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