"Lost Love" is the third episode of Season 3 of Mr. Mercedes. It aired on September 24, 2019.
Holly visits Lou ahead of her psych evaluation. Jerome accesses Rothstein's records and uncovers an unexpected connection to Ida. Hodges and Montez look into the death of Stan McNair. Morris and Alma are caught in the act.
In his office, Bill watches a video of one of Rothstein's talk sessions. Rothstein talks about men learning that the only way out is by going into oneself, and most men don't have the guts to do it.
Lou lies in her bunk and imagines Brady in the bunk beneath her, looking up at her. He disappears after a moment and Lou realizes that it's another hallucination.
The next day, Roland tells Bill that Lou refuses to take her meds and Brady is the one who convinced her. Holly comes in and says that they identified Stan, a local repairman. The men ask Holly to meet with Lou and give her emotional support, while Bill meets with Antonio. Holly is nervous about going to mental hospital but insists that she can go. She tells Roland that she used to be in a similar hospital and she believes they won't let her out if she goes there, and she needs to overcome her anxiety.
Danielle wakes up and finds Morris in the kitchen at his laptop. She complains that he never wants to have sex anymore, and he tells her that he's preoccupied. Danielle doesn't believe in his "real estate scam", and wonders if he's cheating on her. Morris denies it but Danielle doesn't believe it, and says that he's been a different person. She asks why he can't tell her, and Morris insists that nothing has happened. Danielle warns him that there's only so many of his complications she can take.
Two bullies chase Peter as he goes to school, grab him, and slam him into an alley wall. They threaten to take his new shoes, and Peter draws a gun on them. The bullies run off and Peter throws up, nauseated.
Antonio and Bill go through Stan's workshop as the police secure the crime scene. They figure Stan was killed there and put in the truck afterward, and that Rothstein's writing was stolen. Antonio has men at all of the auction houses looking for anyone trying to sell the manuscripts.
Jerome goes to the library and asks for anything regarding Rothstein. The librarian says that his papers are only available to grad students and researchers, and Jerome says that he goes to Harvard and taking a semester off. The librarian asks for a student ID, and when Jerome gets it the librarian inspects it and then apologizes, saying they don't get many Ivy Leaguers there.
Alma shows Morris photos she took of everyone in the area of the crash site, and figures a hiker or dogwalker saw the crash. She tells Morris that she needs sex to be smart, and when Morris objects Alma says that they have to find the manuscripts and they're doing it for literature. As they have sex, Danielle comes in and sees them together. Danielle walks out despite Morris' attempts to explain, and Alma figures Danielle is Morris' girlfriend and if she doesn't stay with him, their relationship wasn't meant to be.
Holly goes to the hospital and a guard takes her to the meeting room. She tells Lou that she used to be in a place like that and it wasn't the best experience for her. Lou figures Roland won't pass her psych eval in two days, and says that it's true that Brady is talking to her. She looks over at an empty chair and tells Holly that Brady is there and telling her not to listen to him. If Lou takes the meds then she'll lose the only thing she has if he disappears. Holly tells her that Lou realizes she's telling herself that, and Lou admits that Brady was the closest thing she had to family and friendship. Her visitor warns that if Lou says that to a psychiatrist, Lou will be stuck in there for good. Lou says that Brady is asking what's so great about freedom, and Holly tells her that there is "no fucking safety" in the hospital. She and Lou stare at each other and start rocking.
The librarian gives Jerome two boxes that represent his collection, and Jerome finds rejection letters and hate mails. She says that Rothstein donated his papers to get a tax write-off, and he was good at hating grudges. The librarian figures that Rothstein was inspired by the hate mail, and Jerome asks if there is any material that isn't representative of Rothstein.
Morris drives back to his apartment and goes in. Danielle is lying in the bed, and Morris gets her to look at him. He says that it's not about the two of them, and Danielle points out that Alma is old. Morris talks about how he knew Alma since he was a boy, and lost his virginity to her when he was 13. She got him into a psychological headlock and still has him in it. Danielle tells him that it's a sickness, and Morris promises that it won't happen again. She doesn't believe him and figures he doesn't, either. Danielle tells him that she didn't sign up for Morris' shit, and she walks out.
Holly tells Bill that Lou isn't good, and the longer she stays there the worst she gets. She explains about how Lou is seeing Brady, and he's convincing her she should be in the hospital. Holly says that she'll try to convince Lou not to listen to Brady. When Bill asks her how she's bearing up, Holly admits that she's not handling it. Bill apologizes for putting her in the situation, and Holly relays that Lou told her that Brady said Bill does a lot of that to serve his own interests. Holly says that she told Lou that it's not true.
The Staubers have dinner and Marjorie talks about the newscaster talking about the crash and how it's connected to Rothstein's murder. She suggests that their property value might go up because of the celebrity murder, and Tom tells her that's not how it works. Marjorie says that Stan was shot in the head, just like Rothstein. After supper, Peter goes to the hiding hole where he put the manuscripts, takes one out, and cover over the hole. He sits on his bed and reads Rothstein's words.
The next day, Bill gets an anonymous tip. He and Jerome drive to the neighborhood near the crash and they see Peter on the lawn playing with Booger. Peter sees them and goes inside.
Roland and Holly meet with Lou, and the lawyer tells her that the examiner cannot know that. Lou says that Brady described the woman who will examine her, and wonders if she should stay in the hospital. Holly tells her that's no life and they can help her get better, but Lou has to pass the exam. Lou figures that Roland is trying to get his 15 minutes to boost his career, and Holly tells Lou that Lou put herself there by shooting Brady. If it's not on Lou then it's on Brady. Holly reminds Lou that Brady stabbed her once and asks if Lou is going to let him stab her again.
As they leave, Holly says that she can't see Lou passing. Roland thanks her for standing up for her, and invites Holly to have breakfast with him. Holly says that she never has breakfast, and Roland rambles about "racing amygdala".
Peter goes to Second Story Books and asks the owner, Andrew Halliday, if he has any Rothstein books. Andrew says that since Rothstein died, he can't keep his books in stock. Peter asks if he knows how much Rothstein first editions are worth, and Andrew talks about how the value of first editions go through the roof when the author dies. He tosses out a figure of $100,000 or greater, and Peter perks up. He asks about autographs, and Andrew senses that Peter knows something and says that signatures could be worth more than first edition. Andrew asks for Peter's contact info, and Peter quickly leaves.
Andrew calls Morris and tells him about his conversation with Peter. The owner admits that he didn't get Peter's name, and quickly hangs up when Danielle enters the room. Morris says that it's "work shit" and asks Danielle to stop breaking his balls. She says that she won't and starts to leave. Morris wants to talk about it, and Danielle tells him that she's going to go to work, then come back, get her stuff, and move out. He slams her against the wall and says she can't walk out on him, and she tells him to remove his hands. Morris does so and Danielle leaves.
Back at the library, Jerome gets a box of Rothstein's tax records from the librarian. They're on floppy desks, and the library has a computer that can read them. Jerome finds files of women hidden in the records, and later he shows them to Bill. Bill figures that they don't reflect on Rothstein's writing, and Jerome shows him that one of the photos is of a young Ida.
Lou meets with Dr. Kate Greenland, and when Greenland responds to a comment with "Fair enough," Lou says that it's not fair that she's on trial for killing Brady. She insists that everything is about Brady, and Greenland says that she's only interested in Lou's current state of mind. Lou talks about how the federal government filed a habeas corpus to study Brady's brain. Greenland says that her focus is whether Lou is coherent enough to contribute to her own defense. Lou imagines a toy ice cream truck driving into the room, and crushes it with her foot. She tells Greenland that she's okay and says that she can contribute to her own defense because she's on her own so she must.
Alma returns home from shopping and finds Danielle waiting for her. When Danielle accuses Alma of sleeping with Morris since she was 13, Alma tells her not to take it personally and Morris always comes back to her. Danielle says that Alma is sick, and Alma tells her that they're all sick and she's doing Danielle a favor. She warns that Morris is damaged goods and whoever is with him will take some of that damage. Alma can take it, but she figures Danielle can't. She advises Danielle to leave Bridgton, and explains that she was once Danielle's age and thought she could make her dreams come true. Alma stayed in Bridgton, and now she's stuck.
Danielle points out that Alma has a good life with a man and a house, and notices that Alma has photos up of the area around the car crash. When the girl starts taking photos, claiming it's for Architectural Digest, Alma drives a hatchet into Danielle's head.
Morris talks to Andrew at the book store and gets a picture of Peter from the surveillance footage. Andrew gets the best angle of Peter's face that he can, and Morris takes a photo of it on his camera. The owner says that someone else came in asking about Rothstein, and shows Morris footage of Bill. Andrew identifies who Bill is, and asks Morris what his connection is to Rothstein's death. Morris claims that he's a buyer and says that he'd get the money to buy a Rothstein book wherever he can.
Bill tells Ida that the photos won't become public, and asks why she didn't tell him. Ida says that she was embarrassed, but Bill doesn't believe it. She explains that her self-esteem is tied up with being honest and loyalty, and she wasn't either. Ida explains that she felt alive with Rothstein and when he broke it off with her, it drove her insane with pain and she couldn't tell anyone. She asks for copies of the photos and Bill says that he'll work on it. Bill tells her that she looked beautiful in them, and Ida says that she felt beautiful. He invites Ida to come with him to a pub to hold a proper commemoration for the man she loved, and she goes with him.
Holly tells Jerome about Roland's invitation, and figures that it was a date. She figures that it's a bad thing because they'll continue dating and then expectations will come into play. Roland calls and Jerome advises Holly to pick it up. She does so and Roland gives her the news. When Holly hangs up, she tells Jerome that Lou passed her competency exam and is going to trial.
Peter continues reading the manuscript and hides it when Tom comes in and asks what he's doing. His son claims that he's just reading, and Tom figures that he's hiding something from his parents. Tom warns Peter that the truth always comes out and leaves.
At the pub, Bill tells Ida that she's being too hard on herself. She says that she's embarrassed that Bill knows about it because she admires him. Bill admits that he's guilty of indifference with Donna, and Ida warns him that he might find a few letters from her in Rothstein's hate mail. Ida says that Rothstein did hurt her, but admits that he might have been worthy of her love.
Bill then goes up on the stage to make the commemoration "official". He tells the customers that he's singing for a friend and for love, and sings an Irish folk song. Ida listens and gently cries. The pub's violinist joins in and Bill sings the second verse.
Alma puts Danielle's corpse in a freezer in the work shed in her back yard. She's forced to break the body's leg to get the lid down, then locks the freezer shut.
- Brendan Gleeson as Bill Hodges
- Justin Lupe as Holly Gibney
- Kelly Lynch as Deborah Hartsfield
- Jharrel Jerome as Jerome Robinson
- Scott Lawrence as Peter Dixon
- Robert Stanton as Anthony Frobisher
- Breeda Wool as Lou Linklatter
- Justine Lupe as Holly Gibney
- Mary-Louise Parker as Janey Patterson
- Holland Taylor as Ida Silver