Spoilers: The first half of Episode #5 of Mare of Easttown (“Illusions”) felt spotty and weird, but the second half was great, especially the bang-up Silence of the Lambs finale.

Text to friend as I watched: “So episode 5 is Room? The creepy captor takes turns with two female captives? Good God.

[Community wake scene] So the old, white-haired, overweight widow stands up and announces to the mourners that way back when he had an affair with Mare’s mom, Helen (Jean Smart)? What kind of idiot does such a thing? Let sleeping dogs lie.

“[Later] Mare has been suspended for planting evidence, but she goes on a dinner date with Det. Zabel (Colin Peters), her professional partner? Kind of a dumb-ass thing to do, no?

“This is not a great episode.

“Wait, take it back — excellent ending! Totally borrowed from the climactic handgun confrontation between Agent Starling and Buffalo Bill — creepy villain living in grubby man-cave environment, nearby captive female hostage[s] pleading for rescue, wounded Mare at a disadvantage, bad guy goes down in a hail of bullets.”