The Sinner Full Recap & Review
Last night, The Sinner, a limited series on USA based on the book of the same name, wrapped up its eighth and final episode. For anyone who hasn’t been watching and meticulously trying to figure out what the hell is going on, here’s the premise of the show:
Cora Tannetti, a mother and wife kills Frankie Belmont on the beach with multiple witnesses, the mystery is, no one, including Cora, knows why. For the majority of the series, we follow detective Harry Ambrose, as he tries to uncover the truth and why she becomes violently triggered by one song (note: it’s the song that was playing when she stabbed Frankie on the beach). Along the way we see parts of Cora’s religious past with her estranged family as well as flashes of a fourth of July weekend gone wrong ending with a mysterious two-month blackout on Cora’s part. But after eight episodes of multiple flashes from the past and just utter confusion, we finally know what trauma this woman went through on a fourth of July weekend:
Cora goes out at night after her parents have gone to bed and takes her sick younger sister, Phoebe, out to meet up with her always-creepy boyfriend JD and his friends, including his ex slash other girlfriend, Maddie. After Phoebe indulges in some much-needed experience of being outside of her room, they all leave with JD and his friends to go to the Beverwyck, a very exclusive country club hidden behind the woods where they found Phoebe’s skeleton. At this club, we meet again for the second time in the series, Frankie Belmont, the guy Cora killed on the beach.
At the Beverwyck, Phoebe and JD bond over, what I assume is just being sarcastic by nature and also because of Phoebe’s desperation for losing her virginity. While they talk, JD takes his and Cora’s relationship to the next level, which to him apparently meant making a business deal with his business partner, which allowed his partner to add to this all-around horrendous polyamorous relationship they were having with JD’s ex-girlfriend, Maddie. But of course, Cora doesn’t realize what kind of business he was having at the time and just smiles and agrees with everything he’s saying.
After that, they go back upstairs where she finds Phoebe and Frankie starting to heat things up, dancing in another room across the courtyard. Then at some point, they all agree to go downstairs to hook up simultaneously. As Cora is in the middle of having sex with, who she thought was JD, she sees her sister’s arm hanging off the side of the couch as Frankie is trying to resuscitate her and in doing so, he breaks a rib; he had accidentally killed her, or maybe it was from the ecstasy pill she took earlier that night. Either way, in that instant, it didn’t look good and Cora goes at him like she did on the beach, resulting in a physical fight, ending with a lot of blood on Cora’s head.
After that, there’s a lapse in memory; a 2-month period that Cora doesn’t really remember due to getting drugged from someone wearing a ski mask, in order for her to forget about what happened that night. Now all that Ambrose needed was to find out who the enabler was and to find a witness in order to help shorten Cora’s thirty year sentencing, which ended up working by the way. It turns out, it had been Frankie’s dad the whole time, who at first, was just trying to help her heal from her injuries but got blackmailed by JD into getting her to forget about what happened.
Jessica Biel, the actress who played Cora, did a beautiful job of playing the guilty innocent; she was guilty of killing Frankie Belmont but still maintained a sense of naivety from the struggle she had within herself. There were times when it felt like there wasn’t a lot of information but just enough hints through the use of flashbacks to keep the audience enticed. The story itself played out in a way that didn’t fully reveal itself in full until the last couple episodes which made it that much more intriguing.
Samantha Nguyen covers entertainment news for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter @thelegendarykc