The Sinner S01E03 Recap

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The more I learn about Cora’s mother, the more I truly despise the woman. She did so much psychological damage to her that is clearly, obviously still affecting her. It’s not even that recently, really, that Cora escaped her grasp. As Harry said. 23 is pretty old to be a runaway. Whatever it is that happened to Cora in those two months, I blame her mother 100%.

Like Cora, I believed that she actually was a heroin addict. However, I never believed that she was a voluntary participant in her addiction. Just because of the dream – or flashback, likely – from early in the episode in which someone stepped on her rib cage, just after a woman’s voice off screen said to give her more. My suspicions were only confirmed by the final shot in the episode of the man in the ski mask.

It seems about clear that on the same night that Cora finally got free of her mother, she was kidnapped, possibly raped, obviously drugged and who knows what else. Drugged to the point that she has zero recollection of what happened to her in those two months that she was missing. Given her upbringing, it would not surprise me that even if she had been conscious enough to recount to her mother the terrible things that happened to her, her mother would have said it was some kind of divine retribution. For running away in the first place or whatever else Cora could have done that she didn’t approve of.

That Cora spent such a long time believing that she was some degenerate drug addict who sold her body for a fix, purely because her mother fed her that story, on top of years – a lifetime – of making her believe that she was some evil person and building within her this complex of inferiority and self hatred…is really frustrating. I do believe the diagnosis of PTSD psychosis that the psychiatrist gave. It obviously stems form what she suffered during those two months. I would argue however that her mother’s treatment of her qualifies as a cause as well.

I am so glad, so very, very glad, that it looks like Cora and Phoebe had a close, loving relationship and that their mother’s treatment of them didn’t drive a wedge between the sisters. I think that Phoebe may just have been the person who convinced Cora to run away. In fact, she was seemingly an atheist from a very young age; disillusioned by her unanswered prayers. While Cora was the highly devout one. Which I find ironic since Cora was the “evil” one. Phoebe lied, without hesitation, to their mother’s face and Cora could not bring herself to be dishonest. I really want to see more of the sisters’ friendship and relationship as they grow up.

I hope that at some point the show goes into why Cora’s mother hates her so much. It cannot be simply because she erroneously believes that Cora’s sin makes Phoebe sicker. It can’t be. There has to be some reason. Or her mother really is just an insane, spiteful woman with no real reason to hate her own child as much as she does.

If only she hadn’t been in the court room at Cora’s hearing. If only she hadn’t turned around and seen her. If only the only person she’d laid eyes on was Mason. She was just about to plead “not guilty!”Or at least take back her guilty plea. Or something. She definitely wasn’t going to plead guilty. Her mother’s raising of her to repent for every little thing is why she plead guilty again. She committed a sin and it doesn’t matter why. She has to be punished for it.

I was simultaneously amused by Harry picking up the produce that Sharon dropped in the supermarket and disappointed that he went after her when he saw her. He’s supposed to be working on his marriage! He said he would stop seeing her! He even had sex with his wife in this episode. I really couldn’t help but wonder if he enjoyed it since he was clearly…please…picking up after Sharon. That’s what he likes and his wife doesn’t do it.

In fact, I got kind of annoyed with Fay for disclosing details of his investigation so cavalierly. Just as casual conversation. I was so glad that Harry stood up for Cora when their guest spoke so disparagingly about her just because she had been a drug addict. I love that Harry is championing Cora and sees her as someone who needs help above all else and is trying his hardest to find the truth of what happened to her.

Mason is trying to do that in his own way as well but I still think he isn’t going about it in the best way. As I said, it will end badly for him. He’s only just begun and he’s already gotten himself arrested. I don’t think that that was the bad ending though. He just went up to J.D. and confronted him.

Just when I thought that we would find out a little something from him, especially how he fits into the picture, Mason tripped himself up and we got nothing. Interestingly, J.D. has a cane and I’m wondering if the reason why has anything to do with Cora and her two missing months.

Random thoughts:

  1. Hey! She got her mattress back.
  2. Of course her mother still hates her, more even, and blames her for her sister’s death.
  3. Who’s Caleb Walker?

The Sinner airs Wednesdays 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.