“The Bridge” recap (1.11): Take the Ride, Pay the Toll


The Bridge has really outdone itself with opening sequences in its later half of the season. The penultimate episode opens with Ray, dragging Timmy’s decomposing body through the tunnel. Ray stops when he hears music playing, and goes to investigate. The smell of death nearly overwhelms him as he enters a room with numerous dead bodies, all shot in the midst of a card game.  He takes one of the corpse’s guns and stumbles upon someone. They exchange fire, and Ray kills the stranger. Ray, using all three of his sharpest brain cells, pulls Timmy’s body into the room, and stages it to look like he was part of the slaughter. As he wipes his hands clean of yet another mess, he swipes a book (or is it a box) on the way out.


David Tate and Marco arrive at the Juarez/El Paso border at nightfall. Tate calmly hands over his passport and smiles at Border Guards, as Marco winces in the passenger seat. Tate tells Marco that his wife’s death was instant (just as Alma’s would have been) but his son managed to live for ten minutes after the crash. Tate had hoped that his son went unconscious and dreamed his way gently into passing, but he thinks in actuality that Caleb suffered, alone in a cold dark place. Marco begs Tate to tell him where Gus is, but Tate has other plans. He pulls over in the middle of the bridge, near the spot of the accident that took his wife and son. Traffic comes to a halt, as Tate and Marco exit the vehicle. Tate, as it turns out, has enough explosives strapped to his chest to take out himself, Marco, and half the bridge. Just like that night that Tate left the mutilated body parts on the bridge, he manages to shut off all the lights, except the ones right above their heads. Tate orders Marco to open the trunk, There lies Daniel Frye, alive and terrified. Just then, police arrive on the scene.


At the El Paso station, Lt. Wade saddles up to Sonya.  “You shouldn’t be here”, he tells her gently, and she knows that he is right. He asks if Marco went to meet Tate, and she says yes.  Lt. Wade is surprised that Sonya lied to him, something that has never happened before. Sonya flashes back to Tate’s uncle’s house where she noticed a strange pipe on the ceiling. Something clicks and she thinks she knows where Gus is. Cooper joins them to let them what is happing now on the bridge. Sonya and Cooper head off to try and find Marco’s son, while Adrianna tags along with Lt. Wade to the bridge.


Marco, Frye and Tate are now in a stand off on the bridge. Tate tells Marco that Frye was complicit in the cover up in his wife and son’s deaths. Just then Wade arrives on the scene. He tells Adrianna to keep quiet and stay out of his way. Wade has snipers in position but once Tate engages his vest, he calls them off. Wade now knows that there is no way that this will end well. Marco screams at Tate to stop playing games with peoples lives, but Tate is getting off on this whole display. He instructs Marco to shoot Frye. Marco refuses, he points the gun back at Tate. Tate informs Marco that his son is dying and they only way to save him is to execute Frye. Frye closes his eyes tightly and braces for the shot. Tate implores Frye to tell Marco what he did. He wants to hear Frye say it out loud. Tate says that Frye is the perfect example of why there is so much suffering in Juarez. Selfish, greedy, drug consuming. The scene briefly switches to Gus, trying to breathe in what little oxygen is left in the barrel as he is nearly overcome with water. In spite of Tate’s taunting, Marco can’t kill Frye. “I’m not like you,” he cries at Tate.  Frye takes this opportunity to try and escape, but Tate shoots him and he falls off the bridge unto the ground below.


At Tate’s uncle’s house, Sonya and Cooper search for Gus. Sonya is convinced that he is there somewhere, even when Cooper insists they’ve already searched every nook and cranny. Sonya hears the hiss of water, and behind the freezer they find fresh plaster. The police knock down the wall to expose the barrel.  When it’s opened, Sonya screams out and reaches for Gus.


While Marco insists that he could never be like Tate, Tate smirks that he will be by the end of this. He takes off his bomb vest to encourage the snipers to shoot him. With a bullet in his head, Marco will never know where his son is. Marco screams and Lt. Wade orders the snipers to hold fire. Marco tells Tate that he is just trying to ruin his life to get his rocks off.  “Tell me where he is,” Marco says. Tate asks Marco if he knows how Caleb died.  “He drowned in his own blood, ” Tate replies. Marco says once again that he is sorry, but please just tell him where his son is. Tate calmly looks at his watch, and says ok.


Sonya starts running toward Marco just as Tate announces that Gus is dead. Sonya screams at Marco not to shoot, and arrives to find a chaotic situation. Tate delights in taunting Marco that Gus died while waiting for his father to save him. Marco panics and Sonya tries to help. He asks her if Gus is alive and she says yes. She begs Marco not to kill Tate because that’s exactly what he wants him to do. Lose his humanity completely for the sake of revenge and rage. Marco asks her again, and once again she says yes. Tate barks that she is lying, and when Marco asks her a third time, she doesn’t answer. Marco aims his gun to shoot Tate, but Sonya stops him with a non-lethal shot. She also shoots Tate as he runs off, taking him down but not killing him. Sonya holds Marco as he sobs, and Tate smiles wickedly as the police descend upon him and take him into custody. The scene plays out in agonizing slow motion.


Back at the station, Sonya sits in a daze. Lt. Wade suggests that they go down to the hospital and get her arm patched up. She agrees. He kindly chastises her, considering she could have gotten herself killed. Sonya asks him, what would he have done and we all know he’d have done the same. Without her intervening, Marco would have killed Tate, an act that would have stayed with him forever. She laments that she doesn’t know what to say to Marco.


She does go to the hospital to see him, however. He is a broken man, slumped in his hospital bed. In a voice barely above a whisper, he tells her to get out. She refuses and launches into an explanation. She tried to save Gus, but he had drowned by the time she got there. She insists that she was only doing what he taught her. While true, it does nothing to help the situation. When he asks Sonya why she stopped him from killing Tate, she tells him that that is exactly what Tate wanted him to do and friends try to protect each other. He informs Sonya that they aren’t friends, only partners, and not even that anymore. She is shaken, trying to absorb this shock. Marco yells at her once again to leave, and she does. Alone in his room, he weeps. At the same hospital, Adrianna shows up to check on Frye. The doctor tells her that Frye has suffered massive trauma to the head and spine. The only thing to do now is wait. Adrianna goes to his bedside, and we see Frye hooked up to a respirator, bloody and swollen. She reaches out and takes his hand while the machines whirl and buzz in the background.


A limping Marco makes his way down a long sterile hallway to the morgue to see his son. The M.E. excuses himself to allow Marco time with Gus’s body. He caresses Gus’s hair and hugs him gently.  Marco then clutches his heart with his hand, the pain of loss actually physical inside of his chest. He leaves and we watch him walk toward the shocking, white bright of day.


What did you think of this week’s episode of The Bridge?

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