By the way, we're meant to infer here that Veronica called in the bomb scare in an effort to get the law there. Which is fine, but I don't think it should have been her only action here. I mean, we know that there were Hearst police at the party -- are they so incompetent that it wouldn't have been worth getting them involved? And I know Logan and Wallace left the party on that false errand, but what about Piz and Mac? If Veronica couldn't find them, she couldn't have called them on the way? You'd think that after last year's season finale, Mac would be especially attentive to her phone. But I have to admit that at least this "Veronica is reckless" theme has been well-developed. I may not like it, but it's reasonably consistent.
Mercer enters the girl's room and closes the door. He turns on a light, looks around, and observes, "Unicorns? Really?" Really, Mercer. He says that he's going to need some mood music, and puts on the song from the cold open: "Techno has a bad reputation, but I think it's undeserved." I'm agreeing with a serial rapist. This is disturbing. He dances a little bit as he takes off his jacket, and wow, he's really enjoying this. That's insanely creepy. He sits on the bed, on which is apparently the comatose girl wrapped in a blanket, and tells her that, while he feels he could have picked her up in the usual way, he would have had to listen to her talk. He also tells her he's kind of sorry it has to be this way, since the sex is going to be great. And I have to say, I don't know anything about the typical profile of a serial rapist, or if it's even valid to claim the existence of such a thing. But I certainly buy Mercer as a megalomaniac, and for that reason, this speech works for me dramatically in a way that the whole Beaver reveal didn't. It makes sense for him to talk just to hear the sound of his own voice, so I don't mind this device for clueing us into his state of mind. And I've already detailed the ways in which the show gave us subtle clues as to Mercer's potential involvement from a procedural standpoint, but it occurs to me that his characterization so far fits this profile as well. I mean, the blithe way he talked about what happened in Mexico when, if Logan is to be believed, Mercer started that fire and ran as well? That alone, to me, painted Mercer as off enough that his actions here don't seem completely out of nowhere. The head-shaving makes sense too, in a power-tripping megalomaniacal way. The thing that doesn't make sense, though, is Mercer reaching for his clippers without putting gloves on. You'd think that after so much was made about there being no physical evidence at the crime scenes, we would have gotten a glimpse of Mercer taking some care here.