This bridge goes somewhere

I had The Bridge all figured out.

Detective Sonya Cross is weird. Not goofy weird. Borderline psychopath weird. Her world is black and white. There are rules, there is breaking rules. It is against the rules to let an ambulance take a dying man thru a crime scene, so she tells the man’s wife to turn around. She can’t notify a husband of his wife’s death without starting her investigation, asking for his cell phone and about infidelity. She asks him in his own home if he would like a glass of water, multiple times. She thinks this is expressing emotion. She apologizes if she lacked empathy as he kicks her out.

Sonya Cross can’t process other people’s feelings. Her partner’s wife makes her dinner, she tells her it tastes bad. She tells a crying mother her daughter must remain in custody because she is on drugs. Later, when the girl’s father is killed, Cross interrogates her as if she isn’t in shock from seeing her father’s tongue pulled out thru a slit in his throat.

Cross has a sex life but no love life. Late one night she gets dressed, goes to a bar and asks the first man she talks to if he wants to have sex with her. Her style is submissive, as if she is fulfilling a role she thinks she is supposed to play even though she doesn’t understand why. The next morning she walks into the office and matter-of-factly tells her boss, “I had sex last night,” to which he replies in a way that sounded like this is a repeat occurrence. A few days later her conquest shows up at the police station to get her number and she reflexively responds, “I can’t have sex with you here,” right in front of her partner and her boss.

What’s the point of my amateur psycho analysis? I couldn’t understand why The Bridge made her this way. The show has enough mystery and drama to function just fine with its main character being normal. What about the show needed her to exhibit such a bizarre personality?

Then it hit me. The show features Cross and a Mexican detective trying to solve the case of a murder victim placed on the bridge between El Paso and Juarez. Half the body is in Mexico, half in the United States. Their investigation leads to a mission-oriented serial killer. My theory after a couple of episodes was that Cross is the killer. Based on her weirdness I posited she would experience complete psychological breaks and commit these horrible murders without even realizing what she was doing. Imagine Dexter with a split personality.

Under my theory they would investigate deeper and deeper. Nothing would make sense. Then, like a bolt from the blue, her boss would realize what was wrong with this strange young cop he mentored for so long. Talk about a snake in the mail box, what a great twist that would be! It had to be the reason they made her the way she is!

WRONG. Sonya Cross is not the killer. Her personality is the result of her sister being brutally raped and murdered when she was 15. She proves she is capable of emotion sitting in prison with the mentally disabled killer, holding his hand and crying as he draws childlike pictures of her sister with black eyes.

The first time I tried watching The Bridge I didn’t make it 10 minutes. Cross was that annoying. I gave it another shot, though, and I’m glad I did. It’s not a great show, but it’s a very good one. Diane Kruger does an excellent job as Cross and Demián Bichir is enjoyable as her partner from Juarez. Ted Levine plays her completely Texas boss who is mentally ready to retire. Annabeth Gish, who I think is just the best, plays the wife of the dying man in the ambulance. Her story unfolds separately from the murder investigation but it becomes clear that the two storylines will intersect at some point as the show nears the end of its first season.

I used On Demand to catch up with The Bridge’s first 10 episodes. Judging by the ratings I am not alone in watching it on delay. According to The Hollywood Reporter  its most recent episode gained a whopping 67 percent increase of viewers when DVR was taken into account.

With ratings like that, characters that are enjoyable and a good set of storylines, The Bridge is a solid addition to your TV lineup. Its full season is available thru Comcast’s On Demand so you can catch up as it reaches its last three episodes of the season.

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