Mare of Easttown came to an end with a dramatic episode revealing the identity of Erin’s killer.
However, there was one clue hiding in plain sight that fans are now only noticing after watching the show back.
The acclaimed HBO show charted the investigation of Kate Winslet’s detective into the murder of teenager Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny).
With the primary suspect changing each week, the finale revealed the heartbreaking truth behind the overarching mystery.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
It’s revealed in episode seven, titled “Sacrament”, that it was Ryan Ross (Cameron Mann), the young son of Mare’s best friend Lori (Julianne Nicholson), who killed Erin.
Furious that his father John (Joe Tippett) was having an affair with Erin, Ryan stole a gun in an attempt to scare her away from tearing his family apart.
However, after Erin attempts to wrestle the gun from him, he shoots her twice – once in the hand, a second time in the face. He then tells his dad who, alongside Ryan’s uncle Billy (Robbie Tann), covers up the incident.
Throughout the show, Ryan is shown to be distant and, at one stage, quite violent. We’re also led to believe that the secret he’s sharing with his dad is the fact he’s having an affair with a woman named Sandra.
But the most striking clue, which is brandished in viewers’ faces at the beginning of episode three, occurs when Mare is driving through Easttown.
As she does so, the camera lingers on a yellow warning sign for a tad longer than is necessary – it’s emblazoned with the words: “Watch children.”
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trialSign up
It turns out creator Brad Ingelsby has been alerting us to the real identity of Erin’s killer for weeks now.
One Reddit user highlighted this sign days before the finale was broadcast, writing: “This felt intentional to me, and could be a hint to pay attention to the kids in the show more than the adults.”
Mare of Easttown is available to stream on NOW – read our five-star review of the finale here.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies