This week on AT&T Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes, the titular taunter reached out to his prey in an old school way, setting the stage for what portends to be a more continuous game of cat-and-mouse.
Presumably the night after he found a “smiley face” tennis ball on his lawn, Bill drowned himself in drink and the loop of a new video, in which Mr. Mercedes “modified,” in a ghastly way, a personal YouTube of his “new mom” victim. While lost in that grim fugue state, Bill heard a noise out back, but spied no one on his newly installed security cams. When he heard the noise again, he darted outside, gun in hand, and wound up training it on a neighbor kid who was sneaking home from a party. Startled by Bill, said lad tumbled mid fence-hop, breaking his arm.
As the ambulances and cops arrived at the scene, Ida had the presence of mind to ply Bill with whiskey “after” the upsetting incident, to account for him smelling like a saloon. An inquiring flatfoot signed off on the ruse, but the next day, Bill sure enough got summoned to the cop shop by Peter Dixon, who grilled his former partner about threatening to blow a kid’s head off while three sheets to the wind (as well as his odd behavior outside the station, where an ever-wary Bill surveyed his surroundings).
Returning home, Bill thanked Ida for her help the night before with a pastry, which she invited him to share over tea. During their gazebo gab, Bill asked Ida to be frank about her overt overture the other night, and she admitted plainly that having a Friend With Benefits living right next door is the epitome of convenience.
Afterward, Bill went through his mail to discover that Mr. Mercedes had sent him an actual letter, egging the retired and frustrated lawman to supplement his junk food diet with the barrel of his gun. Bill showed the “P.S.” to Jerome, who explained that it was pointing Bill to a website, with a pre-arranged user ID (Bill’s birth name is Kermit!) and password.
Bill also cruised by the home of the woman whose Mercedes was stolen (?) and used to commit the atrocity years ago (teeing up a flashback to when he and Peter re-questioned her, for what appeared to be the umpteenth time, about how someone might have gained access to her car). After an interaction with a rent-a-cop outside, Bill got the idea to seek out the woman’s sister Janey (hello, Mary-Louise Parker!), who proved to be a bit fascinated by his off-the-books revisiting of the unsolved case. Janey shared that Mr. Mercedes also taunted her sister into actually taking her life, then agrees to sync up Bill with their mother, the next time she is lucid at the retirement home.
Meanwhile at Supreme Electronix….
After catching Lou sass another gay-bashing customer, Robi pulls both her and Brady into a lunchtime pow-wow, where he very patronizingly “explains” the times they live in, where customer service is the only thing keeping them afloat. Robi notes that Lou is off-putting and at times abrasive/confrontational, while Brady is, well, just weird. Like, really weird. And yet he sees potential! Especially as a big local event nears, where he’ll need them to man the store’s booth.
Back home, after much nagging from his mom, Brady “reveals” to her what he has been working on in secret in the cellar: “Thing B” aka a “super remote” that can control anything. Once fine-tuned, he plans to sell it to the Pentagon and in doing so set their sad little family up for life. Deborah buys it all, when I have to imagine all he waved in front of her was a mish-mash of remote control parts.
As the episode draws to a close, Bill logs onto the website sent to him by Mr. Mercedes, and signs in with the provided info. Brady concurrently arrives home — after an urgent dash to the store, where Robi’s porn-watching had been cut short by an exploding laptop — just as his prey logs on and declares, “I’m here, f–khead. Let’s play.”
What did you think of Episode 2 (of 10), and the series thus far?