After last week’s insane telepathic masturbation scene, I was really excited to see what weirdness Mr. Mercedes had in store for us this week. Inevitably, it doesn’t quite live up to that impossible standard, but at least it opens with “I Had a Dream” by John Prine, an inspired soundtrack choice that was stuck in my head for hours afterward.
Bill is suspicious after his near-miss with Brady and his puppet Sadie last week, so he takes advantage of the comatose Mercedes killer’s temporary absence to search the hospital room. He finds the discarded scalpel, confirming his suspicions that Sadie was trying to assault him. He doesn’t yet know that she was manipulated into doing it by Brady’s mind-control powers, but how could he?
Bill has problems of his own. He can tell that Jerome is having trouble with Harvard and eventually gets him to open up about it while they work on Ida’s fallen gazebo. Even though he knows Harvard is the best, he feels like his classmates are speaking a foreign language. Bill tells him to hang in there and says he remembers feeling alienated when he dated an upper-class girl in his younger days. Given the vague details we’re working with, he might be referring to his ex-wife Donna, or it might be some nobody we’ll never hear from again.
Then, when he gets back to the office, Bill has a fight with Holly about letting De La Cruz escape. Bill’s angry that their assignments mostly amount to punishing poor people, while Holly’s mad that he lied to her (both about this and about Brady’s semi-revival). She wants to be an equal partner in the company, so Bill obliges. He then takes her with him on his trip to surveil Sadie at home, teaching her the ins and outs of stakeouts as they go.
Alas, they don’t exactly get a warm welcome. After Sadie’s mom stonewalls Bill and refuses to let him inside, he decides to seek refuge in the arms of his ex-wife. He’s clearly flirting, and at first Donna tells him he misread the situation, but he doesn’t buy that. After all, she’s the one who approached him at Pete’s funeral and took him up on his drink offer. With a little more nudging, she reveals that in the wake of career troubles and a second divorce, she really likes being able to talk to someone without having to explain herself. They sleep together, though it’s not clear how sustainable the relationship will be.
NEXT: Finishing what you started
Brady, for his part, spends most of this episode talking to a vision of his younger brother. You know, the one he killed? This ghost even has a scar on his neck to remind us how he choked to death while Brady did nothing. After playing around with fire trucks both big and small, the ghost tells Brady he has to finish what he started. The psychopathic serial killer doesn’t need any more encouragement than that.
Still using Sadie as his puppet, Brady wants to get back to killing. So he sends her into the room of an opioid patient with the intent of upping his morphine dose to fatal levels. Luckily, nurse Wilmer comes right in time to stop the killing, in the same way that she accidentally saved Bill last week. Things are different this time around, though. Brady’s control is now so strong that the surprise isn’t enough to shake him off, and the nurse is shaken enough to know that something is really up. She immediately calls Bill, asking him to come to the hospital and investigate what’s wrong with Sadie. There’s hardly any need; he’s already sitting there in the parking lot. When Wilmer comes out for a smoke break so she can talk to him, Brady/Sadie attempts to run her over in true Mercedes killer fashion. This time it’s Bill’s turn to stop them at the last minute.
When Bill finds the second vial of morphine in Sadie’s purse, she uses vulgar language to tell him to screw off. Unfortunately for her, she’s become a compromised tool for Brady. So while Wilmer and Bill try to talk through whatever’s going on, Brady sends Sadie up to the hospital roof and makes her jump to her death.
It’s a tragic end for a poor woman who had no control over her actions by the end, and also gives this episode more of a tragic feel than last week’s mind-blowing weirdness. But it’ll be interesting to see how Bill ends up solving the nearly impossible mystery the show has set up for him — namely, how the hell do you prove that a comatose hospital patient is forcing people to commit criminal acts via mind control?