Mare of Easttown Finale Reveals the True Killer

The finale of HBO's Mare of Easttown had a lot of ground to cover, including the reveal of who really killed Erin McMenamin and why.

By Lauren Piester May 31, 2021 3:15 AMTags
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What a freakin' mess that has been made in Easttown. 

Mare of Easttown concluded on Sunday by explaining who actually killed Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny) and how, and then explaining it all over again. It was not, as everyone thought at the end of the last episode, Erin's cousin Billy Ross (Robbie Tann). It was also not, as everyone thought at the beginning of this episode, Erin's cousin John Ross (Joe Tippett), though he was the real father of Erin's baby. It was actually the young Ryan Ross (Cameron Mann), John's son, who shot Erin on accident while trying to prevent his family from breaking up again. He was just trying to scare her off with a gun, and it went off when she tried to get it away from him. 

What an absolute bummer. 

For the first half of the finale, Mare (Kate Winslet) was fairly sure that John was the culprit. He was shown in bed with Erin in a photo she had kept in her journal (the mysterious photo from the end of the last episode), and then when confronted about it, he was strangely calm and upfront. He confessed to the relationship and to killing her, and asked his poor wife Lori (Julianne Nicholson) to take care of the baby for him, which felt like a truly insane request from the man who had just murdered the teen he impregnated. 

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Mare was a little bothered by the fact that the Colt Detective Special gun that had apparently killed Erin hadn't turned up, but then she paid a visit to Glen Carroll (Patrick McDade), who revealed that his own Colt Detective Special had gone missing from his shed, but then had suddenly reappeared. He also told her that the only other person who had access to his shed was the kid who mows his lawn, who happens to be Ryan Ross. 

Lori, it turns out, knew what had happened the entire time, and was absolutely furious at Mare for not letting John just take the fall. Ryan ended up in juvie, and Lori did as John asked and took the baby in. That's how we learned that his name, DJ, actually stood for Dylan John—named after both his fake dad and his real dad. 

Dylan (Jack Mulhern) even visited to gift her with the money he and Erin had each separately been saving for DJ's ear surgery. 

Sarah Shatz/HBO

Mare, meanwhile, watched Siobhan (Angourie Rice) drive off to college and said a temporary goodbye to Richard (Guy Pearce) as he headed off for a new teaching gig. She also reunited with a devastated Lori and, finally, confronted her fears of the attic where her son had died. Mare, it seems, will be OK, but we've got doubts about the rest of this town. 

In other news, Kate Winslet's accent work on this show has changed our life for the better, along with her vape work. The Best Actress in Limited Series category at the 2021 Emmys is going to be a tight race between Kate's pronunciation of "water" and Elizabeth Olsen's angry mom walk from WandaVision and we genuinely do not know who deserves it most! 

Mare of Easttown aired on HBO.