HBO’s Mare of Easttown: Enter Number 2 (Episode 3) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s Mare of Easttown, Enter Number Two, Mare (Kate Winslet) begins to make some headway in the case with new suspects, but it comes at the cost of the stability of her personal relationships.
This episode immediately delves into that shocking rumor that came at the end of last week’s episode that Frank (David Denman) could possibly be the real father of Erin’s (Cailee Spaeny) child. After hearing the rumor from Lori (Julianne Nicholson), Mare wastes no time in confronting Frank about it and her abrasive persistence is the one thing that gets her into a lot of trouble this episode. While Frank denies that anything sexual happened between him and Erin and even agrees to take a paternity test, there’s something off about this whole thing. His story about helping her when she needed and bringing diapers over sounds a little suspicious. It just feels convenient and a little odd that he did this without anyone really knowing and if that’s all it was, why lie about it. I still don’t think he killed her since his alibi is pretty airtight, but there’s still something to his story that feels unfinished.
Regardless, Mare’s immediate interrogation further impedes their relationship and her constant picking and plotting finally catches up with her. After talking with Richard (Guy Pearce) about Drew’s (Izzy King) messy custody battle with his mother Carrie (Sosie Bacon), Mare has a meeting with her that doesn’t go well and brings up how Mare might not have been the best mother to her deceased son Kevin (Cody Kostro). From what we know, Kevin was having a lot of mental problems that Mare didn’t want to solve with constant medication and Siobhan (Angourie Rice) even talks about a time where she had them leave a movie because she was embarrassed with people’s reactions to Kevin’s ticks. Mare also still seems unwilling to really open up about Kevin’s death and it seems like she views taking care of Drew like a second chance.
However, that isn’t enough for Carrie to just let her son go and the two have a messy conversation that ends with Carrie saying that Kevin would hate that Mare is taking care of Drew. This causes Mare to silently snap and try to use Carrie’s drug history against her by planting drugs in her car. At first, it was kind of tough to tell what Mare was exactly doing in the evidence storage, but when the chief confronts her about it, it all made sense. The embarrassment of being suspended, having to turn in her badge and gun, and needing to attend grief counseling will likely open her up more about her issues with Kevin’s death and maybe we’ll get to know Mare’s flaws a little more. However, the chief makes the fatal mistake of telling Mare not to continue delving into Erin’s case while she’s suspended, which she’s totally going to ignore since her and Colin (Evan Peters) break some new ground in the case.
Aside from Frank and Dylan (Jack Mulhern), who is shockingly still alive and begins to question if DJ is really his son while in the hospital, another suspect comes into the fold in the form of Deacon Mark (James McArdle). It’s tough to say how much Mark’s suspicion holds water given that this series seems to like to use preconceived notions to create suspicions, but he’s definitely more probable than Frank. His secretiveness, seemingly bad past behavior that got him transferred here, and pre-existing relationship with Erin that made him the last person she called makes him a prime suspect. Even more so, we see him dumping her missing bike, so there’s clearly more to the story than he’s letting on. The same, for me, should also be noted about Richard since his sudden appearance during all of this is still a little odd to me and there’s got to be something more to it.
Mare and Colin also make some more strides in terms of the crime scene as Mare’s prowess not only gives them a better idea of what happened with Erin but impresses Colin. Frankly, the wholesomeness of Colin and Mare’s partnership is one of the more warming elements of the series. Peters and Winslet have such great chemistry and Colin’s loose mannerisms are very sweet. Even the drunk Colin we see late into the episode is kind of adorable and easy to relate to with him talking about his failed reunion and attempts to woo Mare. Even with Mare being suspended, I doubt that these two aren’t still going to be working together to solve these cases.
There’re also some smaller threads built throughout the episode that’ll be interesting to see if they develop into something bigger. Siobhan puts her so-so relationship at risk with a new girl she likes. Mare deals with another potential mystery with the old couple we met in the premiere as they’re seemingly stalked by a strange young neighbor. It’s tough to say how these could become important considering everything else going on, but there definitely the possibility of them becoming something big with how they’re fleshed out in this episode.
Episode three continues to push the narrative as Mare and Colin deal with the possibility of new suspects and information while Mare’s abrasive and self-centered actions catch up with her. Mare’s been able to hide her feelings about Kevin’s death and her failures in her professional and personal life, but it looks like she won’t be able to run anymore.