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'The Bridge' recap: Stuffed with hidden motives

Season 2 | Episode 2 | “Ghost of a Flea” | Aired July 16, 2014

Bridge: Franka Potente is Eleanor Nacht (FX)This week’s The Bridge continues with the creepy Eleanor Nacht luring one of the teenage boys, Kyle, from the alley and convincing him to bring her to his home for clothing and a car.

Clad in a hoodie, Eleanor looks around the house as the boy fishes out more clothing for her. She walks into Kyle’s little brother’s bedroom. It’s a scary scene. Our short time with Eleanor already tells us of her unpredictable nature. Would she hurt an innocent child? She takes a playing card that the little boy is clutching in his hands as he sleeps, and kisses him on the forhead. Kyle finds her in his little brother’s room and offers the clothes. She tells him that he should say goodbye to his brother. Kyle, confused by that suggestion, mutters halfhearted goodbye as they leave the house to the garage.

We’re back at the murder scene of the lone car driving in circles in the middle of the desert. It’s confirmed that the man in the car was Eleanor’s henchman and that he worked for the infamous Fausto Galvan. The dog in the car is a taxidermied Yankee, the mascot of sorts for the DEA, which calls the attention of their office.

Hank takes a moment at the scene to question Sonya about her personal day. He wants to know if and why she was visiting Hobbs. Sonya doesn’t want to disclose to him exactly what she was doing on her personal day, and counters him by asking if he’d ask her about it if she were a man. Nice job calling Hank on sexism, Sonya! Hank can’t argue with that.

Poor Yankee gives them a lead to a taxidermist in the area. When the detectives enter the taxidermy shop, the man at the counter becomes very nervous and confesses that a woman and man threatened him into taxiderming a human corpse. He shows the corpse to the detectives, which is already rotting; that’s the reason why he can’t preserve the body.

In Juarez, Marco is just waking up. It’s nice little taste of stylish filmmaking, with our ceiling-fan perspective. Between each blade, we see Marco get up from the bed of woman he spent the night with. He heads to breakfast and notices one of his fellow police officers keeping a lookout on him. Next, he goes to the station, only to see the other cops making fun at him for looking so scared and paranoid. Pissed off, to say the least, he nails the snickering cop with a phone and a fight commences. Marco ends up looking like the crazy bad guy, but like the prosecutor tells him later on in the show, starting that fight with witnesses almost ensures that those cops can’t go after him without being considered suspects.

The dead body uncovered at the taxidermist’s shop was an undercover U.S. agent. With the DEA involved, Hank tries to get more information from their agents. Sonya speaks with the agents—all men who seem not to take her very seriously because she’s a woman. When she mentions that a female accomplice could be involved, the DEA head agent practically dismisses it. Hank knows the kind of men he’s dealing with, so he cooperates—even though you know he must have something else up his sleeve.

Daniel and Adriana get a lead on a man called Raul Quintana, who is likely involved in their investigation. They’re led to a drag-queen club, where they find “Raul,” who happens to be a transvestite and performer at the club. Daniel starts questioning Raul about his Aunt Millie and why he was deported mere weeks after getting asylum in the U.S. Raul looks around, which confirms to us that there are eyes and ears on him. Daniel doesn’t quite get that, though, and continues to pester him. Raul has no choice by to totally punch out Daniel. It had to be one of the lighter, funnier moments in the show’s history.

Sonya is working on the lead from the taxidermist about a woman with the ledger and a man. They check border security video and find the dead man in the car (Eleanor’s henchman), and a “church-y” looking woman who matches the taxidermist’s description.

Marco is at the bar, winding down from the fight and his day. The prosecutor shows up and pleads with Marco to help him find out who is behind Hugo Marquez’s murder, the disappearances of women in Juarez and their connections to the police. They’re some deep troubles, and Marco is hesitant to get this prosecutor too involved, as he’s been skirting that line between good and bad for far too long.

Outside and out of the club, Raul, dressed down in men’s attire, finds Daniel and Adriana and apologizes, saying that he was trying to keep his cover. He asks them to check in with a man called Chuchito, who had helped with his aunt and whom he hasn’t heard from in the past few days. Daniel and Adriana find and enter Chuchito’s apartment, which reeks badly—never a good sign on this show—and find his dead body in a duffel bag.

Hank admonishes Sonya for not complying with the DEA by putting out an APB on Eleanor. Sonya assumes that he’s really admonishing her about spending time seeing Jim Dobbs, and his brother, Jack. It upsets her, so she wants to upset Hank too and says she had sex with Jack. Hank doesn’t know what to say, and Sonya chooses to back off by apologizing for the APB.

THE BRIDGE -- Pictured: Ted Levine as Lt. Hank Wade -- CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX

In what I found to be the most surprising part of the episode, we see Hank confront Jack. Clearly, they know each other well and have some sort of agreement regarding his brother and Sonya. Hank doesn’t like that he slept with Sonya or is in any way getting close to her. Hank reminds Jack of his brother and that they had the same upbringing, and can both have those same kinds of violent tendencies. It’s a threat and a warning all in one. Their conversation also leads us to believe that something else went down the night Hank shot Dobbs, and these two are hiding it. So far, we only know that their agreement is to get Jim “into the ground.” Hank wants the man dead, while Sonya wants him to stay alive.

All the while, we learn of the main DEA  agent’s true motives. He explains to a fellow agent that in regard to this investigation, they’re in for the big prize: catching Fausto Galvan. It’s the reason why they’re sitting back and letting Hank, Sonya and company do the sniffing around, so that this case won’t catch the CIA or other government agencies’ attention.  This guy wants all the glory in catching Fausto Galvan single-handedly. And just because of that, we’re pretty sure he’s not going to be the one to take Galvan down.

Speaking of Galvan, Marco gets a message to meet up with the Capitan Robles. The captain is just there to lead Marco to Galvan, who wants a favor. He tells Marco to go back to the U.S. and work with Sonya and co. on finding Eleanor. Galvan insists that he must find her before the Americans do. Marco hesitates; he doesn’t want to do any favors for a man like Galvan, but he also understands the dangers in refusing such a powerful man. Galvan is accompanied by a businessman, who sees Marco’s resolve wavering. The business man tells Galvan that he believes there must be a better man than Marco for the job. But Galvan has faith in Marco and believes he will do it.

Someone comes knocking at Sonya’s door. It’s Marco! He tells her that his captain is sending him to help with the case. She’s glad it’s he. But are we also glad? Does he have good intentions? That line Marco is skirting is getting thinner, and he’s going to eventually fall on one side or the other. Has he already fallen?

Eleanor teases the ridiculously naïve teenager Kyle with sex. The boy hesitates, not wanting to touch her in a place like his garage. Eventually the two end up at a storage facility, and she leads him into her unit. She tempts him into touching her, not before asking about his friend that was with him the other night and where his friend lives. The boy answers as best as he can. They move farther into the dark storage unit, and the camera pans down to tell us that they’re standing on a plastic tarp. It’s no surprise that what happens next is a stabbing. Eleanor adds another victim to her ledger.

The Bridge, rated TV-MA, airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on FX.

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