June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Mare Of Easttown “Fathers”

Episode Two

What does it say that after multiple appearances with silverish hair that I didn’t recognize Evan Peters right away?

I think it says I watch a lot of superhero media.  Not sure what else it could say.

So, to review, Mare got a call that a teenage mother was killed and now the case can begin.  But this is a high quality HBO mini-series, so there’s just as much there about how messed up Mare Sheehan’s life is besides all the obvious things going on with the actual murder case.  That suits me fine because it gives Kate Winslet more to do than just solve a murder, and you probably need more of that to justify getting Winslet in the first place.

Besides, having an old, unsolved case involving a missing teenager, we have a new case involving a dead teenager.  The dead girl’s father Kenny is an alcoholic with anger issues and the cousin of Mare’s best friend’s husband.  The attempt to break the news to that man gently prompts him to name one suspect:  the father of Erin’s baby, Dylan Hinchey.  Dylan says he didn’t do it, but he does leave out some information about how much he had to do with the catfish-beating his current maybe girlfriend Brianna Del Rasso.  Of course, Mare’s daughter Siobhan was also there, but she was trying to help the future victim.  All that was on a cell phone.

One public arrest of Brianna at her family restaurant has Mare getting more grief from the girl’s father, grief she actually understands even as he stalks her and throws gallons of milk through the window of Mare’s house.

Nice touch:  the missing girl’s mother witnesses some of that stalking and seems to stick up for Mare.  Or at least gives the man an idea for later.  It’s an interesting scene in a mini-series full of interesting scenes.  I mean, much of this episode had me asking how good a detective Mare actually is.  She isn’t bad, she knows her town, but is it enough?  The county detective Colin Zabel is basically a square, there to assist, but I don’t know how much Mare needs help.

Instead, much of this is about Mare and why she is the way she is.  She’s not a happy person, burnt out, and we get a better idea why she may be all that and possibly why she’s divorced too:  her son, the father of her grandson, committed suicide.  Grandson Drew’s mother Carrie is cleaned up now from drug rehab, and she’s looking for custody of that child on top of everything else.

All this adds up to a story about a detective who may or may not be good at her job–her own daughter suggests Zabel lower his expectations–but that may or may not be the point.  Like many of the best HBO-based detective stories (the better seasons of True Detective come to mind), this one is about a detective whose personal problems are as much an impediment to solving the crime as they are to getting anything else done.  True, that may be a cliche, but it’s often a well-done cliche, and when you have a lead actor, director, and script as tight as this show has, it promises big things.

Such as how this one ends with Kenny appearing to murder Dylan in the woods while Erin’s friend tells Mare’s friend that some stray comment of Erin’s said Dylan wasn’t the father…but the girl thinks Mare’s ex-husband Frank might have been instead.

This is gonna get messier.