Is Mare of Easttown Saving Its Darkest Twist for the Finale?


    Is Mare of Easttown Saving Its Darkest Twist for the Finale?

    This article includes frank discussion of the latest episode of Mare of Easttown, “Sore Must Be the Storm.” If you’re not caught up with episode six, now is the time to leave.

    Previously on our Mare of Easttown coverage, we laid out an exhaustive theory of the case that positioned Joe Tippett’s John Ross as the real villain behind poor Erin McMenamin’s death. You can read up on that theory here. Despite an outright confession from his brother Billy Ross (Robbie Tann) in the show’s penultimate episode, our money is still very much on John Ross himself as the killer of Erin and likely father of Erin’s baby. Don’t believe it? Here are just three examples of John acting guilty and squirrelly in this week’s episode alone. 

    Sure, we’re meant to interpret John’s evasiveness as either shame over an affair or as lies designed to protect his brother. But that’s precisely the trick Mare of Easttown has been playing all along: showing you scene after scene of dodgy behavior that can be interpreted a few different ways. (See: Mark, Deacon.) While carefully avoiding spoiling the end of the show, Billy Ross himself, Robbie Tann, spoke to Vanity Fair’s “Still Watching” podcast about how director Craig Zobel and series creator/writer Brad Ingelsby meticulously crafted scenes that can be read in quite a few ways. He also hinted that something even darker is lurking in the Billy/John relationship. You can listen to the full interview here or dive into some excerpts and more evidence from episode six below. 

    Before we get to the final dark twist possibly awaiting viewers in the Mare of Easttown finale, let’s take a closer look at the careful balancing act Zobel and Ingelsby constructed throughout the season. In a previous interview with Still Watching, Zobel himself explained that he liked to get many different takes on a scene in order to draw out different flavors from his actors. Jean Smart, who plays Mare’s mother Helen, was always asking for at least one take where she got to be “funny the whole time.” (Mission accomplished.) 

    Multiple takes on any given scene are common practice, obviously, but according to Robbie Tann, Zobel’s process was also connected to preserving the mystery: “Craig likes to shoot several takes in different ways. How people play scenes can tip the hand one way or the other about what things mean. For Craig, he was always like, ‘Let’s shoot it a bunch of different ways so we don’t back ourselves into a corner — so we can go back into the edit and find the balance that way.”

    A good example would be Tann’s big moment in episode 5 where, after Mare starts innocently asking about the time his young cousin Erin came to live with him, Billy nearly has a meltdown. 

    Published at Mon, 24 May 2021 03:02:00 +0000