Clare on Mare: Unravelling Season 1 of Mare of Easttown - Episode 6
This is Part 6 of a blog series about Mare of Easttown, the 2021 Sky Atlantic/HBO crime drama. I will be posting my response to each episode after watching, and doing a bit of analysis after each initial viewing. Be warned: since the plot will be discussed, there are spoilers ahead!
Mare of Easttown - Episode 6 - ''Sore Must Be the Storm'
Director: Craig Zobel
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
The aftermath of the previous episode's action plays out over a news report at the start of this episode, clarifying a few things: Katie Bailey was reunited with her mother, Mare was hospitalised but is doing okay, and Zabel lost his life. Any other show may have flirted with the idea of keeping him alive and having serious injuries which would keep him in hospital until the next season, but Mare of Easttown seems to love to remind us of the fragility of life so that wouldn't be in keeping with its tone and messaging.
I said it in the last blog post, but I'm going to say it again: Zabel's death is such a tragedy. There is something very cruel about the fact that he and Mare solved the case together, but he will never get to celebrate this with his partner, or even know that he really was a talented detective and valued team member. It's also someone else close to Mare who has died far too young under dreadful circumstances - and in front of her. Even if she didn't outwardly reciprocate his enthusiasm for mornings, he definitely had a a lot of love and admiration for her and she'll undoubtedly miss their special bond.
Mare's therapist (who she is going to see voluntarily now - good for her) hits the nail on the head when she offers an insight into the panic Mare is feeling. She tells her: "You've sought out a external solution to your internal pain," which sounds remarkably relatable. Don't we all do that when things get tough? Mare has just been doing it on a much larger scale, and for a really long time. Recounting the day that she found her son dead is painful to watch. The direction of the flashback coupled with Kate Winslet's delicate performance brought me to tears. Though very different to the thrilling sequences in the previous episode which had our hearts racing, this scene is up there with the best that this show has to offer too - from the editing to the actual content of the dialogue, it's of very high quality - now our hearts are wrenching for Mare and everything she's been through.
Later on, Lori tells Mare about John's affair while he moves out to stay with his dad for a while, who's been keeping his own secrets - this is visibly a burden for him, unlike some of the characters who manage to carry the weight of deceit effortlessly. Additionally, we find out that the necklace found in Erin's bedroom has an engraved date on it which matches the Ross Family Reunion. This leads Mare down an investigative track which seems to point to the Ross family - namely Billy, and a later conversation between the brothers shows she is on the right path. But can Lori protect her family and still remain a friend to Mare? It's a moral conundrum that nobody would ever want to be in.
The last 10 minutes of the episode are, again, very intense and revealing. Lore's retelling to Mare clarifies some of the deductions she was on the cusp of reaching on her own, but with one more episode to go it feels like Lori gave it all away far too easily, especially knowing the repercussions it would lead to for her family. Despite this, the chase is on and Mare, once again, walks directly into the 'lion's den' so to speak, but this time it's closer territory than ever - this isn't some strange incel nobody else knows (as was the case with Katie Bailey), but her best friend's family.
The build up to the finale episode is well and truly on. I can't wait to see how all the entangled threads of Easttown are ultimately unravelled.