Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Illusions

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Are you heartbroken?

As evidence built, Mare and Colin quickly made headway into the cases of the missing girls, but by the end of Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5, it no longer appeared that the disappearances had anything to do with Erin's murder.

There are still plenty of suspects who could have put an end to the young mother.

Mandated Therapy - Mare of Easttown

Mare's history gets more tragic by the moment.

Even the therapist she's seeing seemed struck by the amount Mare has had to deal with in her life. And the more you know, the more you understand why Mare sees Carrie getting custody of Drew as a life-or-death predicament.

The men in Mare's family have a history of mental illness, from depression to mood disorders. From what we can tell, it wouldn't be surprising to discover that Drew is following in his father's and great-grandfather's footsteps, which could mean a tendency toward suicide.

Mare: Why'd ya do it?
Colin: I don't fuckin' know. I think I really just wanted to do something great for once in my life.
Mare: If it makes you feel any better, I hid drugs on my grandson's mother. That's why they put me on leave.
Colin: You serious? Holy shit!
Mare: Doin' something great is overrated because then people expect that from you all the time. What they don't realize is that you're just as screwed up as they are.

Losing her dad made Mare feel that she wasn't enough for him, and that had to have a significant impact on her choice to follow in his footsteps into law enforcement.

On the Phone - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

Another would be that she likes solving puzzles. Is there any bigger mystery than uncovering the reason behind someone's suicide? Unfortunately, even with a note, that rarely offers much insight into such a devastating decision.

A friend of mine in college killed himself, leaving a several-page note for his friends that suggested everyone else had their lives sorted out while he was lost. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

So when Kevin killed himself, Mare decided to put all of her efforts into Drew, hoping that he wouldn't follow in Kevin's footsteps.

Sadly, like Frank, Mare has put so much effort into Drew and Kevin before him that Siobhan hasn't gotten the attention she deserved.

Siobhan is a shining star in her family, and that kind of light can be dimmed when all the good that she does goes unnoticed because the family is trying to brighten up the darkest among them.

Family Secrets - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

I've said something similar before, but after Mare saw a bit of Siobhan's documentary, hopefully, she'll recognize that her daughter needs reinforcement as much as Drew and Kevin's memory. The whole family could use that deep dive into his life to help them accept what happened and how it affected them.

Lori's family is in the throes of a situation, and I have a feeling they have no idea what's about to happen next.

My heart dropped into my stomach when John was telling Ryan that it was their little secret.

My first thought was Ryan was being abused by his father, but when Lori asked if it happened again, there was no way. Everything we know about Lori so far proves that she would not stay with John had abuse been involved. Well, not child abuse, anyway.

John has been abusing their marriage vows. It's hard to imagine how Ryan got wind of that information more than once, but asking a child to keep that kind of secret is unacceptable regardless.

Dinner Date - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

Lori should have interrupted their conversation during the blackout rather than allowing Ryan to carry that burden on his own. But doing so gave Ryan an excuse to take out his anger on the school bully who was abusing Moira.

That scene made me so angry. Why is it that the teachers jumped into action when Ryan was beating a lunch tray over a bully's head but allowed that bully to pelt food at Moira without moving a muscle?

When a kid drops a tray, all eyes turn to them, so they knew damned well what was happening. It's enough to make you hate people.

Comedic relief was delivered, once again, by Helen. Jean Smart's performance is so much fun to watch, whether she's looking out for Drew by helping Carrie get to know her son better or futilely explaining her affair to Mare.

Carrie: Why you helpin' me?
Helen: It's purely selfish, dear. I'm afraid you'll get custody and you'll cut all of us out of his life, and I can't bear to lose another one.

Helen was being such a mother when she tried to get Mare to change into a snazzy red dress for her date, but Mare's choice of grey dazzled Colin anyway.

Waterside - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

Poor Colin. At least he got to spend his last day with a woman who fascinates him on every level. He was in awe of Mare's investigation skills as much as he was of her more feminine wiles. When men look at Mare, I think they see a lot more than she does.

Mare: Hey, I'm sorry about the other night.
Colin: You don't have anything to be sorry about, Mare. Just be honest about how you feel.
Mare: I just can't do all that.
Colin: All of what?
Mare: What you want.
Colin: How do you know what I want?
Mare: My life's a shit show, Zabel. I'm about to lose custody of my grandson, and I'm still workin' through unresolved issues from the son who killed himself. And, uh, my ex-husband basically lives in my backyard, so, you're right, I don't know what you want, but I'm sure it's not that.

Even sidelined, Mare wasn't going to let the investigation into Erin's murder or Missy's disappearance slip gently into the night. She failed to clue Colin on all that she had done, but he gave her a pass and called her to the carpet for doing it.

Both Colin and Mare independently looked into Deacon Mark's past, and by the way they seemed to brush over it, I don't think they discovered more than an accusation.

That would fall in line with what he said to Father Dan, too.

Dan: We need to call the police.
Mark: No, Dan. Wait. I was with Erin the night she was killed.
Dan: With her. [Mark nods] But you told me that you only spoke to her on the phone.
Mark: She called, upset. I said I'd go pick her up, so I drove to Sharp's Woods and then I put her bike in my trunk. And then I was going to drive her home, that's all. But then she got a message from someone asking her to go out to Brandywine Park, and um, she said, she said that she wanted me to drive her there, so I said OK, I'd drive her there. I tried, I tried to convince her to go home, but she was, I mean, she was hysterical, just hysterical. Then she, um, she stormed off.

Given the climate around Catholic priests, you never know if someone is on the up and up or not. But since Deacon Mark said that he has a past accusation, and we've seen how he cared for Erin, it seems like he could be a genuinely caring guy who got caught in the Catholic crossfire.

Under Attack - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

We're so eager to accuse these days that good people aren't even allowed to exist. Kids have to question everyone and everything because bad apples have been allowed to exist without proper punishment. That makes everyone suspect.

Instead of doing the Catholic faith any good by protecting their own, those behind the wheel have driven a wedge between themselves and the faithful.

That Deacon Mark has been investigated in such detail could have cost the case valuable time. IF he's innocent, then the time they were using to understand him could have been used to look further into Dylan or Bill.

Dylan is hiding something, and he's using Erin's best friend, Jess, to do it. Jess lied to Mare about Erin's journals. What does Dylan have to hold over her head that would make her betray her friend like that?

Casual Conversation Tall - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

If Dylan killed Erin, that alone could be enough for Jess to cover her own ass so that she's not next.

Brianna questioned Dylan and got to see his uglier side. Brianna, who, like so many other girls in Easttown, has already scuttled her future. She's not pregnant yet, but it's hard to imagine she won't be soon enough.

At least she had the courage to call Dylan to the mat about the night Erin died.

One thing we know is that nothing in Erin's diaries can convict Dylan of murder since the dead stop writing in their journals. The worst of it is that those journals probably held answers as to who fathered Erin's baby.

That's looking more like Bill. Maybe John didn't abuse his kids, but it sure seems like his brother could have abused their niece.

Disappointing Dinner - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

He was sketchy as hell discussing the time Erin lived with him. He was deceitful, and that's a red flag as much as it was for Deacon Mark.

Mare's got his DNA now, though, so if he was the killer or the father of Erin's baby, he's going to be discovered.

It's unlikely that the guy who kidnapped Katie, Hilarie, and Missy had anything to do with Erin's death. It's just a horrible coincidence that Erin was dabbling in prostitution, which was what led that guy to the others.

Katie seems to have kept her wits about her during her ordeal. It was awful that she willingly walked to her captor for him to bind and gag her, but she's seen the drill. She's doing what she needs to do to survive.

Be Aware - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

When Mare and Colin found their way there, nothing was going to keep her from making herself known.

But damn, it was shocking how quickly that went from a bad situation to the worst. Colin never knew what hit him, and Mare was fighting for her life and those girls.

Everything in Mare's life leads back to Kevin. When the police arrived, Mare realized her fight was over, and her mind returned to Kevin's birthday. It's hard not to imagine that even though he kissed her that Mare in some way equated working with and losing Colin to her time with Kevin.

If we're devastated, it's hard to imagine how Mare feels right now.

There are only two episodes left, and I'm as eager to see Mare get closure on her painful past as I am to discover who killed Erin.

Getting the Upperhand - Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5

How about you?

Were you surprised that Mare and Colin found the kidnapper so fast?

Did Colin's death blindside you?

If you found your way here, I'd love to hear from you. Please drop down below and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Illusions Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Mare of Easttown Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Mare: Why'd ya do it?
Colin: I don't fuckin' know. I think I really just wanted to do something great for once in my life.
Mare: If it makes you feel any better, I hid drugs on my grandson's mother. That's why they put me on leave.
Colin: You serious? Holy shit!
Mare: Doin' something great is overrated because then people expect that from you all the time. What they don't realize is that you're just as screwed up as they are.

Carrie: Why you helpin' me?
Helen: It's purely selfish, dear. I'm afraid you'll get custody and you'll cut all of us out of his life, and I can't bear to lose another one.