Transcription by Podcasting Network
Mare of Easttown
Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited series. Followed by a deep dive discussion.
Brought to you by your host, Kris Chaney here is REEL Film Reviewed.
Welcome back, everyone.
This episode REEL Film Reviewed Mayor of east HBO Max’s Hit Limited Series let’s get into the spoiler free review.
Mare is a Detective Sergeant and Easttown native and when the death of a young girl adds to a missing case of another teenage girl, she must investigate the lives of those closest to her to solve the cases.
This series cuts deep, there are so many emotional twists and turns and I mean, that exactly as I said it. There are twists which happen and that tug at your heartstrings along with real life pain that characters are visibly living with.
The small town vibes are real, beginning with Mare and a few local women attending a night out at their old high school honoring them from a championship year of basketball and this is where we get our first look at Mare and her relationships with those in the town and it’s important to see how she interacts, how she is viewed, and who she’s close with within the town. While this series covers main characters Mare, her family and those around her, we see three stories happening here, which we’ll dive into more after the spoiler warning.
Looking at the cast
This whole cast was a large reason why this television limited series was as successful as it was. The whole cast worked wonderfully together. You believe that this group grew up together and truly had a love and a care for each other. Even the ones that don’t get along so well, they still have the back of the next person and they’re still relatively peaceful to that other person. Now, Kate Winslet, I think ‘’Win’’ is a perfect part of her name because she was amazing as she always is. She won an Emmy for this role of Mare Sheehan and what I love about Kate Winslet is her commanding presence on screen. Even when she’s elegant, her strength shines through in every role that she plays, she’s confident and she knows who her character is and she is that character no matter who she’s playing. You believe she had a childhood, a life and a future in the roles that she plays, and she’s had that kind of depth for years. I have to mention Titanic and how different the roles were that she played as Rose and as Mare of Easttown. The stability in the character benefits Mare so well in this because there are many hard decisions that Mare has to make and she’s consistent in those decisions, no matter how hard they may be she’s consistent. More about that post spoiler alert.
Jean Smart delivered a wonderful performance. She was one of my favorites in the series and she was phenomenal as Mare’s mother, Helen. She was funny and appeared to be a real mother and grandmother. She brought authenticity to the role that is very hard to do sometimes, and she’s living with Mare and her family post the horrible tragedy that they were dealing with, and so she’s playing both roles simultaneously daily. She plays a wonderful support to her grown daughter and has teenage and preschool aged grandchildren and I think her duplicity in this is definitely something to be recognized.
Julianne Nicholson also won an Emmy for her role and she had a very difficult role to play that truly could not have been a better way or person to play the role of Lori Ross, a woman who was raked with emotional waves over and over in the series and still managed to be one of the most lovable characters because you can relate to her, you can relate to her pain, of course, and also in the way that she behaves. More on that post spoiler alert as well.
The REEL View Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.
This series was killer performances by even those in small roles. The drama was intense and heavy, but you felt like it was delivered in the right amount of moderation. It’s a series involving the murder of one girl and the disappearance of another, so it’s definitely dark. The mystery and the surprising turns the show takes make it a standout as a must see binge worthy series. It is a seven episode limited series, so there will not be another season after this one and I promise you, you have not seen Kate Winslet as you do in this role and as I mentioned, she is phenomenal.
Mare of Easttown was released in 2021. It was created and written by Brad Ingelsby and directed by Craig Zoebel. Starring Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Cameron Mann, John Douglas Thompson, Guy Pearce, and Joe Tippett.
The series is rated TVMA and has seven 1 hour long episodes. It can be viewed on HBO Max for free with a subscription and available for purchase from Prime Video.
All right, here is the spoiler alert warning. Those new to REEL film reviewed after this point, I will discuss this review further, potentially and likely reviewing spoilers.
Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
Welcome back, everyone.
Let’s dive into the REEL View Hollywood comparison.
The REEL View rating was 8 out of 10 stars. Meta Score is not produced for TV series. However, popular film critics scored it favorably in the majority.
Popular opinion was 8.5 out of 10 stars and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 94%, so certified fresh.
Pretty close, very well deserved scores and honestly as close to 10 out of 10 as you can possibly get with the cast and the direction and everything that was a part of this. So let’s take a look at the plotline and there were loads of twists as well as a lot going on, so let’s break this down by situation.
So first we’ve got Mare and her family; her son had recently hung himself. Her daughter was still grieving from finding him and losing him. She eventually moves on and at the end of the series, we see that she goes to California because it ends up being a better decision for her, a new start as well as a new chapter in her life. It was really good to kind of see that resolve. We do see Mare start to take some steps because she is still struggling with the loss and the guilt for the majority of the show and it doesn’t look like she gets any better.
Her daughter kind of spins out of control, we see that she’s preparing some sort of a project, and we never see what the whole project ends up being but it’s obviously showing that she’s harboring some emotions and some feelings that she’s not able to share with very many people in her family, or at least that she feels like it. She certainly doesn’t feel like she can share it with Mare because of how much Mare is dealing with and how much guilt and pain she has every day and it’s visible and it kind of comes out in a lot of her mannerisms and a lot of the tasks that she has as a police officer and a detective. And you can see her kind of wear it as her badge and her reasoning why she’s motivated to do the things that she does.
The second thing; the Katie Bailey case. These are the two things that we see first. We see Mare, we learn a little bit more about the struggles that she’s got, but it’s clear that there’s something that they’re all kind of recovering from. We don’t know if that’s the divorce because we do know that she’s divorced and her husband and her ex-husband are getting remarried. So we don’t really know if it’s that. Then we eventually learn about her son and about the condition that he had and about how his son may have the same types of things. The second thing is Katie Bailey and Katie Bailey is the case of the missing girl that we first learned about in the very first episode. One of the mothers played basketball with Mare, and they meet up the night of the little honoring that they were doing for that championship basketball team and earlier in that day, we see on television that she was speaking out against the police department and again, small town.
Everybody knows that Mare is the lead Detective on the case, and everyone knows, obviously, that Katie Bailey has been missing for one year and there are no leads, no suspects. It’s pretty much ice cold. So we know that is going on in the town, they’ve lost a little bit of faith in the police department, especially Mare, since she’s the lead detective on that case, but that’s kind of the image that she’s fighting.
Then we come to the third thing that is occurring in the series, which is the current murder that takes place at the end of the first episode, beginning the investigation into the second episode. And that is the murder of Erin and who killed Erin. We do see Erin briefly in the first episode.
She’s a teen mother who has a young son, she doesn’t have a mother of her own. Her mother had passed away, and her father worked a lot of hours, and he’s kind of worn down and he has a daughter, it’s just the two of them. It was a little bit of pressure on him already so when she got pregnant, that definitely added to a lot of it because according to the timeline in the series, her mother had passed away about a year before this takes place, and her son was conceived shortly after that time, which we also learn. It’s an interesting complex nature. I was pretty surprised and when they showed the body, I wasn’t even really sure who it was so when they said Erin, I was almost as shocked as her father was. I felt really surprised that was, you know – this is the twist and the turn that the story is taking.
The ending and the recap. Obviously, there were a lot of things considering, because in the middle of all of that, we have this priest that had moved to Easttown, and he’s obviously not–I don’t think he was from there, he mentioned that Easttown was his home, he was there now. He mentioned that he had had previous allegations and there wasn’t really anywhere else for him to go and he looked guilty. And priests, obviously at this point, have had kind of a not as great of a view since everything came out a few years ago. So in this type of situation, it seemed like we were going to point the fingers at the new priest. He had possibly an inappropriate relationship with Erin, but then come to find out that while it may not have been entirely appropriate, there wasn’t anything directly inappropriate as far as any kind of inappropriate relationships between the two.
She really just called him, he picked her up and she kind of worked him and played him into taking her where she wanted to go and that’s how he ended up with her bike. And so he was kind of mixed in for a little bit, you kind of suspect him. You also suspect that the Katie Bailey case and the mystery of who killed Erin are connected and as we go through the investigations with Zabel and Mare, that’s when we learn that they’re not connected.
Obviously, Zebel dies. That was a big shocker as well and that’s something I’m going to get into in just a second here as well, is his performance and his character, because he was definitely a huge impact. But the biggest shocker was the very end.
So we learn when Zabel gets killed, who kidnapped Katie Bailey. Because obviously Katie Bailey and another girl are imprisoned in the little room area below the house, below the bar area. And when they kill that guy, they release those girls, they get them out, and they realize that he has absolutely no ties to Erin, and he also has an alibi. So there was no way that he could have killed Erin. Brings us back to again, who killed Aaron? Because everybody pretty much checks out, it’s kind of like back to square one almost.
You’ve got the baby Daddy? No. Billy? No. John? No. Oh, wow. It’s Ryan [Laughs] and I remember when I started piecing it together that it was him because the call to Mr. Carroll, which I’ll talk about more in just a second as well, is what stood out to me, because that was something that happened in the first part of the series when Mrs. Carroll calls Mare. That’s how the series opens and so with this being the close and I paused the episode, and I saw how much time was left. I’m like, oh, there’s more to this, this isn’t over. And when Mr. Carroll was talking about the gun and he mentioned the specified gun that he had, that’s when Mare’s ears peaked and that’s when I was like, “interesting.” And when he led her out to the shed, that’s when everything just started coming together like a montage. I remembered the beginning where they were talking about seeing someone. He talks about how he went out there to get the gun.
So everything kind of matches up and finally hits Mare and she runs to her house, and she looks at the security footage, and she actually sees Ryan come out of the shed with the gun or something that appears to be a gun in his pocket and the reaction that she has is that, you know, that inside she’s praying that it’s not him and that he didn’t do what she thinks he may have done and it’s confirmed when she sees him on that video, all she needs is the confession at that point. But at what point do you draw the line? This is her best friend’s son. It’s pretty much her nephew and he’s done something terrible, probably had a great reason, and he did.
As we go through that, we learned that his father was cheating. We learned that earlier in the series, and we found out that he just pretty much got flat out fed up with it and done with it and that’s kind of what I thought. But then going through his explanation, I just thought it was so well done at the fact that it wasn’t just that this kid lost his mind, snapped, was tired of his family being ripped apart but the fact that he was just trying to scare her and accidentally killed her was the part that added the realistic value to me for the series because to me that was innocent, that was something that could have happened realistically.
It would have been harder for me to believe that a kid like that, that was seemingly always well behaved, just snapped unless he was a psychopath, but in this situation, it was a young kid who had no idea how to handle a firearm and as his mother mentioned in the series, he didn’t even know how to hold a gun and that’s very realistic for a lot of kids and the surprise of what happens. And a lot of the time it’s going to hit that person awkwardly if the gun goes off and a lot of the time, one of them gets killed.
I was really–I don’t want to say happy, but I was pleased with how the story unfolded and how the story came together so we’ll move into breaking down the REEL view. There was very little to not like about this series, there was a lot going on. There were a lot of suspects and that is what I feel adds to the mystery. The scariest parts are not knowing. You have these terrible things happening with no explanation or even a suspect, it also could be anyone. It’s like, how do you solve a crime, a serious crime when everyone and no one can be the suspect at the same time.
I felt there may have been a possible plot hole with the timeline when Ryan Ross gets the gun, kills Erin and then puts the gun back, from the timeline that the owner of the gun Mr. Carroll gave. But after hearing Ryan in the end and hearing how his explanation lined up, maybe the times added up. I would have to go back to listen to Mr. Carroll and to Ryan’s stories once more just to confirm whether or not those actually line up. But I like the series, and I’m not really looking to expose any plot holes in it. That was something that, as I was watching, it was something that kind of caught my interest, like; “Hmm, Would he have had enough time to do that?” Something that kind of jumped out at me a little bit.
I really enjoyed the opening being Mare responding to Mrs. Carroll. The opening of the series, Mrs. Carroll calls Mare, goes over there and investigates. She talks about a prowler, Mare kind of doesn’t really take her seriously, but this is what started the mystery and then we have the ending when Mare is responding to Mr. Carroll. Mrs, of course, at this point, had passed away. and the visit to Mr. Carroll at the end provides explanation and closure to the mystery that started in the very first episode with Mrs. Carroll. So I enjoyed how they kind of followed up and looped around and kind of closed that loop a little bit there.
Evan Peters also won an Emmy for his role as Colin Zabel, and I liked him a lot in this role. I was surprised and disappointed a little bit at his fate in the series, but it was a great scene and he was great leading up to that point. He played the Detective that was brought on to assist with the open missing girl case of Katie Bailey and even though he was brought on to assist, he was very young and inexperienced and throughout the show he earns Mare and the audience’s respect through his kind of admiration and following of Mare, and unfortunately, his hesitation and his inexperience kind of lead to his demise.
All right, let’s get into some little known facts.
There are a lot of little trivia facts about this show, I’m going to give you kind of some of the main ones that I found interesting, so certainly not all of them. A complete list is certainly available. According to Craig Zobel, Kate Winslet was the only actor that was confident enough to switch between accents in between takes, the other actors maintained their Delco accents afraid to let them go while she flawlessly bounced back and forth between her normal English accent and her Delco accent that she assumed for the role of Mare.
Kate Winslet and Julianne Nicholson are friends in real life, Nicholson’s husband is the godfather to Kate’s son Joe, and Kate was also responsible for holding the meeting in which she convinced Julianne that she would regret it if she didn’t accept the role. Thank God she did.
Winslet also refused to be touched up or have the images touched up in any way. She wanted Mare to not be overly fit in her 40s, and she was true to that “middle aged juggling everything look” that Mare had and displayed throughout the majority of the series. Mare was complete with wrinkles and blemishes as well, and in my opinion, painting a perfect woman of today’s hero and by her request, the show’s poster was redone twice for this reason.
As an executive producer and lead actor, Kate Winslet ensured that everyone felt equal and included. She refused her trailer because it was the largest trailer of everyone’s, and she stated that everyone has to be equal on set.
Guy Pearce’s first day on set was March 12, 2020, one day before production was paused until September and when filming did resume in September, they had to quarantine together.
My last little known fact, on the night of the finale, May 30th, 2021, the HBO Max streaming server crashed for several hours for the first time in its history, just minutes before the episode was set to air. The finale episode is the most watched episode in HBO Max’s history. Certainly understand why after watching that.
As always, folks, please let me know what you thought of the series, if you binge watch it, let me know if you binge watched it in a day, if it took you a little bit, if you stretched it out. And as always, please let me know what you thought of the series, especially if you watched it after you heard the review.
That’s all I have for you everyone, thank you for listening.
I’ll catch you next time.
Thanks for listening to REEL Film Reviewed. Before I go show some love for your favorite podcast by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.
Check out the REEL Film Reviewed website, Reel-film-reviewed.productions to stay up to date on episode releases, podcast updates, episode transcriptions, and more.
Follow REEL Film Reviewed on Twitter @REELfilmpkc
Check out the online store. REEL Merch to pick up some gear to represent
Transcription service by Podcasting Network.
Happy watching everyone.