This post contains spoilers for Mare of Easttown episode 5.
Denial is the first stage of grief—and that’s where we’re at today, following last night’s episode of Mare of Easttown.
It all happened so fast. One moment Mare and Detective Colin Zabel were tracking down blue vans that matched a description given to them, and the next it was clear they were inside the home of the perpetrator responsible for kidnapping the town’s young women. The revolting home, the Winston cigarettes, the suspicious banging on the pipe. The man knew that the detectives were onto him. Then, all of a sudden, bullets were flying. Evan Peters’ Detective Colin Zabel was on the ground before he could even pull out his gun. It was so fast that it wasn’t immediately clear if the shot whizzed over his head or right through it. How could they kill off our sweet Zabel so soon? And right after his first kiss (??) with Kate Winslet’s Mare?
Sadly, Peters confirmed to EW that the fresh-faced detective did not survive the surprise shootout. “We played with time a little bit there and slowed it down. But Colin is not a quick draw. That is for sure. He is not a quick draw. Poor Zabes,” he said.
Peters knew it wasn’t a long road for his character when he signed onto the project. “I was excited by the idea that that would happen, to craft this whole character and formulate this whole plot so it’s almost like we did it for that moment,” he told the New York Times. “It’s this interesting way to develop a character, knowing that he’s going to die in such a way.” Twist the knife, Peters! “I was absolutely shocked when I read it, and I hoped and kind of knew that the audience would be shocked too, if we did Colin right,” he said, and he certainly succeeded. In a few short episodes, Mare’s clean-cut, eager to please hometown hero partner blossomed into a lovable tragedy, flawed but sincere. He also delivered the most impressive drunk scene performance in recent television history, thick Pennsylvanian accent and all.
But there will be no more drunk scenes, no more awkward dates, and no more detective work for Mare and Colin—although they did at least crack one case before his untimely death. Still, Peters’ sweet Zabel will be sorely missed in the remaining two episodes of the HBO whodunnit. Poor Zabes, indeed. And poor us.
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