Mare of Easttown came to its bleak and somewhat twist-filled conclusion this evening (Monday, May 31) and UK viewers were left "broken" by the events that transpired on screen.
Following Billy Ross confessing to the murder of Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaney) at the end of last week's episode, the popular crime drama's finale began with Mare's boss Chief Carter (John Douglas Thompson) discovering that Billy's brother John (Joe Tippett) was having an affair with Erin before her death and that he's the real father of her baby son, DJ.
Upon his arrest, Carter and Mare (Kate Winslet) grilled John on what he was up to the night Erin died, which led to him telling them that he'd skipped out of Frank's engagement party for a couple of hours to go console Erin.
Turns out, things between them hadn't been great since DJ's birth, and she had been getting increasingly frustrated that he wouldn't pay for the infant's ear surgery.
John said that they tussled when he realised she had a gun and in the scuffle, it went off and got her hand. Panicked by the blood and Erin's screaming, John then shot her in the head.
Or so he said anyway, because later on in the episode, it emerged that it was actually John's son Ryan (Cameron Mann) who killed Erin, after he stole Glen Carroll's gun and rocked up to the woods that fateful night to order her to stay away from his family.
Lori, Ryan's mother and Mare's best friend, who has been her rock throughout most of the series, had conspired with John to keep Ryan out of prison by letting the former take the wrap for Erin's death – a development that devastated Mare and those tuning in alike in more ways than one.
"I did not see that coming at all. Broke me a little bit. What with that and some close to the bone stuff in Breeders. Hug your kids, tell them you love them. EVERY SINGLE DAY. They ain't kids for anywhere near long enough," one fan wrote on Twitter.
"Right that's it I'm broken," another wrote.
"#MareOfEasttown was completely and utterly brilliant," a third added. "Bravo Kate Winslet. Every character just played so, so exceptionally well."
"No doubt at all that #MareOfEasttown is THE best TV show of the year. Terrific writing and a superb cast. Kate Winslet and Julianne Nicholson give career best performances," a fourth said.
Check out some more reactions below...
All seven episodes of Mare of Easttown are available to stream on NOW.
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