In addition to the truly strange and elaborate murder mystery, The Bridge has tasked itself with looking at – and sometimes even criticizing – the immensely complex and intricate world of human interaction by watching as something public and shared by many people turns into something very personal, private, and terrifying. This is another indication of the series’ weirdness, as the overall storyline has been incredibly inward-looking and has given almost no indication of the world outside of the one that exists between El Paso and Juárez.
And as the narrative turns even more into itself, ‘The Beetle’ takes what was a large-scale narrative and shrinks it down into a twisted game with two primary combatants. In that regard, all that Marco wants is to have his world shrunk back down and compressed into a single, simple statement: “Everything is going to be okay.”
Even if it’s a complete fabrication, it doesn’t matter; Marco himself insisted that his partner deliver to him a lie about the fate of Alma and their two daughters, despite the uncertainty and, frankly, rather bleak prognosis at the time. Of course, he’s asking this of someone who doesn’t quite grasp the value of a lie. To Sonya, lies are inefficient and wrong; like letting someone drive an ambulance through a gruesome murder scene. It’s the kind of stuff that just doesn’t make for good police work and results in a formal complaint being lodged against one detective by another.
But as Marco has tried to teach Sonya before, there are several variances in how a person might use lies not merely to their advantage, but also to the advantage of others. Not long ago, the silver-tongued lothario explained the value of a “white lie” and how sometimes it can be used to bridge the gap between personal and professional.
One thing is for certain, Marco is someone who lives in a world of lies and is comfortable there. Perhaps it’s a result of how distinctly different Marco’s role as a homicide detective in Juárez is from Sonya’s similar function in El Paso. The titles and objectives are exactly the same, but because of their vastly different environments – placed just minutes away from one another – the distinction between them becomes enormous.
Then again, perhaps it is simply a manifestation of who Marco is as an individual; he is comfortable living in a lie because it affords him access to the things that he wants – i.e., countless flings with women other than his wife, who inevitably fall for him and misinterpret his physical interest in them for something much more intimate. Well, now it seems David Tate is revisiting that vicious intimacy upon Marco in a truly horrific manner by abducting Alma and his young daughters, and then revealing his true target to be Gus.
‘The Beetle’ isn’t a tremendous hour of television, but its admirable for the way it takes some of the more obvious thematic elements and positions them to play a larger role as the narrative continues to shrink down to the personal level, as the storyline gets closer to the end.
The Bridge continues next Wednesday with ‘Old Friends’ @10pm on FX.