The Bridge “Take the Ride, Pay the Toll” Review (1×11)

19 Sep


“You will be like me when this ends. That I can promise you.”

Marco Ruiz has gone through pain and suffering that no one should ever have to go through. That’s not to say he isn’t to blame for some of it, but he’s been forced down a descending path of darkness, slipping and sliding to the edge of the abyss. That edge manifests itself right there on the bridge in a standoff between David Tate and Marco, and it’s a satisfying conclusion to a storyline that needed to be wrapped up as soon as possible.

The episode doesn’t stray from the events surrounding that standoff, and it’s a tense, well constructed sequence of events. The main problem I have with it is that it’s essentially a rehash of everything that’s played out so far in the season, whether it be David Tate’s psycho-ramblings or Marco’s anguished screams. However, I’m happy that the storyline has finally come to a close. The show’s been spinning its wheels for a while, and there are two episodes left to head back into the world of El Paso. The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what the writers’ plans are for the rest of the season, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Anyway, both Bichir and Kruger once again do magnificent work, and where they’re at their best is during moments of silence. When Marco asks Sonya about Gus, it’s heartbreaking to see her struggle to answer the question, and the silence says it all. After Tate is dealt with (good work, Sonya!), we also get subsequent scenes of silence, none better than Marco’s scene in the morgue with Gus. Bichir conveys so much emotion there that it makes the last scene incredibly painful and beautiful to watch. Imagine how much more haunting that final image would be if the song doesn’t kick in.

One other scene I’d like to talk about is when Sonya visits Marco in the hospital. She’s devastated, having failed at the most important thing in her life right now. Marco, understandably upset, pushes her away, stating that they’re not friends anymore. It says so much for Sonya’s character growth that she doesn’t point out the fact that she actually saved him, and that everything could’ve been avoided if not for Marco’s actions. Earlier Sonya might’ve, but this case has matured her such that she’ll go out of her way not to point it out. A couple episodes ago, Marco blew up at her for stating the obvious, asking her to just tell him what he wanted to hear. In this episode’s hospital scene, Sonya goes “I told you what you wanted to hear. What was I supposed to do?”

It’s evident that she’s started to learn from Marco and truly cares for him. She’s not going to kick him while he’s down, so that’s what makes the scene that much more heartbreaking.


This is one of the better episodes of the season, and I’m uncertain, yet kind of excited, to see where the show goes next.

Grade: A-

Other thoughts:

-I want the Tate storyline to be wrapped up, but not completely ignored later on. There are so many aspects of his character that are way too mysterious and muddled, and I’d like to glean some more information about his motivations. Right now, the storytelling for him is still absolutely ludicrous.

-I’m pleasantly surprised the show has the guts to kill off Gus. It doesn’t have the emotional impact it should have, but Marco makes it work.

-The cold open consists of Ray disposing of some bodies. That’s an interesting way to start off the episode.

-This episode seriously needs a random cutaway, right in the middle of all the tension on the bridge, to Linder dropping bodies out of a window or something.

-Why wouldn’t Marco just throw the gun over the side of the bridge? He’s just asking for Frye to get shot by basically handing the gun back to the murderer right in front of him. Honestly, though, I’m just happy that Frye somehow survives that. Lillard has done such great work with the character, and it would’ve been a crappy way to go out.

Credit to FX and The Bridge for all pictures. I own nothing.

2 Responses to “The Bridge “Take the Ride, Pay the Toll” Review (1×11)”

  1. JustMeMike September 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    While I was happy to see Tate/Hastings led away, I felt somewhat unsatisfied. I suppose given that Marco and Sonya need to have futures, so I suppose then thatthe way it was handle was for the best.. I also believed that Bichir was a bit over the top.

    Agree with what you said about Sonya’s maturation, the death of Gus, and the muddled thinking about locking themselves onto mid-bridge for the showdown. I guess Marco shouldn’t have given Tate the gun, or should have stalled until help arrived. But then he had no way of knowing – it wasn’t like Wade could have announced it via a bullhorn.

    The opening was Ray disposing of just ONE body – that of Tampa Tim. The other bodies were already there.

    So we are left with Marco’s recovery and the aftermath between he and Alma. We are left with outcome of Linder, Reverend Bob, and the girl, and we are left with the outcome of Charlotte and Ray, plus Marco and his Juarez bosses The Capitano and Galvan.

    Which will make the last episodes more intriguing than the last few.

    • polarbears16 September 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      I hear you. I guess I think Tate’s storyline and character reached such a point that pretty much any ending would feel unsatisfying. They pretty much piled on the crazy in regards to him, and it just reached a point where it had to stop.

      The bridge scene was over the top, but I liked how they used it to advance Sonya’s character rather than just focus on Mopey Marco. And yeah, Bichir did better work when he wasn’t screaming his lungs out on the bridge. That was a bit much.

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