‘Mare Of Easttown’ Episode 4 Recap: “Poor Sisyphus”

Here are a couple of of the issues that occur in Mare of Easttown‘s fourth episode (“Poor Sisyphus”):

  • An opioid-addicted intercourse employee is assaulted and kidnapped.
  • Mare’s mom Helen will get knocked unconscious by her granddaughter Siobhan’s ex-girlfriend, who unintentionally clocks her within the head with a door whereas fleeing from the sight of Siobhan making out along with her new girl good friend.
  • Dawn, mom of the lacking woman Katie, makes an attempt to get the soar on a thriller caller demanding a ransom for her daughter’s location, solely to find it was her good friend Bethie’s junkie brother Freddie all alongside; for his half, Freddie discovers that the $5,000 he requested Dawn to ship is only a bunch of cut-up journal pages organized to really feel like stacks of payments.
  • Mare double-schedules a Saturday evening date along with her author love curiosity Richard and her smitten associate, Detective Colin Zabel, prefer it’s a Golden Girls episode.


The inexplicably titled “Deacon” Mark, who isn’t a deacon in any respect however in truth a priest, is grilled first by Colin after which by his colleague (Mare’s cousin) Dan in regards to the circumstances of his switch to the parish, which entailed accusations of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old woman at his earlier parish; Mark, you might recall, dumped the slain teenager Erin’s bike off a bridge on the finish of the earlier episode.

Colin’s mom offers Mare the furry eyeball when she comes over to their place to work on the case with Colin regardless of her suspension from the drive.

Mare has a ugly flashback during which her son Kevin and his girlfriend Carrie, each of them addicts, rob and assault her whereas screaming merciless taunts and insults at her.

Mare arranges a household assembly to reveal her suspension as quirky indie-film-style music performs within the background.

Mare discovers that Erin was going to attempt her hand at intercourse work to boost cash for her son’s badly wanted ear surgical procedure previous to her homicide; she additionally learns the situation of Erin’s secret stash of journals and diverse private paraphernalia, which she retains secret from Colin.

Mare goes to a therapist per her division chief’s mandate, this and her suspension being her sole punishment for stealing heroin from the proof locker and planting it in her grandson’s mom’s automobile in an try and destroy her life and preserve custody of the grandson for herself; “Let the healing begin,” she jokes.

We discover out that neither Mare’s ex-husband Frank nor the gunshot-wounded teenager Dylan are literally the daddy of Erin’s child; Dylan approaches the child with a pillow as if to smother him earlier than selecting him up and rocking him in an awwww second that his mom witnesses by way of a window.

Finally, the lacking Katie reveals up, very a lot alive, trapped in the identical room because the escort we noticed attacked earlier within the episode.

So yeah, it’s rather a lot.


I’m onerous pressed to consider the final time I watched an episode of tv as tonally inconsistent as this episode of Mare of Easttown. Please notice that I stated “tonally inconsistent,” not “tonally all over the map” or one thing equally anodyne. Plenty of reveals, together with a lot of the nice ones, are previous masters at mixing the horrifying and the hilarious, the mundane and the weird, the comedy and the tragedy. To cite one very apparent, superficially related instance…effectively, Twin Peaks exists. The Young Pope and The New Pope—which share Mare of Easttown‘s composer, Lele Marchitelli, whose work on Mare is relatively devoid of subtlety—had been each lethal critical ruminations on religion and a Jude Law style spectacular.

But no, Mare reads as inconsistent to me. In half it is because its a number of tones don’t really feel as if all of them sprang from the identical thoughts, the way in which it felt with supreme stylists David Lynch and Paolo Sorrentino behind the digicam on these different reveals. But I additionally suppose it stems from the dealing with of Mare herself, particularly her try to border her grandson’s mom Carrie with that stolen heroin. Carrie is nobody’s concept of a likeable character, based mostly on what we see in that harrowing flashback. But—and see should you can stick with me on this—a cop who makes an attempt to destroy a recovering addict’s life with a view to keep custody of a kid is an order of magnitude worse! Worse than anybody else within the present, besides the assassin and the prostitute kidnapper!

Yet on no account, in no manner in any respect, does Mare of Easttown appear to suppose that this act occurred to Carrie—it’s prefer it occurred to Mare, like she’s the one who had probably the most to lose and probably the most to endure from. To name this tone deaf in right this moment’s sociopolitical is to understate the case significantly; what’s extra, it throws the complete ethical steadiness of the present utterly out of whack.

And so, with out a secure moral basis to face on, the entire thing teeters and wobbles on the breaking point. There’s simply no approach to have, say, the slapstick teen intercourse comedy of Siobhan’s state of affairs and Helen’s whack on the noggin on the one hand and the Silence of the Lambs–model abduction of ladies on the opposite and make them each work with out that basis. You can’t painting, for instance, Mare’s continued presence within the investigation from which she’s been barred prefer it’s easy dogged detective work when she’s additionally conserving large secrets and techniques from her personal associate (who, I remind you, has additionally requested her out). For god’s sake, you’ll be able to’t have Mare balancing a number of suitors and make it cute whereas she’s been suspended from the drive for a fucking felony that’s getting swept below the rug!

I don’t get this factor, I actually don’t. Mare of Easttown‘s largest thriller proper now’s Mare of Easttown itself.


Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, Vulture, The New York Times, and anyplace that will have him, actually. He and his household reside on Long Island.

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