The Bridge’s Disappointing Twist

the-bridge-2013Remember over the summer when I was so hopeful about The Bridge and the way the show shed light on the multiple institutions that allowed for the continual mass violence against women on the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly the border between El Paso and Juarez?

Oh, I should have known.

For the first few episodes, The Bridge elegantly unfolded a string of incidents that implicated the police, the press, and the federal government (of the U.S.) in the murder of young women and migrants on the border. The serial killer actively drew attention to the way that law and order failed women. I was hoping that capitalism would get some much-deserved blame, but alas…

Anyway, as the case evolves and Detectives Ruiz and Cross get closer to finding the killer, the attention diverts. I understood that, because you can’t do everything at once, especially not in 45 mintues a week. It was also cool to see Detective Cross’s complicated character develop a bit and, disappointed as I was with Ruiz as a person, I found their dynamic interesting. Further, Daniel Frye’s journey has been…something…

But then, well then, *spoiler* the killer turns out to be a former FBI agent who faked his death and orchestrated the spectacles of the killings because…well for now it looks like for revenge against Ruiz for sleeping with his wife who died in an accident that also killed his son. So, our focus has shifted from a vigilante drawing attention to the oppressive and gendered violence in Juarez to a grudge against a philanderer. Excuse me if I feel cheated. This narrative move feels easy. It would have been much harder to sustain the plot as it started. It would have taken more grit and a willingness to get political. This plot twist just cheapens the whole thing.

I mean, The Bridge could turn it around at the 11th hour. After all, when the killer worked for the FBI he was an idealist interested in doing something about the gendered violence. But I’m not holding my breath. In the mean time, there’s the Juarez vigilante who is retaliating for rapes and calling herself Diana the Hunter. Huh.

2 thoughts on “The Bridge’s Disappointing Twist

  1. Just wondering what your final reaction is now that the series has ended for the season? However you are certainly correct when you say that the reveal of the killer was disappointing. However that may be just the end of the first season – without going back to look isn’t there something still dangling with reporter Mendes sister being missing?

    Maybe they will pick it up with a larger social impact in season 2.

    • I was very disappointed by this season for the last 2/3rds, but I also got the impression that they are setting season 2 up to take on larger social justice issues. I’m cautiously optimistic given the way season 1 went, but here’s hoping!

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