Mare of Easttown is a 2021 HBO series that’s supposed to be a murder mystery.
0 out of 10 stars. The first two episodes had promise but by the third episode they ruined the plot. It’s a shame that HBO consistently hires old white men to produce, direct, and write their shows. Clearly they don’t know much about the middle or lower class. The director, Craig Zobel, even named one of the characters after himself, Colin Zabel. Narcissist? Yep.
Here are the previous episode reviews:
Episode 7 Sacrament
The finale aired tonight and was very disappointing. True to the misogynistic writers, Erin’s murderer was Ryan Ross. His father John raped Erin when she was 14 right after her mother died at the Ross family reunion at Lake Harmony. She got pregnant and he demanded she have an abortion. She refused. So he refused to claim the child as his own. Since she was dating Dylan Hinchey at the time and she adored Dylan’s parents, she said Dylan was DJ’s father so DJ would have love in his life. When Dylan refused to pay for DJ’s ear surgery, Erin demanded that John do it. He refused, so she kept texting him.
On the night of Frank and Faye’s wedding shower (the night Erin was murdered), Erin texted John and he went outside to call her and yell at her. He was the person yelling at her when she was on the phone in Deacon Mark’s car. After he hung up and went back inside, Ryan snuck John’s phone and texted he would meet Erin at Brandywine Park. Then he went to the Carroll’s shed, because he mows their lawn and has a key to the lock, and stole Mr. Carroll’s gun. Mr. Carroll is a former cop. When Deacon Mark dropped off Erin at the park, Ryan waved the gun at her. She tried taking it from him and he pulled the trigger, shooting off part of her finger. Then he fired a second bullet into her head, killing her. This was no accident. That second bullet was a choice to shoot the victim of his father’s rape. Like father, like son.
This episode, like most of the series, places no value on womens’ lives. John raped Erin when she was grieving over her mom and only 14. He’s a rapist and a pedophile. She’s also a relative. Even though it’s not incest (direct lineage), she was close enough to his family that he treated her like a niece, which would be incest. And yet he kept doing it and then refused to raise his child or give her money. ALL of this, including Erin’s murder, would never have happened if John Ross had paid for the ear surgery his child needed. Instead, he covered up the murder of the child he raped, framed his brother for the murder, forced his wife to cover it up, and terrorized an entire town. Never underestimate white male pride and arrogance. So HBO, why are you making series like this???
And true to form, DJ is given to the wife of the pedophile who raped her. Not to the Hencheys who Erin wanted raising her son. Absolutely disgusting.
Here are the clues in this episode:
- Dylan and Jess burned Erin’s journals so the police wouldn’t discover that John Ross was DJ’s dad. Because Dylan’s parents really loved DJ and wanted to raise him. The last thing she would have wanted was for John to raise DJ. The photo Jess gives the chief was of John and Erin in bed.
- John is about to shoot Billy on that fishing trip, but Mare gets there in time and stops him.
- John confesses to killing Erin, but can’t describe the gun. He also confesses to having Lori deliberately lie to Mare for him.
- Mare gets Deacon Mark released from jail and apologizes for his treatment.
- Lori is given custody of DJ. She takes him in for his ear surgery, but it’s clear she does not see him as her son.
- Carrie gives up custody of Drew. She’s using again.
- Frank and Faye are back together and Faye and Mare become friends.
- Mare runs into Sandra and Sandra tells her she hasn’t had an affair with John since 5 years ago, so someone is lying.
- Dylan gives Lori the money for DJ’s surgery from him plus the money Erin saved for him.
- Richard takes Mare to Fay and Frank’s wedding. Then he leaves to teach at Bates College for a year.
- Mr. Carroll calls Mare. His gun was stolen the day after Betty reported the prowler and now it’s suddenly back. The only person with access to the locked shed is the kid who mows his lawn, Ryan Ross. Mare views the video footage on the Carrolls security cameras and sees Ryan stealing the gun. It’s a Cold Detective Special, like the gun that killed Erin McMenamin.
- Mare arrests Ryan and he describes what happened (see above). After he killed her, he called his dad and John came with Billy. They covered up the mess and that’s why Billy was covered with blood.
- Lori takes DJ and Moira to visit Ryan in the juvenile facility.
- Siobhan goes to college (Berkeley).
- Mare goes to Lori’s and holds her as she falls apart. When she goes home, she finally goes into the attic where Kevin killed himself.
The Bad and the Ugly
So here are my gripes:
- Mare is constantly vaping throughout the series. Vaping is more dangerous than cancer-causing cigarettes. The vitamin E acetate in vaping destroys lung tissue. Why are you encouraging people to vape??? That is socially irresponsible.
- The ridiculous number of red herrings. A well planned plot makes it pretty easy to see the breadcrumbs/clues and figure out the killer. This writer thought he’d be clever and not include the important clues, just the dumb ones to lead to 9 different people. Really???
- Poor character development. Mare is brilliant one minute and a complete idiot the next. Kate Winslet’s acting as Mare is very one-note. She barely smiles or has any emotions at all.
- So much wasted time on subplots. Two of the red herrings are Frank’s fiance and Siobhan as suspects, since both would try to protect Frank from a paternity lawsuit. But so much time is wasted on Siobhan and her drugged up rock band. Why??? And please stop shoving their crap music down our throats.
- Inconsistent writing. In addition to Mare stealing drugs from evidence and planting them on Carrie, she also deletes a video recording showing a crime (vandalizing a fence). This is a crime. One minute she’s by the book and the next she’s breaking the law herself.
- Misogynistic story line. HBO has a history of all old white men producing, directing, and writing their shows. In addition, 99% of them are misogynists so their story lines are hateful and degrading to women. For three episodes my family had to endure watching an entire town dump all over a mother because her son committed suicide. That’s not normal. It’s not American either. If this town really existed, it should be burned to the ground if not for its treatment of Mare then for its treatment of Erin. HBO, stop mother bashing and stop hiring white male writers who hate their moms.
- Unnecessary subplots. A strong writer has fast pacing to keep the viewer watching. We were bored by episode 2. So many unnecessary subplots and sidelines that have nothing to do with the murder. It plays like a soap opera, not a murder mystery.
- No grounding in the blue collar class. Siobhan is the perfect example of a yuppie kid–designer clothes, expensive haircuts, expensive shoes, and a macbook pro laptop which is about $5K. No blue collar family could afford this. Neither could a wannabe singer with her crappy band. And where is all the money for the massive amounts of marijuana they buy coming from?
- No real people. No one in this series is realistic at all. It’s obvious the old white male director and writer know nothing about small town America. These are caricatures, not people.
- Sloppy writing. People don’t need fart jokes and other junk writing in their murder mysteries. Nor do they like or appreciate intentionally vague interactions with characters to mislead you into thinking something else. Like the conversation that Lori overhears when her husband John tells their son Ryan “it’s our secret”. It’s done repeatedly to make you think John is molesting his son. He’s having an affair.
- From the very beginning, even with all the red herrings, John Ross is as sly as they come and so is his wife Lori. When someone pauses before answering a question, it’s usually because they’re editing their answer and telling a lie or half-truth. That Mare could be intelligent one moment and dumb the next is just sloppy writing. She knows Lori and John well enough to at least be suspicious, but she doesn’t seem to be at all. It was also very odd that John volunteered Frank’s alibi in the second episode when she never asked for it. He was trying to establish his own alibi, not Frank’s. This has been done before and done to death in a lot of murder mysteries.
- Incest is between immediate family in which they share 25% or more DNA, not cousins once removed. The more important point is that this was pedophilia, the rape of a 14 year old child who just lost her mother. Quite obviously a man wrote this and just didn’t care about pedophilia.
- Making the killer a boy who blames the child his father raped instead of his father is so wrong. So is giving the victim’s child to her pedophile rapist’s family. :0 Unforgiveable. Why write and air this crap?
- In each episode we rarely see any detective work at all. It’s like clues are dropping from the sky. Instead we see a lot of personal drama like a soap opera. Even with the conversations that are shown, we’re deliberately shown only small parts to mislead us. That’s truly sloppy writing.
0 out of 10 stars. This is just a town full of woman haters. Don’t waste your time. I hate to see crap like this influence male children into becoming more misogynistic men. 🙁 I especially hate the IMDB reviewers (paid by Amazon and mostly white males) who are saying this wasn’t pedophilia. How would John feel if a 50 year old woman with gray hair had a sexual relationship with Ryan? And how would he feel if that relationship resulted in an STD that Ryan had to live with for the rest of his life? Not the same as being pregnant and having a kid, but I don’t think it’s that far off to say both are life-changers. And none of this would have happened if John had simply not raped Erin in the first place or paid for his son DJ’s ear surgery.