The first season of FX’s murder mystery series ‘The Bridge’ started out with incredible promise, but eventually devolved into a formulaic, over-the-top serial killer story reliant on too many implausible coincidences. With the start of a new season and a new storyline, can the show get back on track?
I’d like to think so, but it’s too soon to tell.
As we pick up, Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) is still a mess. His son was murdered last season, and in the meantime his wife has left him. She won’t even let him be present for the birth of his new child. Marco is drunk, depressed and miserable all the time. This is a problem for the show, because leaving him in this state drains the character of all the personality that made him so interesting at the start of the series.
Sonya (Diane Kruger) is still obsessed with the man who killed her sister. Hospitalized with brain injuries since the show began, he’s fading away. Sonya doesn’t want him to die, because he’s the only connection she has to her sister. In the Season 2 premiere (called ‘Yankee’), she meets and begins an affair with his brother. This doesn’t seem healthy.
Daniel (Matthew Lillard) has fallen off the wagon again, but insists that he’s a fully functioning alcoholic. His sponsor is Kevin from ‘The Office’, which probably doesn’t help him in that regard. Daniel is investigating the “money house” from last season, where an old woman’s death led to the discovery that her house was being used as a storage area for $60 million in cash belonging to a Mexican cartel.
The new plot this season concerns a woman named Eleanor (Franka Potente) who crosses over the border to the United States on business to see a banker. We quickly learn that Eleanor is a very scary woman. She works for the cartel and has come to find out what happened to their $60 million. She does not treat the banker very nicely. She also gets involved in a bloody crime scene, but the details of what happened aren’t fully revealed yet.
Eleanor is an interesting character, and I’d like to think that her storyline has potential, but it isn’t yet as compelling as the initial set-up for Season 1. I think the show has stuck both Marco and Sonya in ruts that they may never get out of, and I see that as a pretty fundamental problem that will affect my enjoyment of the series going forward. I’ll continue to watch, but I can’t help feeling disappointed that the show never quite lived up to its brilliant beginning.