HBO's Mare of Easttown is highly reminiscent of the late True Detective. Both are mysteries headed up by small-time detectives in backwater towns played by Hollywood A-listers. In this case, Mare of Easttown is headed up by Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Detective Mare Sheehan. The case is that of Erin McMenamin, a teen mom found dead in the river the night after the town's high school residents threw a party in the woods. But the Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 4 promo shows Mare's fight to continue on this case is much more complicated than it may appear on paper.
Warning: Spoilers for Mare of Easttown Season 1, Episode 3 follow. Erin's life was messy before she died, but she's far from alone in that. It seems like everyone's life in Easttown is messy, including Mare's. Her son, Kevin, died by suicide a few years back, and his baby's mother, Carrie, has been in and out of rehab ever since. With no parents available, Mare's been taking care of her grandson, Drew.
But when Mare learns Carrie has gotten sober and is gearing up to sue for custody, her desperation to keep Drew causes her to choose poorly. She steals some heroin out of lockup and plants it in Carrie's car, hoping to send her back to jail.
It might have worked, had Mare covered her tracks better. Instead, her supervisor, Chief Carter, puts two and two together and suspends Mare from the force, just as she and her partner, Colin Zabel, are making progress.
But the Episode 4 trailer promises Mare isn't so easy to sideline:
The title of Mare of Easttown Episode 4 is "Poor Sisyphus," a reference to the Greek myth of the man forever rolling a boulder up a hill but never making it to the top. Check out the synopsis:
With Mare forced to take a backseat on the case, Colin presses a local priest about the vague circumstances that prompted his transfer to the parish. Meanwhile, an anonymous call gives Dawn hope that Katie might still be alive.
The year-old case of Katie Bailey has been bubbling in the background since the series premiere, and fans have wondered whether Katie's disappearance and Erin's death might be related. With Mare sidelined and Dawn getting anonymous phone calls, could Mare turn her attention back to Katie? And could one case lead to a break in the other?
Fans are also giving serious side-eye to Mare's ongoing partnership with Colin. Mare didn't take too kindly to the young go-getter being shipped in, and she already had Richard as a potential maybe-relationship in the works. But viewers noticed that Colin's attempts to hit on Mare at the bar in Episode 3 wasn't immediately shut down by the prickly detective. Could Mare's removal from her case pave the way for some ~outside of work~ activities?
Mare of Easttown airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.