The Sinner Part III does not disappoint. It has everything we have come to expect and want from the show – some horror, more questions, and further shock.
In typical The Sinner fashion, it leaves us craving more!
A peek into the past
Part III opens with Cora dreaming of her son Laine searching for her. He wanders through the house calling for her, opens the front door and goes outside. Suddenly, there’s a terrifying screech of a car horn, and Cora wakes, shaken. This prompts her to call Mason, begging him to bring Laine to see her. Surprisingly, he agrees.
Cora’s psych interviews are underway to determine whether she will be fit to stand trial. We see flashbacks of Cora’s very disturbing childhood, and when she is asked by an interviewer what she would tell her 13-year-old self, she replies, “Run!” At the end of these interviews, she is deemed fit to stand trial.
Undeterred, Ambrose visits Cora’s parents. The Lacey’s have not heard from or spoken to Cora since she left home 4th-of-July weekend, five years prior. Her sister, Phoebe, died a month later. When asked why they did not file a missing person’s report when she disappeared, Her Mother, Elizabeth, replies (without emotion) “Cora died when she left this house”.
The Nightmares Continue
Cora is dreaming again, another nightmare. This time there are flashes of sex, bells ringing in the background, and a woman whispering “Give her another hit, it’ll loosen her up.” With a terrible cracking sound, a man’s foot is seen on a woman’s chest crushing her. Gasping for her own breath, Cora wakes screaming, lost within the horror. Guards arrive and quickly remove her from her cell while she’s screaming and resisting. They decide to tranquilize her, and as they pull up her sleeve for the injection, they notice the scars that are tell-tale signs of an addict.
Meanwhile, Ambrose receives notification that someone visited Cora and tracks them down. Living in a lovely apartment filled with lots of light and theater posters, we learn the visitor was Cora’s Aunt Margaret.
After a brief stint in a Poughkeepsie rehab clinic and being denounced by her mother as a “whore and degenerate,” Cora ends up living with her Aunt.
Margaret tells of Cora’s 3 am nightmares. She feels guilty for ignoring the signs of her Niece’s distress and never asking about the scar on Cora’s scalp.
Back to the present
The public defender assigned to Cora explains that she can get a decent deal, with the possibility of parole in 30 years. When Cora asks about changing her plea, her lawyer warns against a plea of temporary insanity, stressing that all the secrets of her past and her families, will be used against her. Cora still questions… “So, there is a chance?”
Ambrose, meanwhile, goes to the detox center in Poughkeepsie where the director explains to Ambrose that Cora detoxed very easily, after just 2 weeks of treatment. She was different than the other patients, she came in showered, with new clothing and a head wound that was already stitched. There was no real information on who signed her in, just a name, Caleb Walker.
Later that night, Ambrose and his wife are entertaining another couple. Ambrose is looking uncomfortable, then his Wife mentions to their guests that he is currently working on the Tannetti case.
A discussion brews and the male guest snarkily shares that his wife sees Cora as a “feminist revenge-of-the-millennial-housewife hero.” Ambrose begins defending Cora and then erupts, “You have no idea who Cora Tannetti is. You don’t know what happened to her – You don’t know what she’s been through, how she feels. You don’t know anything.”
Before bed, Ambrose’s wife says she did not realize he cared so much for Cora and that he would be so upset talking about her at dinner. He plainly states she’s wrong, and they make love.
The following day, Mason and Ambrose are crushed as they watch Cora consider her choices, but ultimately plead guilty after a quick glance at her parents in attendance.
Seek and find
Detective Ambrose tracks down Caleb Walker (who found Cora on the street and signed her into the rehab). Retracing his steps, Ambrose sees many addicts on the street. He seems to be triggered by something.
Later that day, Ambrose visits Cora at the prison and dumps a bag of drug paraphernalia for heroin on the table in front of her, and demands that she show him how she would inject herself with the drug. She glares at him, uncaps the needle and then seems lost. She doesn’t know.
He asks her what she remembers of the months between July 4th and the rehab center. She replies that she only remembers fragments. She says that she has blamed herself for years, but Ambrose says it’s a much different story now, claiming, “Somebody somewhere did this to you.”
Mason goes searching for J.D. at a bar with his friend and after some liquid courage, joins J.D. at his table. Mason acting as if he knows more than he does, asks J.D. about his involvement with Cora. J.D. exclaims,“You don’t know s—, do you?” A fight ensues after J.D. asks Mason, “Does she still like three guys on her?”
They’re both arrested when the police arrive.
Another flashback starts with the old fashioned wallpaper that flashes in her mind when trying to remember the past. We can see a room and then the door opens. A man in scrubs enters. He has a sack over his head with menacing holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. He asks, “How are you feeling today, Cora?” just as Part III concludes.
The Sinner certainly does not disappoint. I was on the edge of my seat the entire episode and like every other week, I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of The Sinner.
The shifting timeline keeps us on our toes and keeps us guessing. And just when we think we may have a bit of a handle on Cora’s past, a strange masked figure unexpectedly arrives.
I am actually thankful that The Sinner is a limited series as I am not certain I could handle breaks between multiple seasons!
Onward to Part IV!