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HBO Max Mare of Easttown (HBO) (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Just finished Ep 6. Setting up for a knockout finale next week.
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.

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.

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.
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.
 

Joe Wong

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From a commenter at another website - the secret shared by John and his son Ryan is not about an affair, but about John's role in Erin's murder. Lori's saying to Mare that she could detect the first affair John had, but not this one, aligns with this thought. A nice misdirection if true.
 

Cameron Yee

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Agree with everyone's theory about
John being the baby daddy, not Billy.

My main thought when John suggested taking a fishing trip, was
Billy, don't you know that if you're the nervous brother, you never say "yes" to a fishing trip!? Have you learned nothing from Fredo?!
 

TonyD

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I think both brothers have some role in her death.
John’s behavior has been super sketchy since we saw him talking to his son.

John also seemed to have talked Billy in to his confession.


The gun in the tackle box looked like it surprised billy.
 

Greg.K

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The pendant was purchased by Billy. Though I think John is the father. His son Ryan might have been the killer, either thinking he was protecting his dad at the time, or accidentally, and Billy agreeing to take the fall is to protect the kid.

The murder weapon was an older police service revolver, like, say, Mare’s father would have had. Maybe Siobhan gave that gun to Erin to protect herself, and it ended up being used against her? Incidently, They show a police gun in the preview for the finale, but it looks to be Glenn Carroll’s going by the writing in the box.

The bathtub scene was messed up. I did not put it past this show to kill off the kid.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The pendant was purchased by Billy. Though I think John is the father. His son Ryan might have been the killer, either thinking he was protecting his dad at the time, or accidentally, and Billy agreeing to take the fall is to protect the kid.
The biggest argument in favor of the latter theory is the cafeteria scene where the one kid is picking on Ryan's sister with Down syndrome, and Ryan just beats the living shit out of him with a cafeteria tray. I didn't think much of it at the time, because picking on someone with Down syndrome is monstrous and it could be argued that Ryan was just being a good brother by defending his sister. But it does point to some uncontrolled rage issues.
 

Greg.K

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I didn't think much of it at the time, because picking on someone with Down syndrome is monstrous and it could be argued that Ryan was just being a good brother by defending his sister. But it does point to some uncontrolled rage issues.
That and something regarding Erin has clearly traumatized him. I think he either caused her death or at the very least witnessed it.
 

Cameron Yee

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Also wanted to say there were some great moments between Mare and her mom, that despite all the bickering the love is deep.

Also the moments with Richard were nice, making me restate that I hope he is just as he seems and a potential respite for Mare.

Dylan has also turned out to be a real POS.
 

benbess

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I have HBOmax, I'm a fan of Kate Winslet, and I sometimes like cop/detective shows, but so far I haven't watched this. First, it just seems too grim and gritty, and second, I came across this in The Hollywood Reporter today....


"Shows like the new and rapidly beloved HBO drama, Mare of Easttown, only make it worse — wonderful performances and an enlightened script that appears to tackle rich social issues, covering over deeply problematic portrayals of policing that serve to normalize unjust practices in the real world, practices that ruin Black people’s lives. It’s just another show promoting the idea that police can and should do whatever they want, no matter who gets hurt, in service of catching the bad guys."

Anyway, I was just wondering if people who have watched the show have any thoughts they might want to add.
 

TonyD

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I think that’s a bad article and I think you should watch the show and make up your own mind about it.

Btw there is a circumstance that an officer does something but there are consequences.
 

Cameron Yee

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I agree you should watch the show and see if you agree with the opinion article (which I think is much too short to really back up his argument).

By comparison, Slate had an article written by a Delco native (maybe the same who provided the analysis of the Delco accent), that talks about how the show noticeably omits the political leanings of its residents, which I thought was much better written.
 

Cameron Yee

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You weren't the only one. https://tvline.com/2021/05/30/hbo-max-crashes-mare-of-easttown-finale/

I've been trying to get into HBO Max for the last twenty minutes without any luck.

I had no problems getting in and watching the finale, however.

As others suspected, Erin's real killer was not John, but Ryan. It's debatable whether John's behavior only made sense in light of Ryan being involved, since we haven't really gotten a chance to know him. Probably the real tip off that Ryan was involved was Lor going along with things. Or even appear to do so, as it was initially presented.

The performances were all great. Mare's anguish of having to do the right thing; Lor's feelings of betrayal but ultimately realizing she still needs her best friend; Helen's vulnerability with Mare and Siobhan in the restaurant.

The only thing that didn't ring true was the Deacon saying Easttown was his home and that he had nowhere else to go.

And again, I'm glad Richard was just a supportive, romantic interest for Mare.
 
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TonyD

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I think there was something wrong with the timeline of the gun.
If all that happened overnight which it seems to have, how did the old guy notice it disappeared and reappeared?
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I ended up watching a movie and then trying again afterward, at which point the issue had been resolved.

I will use spoiler tags for the remainder of this post out of deference for others who might not have been able to watch the episode due to technical difficulties.

I thought it was a really strong finale. There were a couple twists and turns with the whodunnit, but mostly this episode was about providing resolution, something so few shows and movies bother to do anymore. It really took the time to explore the fallout of everything that had happened and how our characters were affected by it.

The final moment, with Mare pulling down the attic stairs and venturing up to where her son killed himself, was absolutely perfect. A hopeful ending to a largely bleak series.

As others suspected, Erin's real killer was not John, but Ryan. It's debatable whether John's behavior only made sense in light of Ryan being involved, since we haven't really gotten a chance to know him. Probably the real tip off that Ryan was involved was Lor going along with things. Or even appear to do so, as it was initially presented.
I believed all of it. The fact that John was willing to go to prison to protect his son is a strong indicator that he is not a sociopath; he was selfish and stupid and inappropriate, but he still ultimately valued his son's future over his own liberty.

The performances were all great. Mare's anguish of having to do the right thing; Lor's feelings of betrayal but ultimately realizing she still needs her best friend; Helen's vulnerability with Mare and Siobhan in the restaurant.
A tremendous cast from top to bottom, even the tiny supporting roles. When Mare's voice cracked while she was putting out the APB on Ryan just about broke my heart.

The only thing that didn't ring true was the Deacon saying Easttown was his home and that he had nowhere else to go.
It did for me. A priest that gets transferred twice after allegations of sexual improprieties with minors at both previous parishes is going to forever worry about the truth coming out. At least with Easttown, the locals know that he didn't do it.

And again, I'm glad Richard was just a supportive, romantic interest for Mare.
I actually was too. Early on, he didn't seem to fit so I assumed he must have a more insidious purpose. But if you view the series from the lens of Mare confronting her trauma and grief and finding a way to move forward, Richard absolutely fits. He represents the promise of what could be on the other side.

I think there was something wrong with the timeline of the gun.
If all that happened overnight which it seems to have, how did the old guy notice it disappeared and reappeared?
I could be wrong, but my understanding was that:
  1. Mare gets called over because the peeping tom was oogling Betty Carroll's granddaughter. Betty's husband checks the shed, and sees the gun is there.
  2. That night, Ryan steals the gun and uses it to shoot and kill Erin.
  3. Mare comes over a couple days later and deletes the security camera footage of the neighbor vandalizing the Carrolls' shed, out of solidarity with someone who shares her irritation with Betty Carroll.
  4. Mr. Carroll notices the gun is missing.
  5. Ryan gets nervous about the gun, and decides to return it.
 

Joe Wong

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An excellent finale, with the one last twist or sting in the tail.

Like Adam, I appreciated the various scenes depicting the aftermath, which shows how people have changed/accepted/moved on. After a long journey with characters you are invested in, it's a satisfying way to conclude.

In true whodunnit/murder mystery/Agatha Christie-style form, I loved the double-layered misdirection from a couple of episodes ago when Lori witnesses John and Ryan "keeping a secret." The secret begins as an "affair" John has rekindled with a former flame, then tilts to John possibly being involved in Erin's murderer, before it's ultimately revealed that it's Ryan's secret that they're trying to keep hushed. Nicely done.

With respect to the gun timeline, I got the impression Ryan returned it the same night, hence my agreement with TonyD's assessment. But I could be wrong.
 

Greg.K

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I believed all of it. The fact that John was willing to go to prison to protect his son is a strong indicator that he is not a sociopath; he was selfish and stupid and inappropriate, but he still ultimately valued his son's future over his own liberty.
I dunno, he was planning to kill his brother to help keep that secret, that's still pretty sociopathic.

One character's actions that still confuse me are Dylan's. Burning the journals, and putting a gun in Jess's face were really all just so that his family would be able to get custody of DJ? All this after it is already known by everyone that he isn't the father? Seems the writers wanted to make him look suspicious to the end but that ruined the character to the point that I don't think his redemption scene with Lori worked very well either.
 

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