law enforcement resources, highlighted by the investigating officers: Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz. 

The Bridge Premiere Photo

The premiere started off slow, without much sense of how this one event would turn into a series long mystery. Marco turned over the body and investigation to Sonya without even thinking about it. A jurisdictional fight over the case wasn't even considered as I had expected.

By the time Sonya went into the autopsy room, I was beginning to question if this was a show that would hold my attention, let alone be something I'd be anticipating each week. In one moment, my perspective shifted entirely. The body found on the bridge wasn't that of the judge. It was half the judge and half a young Hispanic woman who had been frozen. What?!? This was no longer just a case of a killer playing a game on the border, but a calculated move by a serial killer.

I was also intrigued by the Man in the Boots who initially looked like the serial killer. Though, by the end of the episode, it appeared that he's a lackey for someone else who has an agenda at play. He didn't come across as someone who would try to stir up trouble in Mexico or capable of rigging the bomb in Daniel Frye's car.

Unless, of course, the Man in the Boots is the killer and someone else is finding the bodies and using them to bring political attention to those women whose deaths have been ignored. In that scenario, the person behind the fake bomb in Frye's car may not be an actual killer. Will The Bridge end up being less about a serial killer and more about someone with a political or sociological agenda? I'm not sure, but that final message has me wanting for me.

There are five murders a year in El Paso. In Juarez, thousands. Why? Why is one dead white woman more important than so many dead just across the bridge? How long can El Paso look away? We've got some interesting times ahead. This is only the beginning.| permalink

While the mystery had my attention, there were a few aspects of the story that I'm not entirely sold on yet. The biggest question mark is about the couple from the ambulance. Why were they on the bridge? And are they even tied into the larger story or not? Presumably there was a reason that he told her he wanted a divorce. And whatever is behind the locked door is certainly going to add a new or connected intrigue.

The other distraction was the extreme personalities of Sonya and Marco. Sonya's demeanor, lack of empathy, and poor interpersonal skills due to her Asperger's makes it difficult to see how she became a detective. The scene between her and her mentor and superior officer did little to make it more believable. In contrast, Marco's almost too nonchalant about the law. But at least he appears to be acting due to lack of resources, rather than a lack of caring.

Going forward, I expect that the two of them will end up rubbing off on each other in a positive way that tempers each of their extremes. I'm looking forward to watching them interact now that their case has a direction for them to pursue. 

The premiere may have had a slow start, but by the end I was definitely wanting to know more about these characters and the person behind the killings, staged bodies and framing of Frye.

What did you think of the premiere? Will you be back next week for more? Any theories on the killer and/or the person behind the bombing? 

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Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Will you be continuing to cover this series with recaps? I sure hope so - I need an episode 2 review!! Loving this show!


Wikipedia entry on The Bridge -- says that Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) is to have Asperger syndrome . . . that explains a lot on how she is acting her part.

Beverly brooks

This is not the show for me. I watched about half of it. I doubt I will again.


I totally enjoyed this series, loved the premise which is such a big issue and certainly brings challenges and fastinating stories. What may stop me from watching is the Sonya character. Sorry, I find her annoying and twitchy. I actually had to fast forward through many of her scenes. I'll give it another week. FX really does bring it.....big.


Exceptionally well done.


The FX pilot nearly mirrored the original Danish version scene for scene. You are correct, they rub off on each other as the series progresses. It's good.


It was good.