Wednesday, September 5, 2018

REVIEW: 'Mr. Mercedes' - Brady Decides to Have Some Reckless and Dangerous Fun in the Hospital in 'You Can Go Home Now'

Audience's Mr. Mercedes - Episode 2.03 "You Can Go Home Now"

Brady welcomes a visitor from his past. Sensing Holly's growing frustration, Hodges includes her in his unofficial investigation. Cora continues to apply pressure to Babineau.

Brady is a killer once more. He is directly responsible for someone's death by the end of "You Can Go Home Now." Even though he is still in a vegetative state, he pushed Sadie onto the roof of the hospital and threw her off the ledge. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. But it means that Brady is just as lethal this season as he was during the first. People are starting to realize that strange things are happening around Brady once more. There was all the buzz about him potentially waking up. That brought attention back to him and the case. Hodges hadn't visited Brady in awhile. He had moved on with his life. And now, he is being pulled back into the darkness. He just knew that the one of the nurses tried to kill him. Of course, it's completely ridiculous for him to make that jump and then start investigating Sadie. It happens mostly out of plot convenience. Hodges needs to start becoming aware that something shifty is going on with Brady once more. It may be him up to his old tricks again. Or it could be completely coincidental that people near him also happen to be killers. Hodges doesn't know what to believe about Sadie. Her nurse supervisor tells him that she is a sweet and innocent soul. She wouldn't swear or wish anyone harm. She wouldn't steal drugs with the intention of killing someone. And yet, she does all of that throughout this episode while under the influence of Brady. He is driving her forward. It's a story that ends tragically with her on the sidewalk with her brain matter splattered all out. It's so confusing and perplexing to the people below. Hodges has a gut feeling that something is amiss here. But even his trained detective mind probably couldn't fathom the true explanation for how Brady is doing all of this. Not even science could explain what he is now capable of. That will only make him more dangerous. It's him finally succeeding in being the killer he always wanted to be.

Brady was always more than capable of killing people by his own hand. He could get behind the wheel of a car and mow down a dozen people standing in line for a job fair. He could plant a bomb on car and detonate it while it's in motion. He could marinate some meat in rat poison and feed it to someone. But he also had an even stronger impulse to drive people crazy with their own thoughts. He wanted to psychologically torture people. He wanted to push them to their breaking points so that they would kill themselves. It would still be a very satisfying release for him because he would still be responsible. It's just the sense of victory after a long and careful job well done. He did that with Olivia. Then, he tried doing it with Hodges. The detective was very much obsessed and on the verge of insanity. But he still prevailed in this battle of the minds. And yet, Brady now finds himself physically in the head of someone else. He is controlling another person's actions. They are saying whatever he tells them to say. As such, they undergo radical personality changes in a matter of seconds. He's the one in control. He's the one filling their heads with suicidal thoughts. He's pushing Sadie to the edge after getting a glimpse at the outside world. He learns that Hodges is still interrupting him and his lethal plans while Sadie is having problems with her boyfriend. He's also upset that Sadie has put in a transfer to get out of this unit. That infers to the audience that she understands what's happening to her because of Brady. She's just powerless to stop it because she no longer has control over her own mind or body. She's completely vulnerable and being preyed upon by Brady.

Brady has always preyed on the weak too. He has only been caring and loving to a select group of people. But he was still responsible for the deaths of his brother and mother. His father died from a freak accident. Norman and Deb were killed because of Brady's actions. From a very young age, this was who Brady was. That's what makes it so twisted when he is having fantasy conversations with the younger brother he never really knew. It's such a potent image because it's Brady actually seeming like a good influence while the show always reminding the audience of the tragedy of the situation. It's a complete fantasy. There is no explanation for this alternate world that Brady has created in his own mind. He is able to take over other people simply by being in close proximity to them. Of course, Sadie is the only person he has done this with so far. She may be the only person susceptible to his control as well. The show does point out that she suffers from epilepsy and is no longer taking her medication. She's instead exploring untraditional methods to deal with this condition. It may all be in service of her desire to get pregnant. But again, all of this is information that the audience has to infer because of some context clues along the way. Hodges and Holly don't understand what's going on. They just have a body to deal with. Sadie and her boyfriend may have been fighting because of problems conceiving a child. Or they could have been fighting because Sadie confessed to being possessed by a serial killer. That would be hard for anyone to truly accept. Is she vulnerable to Brady's new powers because of her condition? Or is it all completely random? Brady has the power to just create a world where he can take his brother onto a fire truck. And yet, that cannot mask the true depravity also on display throughout this story and how vicious Brady will always be.

Of course, the show is also exploring the additional traumas and lives that the characters have had that extend beyond Brady. Lou was personally betrayed by him. He was the co-worker that she actually liked. He stood up for her in the past. And yet, she was completely blindsided by him being this deranged killer who murdered many people and then stabbed her to keep her from talking. She survived all of that. And yet, she is still in that depression of wondering if she is truly alive. She is in a seemingly good relationship with a woman who loves her. But Lou is also difficult to be around because she's impulsive and reckless now. She believes that confronting Brady is the only way to get her true life back. Everything that has happened since the stabbing was simply a life taken away from her. She wants to steal it away from the person who almost killed her. The audience doesn't know what to expect from this meeting either. It could be empowering for her. Or it could be just as traumatizing. The audience knows to still live in fear of Brady. If she goes to see him, she could be the latest victim susceptible to his mind control. That would be so agonizing for her to have fixed the body he tried to destroy only for him to completely take it over. As such, there is nothing but the fear and temptation of this moment. Lou wants to go to the hospital. And yet, her girlfriend and therapist tell her not to go. Her therapist says that she still has so much work to do addressing the trauma she survived long before Brady came into her life. If she fixates solely on him, it could be extremely damaging to her psyche. She could regress so much. She scoffs at that remark. However, she immediately has a nightmare about Brady torturing her later that night. So, it's clear he is always first on her mind.

Meanwhile, Hodges is trying to show to his loved ones that he is evolving as a person. He's not as obsessed with darkness as he used to be. He doesn't believe that he has to be the man who has to stop the deranged killer to save the world all the time. But he still feels the pull of that narrative too. He suspects that something insidious is going on with Sadie. It allows him and Holly a case to work on together. He is still mostly trying to mentor her so that she can do this job without him. Sure, she enjoys working from the office instead of out in the field. That's where she thrives. She's not working towards her strengths here. Hodges is counting on her though. And then, he goes to spend a night with his ex-wife, Donna. They continue to grow closer once more. They had such a fraught and tumultuous marriage. It produced a daughter neither of them have a terrific relationship with. But now, they can both sense that things are different. They don't know what to expect from each other. Right now, it could be nothing more than companionship. Of course, it does take a sexual turn as well because that's a dynamic they know how to exist in. But it also fosters a greater display of communication. Hodges is no longer keeping everything to himself and drinking his problems away. He is actually reaching out in the hopes his loved ones will be able to help him through this uncertain time. He trusts that Donna's advice will actually be beneficial to his life. Sure, he mostly just wants her to tell him what to do. A vacation is her suggestion. She tells him to just leave Brady entirely. And yet, that attraction and obsession is still there. He will continue to poke at it knowing that something mischievous is going on. Perhaps this trauma with Sadie will have a horrifying impact on Brady. Or maybe it could just embolden him to act on an even grander scale.

Some more thoughts:
  • "You Can Go Home Now" was written by Mike Batistick and directed by Jack Bender.
  • There is a particularly eery and sinister moment where it seems like Brady is once again going to killing someone by driving a car. Sadie is behind the wheel and gearing her engine up to run down her nursing supervisor. This time though it would be even more tragic because Hodges is there to witness it. But instead, tragedy is momentarily avoided because he has the gumption to actually intervene in time.
  • Sadie's mother is also introduced this week. She is played by Kate Burton which should inform the audience that she will continue to appear even though her daughter is now dead. Her introduction mostly comes with the information that Sadie lives with her mother who is apparently very scared of the outside world. There is a home security system plus she answers the door with a loaded gun she has a permit for.
  • Hodges continues to ask Jerome about what's wrong with Harvard. Jerome only opens up a little in saying that it's not what he expected at all and it feels like the other students make him feel like he doesn't belong. As such, that could explain why he is getting failing grades. But Hodges also has a very wise moment in trying to help his friend by telling him about his own personal difficulties of feeling pressure because of his own issues instead of the world around him.
  • Hodges also yells at Holly about how awful he feels about the jobs she is sending him out to do. He wants to have a conscience instead of repossessing vehicles from single mothers or capturing a federal witness and likely bringing him to his death. She learns that he has been lying to her about the federal case. She also demands to be respected as a partner in this business because she contributes just as much as he does.
  • Brady's mind is now capable of producing so many things that would seem impossible. Here, that means a physical manifestation of the younger brother he killed. As such, will any more of his victims appear in this space? It would be a nice way to bring back Kelly Lynch, Mary-Louise Parker or Robert Stanton. But it would also feel like a gimmick used to imply that he feels guilt which he clearly does not.