[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Mare of Easttown Episode 1, “Miss Lady Hawk Herself.”]

The first thing you hear on HBO’s episode 1 Easttown Mare it’s a screaming girl, which confirms the fact that what we have here is a murder program. But it’s a specially nuanced and character-focused assassination show, based at least on this premiere episode, which captures a day in Mare’s life (Kate winslet), police detective / grandmother / former high school basketball star, as well as her small Pennsylvania town full of secrets and sadness.

We never meet the girl who was screaming at first, but the cause of her alarm turns out to be relatively mundane. Our hero Mare wakes up early thanks to a call to investigate a marauder who scared a local’s granddaughter: Mare goes to see the situation even though Toms peepers are not his rhythm, as he explains to the older woman who He called her for help, his focus. it’s about “robberies and drug overdoses and all the really bad shit that goes on around here.”

Meanwhile, we meet another young woman, but while Erin (Cailee spaeny) she may just be a teenager, she’s also the mother of a one-year-old. Unfortunately, not only are Erin and the father no longer together, but Dylan (Jack Mulhern) is dating another girl named Brianna (Mackenzie lansing), who literally warns Erin that “you’ll get it when you least expect it, you silly bitch.” It’s not an ideal co-parenting situation, but despite her problems, a boy in need of ear surgery, a grumpy and angry parent, is eager to meet a crush online that night for the first time. (Erin blissfully ignores that she’s a character on a murder show. They always are.)

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After his first stop of the day, Mare arrives at the police station, where he meets Officer Trammel (Justin Hurtt-Dunkley), a new member of the force, and on television sees a press conference being held by Dawn (Enid Graham), a woman her age suffering from cancer and a missing daughter, who after a year has not yet been located by Mare or the police. Mare and the boss (John douglas thompson) talk about the missing Katie, and while Carter acknowledges that the girl’s history of prostitution and drug use makes her a lost cause, the higher ups are sending a stranger to get a new perspective on the case.


Image via HBO

Mare is frustrated by this, but it’s just one of the many things that frustrates Mare today. Take, for example, your trip to a local pet store in search of a suitable tank for your grandson’s tortoise: reluctant to invest in an expensive tank, dodges employee upsells, and finds a $ 40 model that you consider ” perfect”. (This is perhaps the first prominent mention of the fact that Mare is the grandmother of a four-year-old – this show is full of intimate family relationships, but distributes information about them when you need to know.)

At the pet store, Mare receives a call about a robbery at Bethie’s house (Chinasa Ogbuagu), another woman Mare’s age whose brother Freddie (Dominique johnson) The drug problem led him to steal her trophy case. Mare chases after Freddie, twisting his ankle in the process, and blurs the situation, causing Freddie to settle into a shelter and instructing rookie cop Trammell on how to help him. Freddie’s story is quite heartbreaking, as it is told largely through the details surrounding him, such as his ramshackle house that has no heat but still has photos of him with his children nailed to the refrigerator.

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For Mare, dealing with a situation like Freddie’s is pretty mundane, but then he gets a little discouraged. All day, Mare has been dodging calls from her ex-husband Frank (David denham), but when she gets home she finds out why he had been trying to talk to her all day about her mother Helen (Jean Smart) – Frank and his girlfriend Faye (Kate arrington) are now engaged, and that night they are having a party. Everyone will be going to the party, including Mare’s teenage daughter Siobhan (Angourie rice), but Mare, because Mare must attend his old high school for “the ceremony”. 25 years ago, she hit a key shot in a major basketball game, won the day, and became a local legend, and the people of Easttown have come together to pay tribute to that event, as well as her and her teammates. , including Bethie and Dawn. .

Mare is clearly uncomfortable as she limps onto the court to receive cheers, and also seems uncomfortable afterwards at the local bar, where the celebration continues. Although it turns that awkwardness into an awkward but promising conversation with Richard (Guy pearce), a newcomer to town that Mare discovers is a published author lecturing at the local university, but beyond the fact that he has Guy Pearce’s cheekbones, it is the fact that he is not a local that It seems to be the main attraction for Mare; the two have sex on her couch, after which she reveals the whole thing about being a grandmother. “Did I fuck like a grandmother?” she asks him, to which he responds by saying “A very hot granny”, which is probably the best possible answer to that question.


Image via HBO

Mare’s night is going much better than Erin’s, who after visiting a friend (and confiding that, in a lonely moment, she flirted a bit with her ex through a text message) heads to the forest to meet with your online appointment. Unfortunately, said online date turns out to be a joke from Brianna, who caught her in revenge for flirting with Dylan. As the friends watch (and film on their phones), Brianna manages a rather brutal beating that only stops after a suitably present Siobhan intervenes. Afterward, Erin stumbles away alone into the woods.

Mare comes home late, and after his mother tells him something, he gets into bed next to his grandson, who tells him that he has decided to name his turtle Kevin, in honor of his father (Mare’s deceased son) . In the early hours of the next day, the people of Easttown wake up and begin their morning routines, all except Erin, whose naked, lifeless body lies in a local stream. Mare wakes up, briefly tormented by the vision of someone who can only be her son Kevin, and once again answers the phone to receive bad news.

In case you’re wondering: I come to this roundup as someone whose knowledge and experience of Pennsylvania is limited to a short trip to Pittsburgh in 2007 and who has watched almost every episode of It’s always sunny in Philly. I’ve had friends, co-workers, and strangers on Twitter explain the wonders of Wawa to me, and I hope one day to experience it for myself, but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to the prospect of this limited series in a very specific part of the world. , while telling a human and identifiable story.

Easttown Mare airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

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