The investigation into Erin’s murder continues into Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 3, but first, we immediately get an update on the Dylan/Kenny shoot-out. Two bullets struck Dylan in the back, sending him to the hospital. He might never walk again. Kenny assumes he succeeded in killing Dylan and confesses to Mare and Colin after his friends find him passed out in the woods.
Erin’s father is shocked to learn Dylan isn’t dead. It’s left unclear as to what the consequences for his actions will be. As for that whole “Frank might be Erin’s baby daddy” bombshell dropped at the end of last week’s episode, Lori immediately confronts Mare with the news, and Mare subsequently confronts her ex-husband during the family game night.
To Frank’s credit, he does come clean about lying right away. Still, now we’re definitely side-eying him. According to Frank, he did help Erin out a few times by buying her baby supplies and the like for DJ, but that’s it. “I never had sex with Erin and I certainly didn’t kill her,” he assures Mare.
Well, a DNA test should clear that up. Mare and Colin intend to administer a paternity test to see if Dylan, Frank or maybe someone else entirely, is DJ’s biological father.
Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 3 recap: What is Deacon Mark Burton hiding?
The church emerges from this episode looking mighty suspicious, if you ask me. When Erin’s phone records show that her last call was made to Deacon Mark Burton (James McArdle) at almost 11 p.m. the night she was murdered, Colin and Mare question him in the house of God.
Mark’s story is that he and Erin had a relationship, as he does with many of the youth members of the church. During that final call, Mark tells the detectives that Erin sounded upset but doesn’t give many details. Either way, it’s sketchy, especially, as Colin points out, with the unsavory reputation priests have with minors. Why would Erin call Mark and not one of her friends, like Jess?
Further investigation into Erin’s death leads Mare to suspect she didn’t die in the woods. The killer just chose to dump her body there. Whoever shot Erin took part of her finger, and the tip is discovered in a park more than 13 miles away. Erin coaxes Colin into using his pull with the county to call in the firearm K-9s to canvas the entire area. With the dogs’ assistance, Mare finds the spot where she believes the murderer shot Erin before moving her body.
The significant distance between the woods and park means someone probably picked Erin up, along with her missing bike. Well, guess who has Erin’s bike? Yep, the deacon. We see him pull over on a bridge and throw the pink beach cruiser into the water.
As Collider pointed out in their recap of the episode, “only the omniscient eye of the show’s camera caught him (as far as we know anyway),” so when Erin’s bike inevitably washes up ashore, will the detectives be able to link it to him?
Also a potential suspect is Father Dan Hastings (Neal Huff), who happens to be Mare’s cousin. (“Is there anyone in this town you aren’t related to?” “No.”) Dan looked awfully cagey when he saw his cousin interviewing Mark.
Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Will Mare keep working the case on administrative leave?
Outside of her work life, everything else is falling apart for Mare. She meets with Carrie to discuss her desire to get full custody of Drew. Not only does Carrie want to get custody of Drew because she’s his biological mother, but she claims that Mare’s son Kevin hated her. It sounds like they had an extremely complicated relationship.
Carrie claims he would hate knowing that Mare was taking care of his son. Mare’s threats aren’t enough to make Carrie back down. Carrie has been clean for 16 months now, and as Helen notes, there is a good chance the judge will side with her because she is Drew’s mom.
So then Mare does the most reprehensible thing we’ve seen her do so far this season. She breaks into the evidence lock-up and steals two baggies of heroin to plant in Carrie’s car. Her plan doesn’t work because when Carrie gets pulled over, she immediately blames Mare.
Normally, Chief Carter would chalk up Carrie’s ramblings to a junkie trying not to get caught (which Mare tries to claim is what happened), but then Carter notices the stamps on the drugs are from an old case. When he checks the evidence room, sure enough, someone has doctored the inventory to show two less than was originally there. He knows Mare did it and confronts her at her home.
Considering the circumstances, Mare should never wear a badge again, but the chief is willing to put her on administrative leave for now, so long as she goes to grief counseling. He also forbids Mare from trying to work Erin’s case while she’s off, although we all know that’s probably not going to happen. Either way, Mare is benched for the time being and devastated as a result.
Odds & Ends from Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 3
- Siobhan is making a documentary in honor of her brother Kevin. She also gates a date with the cute DJ, that’s a fan of her band.
- We learn a little more about the men in Mare’s life, and if I’m not mistaken, it looks like Colin is interested in Mare, potentially as more than a friend. He gets drunk during a reunion and meets Mare at the bar, revealing that his ex (almost wife) was there, likely pushing him to drink more than usual. He’s definitely flirting with her, but it’s hard to tell if Mare is into it or not.
- She goes on another date with Richard, who reveals he had a bad relationship with his son. They’re back on track now, but when Mare tells him about what’s happening with Carrie, Richard is the one who advises her to sit down with her and tell her how much it matters to Mare to be in Drew’s life.
New episodes of Mare of Easttown Season 1 air Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. on HBO.