New from Jonita Davis on The Black Cape: HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’ Proves that America Needs Better Childcare

I binged Mare of Easttown in two days, after seeing it all over Twitter. The show is trippy. Full of twists, turns, curbs, and too much dysfunction. It’s supposed to be about regular life in a regular small-town America. Ha! If the small towns I know had this much action, there would be a line of lawn chairs in the town square every evening watching it all go down. Not only is the show convoluted and overreaching, but the whole mess could also be prevented with adequate childcare.

There is Such a Thing as Too Many Twists

Mare of Easttown centers the life of a small-town detective named Mare (Kate Winslet) who is good at her job, but trash at making decisions. The reason is that she still grieves the suicide of her teen son. But, there is no time to grieve, Her son left behind a son, and Grandma Mare must take care of him while the mother lapses in and out of sobriety. They end up in a court battle, this on top of a murder that rocks the entire town. The residents are taking things into their own hands and folks are getting hurt. But there’s no time to dwell on that because everywhere she turns, Mare is just stumbling right into another plot twist.

It does get old after a while. By episode 4 I wished that there was one honest person in the show. Everyone has something to hide. And, in cleaning up after themselves, these people are hiding or destroying the evidence that Mare needs to solve the case.

But she isn’t innocent either, Early on, Mare loses her badge and gun because tries to sabotage the custody case in her favor! My favorite character is Mare’s mom Helen (Jean Smart), who heckles the woman and all the bad choices she has made over the years. Of course, Mama Helen isn’t innocent either. The twists and turns become so convoluted that at times, I forget the reason why we are in EastTown–to find out who killed Erin (Cailee Spaeny). Erin has been bullied y her baby daddy’s friends, abused by her own daddy, and left to fend for herself as she tries to take care of her baby. She is found dead in a spot where the teens usually hang out. in a spot by a lake.

That Ending…Makes You Want to Slap Somebody

So by the time we get to the last episode, we find out that this town has a violate sex offender who is snatching girls, a priest with a deviant history, and a girl who was being preyed upon by older men while being abused by her enraged father. In the end, the mother of the real killer blames Mare! She is screaming and going on. Meanwhile, I just want to smack this woman and remind her of all the crimes her family committed in order to make her life “easy”, “happy”. I am not telling who it is because I don’t want to spoil the ending. Also, I peeped the treatment of the killer once they did find him. Good thing he was pale or his mama would’ve been crying over a corpse. Yes, I got angry about that, too.

Some Important Themes At Work

The one thing that I loved about this film is that it plays with themes of love, loss, grief, and how we seal that inside with our handy dandy duct tape. Mare of EastTown shows what happens when you have a whole town o full of secrets and no one is willing to talk about any of it. The lead detective, Mare, is still not over the loss of her son. The woman is drowning in the grief of her own, with no time to care for herself.  She then has his baby mama nearly put in jail after making a slew of questionable choices. I was relieved to see these things resolved in counseling,

In addition to centering counseling, the film also works as a diviner of the rest of the themes. The toxicity of secrets, the reality of drug addiction, and the fallout of bullying are just a few of these themes. There’s also the topic of universal childcare.

Childcare Could have Saved Them All

Mare was a single mom raising three kids before the events of the series play out. She must work and so her son gets caught up with the wrong crowd. He does, becomes an addict, impregnated a woman with her drug problems. If Mare could have left her kids at a good after-school program, her son could have been steered toward higher education. Then his baby mama wouldn’t be struggling, either. She admits in one episode that she started drugs to stay away. That’s narcolepsy woman–go get the proper meds. A good sitter could’ve helped her out as well, lightening the load for those night shifts.

And Erin? The girl at the center of all of this? She needed supervision first (i.e. good after-school programs for teens) after that, she needed help with that baby. With proper sleep, maybe she wouldn’t be chasing after….I won’t give that away. Oh, and the killer? A sitter would have helped keep his lil hind end at home. Anyway, do you see how good childcare would have saved folk?

Overall, Mare of Easttown is entertaining. It does get tedious at times as the plot twists are sometimes relentless. This over-exaggeration of small-town life did keep much of Twitter captivated for days, so that’s something, right?

Tell me what you thought of the show, especially that ending.

Stream Mare of Easttown on Hulu and HBOMax.

Rating 2.5 of 5 stars.


The post HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’ Proves that America Needs Better Childcare appeared first on The Black Cape Magazine.

from The Black Cape Magazine

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