AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 3, Episode 4: “Trial and Terror”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by David E. Kelley & Jonathan Shapiro
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Love Lost” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Great Balls of Fire” – click here
Bill Hodges is clearly having a nightmare. He walks into a hallway where there’s an old TV playing an interview with John Rothstein, discussing how if there’s “no Satan” anymore, there’s “no God.” The author talks about Mr. Mercedes. Bill carries a book that bleeds. He goes into the courtroom where Lou’s tied to a tree— at her feet are Rothstein novels. Bill drops the one in his hand as it catches fire. It lights Lou’s tree, as well as her, aflame. A judge bangs the gavel.
Elsewhere, Alma’s cleaning the murder she committed when Morris shows up. He may have a suspect for who took the loot from the Rothstein job. He finds a picture on the wall of photos with young Peter in it. He tells Alma that Hodges is “sniffing around” about the manuscripts. Not a good edge for these criminals to have on our former detective-turned-private eye.
The opening credits for Season 3 get better with each episode! Beautifully grim.
At home, Pete hears his dad Tom is going to Lou’s trial. His dad also says there was “another envelope” in the mail today with $9,000 inside. They’ve now received $32K in total. Of course this is the son trying to filter the found money from the crash back into his family. Tom’s no idiot. He’s sure something is going on with his son.
Bill gets back to Finders Keepers. Holly tells him Rothstein took out insurance. Basically, he’d be covered for whatever was in the safe. Holly and Jerome hear there’s a $700K reward put out by the insurance company for any info that’ll track down manuscripts. Also, Jerome might have a lead about the “Good Samaritan” who brought someone into the hospital the night of Rothstein’s murder— the same dude who later got killed.
This whole reward is turning up the heat on Alma and Morris. She’s trying to keep a lid on killing his jilted girlfriend, too. She continually crushes the younger man down, even admitting to raping him when he was a kid without saying as much: “But it was loving.”
Things at the courthouse go ahead. Lou’s deemed competent. Judge Raines keeps on being a relative hard ass. He won’t accept “self–defence” as the argument. This has Finkelstein pretty pissed off. Lou tells the judge to fuck himself. She doesn’t want to talk to Bill, either. But Kermit insists. He’s curious about Lou’s beyond the grave relationship with Brady. He urges her to let the killer go. He knows what it’s like to have him in his head. Lou insists the public will help her go free.
“At the end of the day
we’re all fuckin’ headcases…”
Morris listens to more Black Keys as he drives. He parks and reads through a Rothstein novel. He remembers being in class, taught by Ida. She gave him a copy of The Runner by Rothstein, telling him Jimmy Gold is a rough and tumble, “self–hating little shit” just like him. A great connection between characters in the Mr. Mercedes world.
At Finders Keepers, Jerome comes back with info about the guy left at the hospital the night Rothstein was killed. Obviously Morris was there under a fake name, and left as soon as he came to, but this doesn’t stop Jerome from banging around a theory that’s incredibly close to what actually happened.
Lou wants to go for involuntary manslaughter. The lawyer later has dinner with Holly, telling her the defence is actually a good idea. He thinks someone is helping Lou. ONCE MORE, Father Gore wonders if Brady’s consciousness is out there. Is his brain being experimented on by the government and is he reaching out to Lou like he did with others in Season 2? (Keep it in mind. No puns intended.) Whatever’s happening, Lou’s mentally falling apart, seeing and hearing tiny ice cream trucks.
Soundtrack: “It Seemed the Better Way” by Leonard Cohen plays as Lou wakes up
We get Bill’s more intellectual side as he ruminates on himself as Satan in the nightmare he had, using Dante Alighieri as an example. He believes he’s an “empty soul” who simply causes everybody suffering. He takes the blame for what’s happened to Lou. In part, he’s right to feel guilty. Still, he isn’t responsible for pulling the trigger.
In the courtroom, Ms. Pace isn’t pleased the place has been “cherry–picked” to help the defence. People from the job fair massacre occurred were given special seating. Judge Raines won’t hear any of the prosecution’s complains. In comes Lou, looking unwell— not a fantastic start. She finds it tough to hear ADA Pace’s opening argument, accused of having “spared” Brady of true justice. Finkelstein argues Hartsfield would’ve gotten off as a one of the “miracles of modern medicine” for the work done on his brain, and Lou offered the world closure on Mr. Mercedes.
While everyone’s out, Morris slips inside the Sauber house.
He can’t find anything, so Alma’s ready to go their next plan.
After court, Lou tells her lawyer she wants Holly to take the stand. You can all but hear Brady talking through her. Very creepy. There’s something ethically sketchy about hauling Holly into the mess, and it’ll certainly put the lawyer in a weird position— not sure she’ll want to date him post-trial. Again, there’s something else at work behind Lou’s eyes. Maybe it’s just madness. Maybe it’s more.
Soundtrack: “Holly Holy” by Neil Diamond plays at the end
Another fantastic episode. “Great Balls of Fire” 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.