Mare of Easttown Episode 5: Second Chances? What are these?
The following contains spoilers for Easttown mare Episode 5, “Illusions”
I have to start by saying if you are a spectator who has watched Easttown mare only for Evan Peters, I’m so sorry. Granted, since Peter Colin’s sleuth Zabel made his introductions in Episode 2, I wasn’t his biggest fan. I understand his role is to be the outside point of view, which they made evident with the number of times he joked that Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) was related or friends with someone. ‘a.
When he wasn’t making jokes at Mare, he desperately crushed her. I understand. I also find myself falling for Mare. What Easttown mare does not need is a love triangle. I’m not the type to blame someone younger who tries to woo someone older. I am surrounded by relationships like this and I support them all. What I don’t want is trying to force a subplot between two people who clearly have no romantic chemistry. I would really like to know what Kate Winslet did to make her suffer again? From the moment he started making heartfelt eyes and flirting with Mare, she showed no interest. When he mentions how his mother told him that Mare only wanted a date with him because he was close to the case she was fired from, Mare agrees.
A love triangle between Zabel, Mare and Richard Ryan (Guy Pearce) adds nothing to the story told for Mare. Yes Easttown mare is to continue beyond being a limited series, and then maybe down the line it would make more sense for Mare to have multiple suitors and conflicting emotions to choose from. From now on, Easttown mare focused on Mare’s journey to deal with the traumas that led her to exclude people. A relationship with Richard makes sense because it helps him become a better person. He started to tear down his walls and gave him a space to be vulnerable. This made her open to continuing therapy and starting to heal. The whole plot point with Zabel feels like it’s just been added at random, or maybe to give Evan Peters a quick kiss to Winslet before he gets pushed around.
I think what bothers me the most about Detective Zabel is the fact that from his second episode it was clearly visible that he had no idea what he was doing. Here is this character who was sent by senior officials to help with an investigation because he was able to solve another unsolvable case. Yet when it came to physically doing detective work, he always seemed in complete shock when Mare discovered something new. I don’t know if it was completely Easttown mareintending to make Zabel’s limits so abruptly visible, but that’s how he got out. It is for this reason that I have never been able to fully trust him, and tonight we find out that he indeed did not resolve the case of this missing person. Getting him to admit that he took credit for someone else’s work didn’t really earn brownie points with me.
Having said that, he also broke rule number one in all crime drama, which is to always get the hang of it. There is a reason the police happen to an incident, there is more than one. That’s not to say that Mare wouldn’t have done something similar. It’s the same episode where Mare abruptly follows a figure, unprotected and alone, whom she assumes to be a creeper who turns out to be an old man with dementia. To Zabel’s credit, at least he’s the one who figured out that the man they were talking to was Katie’s (Caitlin Houlahan) kidnapper. and Missy (Sasha Frolova), and potentially Erin’s murderer (Cailee Spaeny).
With Captain Zabel’s death and the recap of the two big cases (Katie and Erin) occurring at the end of Episode 5, the question for everyone is “What’s next?”
It is clear from the rest of this episode that Easttown mare moves away from its roots as a crime drama and becomes a community drama. I don’t know if “community dramas” are even a thing, but if there is a sub-genre of “family dramas,” why can’t there be a word for a drama about a community? Anyway, that’s what I call it, and it’s true because the real highlight of this episode was how much time was given to many of the townspeople.
The episode opens with the tragic death of Betty Carroll (Phyllis Somerville), the curious neighbor who hasn’t really been able to go about her own business since the show began. Betty’s untimely demise is also likely due in part to Phyllis’ actual death in July 2020. Easttown mare hadn’t finished filming due to COVID, so addressing that once they started filming again was a good idea. Betty’s character was the quintessential curious neighbor. The one in the neighborhood who likes to chat and who likes to become the target of those whose drama she has broadcast. Her death lays the groundwork for the reward later when it is discovered that Betty’s husband had an affair with Mare’s mother, Helen (Jean Smart) after he confessed at Betty’s funeral.
This discovery led to perhaps my favorite moment so far of the entire season. Mare’s reaction to the revelation at the funeral was almost to choke on her beer, but the real gold was soon after in the awkward drive. Helen desperately tries to correct the situation by explaining her point of view, but it really has the opposite effect on Mare. Meanwhile, Mare had managed to keep her cool in the face of the incident, but all bets are off as soon as they are in the car. She collapses into an uncontrollable burst of laughter. It’s a small scene, but it really shows how bad these two came to bite their heads a few episodes ago when it was found out that Carrie (Sosie Bacon) wanted her son, Drew, back. This basically shows for Mare that her mother is just as messed up in her life as she is.
Betty’s husband wasn’t the only one going potentially frisky tonight. During the big power outage caused by Betty driving herself into a pole, Lori (Julianne Nicholson) surprises her husband, John (Joe Tippett), begging their son Ryan (Cameron Mann) to keep a secret. This leads Ryan to such a place that the kids at school constantly bully his sister, Moira (Kassie Mundhenk). John’s rage to keep it a secret wants to be released so badly that Ryan walks over to the boys who bully him and hits them with a tray. It could certainly be because her sister has Down’s syndrome.
I know from all people what happens over time when you are forced to keep your family secrets. I still work for years and years on the lies I was forced to tell as a child, which affected my relationships and created chronic anxiety within myself. The rage to be silent becomes too strong.
At first I thought this was going to turn into John having a creepy connection with Erin (besides the actual blood relationship). I have lived in the land of crime for too long and the subject of sexual assault is a constant. Easttown mare has dealt with recovery, addiction, grief, depression and suicide. They hinted that John’s brother Billy (Robbie Tann) was potentially sexually assaulting Erin when, during a discussion about Erin’s stay with Billy, he continued to avoid Mare’s questions. .
My other favorite moment of the night also has to go to Brianna Del Rasso (Mackenzie Lansing), who manages to let her guard down to Dylan Hinchey (Jack Mulhern). When he tells her that his family expresses interest in welcoming Erin’s son’s DJ even though he’s not Dylan’s. We came up with his rocky relationship with DJ, and then once it was found out that he wasn’t the biological father, Dylan thought about turning his back on him. Guess what Dylan, you don’t have to share your blood to be the father of this baby. You became his father the second you decided to take on this responsibility. He decided to keep that responsibility that night in the hospital when he got out of bed to DJ crying to be restrained and rocked him.
The real important moment in this scene isn’t Dylan’s decision to accept his role as DJ dad, but it’s Brianna’s decision to acknowledge how his actions have consequences. Due to her actions in assaulting Erin, she understands that her plans to leave the house are now gone. Everywhere she goes people will search and find out what she has done. She may not have a prison term, but the simple task of being stuck in Easttown, let alone Pennsylvania, is a prison in itself. She has become fair another statistic proving that most small town families never leave. There is a moment on Brianna’s face as it hits her and her eyes fill with tears. She might not be that kind, but the sheer realization that this act that she can never resume will officially haunt her for the rest of her life is a cruel reminder of the world we all live in right now. We have become a society where mistakes are no longer tolerated by stupid teens because they think they know everything and really don’t know it. We are in a society that is going to jump into “canceling” someone for a difference of opinion instead of giving them time to find out why they were thinking that way, to begin with.
There is clearly no excuse for Brianna’s behavior, but as someone who has seen their childhood bullies evolve with simple time, everyone deserves a second chance. She will fight for the rest of her life over the fact that her actions potentially led to someone’s death. You can see it in her eyes as she tells Dylan about her plans. It breaks me to see Brianna realizing that she might never have one. All she can do is lie and say she agrees when in reality she doesn’t.
The ability of these minor characters to pull from main statuses is just another reason I’ll keep comparing Easttown mare at Twin peaks. Both are fantastic shows that set the standards for what community drama should be like. It shouldn’t be just the main character who shows how life doesn’t end just after this particular chapter ends. There are so many new questions and roots in episode five of Easttown mare. How will Dawn (Enid Graham) react when she learns that her daughter has been found alive? Will we be able to explore the effects of being hidden for over a year using Katie? Will the walls of Mare accelerate with the guilt of Zabel’s death? Easttown mare There are only two more episodes left and no murder mysteries to solve. I say, bring the character drama!