The Sinner S01E04 Recap

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The plot thickens!

Finally, we’ve gotten a few answers pertaining to Cora’s missing two months and exactly how she knew J.D. and what he was to her. But, like most – if not all – media in the mystery/thriller genre, learning more only led to more questions. The biggest of which here is: What happened to Maddie?

I’m glad that Cora wasn’t just willing do the sessions with Dr. Chang, but that she was eager. She didn’t run away from learning what happened to her during those two months she can’t remember. That’s pretty admirable.

It was clear that J.D. was the man she was talking about when she told Harry the story about what happened to her on the fourth of July a couple of episodes ago – she did use his name after all – and that he was the one who introduced her to drugs. But that he was the first person she had sex with was surprising, although it really shouldn’t have been given her upbringing.

So far I’ve assumed that her fourth of July outing was the first time she’d ever had any real freedom and thus was the first time she engaged in any “bad behaviours.” Especially anything sexual. As it turns out, Phoebe, the good, bad influence that she was, encouraged Cora to watch porn with her and to get physical with the boy next door.

Again, I really do love that the two sisters were close and I loved seeing Cora take care of Phoebe. Who, because of her illness, was in a unique position to know what was going on with her family. I don’t blame their father for cheating on their mother. He could have at least turned around and gone back upstairs when teenage Cora confronted him about it, however, and sneak back down later rather than just…brush her off.

Anyway, back to Cora and J.D.

Also surprising was the fact that J.D. had a girlfriend at the time that he met Cora; Maddie. We did hear a disembodied female voice telling him to give Cora more drugs, though. I fully suspect that it was Maddie who said that. Their relationship appears to have been completely one-sided in terms of the power dynamic and that J.D. was quite abusive toward Maddie.

I don’t doubt that he perhaps encouraged her to form the relationship with their ex-lover that Harry questioned. If not before it happened, certainly after he found out about it just for the sole purpose of stealing from her. That he – and possibly other – people hunted Maddie and Cora is further evidence to the abusive nature of their relationship and how absolutely twisted he is. Aside from entrapping, drugging and assaulting Cora for two months that is.

Maddie’s relationship with J.D. didn’t last very long after Cora came into the picture because she disappeared that same weekend! I have a theory. Cora was acting like she was trying to save Leah – Frankie’s girlfriend – when she stabbed him and the stabbing is a repetition of one she’d done before. Given the nature of J.D. and Maddie’s relationship, perhaps it was Maddie that Cora was trying to save in the original stabbing.

I also think that it was Maddie’s body that Harry found at the end of the episode. It could be the person that Cora stabbed, but I’m leaning toward Maddie.

Because Cora didn’t go into the water in her second session, I considered the idea that everything she said during was perhaps a lie. But Harry did find the school bus and a body, so perhaps it was true. Given that Dr. Chang said that this kind of this isn’t taken seriously, I’m hoping that the body gives credibility to what Cora remembers during her sessions.

Speaking of Harry, I love the man, but I hate how he treats his wife. He had two marks against him in that regard in this episode. First when he forgot about her miscarriage and how he’d comforted her afterward and when he took her out for a walk in the woods…while he was investigation Cora’s story from her sessions with Dr. Chang. I can respect multi-tasking, but that was just wrong.

He really isn’t putting that much effort into his marriage which, aside from his cheating, seems to be the major problem in his marriage. He says he wants to work on it, but episode after episode we see him not doing that. At this point you have to question if he truly cares about his wife and their marriage. That walk wasn’t about spending time with her, it was about doing his job. And that must be the root of the problem; he loves his job more than his wife.

If he didn’t though, he wouldn’t be trying so hard to get answers for Cora. I really do love how far he is going and how much he is doing for her. There isn’t much of a need, if any at all, for him to continue investigating but he is. You can’t exactly call it a friendship, but I like the bond that is developing between him and Cora and that she still trusts him even though Mason told her not to.

I wish that he’d stop pursuing and looking into J.D on his own. I get why he is; J.D. clearly harmed Cora in some way and he is adamant that he must pay even though he doesn’t know how he harmed Cora. But his persistence is frustrating. This whole venture is in no way smart and is absolutely dangerous. Especially going over to J.D.’s house to try and entrap him selling drugs.

Didn’t he think that J.D.’s wife or girlfriend, whatever she is to him, would tell J.D. about his visit? I didn’t think she’d tell J.D. immediately after he showed up (he was less than convincing with his excuses though), but J.D. was always going to know that he stopped by. Mason’s only antagonising him. I wouldn’t be surprised if J.D. rounded him some of his friends or cronies and went to attack, maybe even kill, Mason. He did all of that for nothing anyway. Caitlin wanted nothing to do with him or his evidence.

Random thoughts:

  1. You are not helping Cora, Mason.
  2. Does teenage Cora even know what an orgasm is?
  3. I love how much Dr. Chang hates doing this.

The season finale of The Sinner airs this Wednesday 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.