AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 3, Episode 1: “No Good Deed”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by David E. Kelley
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Fade to Blue” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Madness” – click here
Soundtrack note: R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” plays in the opening
A couple guys— Carl Fenten (Greg Nappo) and Morris Bellamy (Gabriel Ebert)— are psyching themselves up to go rob an old man, planning to fleece “the greatest American author,” John Rothstein (Bruce Dern). The pair were at the job fair when Mr. Mercedes killed those people. One feels lucky to be spared, the other believes they were “God forsaken.” So, they head through the woods towards Rothstein’s home.
They creep through an unlocked door. Upstairs, the author sleeps soundly. He’s woken up to a gun in his face by one of his biggest fans. The old man isn’t afraid. He thinks this may be a “proper ending” to his story. When the robbers get the money, things go sideways. Rothstein is shot. He manages to get off a shot, killing Carl. Morris is left with the guilt of having his friend die and killing his supposed favourite author. He gathers what he can and runs, only to crash his car in the trees down the road. He makes it out alive, though injured brutally and bloodied, and he can’t get the money out, either.
Soundtrack note: Jackson Browne’s “For Everyman” plays before the courthouse
Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) meets with lawyer Roland Finkelstein (Brett Gelman), who’s handling the case of Lou Linklatter (Breeda Wool) after she shot the dreaded Mr. Mercedes. The trial’s not what the judge expected. He calls council in his chambers. Lou’s seen as a “folk hero,” though the prosecution, led by ADA Sarah Pace (Natalie Paul), doesn’t see it that way. Roland argues his client is not, and was not, mentally incompetent when she murdered Brady. The judge finds himself in a tough spot.
At Finders Keepers, Bill talks over things with Holly Gibney (Justine Lupe) and Jerome Robinson (Jharrel Jerome), where he’s got to toss more money into the swear jar. They get a visit from Antonio Montez (Maximiliano Hernandez). He and Bill chat briefly about Lou’s case, before he tells the retired cop about Rothstein’s murder during a home invasion. Bill was a big fan of the author and finds it difficult to hear.
While Morris climbs out of the woods barely alive, his vehicle’s found by a ready to graduate high school student. Peter Saubers (Rarmian Newton) is walking his dog in the woods when he stumbles onto the smashed car. When he takes a look in the back, he sees the bills. Like A Simple Plan all over again. The kid takes the briefcase home. This could begin a dangerous game. And at the hospital, Morris wakes up, where his fake ID tells the doctor he’s a man called Michael Lee.
Bill continues to be rocked by the loss of a foundational presence in his life. He’d been reading Rothstein since he was young, before he’d even come over to America. He finds solace in Ida Silver (Holland Taylor). He wants to find the culprit, incapable of leaving his detective brain in retirement. He brings a Rothstein novel, The Runner, for Jerome to read in hopes the Jimmy Gold character— a fictional stand-in for the author himself— might lead them to clues involving the murder.
Interesting to see the fallout from Mr. Mercedes’s killings continue to spread. Peter’s father has been adversely affected by the murderous rampage Brady went on just a few years prior. Will this be what pushes him towards using the money he found? He clearly wants his family to be fixed, and his father’s only wallowing in despair.
Morris has gotten himself out of the hospital and back to the crash. He goes out to find his money’s gone. He assumes it’s the man who found him out on the road. And this may mean collateral damage. He tracks the guy down, asking questions about the cash. He’s angry when he doesn’t get the answers he wants. The dude figures Morris is the one who robbed Rothstein. The situation devolves. Morris fires a shot killing the man who saved his life. After that he uses a drill to try digging the bullet out.
Bill’s doing his best to help Lou while Finkelstein is charging towards a trial he wants to win. He feels bad for putting the young woman in this position. He only wants the best for her. Finkelstein’s convinced he’ll win, yet can’t guarantee it. This leaves Ms. Linklatter with a huge decision. She doesn’t dig the thought of “15 years in prison.” Her lawyer doesn’t want her to plead insanity, and Bill feels it’s the best option.
She’d rather take her chances at trial.
Soundtrack note: “Going Out of My Head” by Little Anthony & the Imperials plays at the end of the episode
A fantastic opener for Season 3! Father Gore wondered where Mr. Mercedes would go, and he still has a hunch there are unexpected things that’ll pop up along the way. But it’s already starting off with a real bang, in more ways than one. Again, it’s great to see how Brady’s crimes are not at all forgotten, and the ramifications of what he did keeps on affecting many left behind.
“Madness” is next time.
Season 3 of Mr. Mercedes airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT on AT&T AUDIENCE Network. AT&T AUDIENCE Network is available on all AT&T video platforms including DIRECTV Ch. 239, AT&T TV NOW, and U-verse.