Last episode ended with a bang, and this one begins with a whimper. Usually these hours open with T. Bone Burnett’s “It’s Not Too Late” playing over a montage of Bill Hodges getting dressed and ready for the day — but in the wake of Janey Patterson’s explosive death, Bill can barely get out of bed.
Eventually he does muster up the strength to dress himself and get over to his computer, where of course Brady is waiting for him. As we saw with his treatment of Olivia Trelawney, Brady seems to relish taunting survivors as much as he does killing victims. He continues that practice here, telling Bill that “all these big tragedies come down to car access in the end,” and then taunts him with the reminder that he’s the one who let Janey drive his car with the hidden bomb. Brady’s triumph is cut short, though, when Ida comes into Bill’s house and he quickly shuts his laptop.
Brady is still smirking, barely realizing that his malicious plans are about to backfire in his face, big time. While he’s talking to his computer friends, upstairs his mom is preparing dinner for the two of them. She’s cooking some vegetables, and as she looks in the freezer for some meat, the moment I’ve been anticipating for a few weeks finally arrives. Because, of course, the meat that she grabs are the patties laced with poison. Brady had prepared them to poison Jerome’s dog, remember, and when that backfired, he hurriedly threw them in the freezer. Now they’re in his mother’s hands. Unfortunately, they soon end up in her mouth as well.
When Brady finally arrives upstairs, he finds his mother coughing up blood on the floor. Quickly realizing what’s happened, he struggles to make her throw up the poison while resolutely refusing to call 9-1-1. After all, he certainly wouldn’t want to have answers to first responders’ questions about where the poison came from or what he’s keeping downstairs. So instead, Brady’s mother dies in his arms in the most grotesque way possible, and that triumphant victory he’d just been celebrating over his main opponent suddenly tastes like ashes in his mouth.
Bill is now all too aware of the danger Brady poses to his loved ones. Taking Ida’s car, he takes off to go visit his daughter. She, naturally, is not thrilled at the idea she might be in physical danger now, and even less thrilled at the fact that this is their first contact in years. Of course, Bill points out he’s been calling her and leaving her messages, and it was her choice not to answer. We’ve really only gotten a sneak peek at the full context of their relationship, but it definitely still seems strained.
At least he’s not the only one having trouble connecting to his daughter. Charlotte and Holly are still at odds, especially now that Charlotte wants to get the hell out of town in the wake of Janey’s death. Holly refuses — in addition to her ongoing conflict with her mother, she’s also forged connections with Bill and Jerome, and doesn’t want to abandon that just yet.
Why would you? Together, she and Jerome make one hell of a pair, as Bill finds out when he wakes up the next morning to find the two of them eagerly hacking into Olivia’s laptop. They’ve discovered that the mysterious text file on the desktop was full of various sounds, including the screams of the original Mercedes victims. They ascertain that these could be triggered remotely, meaning that at any time, Brady could just make Olivia’s computer scream at her with the voices of people run over by her car. Pretty nasty. However, Holly realizes that the files would have to be placed on the computer manually. Since the same thing has happened to Bill’s TV, it means that the culprit must have been someone with access to their electronics. They’re getting so close…
Brady, for his part, seems to be retreating farther from reality. He’s no longer even going into work, claiming he’s “sick.” What he’s really doing, though, is lying on his mother’s bed next to her bloody, decaying corpse: a very normal man with a healthy attitude toward life.
This episode ends with another parallel between Brady and Bill. Now that they’ve both lost loved ones, they’re both ready to give up on life but for one last task. Bill is determined to kill Brady, and Brady is determined to strike at the opening of his company’s big superstore.