“I didn’t want to do the serial-killer-of-the-year story. I can’t compete with the genre that’s out there,” The Bridge executive producer Elwood Reid said today at TCA about his primary objective for Season 2 of the FX thriller.
“If I’m going to tell a story about the U.S.-Mexican border, one which these characters warranted, I couldn’t tell that story while they were tracking a serial killer,” said the EP. Departing Bridge EP Meredith Stiehm, who developed the series with Reid before returning to Homeland, also shared the same second-season vision.
“Meredith was right there with me in wanting to break the old mode of the show,” said Reid, “We looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s get these figures up on the bridge and finish this part of the story.'”
Giving props to Stiehm, Reid said: “She is great with character work. The DNA this season was started last season when we put the train on this track. The most exciting thing is resetting the show in the middle of your freshman season. It was the scariest shit to try and do.”
By tossing out genre conventions, Reid was able to develop such complexities this season such as Sonya Cross’ (Diane Kruger) fascination with Jack Dobbs (Nathan Phillips), who killed her sister. Sonya’s sympathy toward Jack stems from the fact that he’s the only connection she has to her late sister.
“Not to mention, he’s hot,” Reid said about Phillips. “I don’t want to write a show where the characters lead examined lives. When it comes to emotions, Sonya doesn’t quite know how to cross that barrier (like other people).”
“The Jack Dobbs story helps us see Sonya’s vulnerability,” said Kruger, whose character has Asperger syndrome.
While Sonya has that trait, it’s a characteristic neither the actress nor Reid wanted to play front and center as a limitation, a la Carrie Mathison’s bipolarity on Homeland.
Said Reid, “In any social setting, you don’t turn to your friend and say, ‘Hey, look at that person; they have Aspergers.’ You accept people who are different and accept them into a social setting.”