I really appreciated that the show didn't save all of the big reveals for the last five minutes of the last episode. While whatever is on that photograph that Jess brought the police chief will undoubtedly be another big twist in our understanding of what happened, it seems likely that we'll definitively know the answers to the whodunnit during the first act of the finale. That would leave the remainder of the episode to deal with the fallout and provide real resolution.Just finished Ep 6. Setting up for a knockout finale next week.
I also appreciate that next week's episode is being billed as the series finale. While I'd be game for another season with Mare solving another mystery, all of the interpersonal drama appears to be headed toward an imminent resolution, and I don't want to see Mare as a character left in the muck just to keep milking this cow.
Just some really well-executed storytelling this week, too; cutting from Mare recapping to her therapist the day her son killed himself to Mare meeting Beth at Freddie's place really gave both scenes more resonance. One of the things that Mare feels immense guilt about is having Siobhan check on Kevin, so that her teen (then preteen?) daughter was the one to find him hanging from the rafters. The moment with Beth was a sort of do-over; she couldn't take back what happened to Siobhan, but she could spare Beth from having a similar experience.
Speaking of Siobhan: I appreciated her meltdown this episode. She has spent her whole life being the easy child; while Kevin grew from a troubled kid into a drug-addicted adult, she was one her parents could rely on. When her parents took custody of their dead addict son's child, who had his own very specific needs, she had to be the reliable one again. She was overdue to feel her feelings and act on them. And when she stumbles home drunk and confronts her mom, we really see how therapy is helping Mare; the Mare of the premiere would have gotten combative with Siobhan. This Mare understood that Siobhan was lashing out as a please for help, and apologized for her role in the pain her daughter has been carrying around with her.
I also appreciated the harrowing bathtub scene. Carrie is working multiple jobs to get to a place where the courts will award her custody, and she's exhausted. Falling asleep with her young child in the tub is bad, but it's the kind of close call that is inevitable at some point as a parent. Her problem is that she doesn't have the reservoir of good parenting history to draw upon in order to forgive herself for this lapse. Instead of thinking: I have to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, she is more likely to think: I'm a terrible mother. I can't do this. It'll be interesting to see whether she relapses or finds a different way forward.
I had a similar thought: I think Billy is the killer, but John is the one who was raping Erin. Erin threatened to expose John as DJ's father, and Billy killed Erin to protect his brother. None of John's actions make any sense if he doesn't have some level of culpability. And because Billy spotted the gun in the tackle box, he knows exactly what John has planned for him.My wife and I are thinking the twist is that Billy's brother John is the killer, and Billy was covered in blood to help clean up.