Mare has a day full of resets.
She’s got another chance to prove herself to her town with Erin’s murder. She got off to a bad start with the visiting county detective, who offered a reset so they could work together. And she even reset her evening with Richard.
Katie’s mom, Dawn, also seemed to reconsider things with Mare, finding a soft spot in her heart for the tough position Mare’s in with her job.
Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 2 unpacked a lot of information.
We discovered more about Mare’s personal life while simultaneously digging into Erin’s murder. And like Colin Zabel, we realized that things are so interconnected in Easttown that trying to solve a murder is a nightmare in itself.
The crime scene, as with most, was brutal.
Erin was discarded like trash, her partly nude body flung across some rocks with her head, and arms draped in the stream. Nobody should die and be left like garbage. Nobody should have to see it, either.
Being a cop isn’t easy, and it’s crimes like this that really crush the psyche of everyone involved.
If that was a bad start to Mare’s day, even in a day full of do-overs, there were some pretty draining moments ahead, too.
I hate making phone calls, and sometimes sending an email can make me uneasy. Notifying a family that their loved one has just been murdered must be as difficult as arriving on the scene itself. Both require fortitude that most of us don’t have.
Mare didn’t go into it unarmed, as it were. She called those closest to Kenny McMenemin to be there to support him. And he really needed it.
On Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 1, Kenny was not putting up with any guff from Erin. It was easy to imagine he saw only how his life was affected as a result of DJ’s birth, and even just a year or so into DJ’s life, Kenny had already had enough of supporting his unwed, teenage daughter and her son.
Rightfully so, Kenny wanted Dylan to take responsibility for his child. But Kenny never imagined that he’d have to remember that unpleasant conversation with his daughter as his last.
That had to play into how he took matters into his own hands with Dylan. I wish I felt sorry for Dylan as the alcohol- and grief-fueled Kenny gunned him down, but the kid didn’t make caring for him very easy.
He started combative in the interview with Mare, and it only got worse from there. Sure, Dylan is paying for his sexual proclivities by becoming a father at an early age, but after learning he’s not even the father, well. Ouch.
It was like a divine tragedy unfolding, with both sides being deceived. If Dylan’s alive and killed Erin, it would be so ironic that her father almost did the same, all because of a lie that Erin told for who knows what reason.
But before we learned about that, Dylan didn’t care at all about Erin, not even to the point that he’d admit to talking with her at a party. He sure as hell didn’t stand up to his non-girlfriend when Brianna was beating the shit out of Erin in the woods.
Colin: Are you friends with these people?
Colin: Should we maybe do this outside, away from the staff and guests watching?
Mare: She beat the shit out of Erin in a forest full of kids. Let ’em watch.
Once she got wind of that scenario, Mare marched right over to Brianna’s family restaurant and arrested her mid-shift as her parents, and their customers watched in horror.
Part of me thinks that was poor form on Mare’s part, but the prevailing thought is that someone like Brianna didn’t deserve respect when she had no problem beating someone down in front of a crowd. She probably didn’t care much that the video was posted online, either.
But dang, Brianna’s father, Tony, didn’t take it well. His insistence that Mare wouldn’t ruin Brianna’s life makes you wonder how he views Brianna. If Dylan’s interactions with his parents are any indication, she’s probably an angel when with family.
Do parents not care that their kids are so miserable and disrespectful outside of the home as long as they follow the rules while inside? Neither Dylan nor Brianna handled themselves with any pride or decorum, and it calls out some questionable parenting.
You’re a bitch, you know that? No wonder your son fuckin’ killed himself.
After a daunting press conference in which Mare was before her peers again without answers, going hard to try to solve Erin’s murder makes sense.
That conference was hard to watch on many levels. Mare’s participation was imperative, but she had to field questions about any possible correlation to Katie Bailey’s murder, which included hearing directly from Dawn.
Interestingly, being removed from Erin’s murder allowed Dawn to view Mare in a different light. The looks between Mare and Dawn as Dawn stepped between Mare and Tony both figuratively and literally spoke volumes, and I hope it offers some comfort to them both.
Mare: You need to walk out of here and go home.
Tony: I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about. I’m just buyin’ milk.
Mare: Your daughter beat the shit out of a girl WHO WOUND UP DEAD IN A CREEK! WHAT PART OF THAT DON’T YOU FUCKIN’ UNDERSTAND?! You can keep goin’ down this road, but you’re not going to like how it ends.
Dawn: Leave her alone, Tony.
Tony: What the hell you defendin’ her for? What has she ever done for you, Dawn? Or Katie?
Mare: Thank you, Dawn.
Piling onto Mare’s bad day was Siobhan’s involvement in Erin’s evening. There’s no question about whether she contributed to Erin’s death, but not going to her mother directly leads to some serious issues between mother and daughter.
So, while I question the parenting of all the kids we’ve met, Mare’s kids are also in the spotlight. Does Siobhan hold Kevin’s death or Mare and Frank’s divorce against her mom? It wouldn’t be too shocking if she did.
From Frank to Helen to Siobhan, the entire family wasn’t on the up-and-up about their visit with Drew’s mother, Carrie.
It would be hard enough knowing your grandson’s mother was an addict (even recovering), but Mare also sees in Drew a similarity to his father that concerns her greatly.
Drew’s just a toddler, and he’s already got ticks and other issues, so Mare must be scared to death that he’s going to follow in Kevin’s footsteps. Kevin was never even properly diagnosed before committing suicide, but any of them would be concerning, including a penchant for suicide.
Needless to say, Mare’s dealing with a lot. But with Colin’s arrival, she’s also got some help.
Seriously. How freakin’ adorable is Colin? Evan Peters is always charming, but he instills in Colin a loveability right out of the gate.
Mare was chilly and almost hostile to Colin at first, but Colin wasn’t deterred. Instead of greeting her with similar frost, he earnestly wanted to help with the investigation and take some of the pressure off of her.
Hey, are we carpoolin’? I’m happy to drive myself, I’m just. You gotta give me the address.
Even asking if they were carpoolin’ wasn’t done in a passive-aggressive way as I would have done to make a point. He really wanted to know the answer. How could Mare resist?
Colin acts as our voice. He was as shocked as all of us were as one connection after another to the crime unfurled. But when Colin might have done things a little differently, perhaps more tastefully, Mare’s way of conducting the investigation worked.
Still, when they finally started working together, it made a lot more sense. And there was no way that Mare could have interviewed Siobhan.
Siobhan offered advice to Colin, and you could tell he was reading into their relationship. There is more to their story than we know so far, and Colin sensed it, too.
Have a good night, Mare! [to himself] Good night- Mare. You should have a good nightmare? [embarrassed]
Despite getting whipped around in all kinds of different directions on his first day, Colin seemed to be enjoying himself, and I daresay he might have a little crush on Mare. Did you see the look on his face when they were asked if they needed a table for two at Brianna’s restaurant? He was down for that.
Through all of this, Mare is also negotiating her personal life, which is all kinds of hectic.
She’s got a full house with generations worth of family living under one roof, and none of them are honest with Mare or do enough, in Mare’s eyes.
She called out Helen for drinking Manhattans with their cousin, and Helen was a little hurt. But she was also walking on eggshells about Carrie and the custody situation, so she couldn’t call out what Mare said. How funny was Helen playing video games? It’s always welcome when people over middle age are shown to be youthful.
Frank might not live with the family anymore, but he’s close enough to count. That final reveal by Erin’s bestie, Jess, shines a spotlight on Mare’s conversation with her ex.
Frank seemed antsy as Mare asked him about Erin, and he didn’t seem to be telling her everything she needed to know. Now, does that mean he’s a pedophile? Hardly.
But it’s easy to see how someone might find themselves in the middle of an investigation that they have no ties to. Everyone clams up and redirects their involvement with the decedent, even if it’s benign.
Jess: There’s something I want to tell you about Erin.
Lori: So, what is it?
Jess: Dylan isn’t the baby’s real father.
Lori: So why come here instead of going straight to the police?
Jess: Well, Erin wouldn’t tell me who the real father was, but, but I think it’s Frank Sheehan.
Mare managed to meet Richard for a drink, but he was with fans, and after her day, she had no desire to compete for his attention.
But just like her questioning often fell on deaf ears, she could have been a little more assertive, too. It’s too bad that her otherwise good night and an attempt to let off some steam started poorly and ended the same with the unexpected milk delivery.
Things are heating up on Mare of Easttown.
What has Frank left out of his conversation with Mare?
Does it bother anyone else that everyone questioned had so little disregard for authority and Erin’s plight?
How in love are you with Colin?
Will Dylan be alive? How shocked will Kenny be to discover Dylan wasn’t DJ’s father?
Dip down below and share your thoughts on all of it by leaving a comment and getting this conversation started!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.
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