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S01.E05: Illusions

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In her mandated therapy, Mare opens up about her family's history with mental health; Lori tries to get to the bottom of her son's outburst at school; Mare meets with a semi-retired source to help find a possible connection to her three cases.

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Original air date: 5/16/21

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The series does its best Silence of the Lambs riff, one of the better ones (especially the use of Judas Priest).

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Well they got me!  I wasn't expecting Zabel to get killed.  Noooo aw.  I had a feeling they were going to find the girls when they got a partial plate.   That was some real Silence of the Lambs shit.

It's amazing to me how many people are hiding secrets. 

Jean Smart for MVP again.  From "once they're dead, they're a saint" to the affair revelation and then her truly heartbreaking expression when she told Carrie they didn't want to be cut out of Drew's life. 

I also enjoyed Zabel's mom giving Mare the side-eye.  Aw, poor Zabel.

Hmm, Dylan as the killer - the three of them saying they wouldn't read the journals was interesting.  At first I thought it was to protect Erin's privacy but I had been thinking that Dylan had something to do with the prostitution - maybe he was forcing Erin into it?  So he wouldn't want anyone reading them if there were implications.  Erin had to have had customers, she was hiding money. 

I believe Red Herring Priest was telling the truth and Erin got a text from someone who made her upset - Dylan would fit.  Why we would he text her, though?  Setting her up for something, a customer maybe?  Where the hell is Erin's phone, did they ever recover it?  I remember it pinged at the park but I don't remember if the police have it.  I'm guessing not.

Excellent episode.  I really enjoy the character work we're getting.

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So I'm getting pretty sick of the "anyone can die" method of story telling.  It feels cheap and exploitative to have an OMG moment when rescuing them would have been just as much as an OMG moment.

I am not happy about Zabel dying.  He was a highlight of this show for me. Everyone was so downtrodden and had a really messy home life.  I liked having a character who was earnest and whose life was only partially messy. And now we're going to get two more episodes without him? 

But the minute he kissed her, I should have guessed he wasn't long for this world. 

 

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So is the father of Erin's baby Billy Ross? Bc he sure looked uncomfortable when being asked how long Erin lived with him. 

And its looking like Erin's best friend is somehow involved in her killing. Wow. Her and Dylan and whoever the other guy was had to plan it, even a little bit. All the while she's being being so friendly with Erin. 

So many families are about to be torn apart. Who isn't messed up in this series? 

I'm sad Zabel is gone. I liked him. 

Edited by Laurawithcats · Reason: Wrong word
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OMG ZABEL, noooooooo!!!

I am destroyed!

Here's hoping he survived, but that looked like a bullet right through his head.

So, Erin's case is not connected to the other two girls.

 

Damn, this show is so good.

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6 minutes ago, Laurawithcats said:

So is the father of Erin's baby Billy Ross? Bc he sure looked uncomfortable when being asked how long Erin lived with him. 

I think DJ is around one and they were saying it was a couple of years ago that she stayed with him, so I don't think so.

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4 minutes ago, raven said:

I think DJ is around one and they were saying it was a couple of years ago that she stayed with him, so I don't think so.

Erin got pregnant almost 2 years ago. I could easily have been Billy Ross. Plus, Mare grabbed that bottle for DNA.

 

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2 minutes ago, raven said:

I think DJ is around one and they were saying it was a couple of years ago that she stayed with him, so I don't think so.

But wouldn't that work time wise bc DJ being 1 would be one year ago and then 9 month's she was pregnant? And guessing a few additional mouths where she was living there before she got pregnant? So that would be 2 plus years ago she lived with him?

It certainly seemed as though Lori Ross was pushing him when asked so maybe she suspects something. Or maybe she's angry bc her husband is having another affair and taking it out on his brother. And he really did look uncomfortable. His, "will you look at the time...gotta get going" couldn't be more artificial. 

 

 

 

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Any affair between Erin and the guy she was staying with needn't have been limited to the time she was living with him.

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1 minute ago, Laurawithcats said:

But wouldn't that work time wise bc DJ being 1 would be one year ago and then 9 month's she was pregnant? And guessing a few additional mouths where she was living there before she got pregnant? So that would be 2 plus years ago she lived with him?

Duh!  Yes, it would.  Now I can't remember if they were saying 2 or 3 or the vague "2-3" years.  I remember thinking the timing didn't work.

I don't think he's the murderer though.

 

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3 minutes ago, raven said:

Duh!  Yes, it would.  Now I can't remember if they were saying 2 or 3 or the vague "2-3" years.  I remember thinking the timing didn't work.

I don't think he's the murderer though.

 

I don't think he's the murderer either. I'm back at Dylan being involved but if her best friend is also involved? Erin had no one that gave a Damn about her. That's heartbreaking. 

Edited by Laurawithcats
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Wow, and there are still two episodes left? At least Katie’s mom is going to get her back, so there’s some happiness there. 

I also think the sudden death trope has been played out. It was shocking on a few seasons of 24, but that was over ten years ago. At this point, it’s shocking when everybody survives.

9 minutes ago, Laurawithcats said:

It certainly seemed as though Lori Ross was pushing him when asked so maybe she suspects something. Or maybe she's angry bc her husband is having another affair and taking it out on his brother. 

Minor point, but I don’t think Lori’s husband is having “another” affair. I think it’s with the same woman as previously. Lori asked her son “is it with the same woman” and he nodded yes. 

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OMG that sucks Zabel reveals he's a fraud, right before both he and Mare almost make good. Even when Mare gets a win she loses: Zabel and probably her job because she was working a case, and compromising Zabel's life since she wasn't effective "backup".  This is easily the best performance Peters has every given. 

Coulda done w/o cops killing a suspect even one we 'know' is guilty, and give her/them justifiable self defense excuses.


I think the BF/Dylan thing is another mis-direct. I just can't buy this dumb kid who was cowed by Brianna is secretly a mastermind murder plotter. It felt more like they had all agreed to "protect" Erin's memory, by burning her journals, but maybe this late in the game, it's exactly what it looked like, destroying evidence that might link them to her murder. Why did the best friend pocket it, and hide it from Dylan if she's in lockstep with him? None of that felt like it was playing fair with the characterizations of either Dylan or the best friend so far. Not that I care that much about the murder aspect of this show, give me more of Siobhan and her girlfriend, and Helen being outted as homewrecker at a funeral, and Mare laughing her ass off about it in the car home. 
 

While I like the non murder mystery part much more, I still DO care about who did it damn it. 

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Erin got pregnant almost 2 years ago. I could easily have been Billy Ross. 

It could she didn't have to be living with him to get pregnant by him, but I'd be annoyed they said three years ago for three months, leaning on him having had access to her there in way he wouldn't have at Kenny's. Pretty sure Mare grabbed his Rolling Rock for DNA, so we'll find out soon. 

Edited by blixie
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1 minute ago, Xantar said:

Wow, and there are still two episodes left? At least Katie’s mom is going to get her back, so there’s some happiness there. 

I also think the sudden death trope has been played out. It was shocking on a few seasons of 24, but that was over ten years ago. At this point, it’s shocking when everybody survives.

Minor point, but I don’t think Lori’s husband is having “another” affair. I think it’s with the same woman as previously. Lori asked her son “is it with the same woman” and he nodded yes. 

Yeah, that what I meant. Just said it badly. 

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For the next seven days I’m going to be telling myself that the “illusions” in this week’s ep title refers to Zabel’s death  💔
 

 

Edited by DiabLOL
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6 minutes ago, TwoBitUsherette said:

Also, Jean Smart deserves all of the awards. She's able to balance the comedy and the heartbreak perfectly.

It cracks me up to see her wearing such dowdy great-grandmother clothes on this show and then styled to the 9s on her new comedy series on HBO Max, Hacks.

9 minutes ago, Xantar said:

I also think the sudden death trope has been played out.

Especially since it was a one and done shot to the head. 

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Is Billy Ross Jess's dad? That would be/could be one of her motives for misdirection, in addition to whatever hold Dylan has over her. We've seen a lot of people acting guilty but leaving a nearly full beer wins the sweepstakes.

Poor Zabel. At least he got a good kiss in. I'm surprised we didn't get any mention of Mare blowing Richard off, tho.

I re-watched episode 1 tonight and noticed the sound of thunder in the teens/park scenes. Could Erin have fallen into the creek and floated downstream in a flash flood?

Edit: no, Jess is a Riley, not a Ross. 

Edited by FemmyV
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The cafeteria tray was great foreshadowing.  
Maybe Zabel is still alive. Dylan survived a horrible shooting. Maybe that’s this show’s thing. Wishful thinking. 

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1 minute ago, GussieK said:

The cafeteria tray was great foreshadowing.  
Maybe Zabel is still alive. Dylan survived a horrible shooting. Maybe that’s this show’s thing. Wishful thinking. 

Yes I loved the cafeteria tray thing! 

Has Zabel been in every ep since the first one?

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I love Evan Peters’ 2 very different line deliveries of “holy shit” - when he saw Mare dressed up for their date & when Mare confessed on framing Carrie with drug possession! 😍

For the next 7 days until E06, am gonna pretend that Colin survives the shooting, yeah yeah I know... #indenial 🙄

I wish the latest development re Dylan is another red herring because it’ll be way too lame if he turns out to be Erin’s killer. The way Erin’s body was left at the creek, the killer definitely wants to humiliate her. I really wanna know what Jess took from Erin’s journal. Poor DJ, he may have to live with papa Billy eventually.

Why Colin has to die? Why? Why? Why? 😩

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45 minutes ago, Mrs Shibbles said:

Maybe he’s not really dead and that is what the title of the episode refers to.  That was so intense and gut wrenching!  I’m literally going to have to calm down to get to sleep tonight.

Other observation:

If my son defended his sister in the cafeteria like that , I would take him for an ice cream.

He wouldn't tell his mom why he was fighting.

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Is there any greater evidence of a guilty conscience than "Here's a thought:  let's burn her journals.  And let's be sure not to read anything she wrote in there before we burn them and . . . HEY!  I told you not to read what she said [about me] in there!!"

 

I couldn't understand what Julianne Nicholson was asking her son because my CC didn't cover it, for some reason.  I thought she was heading toward daddy molestation, yikes, but I gather from something noted in the thread above that it's more like daddy extramarital affair?

 

I guess everyone here was too upset about Zabel to nitpick, but still, weren't your eyebrows up that those kidnap girls chose to bang on the pipes for several minutes before they started yelling for help?  

     It made a nice piece of escalating tension with the pipes going from tap-tap-tap to full out bananas.

 

 

Great episode.

 

 

.

 

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I feel like the kids burning the journals could be as simple as knowing they all did various illegal things over the years with Erin and just don't want to get in trouble. Which is awful since the child's paternity and clues to the murderer could be in there, but kids are often dumb when they're scared. (It could obviously go another way as well, just saying I don't think it's certain that this really tells us that much yet. Yet.)

Colin's poor mom. 

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So do you guys STILL think that Mare was creeped out at Zabel at the bar?  LOL.  I still say she wasn't and she wasn't creeped out again tonight!

Edit:  Oh man.  I just finished the episode now.  LOL.

I have HBO here in Canada, and the episode started soooooo late.  I have no idea why SINCE IT'S PAID CABLE?????   Of course my tape ended a few minutes before the real ending.  But I guess my PVR has this nifty thing where I can go back and watch the channel I taped even in the past, so it allowed me to.  I clicked on "Last Week Tonight" and the beginning of that episode showed me the ending of this one. Thank goodness.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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SCREAMING! Despite watching tons of thrillers, and knowing that the kiss with Mare meant death, I still ended up being shocked when Zabel caught a bullet. Evan Peters was so fantastic in this (as is the entire cast). I co-sign the poster who said that it was nice to see him not starring in a Ryan Murphy vehicle. Between this and WandaVision, it's nice to see Peters branch out and show his range. 

That entire scene in the Tavern from the trapped girls banging on the pipes to Mare trying navigate the attic without a gun and the surveillance cameras was a master class in suspense. I think I held my breath for the entire scene. 

I'm leaning towards Lori's husband as the killer, but this show loves a red herring so we'll see.

As much as I dislike Dylan, I don't think he killed Erin. What would be the point? He and Bully Brianna had already beaten and humiliated Erin in front of everyone.  I just think that the burned diaries were a case of teenage jackassery. I'm glad that Erin's bff slipped at least one piece of evidence into her jacket since Mare is going to need it to close this case. 

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50 minutes ago, candall said:

I couldn't understand what Julianne Nicholson was asking her son because my CC didn't cover it, for some reason.  I thought she was heading toward daddy molestation, yikes, but I gather from something noted in the thread above that it's more like daddy extramarital affair?

I think her dialogue was "Was it with the same woman as before?"

Also, there was flashback of Mare with her son.  I believe her son was screaming at her "LOOK AT ME.  I'M YOUR SON."  Or the sentences transposed (because I don't remember).  This is my attempt at reading lips.

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I should have known it was coming after Colin kissed Mare and she actually looked happy for a second, but holy fucking shit I about jumped off my couch. I am just going to keep living in the land of denial saying that Colin might actually have survived that shooting, even if a bullet to the head doesent exactly look good, but the name of the episodes is illusions, so maybe he's actually fine and its an illusion....have I mentioned how nice it is here in the land of denial? Colin very quickly became my favorite character on the show, an island of earnestness in an ocean of angst, so him dying just means this show is going to be even more depressing. 

I'm just really really sad now. I'm so sad I cant even really enjoy the hilarious scene where Mare is laughing her ass off in the car about her moms affair getting brought up during the wake. 

So now we know for sure that Erin was killed by someone else and not the serial kidnapper. Ugh I cant even come up with new tin foil hat theories about who's a red herring and who's the potential killer, still too sad. 

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It's TV so it's not going to be just about detective work and then an uneventful arrest and bringing a bad guy to justice.  The detectives have to get in on action, put their lives on the line.

That's what they do with these series, have to build towards some climax -- True Detective, Sharp Objects, The Undoing.

OK they got 7 possible hits on that van.  The two they interviewed before Potts were women.  Couldn't they tell that from registration that cars owned and primarily driven by women are not picking up young female prostitutes?  BTW, what are the odds of 7 blue vans in a town like that, with similar license plate numbers?

Isn't it convenient that Mare is unarmed when they go into confronting a kidnapper and killer?  Soon as they saw the Winstons, Zabel should have drawn his gun on him.  It shouldn't have taken the girls beating on that pipe.

So Mare survives an intense battle for her life and makes 3 shots, probably more meaningful to her than the state-championship winning shot.

Obviously the other scenes point to a different killer for Erin than this sex slave guy.  Briana's plan to go to college go caput and now it's beauty college, while she hopes her assault charges get pled down to misdemeanor -- all the drama with her dad too, talk about local color, even the ones who aren't murderers in this town are assholes.

Jesse and Dylan have secrets to hide, as did Deacon Mark, who says he drove her to the park because she got a text or something?  Why wouldn't that show up when Mare had her phone records subpoenaed?

 

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I love Kate Winslet but she does not bode well for male characters who fall in love with her. First Jack on the Titanic, now Zabel. So sad about Zabel. Well, he's in heaven with Jack now ...

 

And haha, Brianna, all that trouble for a guy who doesn't give a shit.

Edited by JeanJean
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Wowzers. This was an amazing episode that had a bit of everything - humour, pathos, and edge-of-your-seat hair-raising tension.

After weeks of grimness, it was such a delight to see Mare laughing her ass off coming home from the funeral with her Mom.

I wanted to stand up and cheer when Lori's little boy went apeshit with the cafeteria tray.

It would be super sad if sketchy priest had been falsely accused at his prior parish.

Jean Smart - once again this episode's MVP.

Oh Zabel. Sadly, I don't think this is going to be a miraculous Dylan recovery.

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1 hour ago, aghst said:

OK they got 7 possible hits on that van.  The two they interviewed before Potts were women.  Couldn't they tell that from registration that cars owned and primarily driven by women are not picking up young female prostitutes? 

Just because they're owned by women doesn't mean that men, like a husband or a son, aren't driving the cars regularly.  That's why they felt compelled to interview them.

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The van did not have any ladders. Or even a roof rack for ladders. Continuity error? Or there is an accomplice

They definitely filmed the scene of Potts shooting the door last... because the bullet holes magically disappeared by the time he opened it.

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2 hours ago, JeanJean said:

I love Kate Winslet but she does not bode well for male characters who fall in love with her.

See if Richard survives... or gets Starked

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