The Bridge Season 1 Review “Maria of the Desert”

The serial killer genre is definitely not being underserved. Serial killers can be found all around your dial without very much effort. As our television world keeps going darker and darker, it becomes tough to distinguish between them. Suddenly, it’s becoming less important to have charismatic bad guys and more important to fill in the fringes of the show. It’s what separates nihilistic and dumb shows like The Following from impressively witty and stylish shows like Hannibal. Hannibal is a better show not because Hannibal Lecter is a better villain than Joe Carroll, but because the violence in the show has meaning, and the show can actually have discussions about topics like mental illness, friendship, and culinary excellence. The violence doesn’t matter as much anymore because everyone is now pushing the envelope with violence. Instead, the quality of the serial killer show can now be found in the parts surrounding the murderer.

It’s the rich texture of The Bridge that makes it unique from other shows of its kind. The central part of the show remains the mystery surrounding the identity of our vicious but faceless killer. However, the scenes surrounding the pursuit of him are rarely as interesting as what’s going on surrounding it. The show has a remarkable tapestry filled with all sorts of fascinating dark corners. I’m interested to find out more about what’s happening in these corners of the world. These statements are not a referendum on the serial killer plot line, but just an acknowledgment of the incredible skill with which this world has been crafted.

One of the dark corners that’s becoming increasingly interesting is the one set on the Millwright ranch. After a creative Godfather homage in last week’s episode, the reopening of the underground bridge at the Millwright ranch only enhances the show. By this point, I know the show will tie this in with the serial killer angle, but I’m fascinated by this idea regardless. In a world where two cities can seem so close while so far apart, it’s interesting to see what people will do to maintain a place that shortens the distance between the two. Steven Linder may be bringing people across to find a better life, but not everyone who crosses wants a better life. That’s the thing about opening doors, you never really know who’s on the other side.

We all knew who was on the other side of the door at Ray’s Roadhouse this week. I suppose a scene like this one can be used to establish our killer’s bonafides, but it felt clunky in its execution. With so many people in and around the area, why is our hero painfully stumbling into back alley areas by himself. The man should be at home with an ice pack on his nether regions, but we can’t find him another person to help him search for the killer? It’s one of those moments that has become increasingly visible on these shows. The abandonment of all logic during the pursuit of a criminal. In a show with this level of depth and quality, it’s surprising to see them struggle so much with the central conceit of the show. I guess we can’t have it all.