David Zurawik: HBO's 'Mare of Easttown' a rare TV drama that reflects the America left behind

David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Entertainment News

Her father was her “best friend,” Sheehan adds.

“You think maybe it’s something you inherit?” she asks a therapist she is forced to see as a condition of keeping her job. “You know, suicide, mental illness? I read a bunch of articles from these scientists who think it’s passed down generation to generation? You think maybe?”

“And what are you looking for when you read these articles?” the therapist asks.

“Hope, I guess,” Sheehan says after a long pause.

“Hope that your grandson won’t turn out …”

“Like my dad,” Sheehan says finishing the sentence. “Like Kevin (her dead son).”


“Does it worry you that he might?” the therapist asks.

“Oh, God, yes. I’m terrified.”

That’s probably the biggest demon, but there are many in Sheehan’s life.

In Episode 1, Easttown High is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the state championship. But even as Sheehan is cheered along with her teammates as they walk on court at halftime of a high school game, she had been jeered earlier in the week by some of the same town folk for failing to solve the case of a local teen who disappeared a year ago. Making Sheehan’s failure even more painful, the teen who disappeared is the daughter of one of her high school teammates from their glory days. The distraught mother now works at a convenience store, takes care of her missing daughter’s child and is in treatment for cancer.


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