Mare of Easttown episode 3 recap – “Enter Number Two” crossing a line

May 3, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
HBO, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Mare crosses a major line in “Enter Number Two”, and developments are made in Erin’s case.

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4

Summary

Mare crosses a major line in “Enter Number Two”, and developments are made in Erin’s case.

This recap of Mare of Easttown episode 3, “Enter Number Two”, contains spoilers.


It took three episodes for Mare to be taken off Erin’s murder investigation, which must be a new record in crime fiction. With more than half of the series still to go, Mare of Easttown has not only positioned its protagonist on the wrong side of a legal line but also a moral one. Now, the only way she can solve Erin’s case is by working off-the-books, despite being explicitly told not to, and she’s already splurged any leftover goodwill she might have with her superiors in trying to fit Carrie up for being in possession of two bags of heroin she’d stolen from the evidence room. In “Enter Number Two”, Mare has gone from grumpy to outwardly villainous.

She’s also, I suppose, a bit desperate. When she gets hold of an idea, she’s like a highly-strung dog getting hold of a slipper – something will give before it lets go. We’ve seen snippets of this before when she was interviewing Brianna and repeatedly ignoring her requests for a lawyer; we see it here time and time again, such as when Mare asks Frank for a word about having more of a relationship with Erin than he initially let on and then almost immediately starts blurting stuff out in front of his family. Frank willingly takes a DNA test after this, mostly to prove a point, but the damage is already done. The accusation has been made. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

We discussed this last week, the idea that Easttown is such a tight-knit place that the only way Mare can investigate a murder is by p*ssing off everyone who lives there. Deacon Mark won’t be happy about becoming the new prime suspect, Dylan isn’t happy about potentially not being DJ’s father (he survived Kenny’s attack, by the way), and Richard probably won’t be happy that Colin makes a sloppy move on Mare, though that last one isn’t really her fault (when did Evan Peters grow up, anyway?) Nobody is happy about anything, basically, least of all Mare, who has thus far lost her job, her public standing, one child, and is in severe danger of losing a second.

But at least the case actually feels like it’s going somewhere in Mare of Easttown episode 3. As it turns out Erin was killed roughly 13 miles away from where her body was found, had her finger severed by a bullet, and had her bike nicked, just to add insult to injury. Deacon Mark is later seen dumping the bike, but Kenny is the only person of interest with a registered firearm, and Frank – at least at the beginning of “Enter Number Two” – seems the likeliest father of Erin’s baby. So, these clues don’t exactly clear things up, and every suspect seems about equally likely.

There’s a clear trend, though, that the more progress Mare makes, the worse her life gets. She continues to alienate people she has known her whole life. She remains tethered to the loss and trauma she can’t process in the same way she remains trapped under the roof of the mother she can’t stand – and who, like most people in Easttown, can’t stand her in return. As Mare continues to circle a drain with seemingly nothing at the bottom but dead children, she has to witness everyone else in her life making something of themselves or forming meaningful connections with others. At least, though, she knows this about herself. In my favorite little exchange of Mare of Easttown episode 3, a drunk, sloppy Colin tells Mare, “I bet you were a good mother.” “No. No, I wasn’t,” she replies, frankly. That’s why she crossed the line with Carrie. But maybe that’s also why she’ll solve Erin’s murder after all.

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