Mare of Easttown finale explained: Who killed Erin McMenamin?

1 June 2021, 12:30

The Mare of Easttown finale shocked viewers
The Mare of Easttown finale shocked viewers. Picture: Sky Atlantic/HBO

Who killed Erin in the Mare of Easttown and what happened in the last episode? Here's what we know...

**Warning Mare of Easttown finale spoilers below**

After seven weeks, Mare of Easttown came to a thrilling end and finally revealed Erin McMenamin’s murderer.

HBO’s murder mystery starring Kate Winslet has had us all gripped for the past two months, and the finale didn’t disappoint.

So, who killed Erin and who is her baby’s real father? Here’s what we found out for the final episode.

John is the father of Erin's baby in Mare of Easttown
John is the father of Erin's baby in Mare of Easttown. Picture: HBO/Sky Atlantic

Who killed Erin McMenamin?

Ryan Ross murdered Erin, with the finale revealing that the entire Ross family helped to cover it up.

The last instalment opened with the news that John Ross had been abusing the teen and was asking his brother Billy to take the blame.

In the penultimate episode, Jess Riley showed a photo to the authorities which she found in Erin’s diaries, showing John and Erin in bed together.

John then admits that he started an affair with Erin during the 2017 family reunion and they went on to develop an ‘emotional and physical relationship’.

Ryan Ross murdered Erin in Mare of Easttown
Ryan Ross murdered Erin in Mare of Easttown. Picture: HBO/Sky Atlantic

When Erin fell pregnant, John told her to get an abortion, but when she didn’t, her boyfriend at the time Dylan Hinchey assumed the baby was his own.

After he confessed to the murder, the authorities were convinced John was the killer, but Mare realised he didnt have any information on the deadly weapon.

She went on to discover thet John’s 13-year-old son Ryan had the gun.

It unfolded that Ryan had found messages from Erin on his dad’s phone and in a bid to keep his family together, planned to scare her into leaving John alone.

He cycled to Glen Carroll’s house and stole his gun from the shed.

Mare discovered Ryan killed Erin Mare of Easttown
Mare discovered Ryan killed Erin Mare of Easttown. Picture: HBO/Sky Atlantic

However, after trying to shoot her in the hand he accidentally shot her in the head and killed her.

When John found out, he turned to his brother Billy to help cover up the crime and the pair planted Erin’s body in Sharp’s Woods because she was there with other people earlier that night.

Mare’s best friend Lori also found out and in a bid to protect her son, she lied to the detective to get Billy sent down for the crime.

Writer and creator Brad Ingleby has since opened up about why he decided that Ryan was the killer.

He told Decider: “I knew that we had to have a good ending that had to be emotional and surprising,’.

“And so it just hit me one day. I was like, ‘Oh, what would be the hardest journey that Mare would have to go on in the show?’ And then it became clear. ‘Oh, it has to go through Lori, the best friend; it’s the devastation of her son.’

“And it just felt like in terms of themes of the show — Mare losing a child and Lori losing a child and mercy — it felt like, wow, that would be really potent emotionally if it had to be Lori’s child. Because Lori had been by Mare and by her side and now Mare has to reciprocate in a way that’s challenging.

“So it took a little while to land on that but I wouldn’t start writing until I knew where it was ending because I knew it was going to be challenging to craft all the surprises along the way.”