“Fell on Black Days” was a relatively steady episode of Mr. Mercedes, but it built to an exciting (and faintly tragic) conclusion.
As “Fell on Black Days” opens, so does the skull of Brady (Harry Treadaway), who is being operated on by Dr. Babineau (Jack Huston). It’s sanded down and lifted off and beneath it the squishy pink brain is poked and prodded. The routine is being performed for Cora (Tessa Ferrer) and her Chinese investors, who want to see Brady sit up and speak. No such luck.
Felix was pressured into the surgery in the first place. Now he’s even more desperate, and so turns to Lou (Breeda Wool) for help in bringing Brady out of his coma. Thing is, why would Brady bother returning to the waking world if he can just puppet people through nearby technology? That’s what Felix thinks Lou can help him determine.
But in the meantime, Brady is once again in control of Al (Mike Starr), and makes his sweet, simpleton brother Reggie (Scott Anderson) the latest victim, snipping off a big chunk of his ear and slashing his throat with a straight razor. He heads to Bill’s (Brendan Gleeson) house and almost runs into Holly (Justine Lupe), but she scarpers because Bill keeps forgetting to turn off the coffee machine. And thank goodness for that. It hadn’t properly occurred to me how well Holly has been characterised in Mr. Mercedes until she was within touching distance of Brady and my heart leapt into my throat. Justine Lupe is a treasure.
But that means Al gets his hands on Bill. Throughout the brief fight sequence, Brady, in his mind basement, is wearing a boxing robe and sparring in front of 50s-style black-and-white footage. (The way Brady interprets certain events while comatose has been a consistent pleasure of this second season. During the surgery that opened “Fell on Black Days”, the sound of the drill whirring through the skull was interlaced with that of a blender as Brady made a banana milkshake.) Al beats Bill quite badly, but a brief distraction allows him to shoot Al through the chest and head, thus detonating Brady’s subterranean surveillance setup. What now? Who’s next? And perhaps most importantly, will Holly be okay?
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.