Iron Man 3 comes out in about a month. So it has been on my mind a bit more than usual. That film was built up as one thing and spent most of it’s run time heading towards expected conclusion. Then something happens, new information is shared to both audience and characters. That expected story has now been tagged from behind by an irresponsible driver causing it to flip on its head. That thing the film is building towards, dies on impact. In the wreckage as a viewer you are left wondering if you were foolish or should be angry at the sudden turn this story has taken.
Normally I find such reactions to be invalid. In the case of Iron Man 3 that change turns it into something greater than the sum of its parts. Which should allow it to live on longer than any other third film in a blockbuster franchise would. Where Iron Man 3 showed the falsehoods of fanboy belief and speculation, The Bridge wrapped itself in socio-economic topical and mostly true sounding commentary to mask a far simpler motive: revenge. Revenge is such a well worn motivation for killing a bunch of people, it’s even the name of a semi-hit ABC show. It also would have had made the show far less interesting and generic, if The Bridge has been all about what motivated the killer to operate. He’s the Wizard of Oz and his projections are much more interesting. Yes, it was all a bunch of grandstanding to mask a suddenly revealed characters Moriarty style plot. The thing is, all the grandstanding and political commentary is true. People like Daniel Frye, Adriana Perez, Marco Ruiz, and Sonya Cross are going to have to deal with the Fasuto Galvan’s of the world. After the inevitably bring David Tate/Kenneth Hastings in or down. If there is no dealing with truths Tate has rode on than I’ll have a reason to be angry.
Answers and reveals are a double edge sword in todays TV environment. Viewers have become very educated and have a lot of expectations of plot. It isn’t about who/what anymore but the when and execution behind it that really matters. The revelation that Kenneth Hastings aka Alma’s oddly important man friend from her work is David Tate and The Beast was some 24 shit. It played on the audience's knowledge of Alma and her lover while giving our heroes a beam of light that doesn't even show them a proper shadow. The quality revelation is partly why all the grandstanding being misdirection doesn't feel like such a big deal. Besides it fit back into the theme of everyone is connected and who can’t feel comforted by Hollywood storytelling 101 at this point.
Knowing the identity of The Beast makes the main engine for this show less interesting because of what must come next. At the sametime most viewers and the shows writers haven’t really seem to care about it in the first place and just use it in purely mechanical ways.
Even if Tate has been using the border culture as cover the show has still invested in exploring it with characters like the continually funny Tampa Ray (now with a wired up Tampa Tim!!!). “Tim swallows that suck sauce like warm beer.” Ray tells himself as he drags a crate of assault rifles through Charlottes tunnel (o innuendo). Where the tunnel comes up at hasn’t been revealed but it can’t be that far from the restaurant that makes up Graciela’s hideout. The bilingual nature of the show has made it a bit novel and given it a level of realism not seen on most American television. Now it’s being used for awkward situations that force Ray to wonder if he needs to once again seal the deal with Graciela. Like the puppet he is, the distinction of what sealing the deal was is lost on him.
In some encouraging news from our threads not involving The Beast, Charlotte appears to be gaining a bet of agency. First she chastises Ray for doing another shady scheme with Tim (how right she is). Following it up with how he has failed her many a time. “Vendetta” also featured a brief scene between Daniel and Adriana where they continued to be a charming odd couple that need more things to do. Focusing on Adriana’s home life with her mother constantly pestering her to get a boyfriend was interesting. With that line about god not forgiving her if she didn’t do it herself. Hinting that she isn’t as closeted as she appears.
The Bits At The End
David Tate is really good at slicing people open and not getting any blood on him.
In retrospect my comment on Jack Childress being a shadow of The Beast was very correct.
It’s kinda crazy how much Carlos Pratts done with so little as Gus. I am actually kinda invested in his character...even though he isn’t that fully featured.