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The Sinner - Part IV - Review: Sexual Tension

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"Most of us spend our lives trying to suppress the parts of ourselves we deem inappropriate. We spend our lives trying to detach from all that beautiful feeling. And it doesn’t work, does it?"

The investigation might be getting harder now that people are saying Ambrose has the habit of picking apart slam dunk cases. Their theory is that Dr. Sheldon Poole was devoted enough to Mosswood to kill himself instead of talking, but there's something that doesn't add up there, he wasn't really in a position that was that compromising, did he not trust himself to stay silent? did he think he wouldn't be able to fend them off? It sounds like there has to be something else going on there. The only lead they have with Poole’s files is a malpractice suit filed fifteen years ago by a patient who’s now at the Deacon Psychiatric Institute, where Ambrose’s mother was after the house burnt down.

The patient says she was sent to him by the people in Mosswood grove, that it was supposed to be a simple abortion but he took out her whole uterus, she says she went to the police and then weird things started happening, they started following her, going through her things and then she was deemed a danger to herself and institutionalized. She says many were chewed up and spat out by Mosswood, that they should look for Marin in the purple lake. At one point, Ambrose notices she has what look like burn marks on her feet which might be a clue to something we don't know yet. They show her a picture from Dr. Poole's journal and she has a very strange outburst so they have to take her away.

Later we learn the man in the photograph was Lionel Jeffries, a psychotherapist who focused on ritual and reenacting trauma, who used to run Mosswood and was called The Beacon. Ambrose goes to check out the deposition tape the patient mentioned but he learns someone else took it only a couple of days before. Julian calls Ambrose for help, he thinks Vera can’t really help him and she won’t even tell him how long he’ll be in jail so Ambrose tells him he’s looking at more than a couple dozen years and Julian hangs up, by the promo we can assume this will have an effect on Julian's behavior later.

In a flashback, we learn the night Marin joined Mosswood she and Heather had a fight, Marin was sick of Heather lying to herself and she told Heather’s father she couldn’t be her friend anymore, and then she showed him a labyrinth they drew on her wrist at Mosswood. After talking to her dad about it, Heather looks for the drawing online and finds Lionel Jeffries, who apparently had been accused of abusing patients. She also finds that "Escaping the Labyrinth", a book by him, had been ordered to an address in Niagara Falls which is apparently a storage unit in Julian’s name which is one of the most confounding things yet, it might mean there was an intent there, either by Julian himself or even Vera.

Ambrose is trying to get closer to Vera, she asks him to listen to a tape of a session with Bess where she talked about Julian, she says Bess couldn’t have kids and that's why she kidnapped him. Ambrose asks to listen in on a session but Vera says that’s confidential so he asks she gives him a session instead. She gives him a tour first, until he falls and she leaves him behind. After dark, he finally makes it to where she is but he's angry and in pain from his twisted ankle so he lashes out at her and she seems to be happy he’s finally losing control. He wants to leave but she says it’s too dark now and she takes care of his ankle, it looks like might be into her, which makes sense since he likes his women on the rough side.

Vera gives him green tea, saying it’s not Jimson Weed in a very creepy way and they talk for a while, she says most people try to deny the darkness in them but Julian is a new kind of man, at one with nature, fluid, with all of the darkness and all of the light. Ambrose asks about the work one last time and she says they’re already doing it, she asks about his mother and asks him what he feels: fear, anger... she says she's afraid too, that she can feel the sexual tension between them and then she asks him to reach beyond the anger, to what’s underneath. We see images of Ambrose’s trauma, we hear the sound of the metronome Vera used with Julian on the background, and then he wakes up in the motel room where Adam and Bess died. Which begs the questions: What the hell happened there? Did she hypnotize him? Things are getting very interesting and Carrie Coon and Bill Pullman are a pleasure to watch, can't wait to see what will happen next.

"What are you feeling right now?"

What did you think about this episode? What do you think will happen next? Let me know in the comments.

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