Well, I thought that would get ugly, and it did…and it didn’t.
Early in this episode, it sure does look like the murder case is all wrapped up and everything is taken care of. Sure, Mare didn’t personally solve the murder, but she did subdue the top suspect, and he confessed. Deacon Mark is released with nowhere else to go, but he has a nice sermon on the importance of forgiveness that is basically the underlying thesis for this mini-series. Mare comes to a sense of peace over Carrie’s custody battle, but then Carrie relents and Mare gets to keep Drew because Carrie herself realized she maybe isn’t up to the task. Dylan isn’t the father of Erin’s baby, but Lori will take the child in, get his ears fixed, and Dylan will show up at her doorstep to hand over a large sum of cash towards the baby’s care even as Lori reminds him he doesn’t have to. There was even a good reason given for Dylan and the others’ burning of most of Erin’s journals and personal belongings: they were looking to protect Erin’s reputation. Sure, legally speaking, it didn’t help, but it was understandable. There was no malice or guilt involved. They were teenagers trying to help a deceased friend.
But at the same time, why do we have a mystery series where the title character doesn’t solve the case and there’s that much time left in the final episode after the suspect goes to prison? Simple: it wasn’t really that guy who did it, and I am being vague on purpose because I tend to be vague on purpose for final episodes when I think to do so. Go watch the thing for yourself if you wanna know that badly. You won’t be sorry.
Regardless, there are a few small clues that drop into place, clues that fit into seemingly inconsequential moments from earlier episodes, and those clues in a story like this are always the best kind. That thing that happened that seemed to be unrelated character growth wasn’t while still being character growth.
Ultimately, this is a story about moving on and forgiving. Mare needs to move on and even forgive her dead son for what he did, and the last moments of the episode show her going into the attic where he killed himself for the first time since he did just that. Shiobhan moves out to go on tour with her band, Mare has a good time at her ex-husband’s wedding and even seems to enjoy herself at times. She’s in a better place, something her therapist would argue she needed to do. And, in the end, she’s there for a friend who momentarily pushed her away because Mare, probably better than most, understands pain caused by loved ones.
So, all in all, a great character study wrapped in the story of a compelling mystery. There’s a good reason the final episode, when it first went up, may have crashed HBO Max’s platform.
10 out of 10 awesome Jean Smart scenes.
Well, I need a new show for Tuesdays, and for that, let’s step away from HBO Max for a while at least and look at, say, Netflix’s Sweet Tooth.
Who doesn’t love a good kid-with-antlers story? Besides, Ryan was raving about it, and it doesn’t appear to be a musical, so that might make it more noteworthy.