Mr. Mercedes recap: 'Andale'
How is Brady controlling people? Turns out, it might have something to do with Einstein!
We pick up where we left off last time: With Brady Hartsfield controlling the body of Sadie’s hospital friend, watching Bill Hodges outside his house. Bill is slowly starting to figure out Brady’s game, but unfortunately, his closest friends still don’t believe him. Bill and Jerome discovering Sadie’s texts about someone controlling her was played as a revelatory breakthrough last episode, but it turns out Jerome was unimpressed. He’s unmoved by Bill’s argument that Sadie was acting fine before her “suicide,” and thus believes another explanation (possibly requiring telepathy) is required. Jerome confesses that his own mother died by suicide years earlier, and she also seemed happy before the end. Jerome thinks that the more likely answer is that Bill just wants the Hartsfield case to go on for the sake of his own fulfillment.
That’s what a lot of people say about Bill, but it’s actually true of our favorite ADA, Antonio Montez. In a heated conversation with neurosurgeon Felix Babineau, Montez admits that he considers the Hartsfield case to be his ticket to the top. At this point, the only real path forward for Montez is to take his boss’s job as District Attorney, but in order to do that, he needs a name-making case. Since, in his words, “no one’s been thoughtful enough to slaughter an entire family or thrill-kill a bunch of white women lately,” his best option for such a career-making case is to prosecute the Mercedes killer. That’s why he’s been working with Felix; the doctor promised he could bring Brady back to consciousness so he could stand trial. But now that Felix’s “medical magic bulls—” has worked…differently than expected, Montez is getting desperate. He threatens to walk away from his shady deal with Felix in order to look for another Trial of the Century unless they start getting the results they need. He also makes the mistake of bragging about his home furnishings within earshot of Brady.
Meanwhile, Holly meets with a contact and we get our first actual explanation for what’s going on with Brady’s “medical magic bulls—.” This guy lost his academic tenure for publishing an article about mind control, which makes him the perfect person to ask if it’s possible that someone might have forced Sadie to jump off the roof. His response? “I don’t think it’s possible. I know it is.” He explains that it has to do with quantum entanglement, Einstein’s theory for how quantum particles could affect each other without touching. This is usually used to explain forces like gravity, but according to this guy, some people are “manipulators” who can create a similar effect at a much larger scale, causing other people (rather than particles) to move according to their whims. Einstein’s term for it is fitting: “Spooky action at a distance.”
NEXT: Occupandi temporis
Bill meets with Nurse Maggie, who tells him that Brady’s heart rate was through the roof both when Sadie died and when she tried to attack Bill in the hospital room with the scalpel. Bill asks to see these readings, but they’re under lock and key. Nurse Maggie initially refuses to get in trouble for him but relents.
Alas, she does indeed get in trouble! Montez storms up to Bill’s house to tell him that Maggie has been caught trying to break into the file database. Knowing that Bill had already been working with Maggie to gain information and secretly visit Brady, Montez is sure this is all his doing. What ensues is basically the verbal version of Indiana Jones shooting that flashy swordsman. Montez issues all kinds of threats, saying he’ll take away Bill’s investigator license and even imprison him if he leaks anything to the media. When it’s Bill’s turn to retort, he says that since a 10-year jail sentence would probably lead to him dying in prison, he’d have nothing to lose by beating Montez silly up and down the block in retaliation. When Montez asks if he’s being threatened, Bill replies, “I don’t make threats. Pissants like you make threats. I make promises.” Montez’s only response to THAT is a middle finger. Very clever, Bill notes.
Soon after, though, Montez’s comments to Felix come back to bite him. Still in the body of Sadie’s friend, Brady guides his host to the Montez house, where they proceed to ransack the place, steal Montez’s gun, and kill the family dog.
Brady might not even need this guy soon enough. Under pressure from Montez, Felix and his wife Cora decide to break out a new computer that’s supposed to allow patients like Brady to communicate. Because that’s exactly what we need: Brady getting better at communicating with people. All these opportunistic careerists brazenly empowering a monster in the hope that they’ll benefit somehow certainly feels like a metaphor for…something!
Once Montez discovers what’s happened to his house, he’s shaken enough to ask Bill for help. Meeting him at a bar, Montez says that he’ll forget all about their earlier conversation if Bill helps him investigate this. He’s convinced it’s connected to Brady because he said “occupandi temporis” while sexually assaulting Brady in this season’s totally bonkers second episode. As Montez now shows Bill in a photo, that Latin phrase has been written on his house in dog’s blood. They both cope with this knowledge by ordering more whiskey.