the sinner

Who doesn’t love a day at the beach that ends in murder? Well, that’s what happens in this story.

Jessica Biel plays Cora, a seemingly innocent wife and mother who is spending the day at the beach with her family. Things start to get a little sketchy when she goes for a swim and goes past the barrier and swims by herself, away from the other beach goers. Her husband Mason (Christopher Abbott), notices that he can’t see her anymore and gets up to look for her. After calling her name a few times, she finally returns and gets out of the water. Mason asks her why she went out that far, and she quietly answers that she just wanted to be where it was quiet. A few minutes later, they are sitting on their towels, Cora peeling fruit for their son, and watching the couple in front of them flirt and make out. The girl, Leah, pulls out her phone and tells the other couple they’re with that she has a surprise for them. She starts playing a song on her phone that is the band that her boyfriend Frankie and his band used to play. Frankie tells her to shut it off because he’s embarrassed. She plays one other song and then she and Frankie start kissing again and lay down. Cora looks like she is about to freak out and is just sitting there, breathing hard. She suddenly jumps up and goes over to them and proceeds to stab Frankie in the neck and then all over his body. Mason runs up behind her and tears her off of him and holds her down and shouts “What are you doing?” He gets the knife out of her hand and tosses it aside. Next we see Cora getting booked at the local jail and questioned. She says she doesn’t know Frankie and that she doesn’t know why she attacked him.

Next we meet detective Harry Ambrose played by Bill Pullman. We see him spying on a woman in a restaurant when he gets the call from the station. One thing we notice is that his fingertips are black and blue and he keeps messing with them. He also comes to question Cora. It remains a mystery why she attacked Frankie. She has no history of mental health issues and the only medication she takes is a sleeping pill. We see a few flashbacks that Cora has from when she was a little girl. One of which is her laying in bed saying her prayers while her father stands above her. He tells her she forgot to say God bless her new little sister, and so she does. She then tells him that she hopes her mother doesn’t come back. He tells her that she doesn’t mean that. In another one we see her coming into her parents bedroom meeting her new baby sister for the first time. Her mother tells her that while she was pregnant with Cora, she took up all her strength and that is why her sister was born so weak and sick but that while she was in the hospital, she prayed like she’s never prayed before and that it worked. She pulls back the blanket and we see the baby and it is terrifying! She is very blue and very sickly looking. Something definitely isn’t right with her. Cora also keeps having visions of what appears to be some kind of wallpaper pattern or something. It was never revealed what it was.

A day later, Mason still can’t bring himself to go see Cora at the jail. He drives there but then sits for a minute and leaves. While Ambrose goes to visit Mason at home, Mason tells him that Cora said something after she stabbed Frankie. Ambrose asks why he didn’t tell the police that in his statement and wants to know what she said. Mason tells him Cora told Leah that she was going to be alright and that he was gone now. Almost like she was saving her.

We later see Ambrose go to the home of the woman he was spying on. She asks him if he’s left his wife yet, and then let’s him in. They talk a little and while he tries to make a move on her she slaps him and demands he gets on his knees. She then steps on his fingertips, explaining why his fingers are black and blue.

In a scene where Cora is in her cell, she is pacing around and screaming and the same song is playing that Leah had on her phone..the song by Frankie’s band. You get the sense that the song is stuck in her head and is driving her crazy. She yells to the guards that she needs her sleeping pill but they tell her they can’t give her anything.

Mason later goes to finally visit Cora and she tells him that she’s going to plead guilty because she’s already confessed and doesn’t need a lawyer because she did it. She also tells him that he needs to do what he needs to do and that she won’t blame him. He needs to move on. He gets very upset and leaves. Ambrose is a smart guy and is starting to put the pieces together that this was not your average murder. There has to be a reason Cora snapped and killed Frankie. He goes to the hospital to talk to Leah but her friend Hobbs tells him that she had to be sedated. He starts questioning Hobbs to which he says he doesn’t want to do this again because he’s already given his statement. Ambrose asks him why he didn’t do anything to stop Cora since he was so close to her, only about 4 feet away. Hobbs says it was adrenaline and fear. Ambrose then asks him why Frankie didn’t try to stop her either because he seems like a strong guy. Hobbs tells him that Frankie did put his hand on Cora’s elbow after she stabbed him in the neck and turned to look at her and when he saw her, he dropped his arm and looked like he knew her and just let her kill him.

The episode ends with Cora at her arrangement and the judge asks her if she plans to make a plea. She says yes, and the episode ends.

This show is off to a great start. It’s very intriguing and leaves you wanting more answers. So far, my theory is that Cora and Frankie have definitely met before, especially after Hobbs saying it looked like he recognized her. Also, the song has to be what triggered her. Was she raped by him or someone else in his band maybe? Time will tell. This is a miniseries and we have 7 episodes left to find out all the answers!

Watch ‘The Sinner’ Wednesday’s at 10pm on USA

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