On temporary hiatus from their game, Bill and Brady work on their own lives

By Christian Holub
August 30, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT

Bill Hodges and Brady Hartsfield didn’t really interact much this week, opting to spend time in their own worlds and relationships, but at least we finally got an answer about how the latter might have stolen his infamous Mercedes in the first place.

“Gods Who Fall” kicks off with another flashback to Bill and Pete meeting with Olivia Trelawney, the car’s original owner. Once again, she denies leaving her keys in the car. When Olivia asks the detectives when she can have her car back, we get a hint of what Janey Patterson meant by last week’s comment that her sister was hard to like. As we’ve seen, that car was a bloody wreck. No one could possibly want to drive around in it, even if it really was Olivia’s only method of transportation (which I somehow doubt, considering how opulent her house is). But Olivia is insistent, so Bill tells her to talk to impound — which lands her a mocking spot on the front page of the local paper. Could that have had anything to do with her suicide? It sure seems like it was a tough position to be in.

Why did Brady choose Olivia at all? As he tells a picture of Hodges in his Batcave, even he doesn’t know what he’s going to do half the time. Right now, for instance, he’s been monitoring Ryan Springhill, that customer who was rude to Lou recently. After getting served a restraining order from his ex-wife, Ryan angrily logs on to a white power site to vent his feelings — at which point Brady activates a switch that destroys Ryan’s computer again.

An angry Ryan takes his computer back to Brain Buds and yells at Lou for not fixing it properly, ranting about “vag rings and Subaru Outbacks” — exactly the kind of LGBTQ stereotype he would’ve heard on the conservative talk radio he was listening to as he got ready that morning. When he starts screaming at Lou, that prompts Frobisher to come over — and, of course, meekly submit to Ryan’s demands since his company is a big source of business for the shop.

After checking out Ryan’s computer, Lou says that it keeps breaking down because of the spam on his white power websites (which is probably true, but it ignores the main source of difficulty: Brady’s mysterious tampering). In her words, he’s a big fan of photos of lynchings and instructions for how to “kill all the fags.” Thinking about all the hate inside of him, pumped out into the world by those websites and pundits, causes her to break down crying in the break room about how “there’s a lot of mean out there.” Even Brady is compelled to meekly comfort her, even though we know he’s one of the top exporters of “mean” around.

Oh, and the apparent explanation for why he was able to break into Olivia’s car with no signs of forced entry comes from Jerome. Stopping by Bill’s place (and promising not to tell his dad), Jerome offers that Olivia might never have taken the spare key out of the glove compartment. It sounds kind of unlikely, as Bill acknowledges, but given what we know about how self-centered and quasi-oblivious Olivia was, it sure seems possible. (Recap continues on page 2)

Bill comes into brief contact with Brady when a boring news program on his TV is interrupted by that laughing glitch smiley face and footage from inside the Mercedes of victims being run down. Jerome has his own contact with Brady when the latter stops by a coffee shop where Jerome and his friends are working on a project. Outside, Brady takes special notice of Jerome’s dog, which surely isn’t a good sign for that dog. Or Jerome, for that matter — he should’ve stayed away from this whole mess when he had the chance.

Brady and his mother go to visit the graves of their two deceased family members: Brady’s father Norman and Brady’s brother Gerald, whom we last saw choking on a cinnamon apple slice as a kid. Based on their oblique comments and accompanying flashbacks, it seems like Gerry survived that encounter with the apple slice, though the incident may have left him brain damaged.

So how did he die, then? We don’t get an answer, though we do get Brady’s mother saying that her husband only took his job at the power plant (where he died in a fatal dose of voltage) so that he and his wife could get “what their parents had”: a middle-class lifestyle, a steady-paying job that lead to retirement and pension, and eventually some vacations every once in a while. “I keep hearing about that world,” Brady responds. “Never seen it.” You and me both, kid. This show has a tendency to meander (it doesn’t seem like a cat-and-mouse game between two characters has enough juice for a 10-episode season), but I think it’s at its most compelling when it addresses the economic fallout of the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, Jerome informs Hodges about another way to break into a car without forced entry: Someone with a sophisticated-enough device could activate it in the same area as someone using their key fob, and by doing so absorb that fob’s signal. Is that what got Brady started on his Thing 1 and Thing 2 inventions?

In a rather heartbreaking scene, Ida gets her hair done at a salon and decides to treat herself to a martini across the street. She sees Bill arriving at the same bar and runs excitedly to catch him — but he’s meeting Janey. Ida, despondent, hangs her head and leaves. It’s sad, but it’s still rather hard to believe that two beautiful women are falling head over heels for this cranky booze-soaked old guy. I believe Brady inventing a device to control all electronic signals before I believe that. But to each their own, I guess.

Maybe I’m just mad that I keep having to watch this guy pee. After going home with Janey for some fun time, Bill has to take a bathroom break, and we’re in there with him the whole time. Despite some hesitancies, he and Janey do have sex.

Meanwhile, Brady is getting off in his own way — by following Ryan Springhill around and randomly changing the color of stoplights. After a few tries, this results in Ryan getting in a fatal crash with a speedy truck. Ever a true sociopath, Brady walks over to taunt Ryan. As Brady watches the light leave his enemy’s eyes, it reminds him of a similar incident years ago, when he finally killed his brother by pushing him down the basement stairs. That basement, of course, eventually became Brady’s workshop — and the fire truck Gerry died with still sits by Brady’s desk. He plays with it when he gets bored.