It takes an aching amount of time for Holder to understand. She just keeps repeating "my friend, my friend" as the batteries falter on her walkie, and finally his eyes light up, terrified. He knows the bridge she means. It's all moving too fast for anybody to notice why that story spoke to him. Or maybe they're just too classy.
ABDUCTION IN PROGRESS
Mike: "That's why I was so specific with Angie. She wanted to die, rather than going back into the system."
Linden: "So that's why you took her to the vet. That's why all the blood. Man, Holder was wrong. I knew in my body he was wrong, but I couldn't think of something better."
Mike: "Cash on the counter, ring the bell. You wouldn't have believed me if I'd tried to explain."
Tired, he leans against the window -- and that's when he sees the walkie. She actually tells him to chill out instead of grabbing it, but it's too late. He makes her pull the car over, and they get out. Some kind of gross bridge situation. Before you know it, they're standing at the apex, right where it ends over the water. He gets her down on the edge, gun to her head. She looks out over the water. She doesn't cry. It looks so clean.
Finally old Mike just sits right down next to her, because ain't this some shit. She's too scared to move, but when he begins to pray, her eyes tear up. With sympathy.
"I've fallen so short, I don't know what to do. I've failed them."
The cop cars come and he throws her gun into the water; Sarah nearly leans into him, in relief. And the whole time, never pity: Only sympathy, only compassion. She kept telling Holder he was turning into her, and now there's Mike to say, You can always fall farther down that hole. You're still on your first life.
She doesn't have to turn around to know he's got his hands in his pockets and he won't be taking them out and he won't be turning around, not until they have to kill him. She knows this because she's felt it. She was just telling him a story about it, in fact.
Only standing in front of him, guns pointed at them from every direction -- her tiny body, against his giant back -- does she realize she knows what it will take. The only thing that would work, because they are the same:
"If these men shoot you, they'll carry it all their lives."
It's enough for him. She watches Holder and Reddick cuff him, and weeps for him. Nobody, ever, understands what she's doing. The life goes out of her limbs and, embarrassed, she falls shaking to her knees. Soon enough they're all gone, and only Stephen is there, on the bridge -- the only bridge that matters, still; to this day -- and she lets him rub her back.