Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Bridge: The Complete Second Season DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
In Season 2 of "The Bridge," Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) and Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) are brought together again by the murder of a cartel member whose body is found in El Paso.  Meanwhile, reporters Frye and Mendez venture deeper into the border region underworld to follow the path of a money-laundering operation.  The unraveling mysteries quickly pull all of these compelling characters into a complex web of cartel assassinations, crooked cops and the explosive Juarez drug war.

Show (2 out of 5 stars)
I must say, I was super disappointed in the second season of The Bridge.  I expected something similar to the first season, which would have made it exciting and mysterious.  Instead, I found myself bored and not wanting to watch the season.  I watched it when it was on FX and at some point, episodes just started building up in my DVR and I found myself searching for anything else to watch.  When I received the DVDs, I was glad that I had already seen the season because it allowed me to not pay as close attention to what I was watching. 

When we last left Marco, Sonya, Hank and the others, Marco was still dealing with the loss of his son, Gus, Sonya was still dealing with the loss of her sister so many years ago, and Hank still holds a secret about what really went down when he arrested Sonya’s sister’s murderer.  Enter a mysteriously tattooed woman who seems to work for Fausto Galvan, Marco’s dilemma over his position in the Juarez Police Department, Linder and Eva’s relationship, Daniel and Adriana’s work to find out about the money found in the old lady’s home.  All this makes for what seems like an interesting season.

While Sonya and Marco continue working cases on both sides of the border, they come to realize that their suspect is a woman who works for Galvan.  This woman, Eleanor, leaves a trail of blood behind her, as she assists Galvan in taking care of loose ends and expanding his drug running business.  Sonya, while visiting the man who killed her sister, meets his brother and begins a relationship with him.  This, and her relationship with Hank, is put to the test, when she finds out that the bullet Hank put in the killer wasn’t as clean as she was led to believe.  This makes her question her life and her reason for becoming a cop.

As Sonya, Marco and Hank all work the cases – from Eva’s case on both sides of the border, to Daniel and Adriana’s money case, to Charlotte and Ray’s work with Galvan – they begin to realize that every case is connected… and it all leads back to Galvan.
I really wanted to like this season.  Unfortunately, as I said above, I could barely make it through its initial broadcast.  When I heard that the second season departed entirely from its source material, I realized that was the problem.  In my opinion, when you adapt a European show (in this case, from Denmark and Sweden) you should stay as close to the source and you can.  At least until you’ve made a name for yourself and you know the show is going somewhere.
Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Bridge is presented in widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio and everything was similar to the previous season with the yellowish tint to it.  I again thought this was really well done because it was a realistic feel to the area and the story.  Night scenes again were sharp and the black palate was accurate and good.  Despite the storyline, it was still an enjoyable picture.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The English Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation was also good.  Dialogue was clear and intelligible, and even the scenes in Spanish were understandable.  In the scenes were Spanish was spoken, English subtitles were provided.  The volume of the show was consistent and I didn’t have to make any adjustments.  Subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and French are available if needed.
Extras (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features were boring.  All the Building the Bridge parts were almost four minutes of talking about the episode.  All these features could have been combined into one feature. 

Disc One
  • Building the Bridge: Yankee – A behind-the-scenes look at the season premiere episode with comments from cast and crew.
  • Building the Bridge: Ghost of a Flea – Behind-the-scenes of the episode with cast and crew talking about some of the features.
  • Building the Bridge: Sorrowsworn – More behind the scenes looks at the episode.
  • Disc two
  • Building the Bridge: The Acorn – More interviews with cast and crew about the episode.
  • Building the Bridge: Eye of the Deep – Behind the scenes of the episode.
  • Building the Bridge: Harvest of Souls – Still looking behind the scenes of the episode.
  • Disc Three
  • Building the Bridge: Lamia – Still more behind the scenes about the episode.
  • Building the Bridge: Goliath – More talks about the episode from cast and crew.
  • Building the Bridge: Rakshasa – Talking with cast and crew about this episode.
  • Building the Bridge: Eidolon – Behind the scenes of the episode.

Disc Four
  • Burning the Borderline – A ten-minute background on the show, how it went from using source material from the original, to coming into its own.
  • Deleted Scenes – Six minutes of deleted scenes from the show.  All the scenes were good choices to have been cut.
  • Building the Bridge: Beholder – More talks with cast and crew about this episode.
  • Building the Bridge: Quetzalcoatl – Behind the scenes of the episode
  • Building the Bridge: Jubilex – Behind the scenes of the season finale.
  • Building the Bridge: Wrap up – The final behind the scenes look at the season as a whole.
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I looked back at my review of season one and was reminded of how much I enjoyed that season.  I was really disappointed in the second season and understand why it was cancelled.  I feel that it didn’t live up to the hype that the first season had and definitely didn’t come close to the great story of the first season.  The second season was boring, a little confusing and I really wanted to give up on it.  I stuck with it, though because I like to try to see the season through in the hopes that the show will redeem itself.  Sadly, it did not.

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