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The Sinner - Part VII - Review: "Answers"



"Too late now."


Part VII


This is the episode where we get all the answers, much like The Leftovers' first season, the penultimate episode is all set in the past and gives us almost every answer we've been craving from the beginning. The episode picks up from the moment Cora remembers and takes place in that memory, but we don't begin at the club, we begin at Cora's childhood home, and for a very good reason, it turns out Phoebe was there all along, and Cora's mind had meshed her with Maddie and deleted her completely due to the trauma of watching her sister die.

It was Phoebe's birthday and she threatened Cora into taking her out to the bar with her. It turns out this was Phoebe's last night, and she was awesome, her interactions with JD, putting Maddie in her place by just being nice, her almost rom-com short-lived relationship with Frankie, and telling her sister she needed to stop being a pushover and realize she could have the world at her feet, that moment when they were both dancing together was super sweet (though I couldn't delete last week's image from my mind, much as I tried).

In the bar Phoebe took some Molly and a lot of risks, but even though it could all be considered dumb, you can get where she's coming from, she has never been allowed to do anything in her life, and as much as her parents want to protect her and have mostly good intentions, just surviving
doesn't seem good enough for her (maybe anyone), so for once she decides to let go, and though it eventually led to her death, we could see throughout the night that she was okay with it, that one amazing night was worth it.

We go on to learn the true meaning of many little details we'd previously seen in Cora's memories, we learn the story about the pregnant woman walking into traffic and losing the child was something Maddie told Cora to frighten her, we'll later find out it was her own story, which was predictable once she told it, but still, it was one of the first moments we realized how everything was mixed together in Cora's mind.

When they were leaving the bar they wanted to take her home, but Phoebe didn't want to go and she told Cora to stop pretending to care for her since she probably wanted her to die anyway, which is a conversation she'd remember having with Maddie. The swamp is where Cora and Phoebe stopped to wash her, since she urinated herself, and there was an intense moment where we could see Cora clearly consider just leaving her sister to die in the cold, it was dark, and made even worse by Cora telling Phoebe she wouldn't let her ruin everything for her, this little details also add to Cora's guilt and the reason why she just deleted that night altogether.

It turns out Frankie was indeed at that party, he was apparently squatting at the club, for the time being, he was a med student who immediately took a liking to Phoebe, they connected as if they were meant to be and had the cutest moments together. They all seemed to have some sort of business relationship with Todd (though it might not be his real name), the creepiest guy ever and probably our fellow with the mask, and some connections at the club. While Phoebe and Frankie flirted, Cora went with JD downstairs where he introduced her to Todd and even seemed to be pimping her out, Maddie barged in trying to draw attention to herself, and it almost looked like she was saving Cora, but she was probably just mad that JD was replacing her (why I have no idea), JD got annoyed and kicked her out, seemingly for good (and if she turns out to be alive, she might be a key witness).

Cora freaked out a little bit and went upstairs, she lost it even more when she couldn't find Phoebe, but eventually, she got to the chalet where she and Frankie were dancing, and the fact that these two made for the perfect love story for a night makes it a lot more depressing. There was a very intense moment when Cora was practically begging Phoebe to leave with her, mostly to save herself from whatever JD had planned for her, but once again she couldn't make her own decisions and Phoebe convinced her to stay and even proposed everyone go downstairs. Knowing everything went awry from there makes it all that much harder to watch. They all start getting high, and partake in a whole group-sex thing, instigated by Phoebe herself. Cora was so high that it looked like she couldn't even distinguish if she was having sex with JD or Todd, and it was actually both. At one point she looked at the place where Phoebe was having sex with Frankie (which by the way is in perfect line with the whole voyeuristic thing they had going on) and saw him doing CPR on her (probably because her heart just stopped), but he went at it a little too hard and cracked her ribs (that sound, man, it was chilling). Cora finally reacted and went over there, trying to get Frankie off of Phoebe (hitting him in the famous spots, which is a detail we could've gone without, because: here's the reveal! and it still makes no sense).

In that moment, JD hits her over the head with an ashtray, and WTF is all I could think. It makes no sense he would do that, but he was kind of a psychopath so maybe he wasn't in shock like everyone else was. Once she's unconscious I think we can all see most of it play out in our heads, Frankie freaking out, JD and Teddy convincing him to sweep it under the rug, then Todd keeping her and using that creepy mask. So, it looks like Cora actually killed the best one in that room, which makes everything just a little bit worse. There are a few things that weren't answered that we might find out later, some more obvious than others. The place where Phoebe (because that's who's probably in the grave, DNA match and all that) is buried next to the school bus, where she felt like she couldn't move, probably means she was drugged and watched at least some of it go down. We can imagine it was Todd's people who provided JD with a lawyer and then killed him, so he's probably the "villain" that will be addressed by the finale. I also wonder about Maddie's fate, if she just run away and is still alive or if she was just collateral damage, and the's also the question of how they were able to cover it all up, nothing the parents said seem to point at Phoebe just vanishing out of the blue, nothing that caught my attention at least.

And there's also the matter of Cora's fate, yes she at least knows the truth now, but even if she's diagnosed with some form of PTSD she'll probably have to be committed to a psychiatric hospital at least. On one hand I hope the direction the show is going, is to her getting better eventually, but I can't help but think there's some shocking event they're saving for us, and I'm not sure if I'm just excited or a little worried about what that could be, but I can say for sure this show has been one hell of an experience.

How about you?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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