The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2 Review: The Trigger

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There better be some truth to that story Cora told Ambrose.

On The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2, Cora wasted precious time telling tall tales instead of telling the truth, and it was incredibly annoying.

Can we believe anything she "remembers" at this point?

Coming To Terms - The Sinner

Mason finally went to visit her, but it was too late.

Cora had already plead guilty. Mason couldn't believe she would do that, but what did he expect? He wasn't there to talk to her or even suggest maybe he wanted her to try sticking around for the family.

It's pretty obvious she doesn't have the largest bucket of self esteem going.

Then again, what do we know about Cora? That's something even Mason was asking himself once she began talking to Ambrose because word gets around. She probably didn't realize her chats with Ambrose would become legend so quickly.

Talk to Me - The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2

You have to hand to Ambrose, as screwed up as he is in his personal life, he is awfully together in his professional one. He won't drop the ball on Cora even when she makes up stories right to his face.

I met Frankie on July 3rd. It was five years ago.


The biggest mistake she made was using a real name when she told the entire tale about her one night stand, the pregnancy, accident in the street, and losing a baby.

What kind of a god kills your baby but lets you survive?


There was something important dropped in the conversation, but we don't know that yet. Shhhhh. 

So not everything is a lie, but trying to understand what is and isn't is virtually impossible. Who can blame Mason for wanting to find and tear apart the real JD to see what he knows?

Mason is having a crap time with the entire situation. He wants to stick by his wife, but the stories he's hearing don't sound like the woman he met and married, and he can't believe he's feeling recoil based on her actions.

Cora and Mason - The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2

The whole time Mason was recalling the first time they met, I kept thinking about The Sinner Season 1 Episode 1 when Cora said she never thought she would have a normal but she did because of Mason. 

What does that mean? Because of her mother?

Do we know what she suffered at the hands of her mother to be true? 

God help her if so.

That business with the candy bar and her sweet scarf wrapping up Cora's most treasured possessions was horrific. Yet I cheered for the little girl when she went outside to dig up the candy and eat it after receiving wrath for already doing so.

It's no wonder Cora has decided to kill and bury her parents despite their apparent status saying they're otherwise. 

If what she's recalling is the real deal, they ruined her life.

I Do Not Want to Talk - The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2

Look at her. Do you know why she's not better? Because you're not doing your part.


By making Cora responsible for Phoebe's life, she grew up to have no happiness.

She rarely (if ever) smiles, she cannot enjoy sex (as we witnessed when she tried to decapitate Mason), she believes she deserves punishment (her guilty plea might be due to her sister's death), and might have killed someone because her mind is so muddled she doesn't know past from present.

Frankie's girlfriend admitted he had a girl in the past with whom he was deeply connected and lost after an accident.

Whatever occurred changed him forever. Could it have happened on July 3rd, five years ago? 

To be honest, I might be hung up on five years being such a short time for all of these people to have moved on and married and had children and all that stuff. 

Am I the only one who doesn't think five years is all that long? If they're talking about catastrophic circumstances, do the mind and body heal that quickly that moving on could have already happened, too?

Whatever the truth is, Cora couldn't change one thing -- her trigger.

Ambrose couldn't have guessed his experiment would have worked out as well as it did. Not only did it drive Cora into a fit of rage, but it was a specific pattern.

That can't be something that happens very often, and I'll be interested to see if there is a scientific explanation for how the brain could wire itself in that way.

The least effective part of the story lands in Ambrose's lap. I don't care about his marriage or his dominatrix because I don't believe he will stay true to his wife and be rid of the dom. My personal thoughts on on the issue don't mix well with it and I can't separate them.

Not to mention I'm rarely proven wrong when I get that feeling, so I'm not usually lifted up after being let down. Meh. It's not a favorite.

Ultimately, I don't think Cora is lying because she's apt to lie, but because Ambrose wants a story. Similarly, she was perfectly fine allowing her candy bar and other goodies to remain buried in the dirt until her mother lied and caused her trouble over eating uneaten chocolate.

Screw that, she rightly thought. If I'm going to get in trouble for eating the chocolate, then I might as well eat it. If Ambrose is going to yell at her and say she's lying, then she'll lie. At least then she'll feel she's receiving an apt punishment.

Let me know if you reach the same conclusion when you watch The Sinner online

Part II Review

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Sinner Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

I met Frankie on July 3rd. It was five years ago.


What kind of a god kills your baby but lets you survive?