The Sinner S01E02 Recap

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

I’m not entirely sure where I fall when it comes to Cora’s “innocence.” I put that in quotation marks because she’s not exactly innocent. She did kill someone. She admitted it and there were about twenty witnesses. It’s not so much a matter of innocence or guilt so much as understanding why she did it and, perhaps, even going so far as justifying it.

From the moment that Leah brought up the girl that Frankie had an intense thing with five or six years prior, I didn’t believe that it was Cora. I believed it even less when Cora said that she had met him that many years ago. It was just too easy that it would have been Cora that Leah was talking about. This is a crime thriller, answers don’t come so easily. Because of the genre alone I knew that Cora was lying.

She dropped the too-emotionally-fragile-to-function act quite quickly once the judge ordered that she be evaluated. And her lying and abrasive attitude aren’t doing her any favours. It had occurred to me in the first episode that it was possible that her whole schtick was just an act. But her mental instability had been evident before the stabbing. I feel like now we’re seeing who she really is. Also, she is seemingly sleeping perfectly well without her pills.

I was glad when Harry and the other detective checked the veracity of her story. They found more than ample evidence that she was lying. It seems to me that she injected Frankie into something that had happened to her. I do believe that the story itself was real, but not the part of it that pointed to Frankie being the man who had wronged her. That Mason know of this (or a) person named J.D., but not if what said she was was true points to that.

But that song has something to do with it. Frankie is at least tangentially connected to whatever it is that happened to Cora since he was in the band that made the song. Could he possibly know the person who traumatised her?

Cora’s abrasiveness and refusal to tell the truth isn’t helping Mason either. Now he’s going after this J.D. because he believes that he did something to Cora. Narratively, I think that this will give us some answers, but I just think it’s a stupid thing to do on his part. I feel like Mason will get in over his head and end up in a really bad situation.

I do think that he just wants to learn the truth and find out what’s going on with Cora and why she killed Frankie – in which he’s justified – but it feels like he’s also doing it because he wants to make this man who hurt his wife – before he even met her, mind you – pay for what he did to her. And I find that rather sweet.

Just one episode ago I kind of didn’t like Mason all that much because he virtually abandoned Cora and I felt sorry for her. Now it’s the other way around. I can’t wholly dislike either one of them though, not yet. Mason because I understand and sympathise with him and Cora because I’m waiting to see how she develops and why she killed Frankie.

Harry clearly kind of, but not really, is trying to repair his relationship with his wife. He was dismissive of her knee surgery story and visited his dominatrix at her work place to tell her that he was done with her. I do believe that he wants to patch things up with his wife, but he doesn’t seem to be so willing to part with his vices and to stop cheating.

Cora’s mother is far more than a piece of work. I don’t blame Cora for saying that her parents are dead and screw her mother for blaming Cora for Phoebe’s illness. She clearly hates Cora and I don’t know if that hatred preceded or followed Phoebe’s birth (once she learned that she was ill). She did tell Cora that giving birth to her left her barely able to have Phoebe. There may be some truth to that, but it’s terrible of her to lay that at Cora’s feet.

Her mother has to have been mentally ill in some capacity. There is no reasonable explanation for her believing that of Cora besides her extreme religious devotion and beliefs. That being said, I get the feeling that Cora may be a psychopath or a sociopath. Entirely brought on by her mother of course. Just because after her mother said that her eating chocolate was a sin and this was why Phoebe wasn’t getting any better, she dug up the chocolate and ate it while staring fiercely at Phoebe’s bedroom window.

Either she believes what her mother says about her sin being the cause of Phoebe’s illness and ate the chocolate to harm her sister or she was just being defiant. I do think that she believes her mother though, since she said to her that if they keep praying that Phoebe will get better.

Random thoughts:

  1. Don’t tell me it was Cora’s father…
  2. Did she kill her parents?
  3. At least Mason is thinking about what Cora would want for their son.
  4. I thought that woman on the phone was gossiping. She’s afraid of Mason.
  5. It’s that one woman from Devious Maids!
  6. Cora clearly has a strange relationship with sex.
  7. Why did you tell Mason that Cora said she knew Frankie?!
  8. Now I get the title of this series.

The Sinner airs Thursdays at 10 PM on USA.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.