Mr. Mercedes Season 1 Episode 8 Review – ‘From the Ashes’

Martin Carr reviews the eighth episode of Mr. Mercedes…

Karma has a way of coming back and biting you in the arse. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you otherwise beware the consequences. Words Brady Hartsfield should heed in future before he decides to go around blowing people up. He reminds me more and more of the late and decidedly dodgy Jimmy Saville who kept a shrine to a mother he idealised long after death. This is a severely imbalanced person with incestuous leanings, a liking for high explosive and obsessive tendencies towards one Bill Hodges.

 

A shell-shocked husk of a man in full grieving mode who looks hollowed out from the inside. Only his relationship with Holly Gibney offering up any form of redemption for past transgressions. In their moments together Gleeson and Lupe imply a tentative connection which is closer to father and daughter than anything else. Others who flit in and out of frame including Ida and Jerome have minimal impact on Hodges, while Holly’s innocence melts through his Teflon coating.

Hodges rejection of anyone too close is not only a defence mechanism but professional habit. Rejection by his real daughter, scant contact with an ex-wife and fear of repeating old mistakes isolates him as much as Brady. Guilt more than anything keeps everyone at a distance, while his opposite number insulates himself by fully controlling the environment. Behaviour which proves to be his undoing in spectacular fashion.

Which seems a timely opportunity to make you aware of some particularly disturbing scenes which play out in ‘From the Ashes’. Definitely post nine pm viewing this makes sure you stay on your toes from that moment on. Plot wise things inch along and certain people are guaranteed to come unstuck real soon, while others are finally admitting fault. As we inch closer to a season finale I am beginning to wonder if things will be tied up, or show runner David E Kelley is crafting an atypical cliff hanger.

 

With characters of interest slowly being killed off, shipped out or simply underused it remains a mystery how Mr. Mercedes will play out. Brady as a character is now more engaging than the idea of his capture and incarceration could ever be. To lock up this unbalanced bag of frogs would be a whole waste of crazy as his moods, methods and social detachment provide the ying to the Hodges yang. Yet strangely despite everything he has done and continues to do Brady remains sympathetic which is possibly what makes this villain so compelling.