Up until the about the halfway point, “Rio” was looking like a fairly pedestrian episode where some (but not a lot) of headway was made and that would be that. Next thing you know Det. Ruiz is hooking up with Charlotte Millright(Annabeth Gish). I hate random sex scenes between two people who just met. The spontaneous nature of it always rings false. When it happens in Mr&Mrs. Smith it makes sense, they just had a fight and are making up. Here, it is just Charlotte talking about how you remember the people who are good to you before she throws herself at Ruiz. Connecting the two together does kill two birds with one stone: it gives Ruiz a vice and ties Charlotte into the main story in non-vague thematic terms. This vice doesn't feel natural or earned. Up until his hesitant answer to classify his marriage as being “up” or “down” everything looked solid except for his son being a stupid teenager. All of a sudden there are marital issues? Making Det. Ruiz into a gray angel is fine and dandy but this just appeared out of left field.
This show has done a masterful job of making the two distinct worlds of El Paso and Juarez. El Paso is characterized by its open quietness and prosperity. Juarez, up until this point, had only been talked about as the wild west. Keeping with the theme of mirrors Juarez is the opposite of El Paso: overstuffed, incredibly loud, and driven by poverty. It looks and feels dangerous. Like a place where Daniel and Adriana witnessing a man shot in the head over a petty dispute is totally commonplace. Daniel and Adriana have become another odd couple for this show. Daniel: the moderately wealthy, caucasian, heterosexual, connected male who mostly coasts and Adriana: the working, Mexican, homosexual, female hard worker with real verve for the job. Adriana mirrors her own family as they subside in a cramped house watching telenovelas, her cousins already weighed down by kids. If The Bridge gets to branch out into stories greater than just murder I’d love to see more Daniel and Adriana together.
Two characters who are not situated in coupledom are Charlotte and Steven Linder. Two characters shown to be on the outs of their societies. Charlotte is seen as nothing more than a trophy wife and is politely shut down from helping in civic projects. Steven doesn't seem to have a circle to belong to making him the perfect suspect for the illegal murders and death of his neighbor. When they bring Steven in for questioning Thomas M. Wright just looks totally broken as a human being. The lone wolf claims he is just a man who helps people. Which sounds innocent enough but with Wright’s acting could easily be read with malintent. This could come back and make me look foolish but I don’t think Steven is the killer, or at least involved in the conspiracy.
The killer has captured the surviving illegal and plans to ransom her for $1 million split four ways from the four richest men in El Paso. His point being to make them feel responsible for Maria’s death should they not pay. This will be dealt with next week in "Maria of the Desert". It’s this part of the show that is the least interesting to me. Blame it on burnout from seeing plenty of film and television built around super methodical and well planned killers. This show knows it wants to be more than another killer show. So they wrap the killing in diverse characters and settings that have far more interesting readings. Also playing up a murder plays far wider than saying your show is about the contrasting nature of two border cities and the value of human life, with plenty of non-white faces.
The Bits At The End
Demián Bichir was just killing it with subtle and amusing faces. Look at his face as he is shutdown by Sonya when tries to get into Steven’s trailer. He looks like a kid who was bad in class and thought he could get away.
“I can’t have sex at work!” That’s just a groan inducing line. Having Sonya not understand we do things like white lies is fine and dandy. Saying that line just makes her look inept and childish.
Does anyone know what hitman guys weapon is? I thought it was a hammer with a whip tied to it but now it looks more just a whip.