Under the Bridge Gives Us What True Detective: Night Country Wouldn’t

Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone in Under the Bridge (Photos: Hulu)© Provided by Primetimer

Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone in Under the Bridge (Photos: Hulu)

Complicated relationships and twisted secrets are at the heart of Hulu’s Under the Bridge, and that’s not limited to just the teenage characters. Based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Rebecca Godfrey, the limited series centers on the 1997 murder of fourteen-year-old Reena Virk (Vritika Gupta) and the classmates accused of killing her. While the show focuses heavily on adolescent angst and the cruelty of teenage girls, it also dedicates an ample amount of time to exploring the complex dynamic between its two adult female leads, writer Rebecca (Riley Keough) and police officer Cam (Lily Gladstone).

While Rebecca is loosely based on the real-life author (who served as an executive producer on the series before her death in 2022), Cam is entirely fictional. Dramatizing real people and events is always a tricky line to walk, especially when it comes to true-crime adaptations. Weaving in a character who doesn’t exist in real life might not have paid off. Instead, the addition of Cam and her relationship with Rebecca only strengthens the show. An investigative duo unlike any other, Rebecca and Cam’s captivating and complex dynamic adds an extra level of depth to the story and prevents the series from being just another run-of-the-mill murder mystery.

Under the Bridge Review - IGN

Cam, who’s spearheading the investigation, is first introduced as an old friend of Rebecca’s. The two haven’t spoken in years, and Cam isn’t especially happy when Rebecca shows up in their hometown and starts meddling with the case for a book she’s writing. But there’s clearly more behind the fraught state of their relationship, something deeper than simply drifting apart as adults. “I thought maybe time might have healed things for you both,” Rebecca’s father remarks, glancing at an old photo of the two girls and Rebecca’s late brother Gabe, who died when they were teens. Obviously, there’s a history here.

Rebecca and Cam’s relationship takes a turn in Episode 3,“Blood Oath,” when they meet up for drinks at one of their old favorite bars. They reminisce about the past, and Rebecca apologizes for leaving town and not keeping in touch. Their walls slowly come down, and they eventually end up on the dance floor. As they inch closer to each other, the atmosphere suddenly becomes intimate. Cam, seemingly realizing this, abruptly walks away without a word — but then Rebecca goes after her, and the two start making out in the bathroom.

The kissing is slow and intense, like these feelings have been brewing for years. Whatever this is between them, it’s something complicated, raw, and real. The following day, they don’t just dismiss the night as a drunken mishap, but instead make plans for Rebecca to “come over” later. Cam also stops trying to prevent her from meddling with the murder case, even enlisting her help in getting information from Reen’s uncle, Raj (Anoop Desai). Everything has changed — now they’re not just old friends at odds, but a powerful investigative duo with a twist.

Will Hulu's Under the Bridge be your next true crime obsession? - The Manual

Under the Bridge making Rebecca and Cam canonical love interests is an unexpected and refreshing choice. Many viewers hoped that another recent murder mystery series with two female leads at the center, HBO’s True Detective: Night Country, would go this route with Detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis). This wasn’t just some far-fetched fan theory, either — Navarro is written as bisexual, and there’s more than a few sexually charged lines between the two of them (not to mention, both characters are portrayed by openly queer actors). But despite the popular queer-coded interpretation, no romantic connection ever materialized. While there are other LGBTQ+ characters and relationships in Night Country, it’s not the same as making the protagonists romantically involved.

It’s not at all uncommon for crime-solving duos on TV to become romantically involved. We’ve seen it plenty of times, from classic slow-burn relationships like Bones and Booth on Bones and Scully and Mulder on The X Files to more recent will-they/won’t-they pairings such as Max and Ellis on The CW’s Wild Cards. But this dynamic hasn’t really been explored much with LGBTQ+ couples, at least not in canon. For instance, Holmes and Watson of BBC’s Sherlock were an extremely popular ship, which isn’t surprising considering there’s a long history of reading their literary counterparts as queer. However, the creators have always maintained that the characters were never meant to be anything more than investigative partners and close friends.

Rebecca and Cam’s relationship stands out not just because it’s a canonical romance between two female leads, but also because of how naturally the plot line is woven into the show. Both women are fleshed out as individual characters, and they already have an established history with each other. Their initial dynamic as childhood friends turned rivals is entertaining, and Keough and Gladstone’s chemistry convincingly sells the tension between them. When their hookup happens in Episode 3, it still feels like a twist, but one that makes sense; the kissing isn’t just thrown in for shock factor or sex appeal.

Their romance doesn’t detract from the central mystery, but complements it. Being closely involved with the lead detective ups the stakes for Rebecca and adds more complications. It also gives her more reason to want to solve Reena’s murder — she’s no longer just digging around in hopes of finding dirt for her book, she’s trying to help Cam crack the case and rebuild their relationship.

Additionally, the mysterious subplot of what really happened between Gabe and the girls when they were kids plays into one of the show’s central themes: loss of innocence. We don’t yet know how exactly Gabe died — the real-life Godfrey’s brother, Jonathan, died by drowning when he was 16 and she was 13 — but we know it greatly affected both Rebecca and Cam and changed their relationship forever. This isn’t so different from what Reena’s family is going through in the aftermath of her murder. Rebecca even says this outright, telling Raj that she understands his pain.

Under the Bridge clearly has something special with Rebecca and Cam, and “Blood Oath” sends the duo off in an exciting new direction. It will be interesting to see how their relationship plays out over the course of the season, but whatever happens, Keough and Gladstone are sure to make it worth watching.

New episodes of Under the Bridge drop Wednesdays on Hulu. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://news75today.com - © 2024 News75today