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The Sinner - Part II - Review: Shadows



"My son is so far beyond anything you can understand, you have no idea."


Vera Walker talks to Ambrose and Novack and she “explains” a lot of what we’ve been wondering though we know nothing is that simple here. She says Adam and Bess lived on her property and they took care of Julian from time to time, that they forgot his bag and they were going to pick up a few things for him along the way. She also says they live in Osborn Road which gets Heather's attention, later she tells Ambrose it's a commune called Mosswood Grove, that it used to be a retreat center that went out of business in the '90s but then this group bought it and tried to turn it into some kind of utopian community, kinda like a cult.

When Julian sees Vera, at first he looks like someone’s who’s repenting of his sins, maybe a little scared, but then he cries in her arms and she mumbles something into his ear. Later he changes his story and she asks to take him home but they say it's won't be so easy. She tells Julian to remember who he is and then she goes to talk to Ambrose and Novack. She mentions every possible motive for Julian to have done it, but instead of saying Ambrose is wrong, she says something that almost makes it sound like he’s some sort of messiah.

When they tell the chief what they've learned, he says it makes sense that “those weirdos would turn out a kid like that”. Ambrose wants to see the place and tries to convince Lidell that with young kids the crime usually starts with the parents, and since the mother is not cooperative, they have to go check out the kid’s living situation. But Lidell says they should just charge him since last time they went there it didn’t turn out so well, which definitely peaks Ambrose’s interest and ours.

After that, Heather’s dad gives him a short history of Mosswood Grove, he says people who have joined them are never heard of again, like a friend of Heather’s that might have been more than that, and that one kid had ended up there one day and killed himself the next, definitely creepy. Heather says some people beat a few members up for it, and then they retaliated, she says it in a way that implies it was messy. Later, we see a flashback of Heather and her friend, Marin, the day they snuck into the commune and shared a ritual with them. Marin was seduced by it all that day, which probably means Heather feels guilty since it was her idea to check it out.

Vera needs proof of guardianship to be able to get Julian back, but she clearly has very little on the system, the judge requires documentation of his homeschooling records, which she clearly doesn’t have, and she says they can talk when she has them. Vera tries an emotional appeal but the judge is not moved, she says given where she lives and what her son is accused of, she has more trust in the system than in her.

In the meantime Ambrose takes advantage of Julian's distance from Vera to talk to him, trying to get a feel for how life inside the commune is, he says his mother can read minds and told him all about Harry, creepy. After that he shuts down, so Harry tries a different approach, he offers to reverse the roles and answer his questions. He tells him what happened with his mother, that she didn’t die in the fire but he had to live in foster care and he says he cares about what happens to Julian, like maybe he identifies with him. With that, Julian relaxes a little and opens up about his nightmares with the hooded figure.

To Ambrose, this might mean some sort of abuse, and with the information that one of the people in Moswood is Danny Spalding, who's a sex offender, he goes to Lindell, saying they can’t know the real motive for Julian's actions if they can’t go there. It also looks like the facts of the case are already out and been investigated by the press, so he uses that to his advantage as well to convince the chief to be sure they follow all the leads, at least for appearances. Later, Vera calls Ambrose saying she knows he's been talking to Julian without her and she’ll file a complaint to the court and for some reason, Harry seems excited about this, maybe he's intrigued by her.

When they go to Mosswood, they realize Vera is actually in charge, even though she says they don’t resort to hierarchies, later she also explains that the work they do is shining a light on their shadow selves. He asks if she's not worried about Spalding living with Julian but she says anyone who abides by their rules can stay, no questions asked. He starts realizing a lot of things don't add up, like the fact that Adam and Bess seemed to have made preparations before leaving, maybe they weren't coming back.

Novack makes a discovery as well when she recognizes a guy that had been at the motel the day after the murders, which at the very least means Vera knew a lot more than she let on before she went to the police station. Heather then takes a detour and goes to check out the barn where there’s a giant blood-stained rock. The theory that seems to be forming right now is that perhaps Adam and Bess were escaping and taking the only kid with them, perhaps thinking they were saving him. Maybe Julian didn’t want to escape and was punishing them for leaving and taking him, maybe it was something else altogether. In any case, this is very creepy and I can't wait for more.

"I know where the monster is."


What did you think about this episode? What are your theories about this one? Let me know in the comments.

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