The Bridge Recap S01E11: "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll"
One of "The Bridge's" hallmarks in its premiere season has been the tempo of every episode. The viewing experience has been like a bumper car ride at an amusement park: it started off slow with a few bumps, then accelerated, then there were big pile ups, then a constant stop and go ramming into cars, and this week's episode, "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll", felt like the last ten seconds where you desperately want to land one more crushing blow. This week's episode delivered that blow.
Focus was at the forefront for the writers. A majority of the episodes juggle multiple story lines but tonight it was about saving Gus and the standoff between Marco and Tate. With the exception of a two minute scene with Ray beginning the episode, the hour was located on the bridge at the exact spot Tate lost his family. Charlotte and Steven Linder did not make an appearance and even the presence of Sonya and Hank seemed insignificant as the old friends battled each other.
The show was set at a snail's pace and was more about information than action. Tate has obsessively mentioned Caleb's death the past episodes and tonight he explained precisely how he died. Everything with Tate revolves around precision. Devastating Tate, Caleb lived for ten minutes after his crash. The child's lungs were crushed and he drowned in his own blood, which explains why Tate chose to drown Gus in the tank.
Up to this point the motive for Tate's actions has been retribution. This changed on the bridge when he demanded Ruiz to kill Frye. Caleb's death destroyed Tate driving him to a cold, dark place that he can't escape. The most revealing and best line of the night was when Tate told Marco that "you will be like me before this ends." While payback is a reason for Tate's behavior, consolation is more important to him. Tate needs Marco to kill in order to justify his own actions and prove that he isn't terrible after all.
When Sonya arrives at the bridge Gus is dead. The final seconds of the standoff are reminiscent of the concluding scene of "Seven" where Brad Pitt falls into the hands of his wife's killer by shooting him. Sonya knows that's what Tate wants and puts a bullet into Marco (then Tate) to prevent him from killing his son's murderer.
While Sonya's move stops Marco from killing the transformation is complete. Gus' death has brought Marco to that cold, dark place as he was poised to end Tate's life.
The best shot of the night was the final scene. Marco limps to the coroners to see his son laid out on a table with a tag wrapped around his toe. What is off putting (from a moral standpoint not for the direction of the show) is Marco's cold reaction. There were no tears or cries, he silently touched Gus' hair and face with a menacing glare.
Visiting Gus has branded an image of that cold, dark place into Marco's head. Tate had a similar image and motivation as he obsessed over Caleb's arm hanging out the window of the crashed car. "Take the Ride, Pay the Toll" concluded with Marco walking away from the office and into the street.
Line of the Night:Song at the End -
I got a feeling that just won't go away.