Mr. Mercedes—Season 1

mr mercedes season 1 poster review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid thriller

Story kind of goes where you expect it to go

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The game of cat-and-mouse is on!!!

On a cold morning as job seekers line-up outside of an Ohio building, a Mercedes with a driver in a clown’s mask plows into the unsuspecting people.  Years after the incident, the killer was never caught, and Detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) has retired.  Hodges drinks too much, but he also is getting messages from the potential “Mercedes Killer” that indicates the first killing could just be an opening act for something bigger.  Hodges wants to put his past behind him, but Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) has a role for him in his game.

Mr. Mercedes—Season 1 aired on AT&T’s Audience Network.  The crime-horror thriller series adapts Stephen King’s 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes and was released to positive reviews.

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Brendan Gleeson…action star!!!

I feel kind of bad for Mr. Mercedes.  It isn’t very recognized and with the Audience channel as its airing source, not many people had access to see it.  Watching the first season, it is a grim-dark story with likeable and lighter characters.  I hope more people will end up finding this series.  A ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for some reveals.

The story for Mr. Mercedes is primarily a crime thriller along the lines of The Silence of the Lambs.  You know who the killer is from the first episode, and instead of a whodunit, the series expands as “what will Brady do next?”.  There is a slight horror aspect to it (through Brady’s heinous crimes and approach to his plans), but if it wasn’t written by Stephen King, it probably wouldn’t be gauged as horror at all.

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Get ready for mayhem!

You kind of knew where Mr. Mercedes was going when you watched it.  There were many “I called that” moments throughout the story and that can be problematic.  Despite this, I felt that the series kept moving and kept a nice tense element to the storytelling.  Like many King stories, he interjects a potential “psychic” aspect to the story which pretty much equates to “magic”…but it fortunately doesn’t become a major storyline here.

The cast is great.  King allegedly imagined Brendan Gleeson when he was writing the series and Gleeson is surrounded by a fun and charming supporting cast from Mary-Louise Parker to Holland Taylor to Jharrel Jerome to Justine Lupe.  He’s paired with a truly great evil guy in Harry Treadway who pulls off creepy just in his stare.  Kelly Lynch is great as Harry’s alcoholic and sexually abusive mother, but Robert Stanton is a bit over-the-top as Harry’s anal boss.

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Every boy loves his mother…

The series is put together well, but it feels less cinematic than many of these stylized series.  The series could be a regular TV crime show which does help mask the darkness of the series.  I still would argue that Hannibal was one of the darkest series on TV and this one still doesn’t match…and Hannibal was a network series.

Mr. Mercedes—Season 1 feels like a complete run.  You have a beginning, middle, and end with an open ending tacked on for potential season sequels (which of course there have been).  It probably didn’t need to be.  King wrote the series as a trilogy so it wasn’t unheard of to make the series continue past this season, but you can probably go into Mr. Mercedes and end with season 1 without feeling you missed anything…but I do look forward to Mr. Mercedes—Season 2.

Mr. Mercedes—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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1.1       Pilot Airdate:  08/09/17

An early morning job fair call-out turns to tragedy when a killer in a stolen Mercedes mows down sixteen people waiting in line.  Two years later, retired Detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) is still haunted by the event which never was solved.  Living a sedentary life despite encouragement to do more from his former partner Peter Dixon (Scott Lawrence) and his eccentric neighbor Ida Silver (Holland Taylor), Hodges finds his world turned upside down when he begins receiving messages from a person who seems to be the killer.  Meanwhile, Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) deals with his alcoholic incestuous mother Deborah (Kelly Lynch) while working a job at an electronics store as he tries to earn money to go to college…but Brady has some secret projects of his own.

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“On Your Mark”

1.2       On Your Mark Airdate:  08/16/17

Bill continues to receive emails and correspondence from Mr. Mercedes as he questions how to approach the case.  When an accident at the home threatens to push him over the edge, Bill finds himself the target of police questioning.  Brady continues to deal with his troublesome boss Anthony Frobisher (Rob Stanton) and realizes he might have to take a stand.  Bill reaches out to Janey Patterson (Mary-Louise Parker) whose sister Olivia Trelawney (Ann Cusack) owned the Mercedes and reveals he is still investigating the case.

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“Cloudy with a Chance of Mayhem”

1.3       Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem Airdate:  08/23/17

Bill tries to take his findings to the police but finds them dismissive of his discoveries. Jerome (Jharrel Jerome) looks into the contact information which leads his father Lawrence (Neko Parham) to pay Bill a visit.

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“Gods Who Fall”

1.4       Gods Who Fall Airdate:  08/23/17

Bill continues to get closer to Janey Patterson much to the dismay of Ida.  Anthony comes to Brady with an offer that could inspire his next “big event”.  Jerome continues to help Harry investigate against his wishes, and Harry recalls he and his partner not believing Olivia’s claim that she hadn’t left her key in her car.  Brady takes an interest in evening the score with a racist customer (Keith Flippen) who targets Lou Linklatter (Breeda Wool) as he remember what happened to his own brother.

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“The Suicide Hour”

1.5       The Suicide Hour Airdate:  09/06/17

A trip to visit Janey and Olivia’s mother results in Janey learning Bill’s part in the death of her sister.  Brady targets Jerome’s dog, but he finds that it could put him a step closer to getting captured.  Brady’s invasion of Bill’s home when he is away put Bill on the offensive…and he’s about to discover Brady’s deepest secret.

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“People in the Rain”

1.6       People in the Rain Airdate:  09/13/17

Brady’s mother has decided to get sober after a tough night, but that is something that Brady can’t have.  Bill finds he might get a second chance at his relationship with Janey when tragedy strikes and meets Janey’s extended family.  Brady’s attempt to move up at the store hits a roadblock, and Deborah’s encounter with an old friend (Terry Serpico) could show her how hard it could be to get on the right track.  Bill recall the events that caused his daughter Allie (Maddie Hasson) to abandon him.  A chance encounter with Bill gives Brady the information he needs.

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“Willow Lake”

1.7       Willow Lake Airdate:  09/20/17

Janey prepares for her mother’s funeral and finds herself trying to decide what to do about her relationship with Bill.  Bill introduces Janey’s cousin Holly Gibney (Justine Lupe) to Jerome, and Holly and Jerome try to hack into Olivia’s computer.  Deborah begins to grow curious about what Brady is hiding in his room and the basement.  Brady experiences a crackdown at work and makes his move on Bill.

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“From the Ashes”

1.8       From the Ashes Airdate:  09/27/17

Janey is dead at the hands of Brady, and Bill realizes his daughter could be in danger.  Holly makes a stand against her mother and begins to work on the case with Jerome leading to major breakthrough.  When Brady’s poisoned meat finds an unintended victim that could force Brady’s plans into overdrive.

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“Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream”

1.9       Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream Airdate:  10/04/17

The discovery that Brady Hartsfield had access to the computers of the victims’ leads police to hone in on Brady…putting Brady on the run.  Brady’s boss Robi learns of the danger of Brady as Bill continues to insert himself into the police’s investigation.  With the police moving in, Brady intends to go out with a bang!

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“Jibber-Jibber Chicken Dinner”

1.10     Jibber-Jibber Chicken Dinner Airdate:  10/11/17

Brady Hartsfield is dead…or so the police think he is.  When evidence comes forward that Brady’s untimely demise might not be all it seems, Bill realizes that Brady’s threat continues and the people he cares about could be the target.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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