SPOILERS for Mare of Easttown.
Mare of Easttown became one of those rare watercooler miniseries and it felt like everyone was watching and everyone had a theory about it. The series was not based on a book or a real-life incident, which was part of the joy of watching – there were no busybodies on social media telling people “this is what happened in the book” or “this is what happens next.” Everyone experienced it together, one episode at a time, for seven weeks and that was seriously fun.
So, following Mare and Colin Zabel’s discovery of the girls in that dude’s attic, we were left with the core mystery of the series: who murdered teen mom Erin McMenamin and why? Over the last two episodes, we learned that it was a family thing in the worst possible way. We learned the father of her son was John Ross, who is sort of like her cousin/uncle (technically a cousin, but more like an uncle figure and definitely a familial relation). John Ross confessed to murdering Erin early in the final episode, and the episode just kept going until Mare put the pieces together. It wasn’t John who murdered Erin: he was taking the rap for his 13-year-old son, Ryan. The child murdered his teen-mom cousin for having an affair with his dad. It was… a lot. A lot of pain, a lot of great acting and a lot of WTFery. I was mad at Lori (Julianne Nicholson) for lying to Mare as well.
As it turned out, Guy Pearce’s local-professor-heartthrob was just some guy who had nothing to do with any of the crimes being committed. Putting such a well-known actor in that role was a total mindf–k because no one could believe Guy would take that role unless he was the murderer. Apparently, Guy and Kate Winslet are friends in real life and when they needed an actor to fill that role in the last minute, Winslet called Guy and asked him to do the role as a favor. Apparently, that’s how Julianne Nicholson was cast too – she’s Winslet’s friend as well.
Mare writer Brad Ingelsby gave a lengthy interview to THR about the end of the series and how he came up with this crime and this specific world. When asked if there was a chance the gang could reunite for a second limited series/season, he told THR: “It was written as a limited, and it ends — there’s no more mystery to be solved. Kate and I, if we could crack a story that we were really proud of and felt like it was a deserving second chapter in Mare’s journey, then maybe. I haven’t cracked that yet; I don’t know what that is, honestly. But if there was a world in which we were convinced, this is a continuation of the story that honors the first chapter and does things an audience will appreciate, then maybe. But as of right now, I have no idea what that could be.” Hmmm. Mare of Easttown 2: The Wawa Murders. Bam, write it up.
Photos courtesy of HBO.