The Bridge (2013 TV series)
by Hans Rosenfeld
|Theme music composer||Ryan Bingham|
|Opening theme||"Until I'm One with You"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||62 minutes (pilot)
|Original run||July 10, 2013– present|
The Bridge is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid, airing on the FX network, and based on the Danish/Swedish series Broen/Bron/The Bridge. Starring Mexican actor Demián Bichir and German actress Diane Kruger, the series' 13-episode first season debuted on July 10, 2013. On September 24, 2013, FX renewed The Bridge for a 13-episode second season to air in summer 2014.
Based on the Danish/Swedish TV series of the same name, The Bridge follows two police detectives – one Mexican, one American – and their joint effort to investigate a serial killer menacing both nations along the Texas–Chihuahua border. Their investigation is complicated by the rampant corruption and general apathy among the Mexican authorities and the violence of the powerful borderland drug cartels. The show title refers to the Bridge of the Americas that serves as a border crossing between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, where the series is set.
Cast and characters
- Diane Kruger as Det. Sonya Cross, a member of the El Paso Police Department. Cross has Asperger syndrome.
- Demián Bichir as Det. Marco Ruiz, a homicide detective for the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
- Annabeth Gish as Charlotte Millwright, a wealthy widow whose rancher husband suffered a myocardial infarction on the Mexican side of the border and died back in El Paso. Shocking secrets about his cross-border activities quickly come to light as Ruiz and Cross' investigation commences.
- Thomas M. Wright as Steven Linder, a "lone wolf" trying to survive in a near-lawless borderland.
- Ted Levine as Lieutenant Hank Wade, a jaded El Paso cop and Detective Cross' supervisor. He finds himself often counseling Cross to be more diplomatic in her single-minded determination to catch the killer.
- Matthew Lillard as Daniel Frye, an El Paso Times reporter whose once-promising career has been derailed by a life of partying and substance abuse.
- Johnny Dowers as El Paso PD detective Tim Cooper.
- Emily Rios as Adriana Mendez, a young reporter for the Times, who is a Juárez native.
- Eric Lange as Kenneth Hasting/David Tate, a colleague of Alma's who becomes her confidante.
- Carlos Pratts as Gus Ruiz, Marco's son.
- Catalina Sandino Moreno as Alma Ruiz, Marco's wife
- Ramón Franco as Fausto Galvan, a cartel leader, and the owner of El Rey Storage.
- Alejandro Patino as Cesar, loyal confidant of Karl Millright, and Charlotte's window into her husband's shady dealings.
- Diana-Maria Riva as Kitty Conchas, the El Paso PD's desk clerk who is of Mexican heritage, but speaks no Spanish.
- Alma Martínez as Graciela Rivera, a smuggler and former associate of Karl Millright, who intimidates Charlotte into allowing her continued access to Charlotte's ranch.
- Stephanie Sigman as Eva Guerra, Hector's girlfriend and the object of Linder's affections.
- Brian Van Holt as Ray, Charlotte's shady former lover who she enlists to help her deal with Graciela Rivera.
- Daniel Edward Mora as Obregon, Fausto's bodyguard and enforcer.
- Juan Carlos Cantu as Captain Robles, Detective Ruiz's supervisor in Juarez.
- Larry Clarke as Manny Stokes, an overeager police officer.
- Arturo del Puerto as Hector Valdez, an employee of Fausto's.
- Don Swayze as Tim, Ray's contact in Tampa.
- Lyle Lovett as Monte P. Flagman, Graciela Rivera's lawyer
- Chris Browning as Jackson Childress, an immigrant hunter.
FX ordered the series' pilot episode in July 2012. Shooting for the pilot took place on location in the El Paso area and wrapped in December 2012. Critically acclaimed director Gerardo Naranjo, best known for 2011's Miss Bala, directed the pilot.
Work on the remaining twelve Season One episodes began in early April 2013. Meredith Stiehm, creator of Cold Case, and Elwood Reid serve as the series' executive producers and head writers. The show is co-produced by Shine America and FX Productions for FX. Alex Plank of Wrong Planet serves as the consultant for Sonya's Asperger syndrome.
Shine America wanted Stiehm to begin the series on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, in order to mirror the original series' winter setting. However, Stiehm and Reid successfully argued to set their version in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez at the Bridge of the Americas.
Co-developer Meredith Stiehm departed the series after the first season, to rejoin the writing staff of her previous TV series, Homeland, leaving Elwood Reid as the sole showrunner for the second season.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD and Blu-ray release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||13||July 10, 2013||October 2, 2013||June 24, 2014||N/A||July 16, 2014|
Season 1 (2013)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||"Pilot"||Gerardo Naranjo||Teleplay by: Meredith Stiehm & Elwood Reid||July 10, 2013||101||3.04|
|When the power is restored on the Bridge of the Americas, at the US-Mexican border, American Judge Lorraine Gates' body is found directly on the border line. Both El Paso Detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and Chihuahua Detective Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) arrive on the scene. Ruiz allows an ambulance with Charlotte Millwright (Annabeth Gish) and her husband (Robert R. Shafer), who is having a heart attack, to cross back into the States. When Gates' body is moved, it comes apart at the waist, and the coroner identifies the upper part of the body as Gates', but the lower part belongs to Mexican Cristina Fuentes. Ruiz matches her with a previous case wherein 23 dismembered bodies were found in a "death house". Steven Linder (Thomas M. Wright) "kidnaps" Eva Guerra (Sandra Echeverría) near a night club in Mexico and takes her to a remote mobile home in Texas, where he temporarily holds her. The police identify the license plate of the bridge drop car, leading them to reporter Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard). After Charlotte's husband dies, she goes through his personal effects at their ranch, finding a password-protected cell phone and a key. She asks a ranch hand (Alejandro Patino) about both the key and the phone. He doesn't know about the phone, but takes her to a remote cabin on the ranch where she finds a padlocked door in the cellar.|
|2||"Calaca"||Sergio Mimica-Gezzan||Elwood Reid||July 17, 2013||102||1.74|
|Marco reluctantly brings Sonya to the Mexican police headquarters to look into evidence concerning the dead Mexican girl and the 22 other bodies. Charlotte discovers a tunnel below the cabin on the ranch, and a lawyer visits her to tell her that her husband died with prior financial obligations. There is no sign at the mobile home of Eva Guerra, and Linder starts burning her belongings, only to quickly retrieve her ringing cell phone from the fire. Illegal immigrants stumble on contaminated water in the desert near the US border. Maria, the only one who didn't drink the poisoned water, reaches a road and is picked up by a passerby. Frye publishes a story about the double homicide on the bridge; he then receives a call that leads him to the dead Mexican immigrants.|
|3||"Rio"||Charlotte Sieling||Meredith Stiehm||July 24, 2013||103||1.78|
|The self-proclaimed killer of the two bridge people, the nine Mexicans in the desert, and the abductor of Maria, tells Frye he will kill Maria unless he gets $1,000,000 from four rich Americans, including Charlotte's deceased husband. Charlotte goes to the El Paso police station to answer questions, including ones from Marco. Later, his family visits with him at the station, and he introduces them to Sonya. After the funeral, Charlotte has a discussion with her deceased husband's "business partner". When Charlotte refuses to deal with this woman, there are severe repercussions. When Marco visits with Charlotte, seeking her help in clarifying the circumstances surrounding his permitting her and her dying husband through the closed off crime scene on the bridge, they end up being intimate. While investigating the dead immigrants' crime scene, Sonya notices Linder's trailer in the distance and goes over to investigate. Marco and Sonya bring him in for questioning, but release him after brief questioning. Frye goes to Mexico, with fellow reporter Adriana Perez, to talk to the people behind the Mexican immigrant racket. The unidentified killer, who has Maria, ties her to stakes in the ground in the desert, and sets up a web feed to Frye's newspaper.|
|4||"Maria of the Desert"||Bill Johnson||Chris Gerolmo||July 31, 2013||104||1.75|
|Charlotte has now decided to open the tunnel between the ranch and Mexico, as the woman at the funeral demanded. Linder drops Eva off at a secluded house, telling her she will be safe there. The local Mexican drug lord, concerned about the beefed up border police security in the wake of Maria's kidnapping, uses the tunnel at Charlotte's ranch to bring ransom money from Mexico to Marco in El Paso, to save Maria. The FBI, involved because of the cross border link, takes the ransom money to the predetermined drop site. Sonya manages to identify where Maria is tied up in the hot desert, and with the help of her boss, rescues Maria in the nick of time. It's too late, though, to stop the money drop, and while Marco is tracking down the vanished FBI agent who has the money, he is ambushed by the killer.|
|5||"The Beast"||Gwyneth Horder-Payton||Esta Spalding||August 7, 2013||105||1.92|
|6||"ID"||Alex Zakrzewski||Dario Scardapane||August 14, 2013||106||1.63|
|7||"Destino"||Chris Fisher||Patrick Somerville||August 21, 2013||107||1.66|
|8||"Vendetta"||Norberto Barba||Fernanda Coppel||August 28, 2013||108||1.77|
|9||"The Beetle"||Keith Gordon||Elwood Reid||September 4, 2013||109||1.65|
|10||"Old Friends"||Alex Zakrzewski||Patrick Somerville||September 11, 2013||110||1.80|
|11||"Take the Ride, Pay the Toll"||John Dahl||Dario Scardapane||September 18, 2013||111||1.50|
|12||"All About Eva"||SJ Clarkson||Esta Spalding & Fernanda Coppel||September 25, 2013||112||1.34|
|13||"The Crazy Place"||Gwyneth Horder-Payton||Elwood Reid & Dario Scardapane||October 2, 2013||113||1.43|
Season 2 (2014)
The series has been renewed for a 13-episode second season, to debut in summer 2014.
On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season has scored 77 out of 100, based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Chuck Barney from the San Jose Mercury News gave The Bridge its highest praise, saying: "FX may have struck dramatic gold again. This series is mesmerizing. It sucks you in like a good book and has you yearning for more." HitFix's Alan Sepinwall wrote: "With these characters, with this fascinating, complicated place – and one that's at the forefront of so much of what we're talking about in real world politics... The Bridge is off to such an outstanding start." Maureen Ryan from The Huffington Post commented: "Mismatched cops forced to work together is one of the oldest TV tropes in the book, but The Bridge builds such a realistic, detailed world around the detectives here that the dynamic is often fresh." The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman called the series "mandatory viewing for drama lovers", adding, "but it will be interesting to see where the writers take it and whether they have the big-league ability to make the evident potential materialize. One thing they've hopefully learned is that sometimes holding back information isn't mysterious, it's just confusing." Robert Bianco from USA Today thought there was "rich ground to explore in the problems Mexico faces and the responsibility we may bear for some of them", adding "but the show's clumsy attempt to boil that down to a catchphrase is offensive and silly, particularly as it has no real connection to the story being told."
In June 2013, the series was honored, along with five others, with the Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series. The pilot episode of the series received the 2013 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Television: Long Form – Dialogue & ADR from the Motion Picture Sound Editors society. The series won a 2013 Peabody Award, and is noted for "its rare, non-stereotypical depiction of two cultures rubbing against and informing each other is as fascinating as the mystery."
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2013). "FX's The Bridge picked up to series". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Harnick, Chris (September 24, 2013). "'The Bridge' Renewed: Season 2 Premieres Summer 2014". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- "The Bridge: About the show". FX Networks. February 12, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Trailers released for FX show The Bridge". KVIA-TV. April 1, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Carp, Jesse (May 15, 2013). "The Bridge's First Trailer Reveals An Atmospheric Border Drama Headed To FX". CinemaBlend. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Siegemund-Broka, Austin (July 9, 2013). "'The Bridge': Diane Kruger on Asperger's and Female TV Roles". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Raftery, Liz (July 9, 2013). "FX's The Bridge Is More Than Your Average Serial Killer Drama". TV Guide. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Sepinwall, Alan (July 8, 2013). "'The Bridge' producer Meredith Stiehm on translating Denmark/Sweden into U.S./Mexico". HitFix. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Rose, Lacey (November 19, 2013). "Showrunner Shakeup: 'The Bridge's' Meredith Stiehm Departs for 'Homeland'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 10, 2013). "Emily Rios & Matthew Lillard Promoted To Regulars On FX’s ‘The Bridge’". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "The Bridge: Season 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- "Bridge, The: Season 1". EzyDVD.com.au. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
- Bibel, Sara (July 12, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'The Bridge' & 'The Challenge' Win Night, 'Royal Pains', 'Futurama', 'Franklin & Bash', 'Necessary Roughness' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (July 18, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'The ESPY Awards' & 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' Premiere Win Night + 'Royal Pains', 'Deal With It', 'The Challenge: Rivals II' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (July 25, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'The Challenge' & 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' Win Night, 'Royal Pains', 'Futurama', 'The Bridge', 'Franklin & Bash' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (August 1, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'The Challenge: Rivals II' & 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' Tie for First + 'Royal Pains', 'Deal With It', & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (August 8, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Shark Week' Wins Night, 'The Challenge', 'Futurama', 'Royal Pains', 'Franklin & Bash', 'Melissa & Joey' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (August 15, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Dominates Night, 'Bad Ink', 'Royal Pains', 'The Bridge', 'The Challenge' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (August 22, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Dominates + 'Modern Dads', 'Deal With It', 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (August 29, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Dominates + 'Modern Dads', 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', 'Futurama', 'The Challenge: Rivals II' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (September 5, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night, 'Modern Dads', 'Futurama', 'Royal Pains', 'The Bridge' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (September 12, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night + 'Modern Dads', 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', 'Royal Pains', 'The Challenge: Rivals II' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (September 19, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night, 'Bad Ink', 'Key & Peele', 'The Challenge', 'For Better or Worse' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (September 26, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'South Park' Wins Night + 'The Challenge: Rivals II', 'Key & Peele', 'The Daily Show', 'The Colbert Report' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (October 3, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night, 'Bad Ink',' South Park', 'Miley: The Movement', 'The Bridge' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
- "The Bridge (2013): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Barney, Chuck (July 2, 2013). "Review: 'The Bridge' on FX weaves a mesmerizing crime thriller". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Sepinwall, Alan (July 9, 2013). "Review: FX's 'The Bridge' a gripping look at crime on El Paso/Juarez border". HitFix. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Ryan, Maureen (July 9, 2013). "'The Bridge' Review: A Compelling Look At Complex Border Cops". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Goodman, Tim (June 26, 2013). "The Bridge: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Bianco, Robert (July 9, 2013). "'The Bridge' fails to support its weighty premise". USA Today. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "The BTJA Announces Icon Award Recipient and Most Exciting New Series Honorees". The Broadcast Television Journalists Association. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- "2014 Golden Reel Award Winners: TV/Feature Animation & Documentary Category". Motion Picture Sound Editors. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- "The Bridge (FX)". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
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