The best way to describe this week’s episode of Mare of Easttown is laying the groundwork. While the first three episodes were certainly intense, tonight was dominated by much more exposition than we’ve seen so far. While it’s easy to dismiss this episode, everyone should remember that allure of this series is how nothing is ever extraneous. If showrunner Brad Ingelsby has place some moment in the framework of this narrative, then it’s likely not only important, it has a bearing on the outcome of the series. With that in mind, let’s get into our 5 takeaways from tonight’s episode.
5. Look who is running the show
Detective Zabel is now running the show after Mare was suspended for attempting to frame her son’s former girlfriend for drug possession. He seems awfully uncomfortable in the spotlight for a man who supposedly had all of this success cracking cold cases. It makes you wonder about how much of a role he does play at his own precinct. Everyone on this show has some secret. Perhaps the good detective has one too.
Jess Riley is way too forthcoming about what’s happened. It’s too convenient. Part of me would like to think that she’s the key to all of this and that the information provided will lead to an arrest. Could she be deliberately attempting to throw people off? If so … why? Who is she protecting?
3. The Good Deacon?
There appears to be a growing case that Deacon Burton might have had more to do with this than meets the eye. Zabel is able to figure out that he lied to Mare earlier about his whereabouts on the night of Erin’s murder. For someone who has all but confirmed that the reason he was transferred to this diocese was due to an accusation of sexual misconduct, lying about your whereabouts on the night of homicide is not great. Is he guilty, or was he up to something else that night?
2. A Normal Life?
Since Mare isn’t in theory working on Erin’s murder, she decides to spend some time with the literary professor she hooked up with earlier in the series. Is this an attempt by Mare to lead some normal existence? I’m not 100% sure, but it does appear there’s some spark between these two. Whether that translates into something as we move forward is anyone’s guess. Pearce’s character is perhaps the only character we haven’t learned much about yet, and that might be by design.
Dylan’s moment with Erin’s Son was quite revealing. The whole episode, we saw someone was aloof and even furious at the news that he wasn’t the child’s father, and now we see someone who is caring. Could he have found out somehow that he wasn’t the father? Remember, Dylan’s girlfriend said he snuck out that night. Perhaps he confronted her in the woods. That is a very plausible chain of events.
Photos: Michele K. Short, Sarah Shatz/HBO