Mr. Mercedes recap: 'Motherboard'
In the wake of Sadie's apparent suicide, Bill tries to figure out the truth of what Brady's doing
Up until now, Brady Hartsfield’s telepathic provocations have managed to fly under the radar. But in the wake of Sadie’s suicide at the end of the last episode, people are starting to get suspicious. They don’t know what exactly is going on, but they know something must be.
The neurosurgeon Felix Babineau is mostly worried that whatever’s going on might expose his unethical use of experimental medicine on Brady. He tells Nurse Maggie to be careful showing Bill around, given the “confidential” nature of their medical treatment. He even threatens her a bit. As this season goes on, I’m sure we’ll find out exactly how Babineau’s experimental drug treatment granted Brady his newfound telepathic powers. Maybe it was made with the brain cells of twins since that’s how telepathy works in Stephen King’s other series The Dark Tower, but I’m totally content only seeing him for a couple minutes at a time each episode. He’s not a very interesting character, and I feel like he’s probably already played his part by giving Brady that drug. Now it’s just a countdown until he gets found out.
Assistant District Attorney Antonio Montez, however, is a fascinating addition to the show. You may remember him from this season’s absolutely bonkers second episode when he sexually assaulted Brady in an attempt to provoke a reaction and prove he was cognitive. That didn’t work, so now Montez is focusing his attention on Bill. He introduces himself at the crime scene by Sadie’s body, but that’s not the end of it. Later, he literally shows up at Bill’s house, hoping that both of them can just sit down together and tell each other what they know. As Montez sees it, Bill was instrumental in bringing down Brady, but also held back crucial information while working the case. As soon as Montez investigates Bill’s office, however, it’s apparent why Bill likes to withhold information. Montez freaks out at Bill’s Carcosa wall of conspiracy theories. Bill plays it off calmly, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of room for collaboration between him and Montez. No surprise there! By the way, once you’ve groped a comatose murderer, I don’t think you get to call anyone else “crazy” or “obsessed.”
Brady, of course, is still the craziest one of all. Last week he was talking with his kid brother inside his mind palace, and this week his old manager Frobisher shows up to chat. This makes me suspect Brady’s victims will continue to appear inside his telepathic man-cave throughout the rest of the season. It’s probably only a matter of time until dear old mom appears. Who knows what he’ll do then…
Bill doesn’t even have to seek out the most important link in his investigation; she comes to him. Sadie’s mother arrives at the private investigator’s office, demanding to know why he showed up on her doorstep the night before Sadie’s suicide. Bill admits that he was investigating her after the almost-attack with the scalpel, and doesn’t quite think it’s a suicide. He’s not the only one; Sadie’s mom doesn’t believe the suicide story either. But now that it’s been ruled as a suicide, the police aren’t going to be investigating it any longer. She clearly doesn’t care for Bill, but he convinces her that he’s the only one capable of finding out what really happened to her daughter.
Meanwhile, our old friend Lou is having a rough time of it. Her girlfriend Sophie leaves her after realizing that Lou isn’t trying hard enough to get over her Brady fixation. Leaving Lou in such a state doesn’t sound like a good idea, but then again staying around her is dangerous too. This is proved later that very night when Lou tries to drown her breakup feelings by hitting up a bar. There she flirts with a new blonde girl. They kiss outside and are all ready to go back to Lou’s place together until a random man starts accosting them on the street. Lou tells him to back off; when he doesn’t, she pepper-sprays him. That probably would’ve been enough, but Lou can’t stop herself from getting on top of the guy and punching him bloody. The blonde girl skedaddles, and then a police car shows up. Sophie comes the next day to pay Lou’s bail, but considering the whole incident just confirmed what she was already saying about Lou’s behavior, she still wants to stay broken up.
There’s some good news for Bill, though: He’s not crazy. After convincing Sadie’s mom to give him her daughter’s phone, he’s able to crack the passcode thanks to Jerome’s tech wizardry. They start looking through her recent texts for any clues about what happened to her, and it doesn’t take long. They find messages Sadie sent to her boyfriend, talking about how Brady is “communicating with me” and “inside my head.” Bill is enthused to get confirmation of his pet theory, even as Brady (now in the body of Al, one of Sadie’s fellow hospital workers), pulls up outside. The game is afoot.