AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 2, Episode 8: “Nobody Puts Brady in a Crestmore”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Samantha Stratton & Mike Batistick & Dennis Lehane
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Fell On Black Days” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Walk Like a Man” – click here
We open on the scene from last episode, when Bill (Brendan Gleeson) arrives home and gets attacked by Al (Mike Starr). He gets a hand from Ida Silver (Holland Taylor), who gives the former detective a chance to shoot the big guy. While all that was going on Donna (Nancy Travis) was left on the other end of a cellphone, wondering if Bill was the one doing the shooting or the one getting shot.
Ida goes to help Bill, peeling him off the floor. They’re safe now. He’s pretty beat up, seeing “stars and fucking comets,” ready to puke. He’s concerned for Holly (Justine Lupe), and Ida tells him she saw her leave earlier. Bill’s particularly unsettled because Al called him “Kermit“— his childhood nickname from over in Ireland.
In his mental basement, Brady (Harry Treadaway) is without a puppet in the real world. Everything down there’s charred or reduced to rubble. His little brother’s kicking around unharmed. Outside, Dr. Felix Babineau (Jack Huston) and one of his nurses see extraordinary activity on the monitors, as well as some movement in the hands. This pleases Babineau, though it probably means bad news for everyone.
Police and EMTs are swarming the house. Bill’s got to explain himself, and everything sounds correct, as do the accounts of both Ida and Donna, the latter having called the cops after hearing the violence over the phone. The ambulance carts Mr. Hodges off to hospital. But he’s left troubled by “the why of it all.”
At home, Jerome (Jharrel Jerome) is seeing how much his family’s giving up in order to send him to Harvard. His dad’s drowning in bills, his credit is shot, and Jerome’s sister isn’t happy about all the changes at home, the sacrifices necessary for him to go to an Ivy League school. Worse, he doesn’t even want to be there, either.
Bill gets a visit from Antonio (Maximiliano Hernandez), who lets him know everything is sewn up as far as Al’s concerned. The former detective knows the man who attacked him “wasn‘t the same guy” as the one he spoke to outside the hospital. He saw something in Al’s eyes before shooting him. He knows Brady’s behind it— somehow. Tony knows there’s something eerie happening, too. Meanwhile, Holly’s scared for her old pal Hodges, she knows Hartsfield is behind everything and wants to stop him. She’s also incredibly attached to her private eye partner, just like he is to her.
Upstairs, Antonio confronts Dr. Babineau over the latest surgery. He tells the doc about his plans to have the patient sent to Crestmore. Felix is struggling, trying to get more time to make the serial killer come back to the land of the living. He’s one of those “regulations stymie progress” kind of doctors. But the ADA’s not playing his bullshit game anymore, not after all “the madness.” He’s able to easily convince Pettimore (Adam Stephenson).
Later, Felix has other troubles with Cora (Tessa Ferrer), as their relationship crumbles even worse due to their ladder climbing bourgeois idiocy. These two really do belong together. Plus, they’re stuck together. What will the doc do? He’s like a cornered animal right now.
“Caring for people is scary. I mean, it’s lovely, but not very controllable. You can’t tie it to a post.”
We see the wear and tear of Bill’s life on that of Donna’s, as she’s been there for these types of things before, back in the day when he was on the force. She’s breaking down somewhat. Ida tries to comfort her, yet has to be truthful: “This is the guy you married.” Being with a policeman isn’t easy. Especially for a guy like Bill, whose life is nearly in total service to others.
Holly goes to Brady’s room. She takes a piece of tape from one of the tubes on the killer. She puts a new one back and takes the old one with hair attached. She’s determined not to let Brady win in this struggle. She’s smart, not to mention she was the one who cracked Brady’s head open. Holly brings the hair, and a list of possible illegal drugs, to her former group friend— he has a contact who can test the sample.
Looks like Dr. Babineau’s pulling whatever strings he can to keep Brady in his hospital. He goes behind the ADA’s back to DA Dunford himself. This keeps the serial killer in his room, seeing as how it’s all a political pissing match. Problem is, these dummies don’t realise they’re enabling a murderer to possibly come back and do more damage. This leaves Antonio and Bill up shit’s creek.
Donna wants Bill to leave everything be, only he can’t. He doesn’t know who’ll stop Hartsfield if he doesn’t get the job done. She doesn’t want to see it destroy him. It’s only going to destroy him from the inside if he keeps it solely as an obsession in his mind, rather than putting it to a corporeal end.
“The resurrection’s begun”
In his room, Brady waits until he’s alone, and he starts moving more. He moves his head a little. He works hard to lift his feet, repeating the motion a couple times. In his mental basement, he sees a glimpse of a woman in a red dress lurking in the shadows. Is it mommy? They dance together, like old times. It’s not really his mom— she has his old clown mask on.
That’s when little brother calls big brother up the stairs, towards the light. At home, Bill feels the killer’s presence closer than before. This prompts him to go to the hospital, where Pettimore is still going ahead with the killer’s transfer. Babineau stops the people about to take the patient, shutting them down. Bill heads to the room and sees the young man is gone. Moments later, Babineau arrives confused, as well. They alert security— Mr. Mercedes is walking again.
Truly a great episode! That last moment was chilling. Others be damned: this is awesome television, and follows in the spirit of Stephen King SO DAMN WELL. Dig every last second of it. “Walk Like a Man” is next, the penultimate Season 2 episode.