Ah yes, here we go. I was really intrigued by the sheer surreal weirdness of this season’s early episodes, and have been a bit disappointed to see that element go by the wayside in favor of more standard procedural stuff in recent weeks. Thankfully, this episode got weird again.
It all started with a very weird dream. After drifting off to sleep in his living room chair, Bill finds himself face-to-face with a vision of Brady in his old ice cream truck uniform. As if that wasn’t strange enough, Brady is also holding a rope connected to Bill’s penis. Brady proceeds to torture his foe, even creepily wondering aloud who might bid on Bill’s penis if he put it on eBay (“Ida maybe? Donna? No, she’s seen it. Holly…?”). Very weird stuff, but it has such an outrageous and unique feel to it that I can’t help but enjoy the strangeness — especially when it’s channeled into scenes like this. Despite being the show’s main stars, Brendan Gleason and Harry Treadaway don’t actually get much screen time together. Even so, they play off each other really well, especially when combined with the surreal atmosphere of these dream sequences.
Needless to say, Bill is a bit shaken when he wakes up the next morning. So shaken, in fact, that he has to confide in Ida about his strange dream. Her answer is for him to try therapy. She still doesn’t believe any of Bill’s ramblings about Brady secretly being awake — which have now grown even more passionate in the wake of this very vivid dream.
Ida’s growing increasingly isolated in that camp, however. Lou sneaks into Brady’s room to finally confront him face-to-face and elicits a response that leaves little doubt as to whether Brady is conscious. After telling a tragic childhood story about her tricycle, Lou admits that Brady stabbing her made her feel more worthless than anything in her life. The only thing she’s confused about is why he didn’t just finish the job and kill her right there. Listening from within his head-cave, Brady claims this was only because he had other people to kill that night and she got in the way. But then when Lou describes him sparing her as “mercy,” he really loses it. He can’t help himself from typing out “Mercy was my mistake” on the fancy keyboard Dr. Felix Babineau gave him. Lou is discovered by security and pulled out of the room before she can read the message. Brady frantically tries to delete the message before Felix can see, but he forgets the last ‘M.’ After Felix begs for more from him, claiming they’re on the same side, Brady responds by typing out “F–K OFF.”
His wife Cora is ecstatic, of course. She even comes into Brady’s hospital room, where her beauty sends his heart rate soaring. After Babineau follows up with a CAT scan for Brady, the evidence is clear: He’s awake in there. Someone just needs to draw him out.
NEXT: “What’s a pharma company doing in prisons?”
Bill wants to be the person to draw Brady out, but first, there’s another priority. In order to stay in Montez’s good graces and not bring the feisty assistant district attorney’s wrath down on his friends, Bill has to figure out who killed Montez’s dog. The security camera evidence is clear: It was Hal, who works in the ER at the hospital.
Bill goes to talk to Hal and finds him to be a charming, simple-minded man. However, there are definitely red flags. Hal can’t remember what he was doing or where he was the previous afternoon, and there are some flecks of dried blood on his car. Hal claims he probably brought it out of the ER with him, but Bill takes a sample of it just to be sure. Sure enough, when Montez arrives at Hal’s house with a squad of police officers, they find bloody gloves in the car and a bloody knife in the kitchen. That’s enough to arrest Hal, who gives an awfully sad expression to Bill (who he thought was just a nice man) on his way to the patrol car. Bill understands that this mystery is still far from solved. Luckily, he’s now got Holly on his side in the “Brady might be telepathically controlling people” camp, following her meeting with that mind control expert last week.
After Hal is taken care of, Bill reaches out to the real villains of this story: Cora and Felix Babineau. He literally comes up to them while they’re eating lunch at the hospital and asks them to include him in any attempts to wake up Brady. He tells them that they’re messing with someone they don’t understand and are putting lives at risk, but Felix and Cora both brush those concerns away.
What really scares Cora is the revelation that, thanks to research by Holly and Jerome, Bill knows about her work with Chinese pharma companies. Specifically, the fact that those pharma companies tested the very drugs they’ve been using on Brady on inmates in a Chinese prison. The result? One-half of the test subjects committed suicide, and the going theory is that the other half got into their minds somehow and convinced them to do it. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Felix is outraged that Cora kept this information secret from him — who wouldn’t be??? — and even angrier that she clearly values loyalty to her employer over loyalty to him. I suspect this story won’t end well for the Babineau’s. Divorce would probably be the most optimistic outcome for them, given who they’re messing with.
Bill, meanwhile, has his own Lou-style meeting with Brady. After Montez escorts him back to the hospital room, Bill tells Brady face-to-face that the Mercedes killer actually rejuvenated his life. He went from drinking himself to death to working a steady job with friends and family. For the first time this season, it’s Brady’s turn to be unsettled; now someone’s messing with his head!
When he goes home that night, Bill has a fun, friendly conversation with Ida. But then he gets a disturbing text from an unknown number: “Ollie ollie oxen free.” It’s the same thing Bill just said to Brady in his hospital room. This game is far from over.