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The Bridge – The Beast Review: Know Your Enemy

Things are starting to come full circle and plot lines begin to thicken in the fifth episode of FX’s The Bridge. The title of the episode, "The Beast," accurately sums it up. While this may not be the most exciting episode of the series so far (or my favorite. for that matter) it serves its purpose. In the previous episode the killer was dubbed “The Bridge Butcher,” and in this episode he or she is dubbed “The Beast.” In a sense certain characters are also dealing with their own personal beasts along with trying to find “The Beast.”

The start of the episode is very insightful, with Fausto Galvan, the crime boss, asking one of his goons what a serial killer is after reading about the Bridge Butcher in the newspaper. They come to the conclusion that you are only a serial killer if you enjoy killing. On the surface it may seem that this interaction points out a cultural difference between those living in Juarez and those in El Paso. Almost anyone in the United States knows what a serial killer is. However, if we delve deeper into this interaction Galvan shows a warped sense of morality. Galvan is in the business of killing, as demonstrated by the bloody man he has tied up, yet he states that he does not enjoy killing, adding more dimension to his character. When the man tied up is out of information Galvan kills him but ironically states he does not enjoy it. It is important to note that the man they were interrogating was a cousin of one of Galvan’s men who was looking for Eva (the prostitute Linder helped cross the border).

Speaking of Linder, he has a great scene in his tighty whiteys. The man Galvan is looking for shows up at Linder’s house looking for Eva. (We have seen this guy before lurking in alleys.) When a fight breaks out between the two men, Linder is all business and slams a hot iron in his attackers face with the greatest of ease.  What a visually stunning scene; I mean we have a nearly naked man in his tightly whiteys searing the flesh off another man’s face as he hits him in with a hot iron.  Of course Det. Ruiz has to knock on the door. Linder handles it like a boss; he shoos Ruiz out of there and continues to beat his attacker until he is dead. Remember when I said Linder seemed like a decent good guy? I was wrong; decent good guys don’t kill others with an iron. He's protecting Eva and his intentions are decent. I’m guess Linder’s “beast” is his past or maybe his temper. We don’t exactly know what, but there is something very fishy going on, especially when he tries to dispose of the body. He just goes about it like business as usual. As Linder is digging a grave in the desert Galvan shows up. (Wow, what good timing. Just as Linder puts the body in the grave.) Galvan may also turn out to be Linder’s beast. I guess we will have to wait and see.

While all of this stuff is going on with Linder and Galvan, Det. Ruiz is facing his one beasts: his affair with Charlotte.  Det. Cross surprises Ruiz at his home when she delivers his missing wallet and says that he left it as Charlotte’s house in front of his entire family. Again with the wallet. It becomes central to the story when Ruiz’s wife figures out Ruiz slept with Charlotte. How has Ruiz not realized he is missing his wallet? Clearly he had to cross the border to get home. Don’t they usually ask for some sort of identification? Seriously, Bridge writers, just one line of dialogue of Ruiz realizing he lost his wallet.  Anyway, Ruiz’s wife kicks him out and Cross doesn’t understand what she did wrong.

While Ruiz’s beast is in the present, Cross’s beast lies in the past with her dead sister. We get a little more back story on this when Cross reveals to Ruiz that her sister was killed when Cross was 15 and her sister 18; the person who killed her has brain damage. I like seeing the emotional side of Cross and I think Diane Kruger plays it well, keeping in mind that Cross’s emotional reactions are going to be different than most.

Charlotte is also dealing with her personal beast: the wealthy Mexican lady whose name (Garcilla Rivera) we finally learn. Of course she needs a man to deal with this and calls in an ex-lover from the past (although I’m not sure how far in the past).

Then there is the killer who gets named “The Beast” by Gina, the teenage girl we saw at the start of the episode in the police station. She takes a little adventure into Jaurez and learns about “The Beast.” When she returns home she witnesses the murder of the police shrink and dubs the murderer “the Beast.”

With all of these personal stories going on one would think that the central plot might end up forgotten. However, that is not the case. Det. Cross speaks with the killer on the phone, and after an interview with Maria (the girl found in the desert), has a suspicion that “The Beast” may be one of their own, a police officer. It would make sense since the killer knew about Geldman’s (the FBI agent killed last episode) dalliance with Christina Fuentas (the killer's other victims), or at least this is what the writers want us to think. I dig this development because I think it may cause some paranoia amongst the police officers. Plus who doesn’t love a killer cop?


Best Det. Soyna Cross Quote: “Doesn’t taste good.” Cross says this as she sits down for a family dinner with Ruiz. I like this quote because it shows Cross’s lack of social graces. I especially like it when Ruiz’s daughter says she doesn’t like the food either and gets reprimanded for it.

Bad Ass of the Episode: Steven Linder. He kills a man with an iron while wearing his tighty whiteys.

-- Cross and Ruiz bond in this episode when Cross lets Ruiz sleep on her couch and tells him more about her dead sister.

-- Ruiz is finally dealing with the consequence of his actions.

-- There is another man in Charlotte’s life; hopefully he will be intergrated into the story a bit more. Also, is Charlotte a gold digger?

-- Cross has contact with the killer and he might be a cop! 




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