5.5/10 After the massive drop off in quality from the great debut season to the hugely disappointing sophomore slump, the final season ends up in the middle of the pack. Without giving away any spoilers, with how season two ended I was baffled that there was more story to tell and wasn’t at all excited for the plot points that had nothing to do with Mr. Mercedes himself. Indeed, this final season focuses on a new case, the murder of an author which protagonist Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) loved so much that he never once mentioned in the first two seasons, something the writers could have at least foreshadowed with a name drop or two in earlier seasons. There are thin plot threads continuing from the first two seasons, namely involving a trial and I found myself more invested in those continued trial plot threads than the newer plot with the murdered author Rothstein (Bruce Dern). With the first half of the season really focused on establishing the new (mostly evil and/or annoying) characters, I was not a fan. Thankfully, the second half of the season is much stronger than the first half so if you do start this season, hang in there as things will get better. I loved the quiet moments of Bill talking with Ida Silver (Holland Taylor) over a drink and waxing philosophical. The family aspect between those two along with Jerome and Holly brought real emotion and heart to the season to make up for all of the darkness. Bill and Holly continued to be the two best characters on the show and I loved spending time with them. However, a romantic subplot was set up for Holly at the end of season two and was completely abandoned here for a much less believable one, which always felt off to me. Antonio Montez, a pretty solid character, disappears for most of the season as his presence always felt sporadic and uneven. This season could have used more of him. I also felt that the series finale had an extremely rushed conclusion where we don’t even get time to breathe after everything that just happened, a subplot with Bill’s daughter feels forced in so we can get a “happily ever after” with the two of them coming together and we get teases of a fourth season which will never happen. So the finale ends up being a rather big disappointment, despite the second half of the season keeping me entertained. I also love how this might be the only series I can think of off the top of my head that changes which song they use for the opening credits, as opposed to most shows which create a song or use a pre-existing song and repeat them every season. This season’s theme, “Series of Dreams” by Bob Dylan felt perfect for the contents of this season. In the end, “Mr. Mercedes” would have been best served as a singular limited series but at least if you’ve stuck it out this far, the third and final season is a major step up from the ridiculous second season.

#RothsteinDidntKillHimself / #ASlowDern / #AlongCameHolly / #Blanduscript / #SittingOnAJimmyGoldMine / #JeromeSweetJerome

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