Mr. Mercedes recap: 'Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream'
Hodges and the police finally start putting pieces together — and they all point at Brady Hartsfield
This show really got off to a slow start, but for the last few weeks it’s been picking up steam, and it feels like we’re really hitting paydirt now that we’re a week away from the final curtain.
The episode starts off with Brady working out while listening to the Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man,” which again reminds me that Brady and I have surprisingly similar taste in music. That can’t be good!
We never really get a look at Frobisher’s taste in music, but I’m guessing it’s the opposite of this. After all, he and Brady are clashing again — not least because Brady seems to be making inroads with the new boss. Because, like, of course this psychopath serial killer and this ruthless vulture capitalist would be able to find common ground. The boss seems impressed at Brady’s newest idea, building a little space in the store for kids to hang out and watch TV while their parents shop. In all likelihood, it’s just part of Brady’s plan to get as many people at the grand opening as possible, so he can kill them. But Robi’s definitely jealous.
That jealousy soon gets a chance to manifest itself when Bill Hodges, Pete Dixon, and Izzy Torres all show up at Supreme Electronics looking for Brady. Robi confirms that Brady was the one who serviced Olivia Trelawney’s computer, and that he made several trips out there (apparently older women are his main “clientele” — another manifestation of his Oedipal complex, surely). Robi also confirms that Brady is the ice cream man, and that seems to connect all the needed dots for Hodges. He’s determined to search Brady’s house immediately, but Pete is cautious without a warrant. Robi is eager to learn what Brady’s in trouble for, but they don’t give him much — just enough to doom him.
Hodges gets to Brady’s house, albeit with a couple rookie cops in tow. One of those cops, fresh out of the academy, is sticking to the letter of the law about search warrants and poison fruit — in other words, he won’t let Bill kick the door down. It’s a nuisance in this instance since Brady and all the evidence anyone could need are sitting right there, but if every cop followed this attitude we’d all probably be better off. As Brady cowers behind his couch, Hodges gets a call from Holly saying she and Jerome found something big.
These kids are smarter than detectives, it seems. Holly and Jerome heard about the job fair for the new Supreme superstore, and have a feeling that’s where the Mercedes killer will strike. After all, job fairs are his M.O. It’s not just a logistical thing, either. As Holly sees it, the whole reason he struck that original job fair in the first place was because he enjoys “mowing down hope” — and doing it with a Mercedes, that symbol of power and success, was the icing on the cake. Holly adds that she has a “premonition” that this guess is correct — perhaps she’s among the large legion of telepathic Stephen King characters? In any event, Hodges tells them to leave it to the police and get on with their lives in safety. (Recap continues on page 2)
Hodges’ next stop is interviewing Lou, who’s currently helping her girlfriend paint a public mural. Lou tells him that Brady is the most sensitive person she’s ever met and that he couldn’t hurt a fly — though she also adds that he seemed shaken the other day. Still firmly on Brady’s side, she even gives him a call after Hodges leaves. It’s a shame — Brady refused to protect her from her layoff, but now she’s sticking out for him.
Whatever she tells Brady, it’s enough to inspire him to break into Robi’s apartment and demand to know why the police are after him. Robi confirms that he told them about the Olivia Trelawney connection, but didn’t even venture any of his own guesses about Brady. Robi correctly suspects it was Brady who rigged his computer to explode in his face all those weeks ago, and finally makes the ultimate jump: that Brady is the Mercedes killer. At that, without a word, Brady leaps and savagely beats his boss to death with a hammer.
Meanwhile, the cops have their warrant. Soon they surround Brady’s house with a fully equipped SWAT team. From inside, Brady uses his Thing 2 device to set off the ice cream truck, which immediately starts flashing lights and music. Leave it to a Stephen King story to take a normal suburban sight and make it utterly horrifying. After they shoot up the truck, all they find inside is that damn smiley face, laughing its distorted laugh.
As the cops swarm the house, they find every computer in the basement ticking a countdown — and, conveniently, several explosives located nearby! So they clear the building, as Bill and Pete make their way to the bedroom, where Brady’s form appears draped over his dead mother. He even left the clown mask at the foot of the bed, as an obvious clue. Hodges wants to get closer to verify the body is Brady, but then the house is engulfed by flame, and they quickly evacuate.
The next day, the corpses are nearly unidentifiable. Pete saw enough to know that the second body (besides poor Deb) was a young white male, and that’s good enough for him. Hodges isn’t so sure. Nor should he be — that was almost definitely Frobisher’s corpse, which means we still have to wait until next week for the final showdown. See you then.