As we begin Episode Five, the local news is buzzing all about the remains that were discovered in the woods one last week's The Sinner. After the CSI unit has had some time with the scene, Detectives Ambrose (Bill Pullman) and Leroy (Dohn Norwood) return to hear what they've discovered. They say it's a female teenager or young adult, been buried for about three to four years. She was wrapped in a blanket-possibly transported from somewhere else- that has some old blood stains. They are hoping to be able to pull DNA off of it.
Over at the prison, we are shown Cora (Jessica Biel) is watching the same news footage and she has quite the confused look on her face. This is an opportunity for "Cora Flashback Time!" Now Cora is a young adult but still living at home with her mother (Enid Graham) and sister, Phoebe (Nadia Alexander) who looks around 18. Even though it is still several years in the past, the wonderfully ageless face of Biel is able to now play this version of Cora as well, without it looking too unrealistic. When she enters their room Phoebe has a huge smile on her face and says, "I found it" which apparently is an apartment in Naples, Florida that they are trying to move into. Cora mentions to her how she just made another deposit and they are up to $3000 with Phoebe remarking on how they only need $1000 more to be ready. The chicks are finally trying to leave the nest away from the old buzzard.
Back to present day at the prison, the State Police are now involved, and we are introduced to Captain Ann Farmer (Joanna P. Adler) who has been assigned to the case in connection with the new body. Her and Ambrose come to talk to Cora and she decides to play "good cop" in the beginning by smiling politely and taking Cora's handcuffs off. But then you can see the inner law enforcement in her when she starts questioning Cora about the body they've discovered. When Cora says she didn't kill anybody, Farmer corrects her with "Else. You didn't kill anybody else." This lady is all business already.
As Farmer has a discussion with the detectives and the other members of the force she has obviously already made up her mind that Cora killed this woman in the woods as well. Ambrose argues that with Cora only being 115 pounds it's hard to believe she could drag a body all the way out there. He tells her how they have been investigating JD Lambert (Jacob Pitts) because women who know him tend to go missing. Ambrose continues that they think his ex-girlfriend Maddie went missing five years ago and they believe she is the woman in the woods. Ambrose is saying what we're all thinking already. Farmer goes along with what he's saying but doesn't really seem to be buying it. She asks for all the files on Cora and JD so she can "get up to speed", which translates to let-me-solve-this-myself.
Earlier during the flashback, we were shown Phoebe had set up a dating profile for Cora and arranging her next date with a man named Scott (Rob Yang). On the date, poor Scott is unaware how much he is boring Cora with his endless talk about his job. She indicates to him that he has some food in his teeth and he gets up to take care of it. This gives her the opportunity to steal money out his wallet. Guess this is how they have been making that $3000. This is one of those things where we know it's a TV show, but who leaves their wallet on the table?
Back again in present day, the CSI until tells Ambrose that they're packing up unless he needs anything else? He dismisses them, and starts wandering down a random foliage covered path where he accidentally steps on an old sign that says "Private Property." Well, we know that's just going to spark his interest. He follows the path for some time until he comes across a large, fenced in property with several people having lunch at tables outside. Upon entering and enquiring with the concierge, he discovers it is the Beverwyck Club that extends out for 3,000 acres and has been owned since the 1850's! It looks like your typical, well to do exclusive club for the rich and stuck up. Ambrose asks her for a list of all the members and staff that had access to the back roads over the last 10 years. The woman agrees to help which is amusing since he doesn't even have a warrant. As he wanders around the club on his own, he comes upon a room upstairs that has our favorite artsy black wallpaper. While he doesn't know exactly what it looks like, he is drawn to the familiarity of the design.
At the prison, Cora is having a meeting with her attorney and she is telling her the deal offered from the DA. If Cora gives a detailed confession to the second murder, she will be permitted to serve the two sentences concurrently, with early parole guaranteed at 20 years. If she rejects the offer - and if they do convict her of the second murder down the road - she'll have consecutive life sentences, with a chance of parole in 80 years. What wonderful circumstances to work with!
While she is thinking in her cell, she is asked to join a prayer circle by her fellow inmates. Reluctantly she does, and as one of them begins speaking some gospel this sends Cora into her subconscious and she starts seeing flashes from that crazy night again. We see the same images as before but then a new memory comes up. She's lying underneath a bed with an IV knocked down in front of her. A figure dressed in dress shoes and scrubs comes in and sees her down there-it's the masked man again. "What are you doing down there?" he asks. Then she comes back to reality again! This is so frustrating and awesome at the same time.
Meanwhile, Ambrose is visiting the house of a woman named Cynthia Burrows (Elaine del Valle) who had filed a wrongful termination suit against the Beverwyck Club. She tells him she's not allowed to talk about it because of the settlement. He convinces her by mentioning the woman's body that they had found behind the property of the club. Even though she is still very shaken by the experience, she explains working late at a fundraiser where a table of guys kept buying her more and more drinks. She had one, and she blacked out. Next day she woke up in a Walmart parking lot, naked in the passenger seat of her car. She was fired by the club the next week. With that said, she quickly scurries back in her home like a frightened mouse.
Lucky for Ambrose after that wonderful conversation he gets to meet his wife Faye (Kathryn Erbe) for a counseling session. Harry goes in there all smiles, thinking everything is going well but one look at Faye's face tells a different story. "I think it was a mistake for you to move back in," she says. "I've realized I don't want to do this anymore." She concludes with telling him he needs to move out. Harry is taken aback in complete shock. He had thought they were making progress. I wonder who he's going to be calling later.
Ambrose returns to the station with a look on his face like he just got slapped silly and Leroy asks him if he's okay. The fact that he can actually muster up the answer of 'Yeah, I'm good," is very commendable. And it's about to get even worse for him when the DA comes up to him and gives him grief for going into the Beverwyck Club. The clubs attorney is standing there with the DA and he also is the same guy who represents JD. I think we just found our way to connect the dots between the two!
Even though Ambrose told Farmer to not take any action against JD she decided to not listen to him. She has the police raid his house and arrests his girlfriend. The only problem is she claims all the drugs were hers so they still have nothing on him. Ambrose expresses his disapproval to Farmer and she dismisses that it was a weak lead anyway. He then brings up how he knows she has presented Cora with a deal and is trying to get her to confess to a crime they don't even know that she did. Farmer then gets on the offensive and tells Ambrose that his after-hours untranscribed meetings with Cora are not professional. She leaves him with the question,"You do that with all your defendants or just ones that look like Cora Tannetti?" Pullman does the perfect job of saying 'fuck you' to her with just the look on his face.
Later on, after a hard day, some people like to unwind with a cold beer or maybe read a book. Not our Detective Ambrose. He goes back to his domin-atress and properly gets his ass kicked. Well, different strokes for some.
Ambrose heads back to the police station and begins doing research on the Beverwyck Club. While he's there Cora calls him from prison and tells him that she's thinking of taking the deal they offered her. He tells her he's got some leads so for her just to "hang in there." This is where it gets a little weird for me. Cora asks him if he wants to talk and they proceed to chat on the phone until her phone card runs out of minutes. She talks about her sister Phoebe and he talks about being an only child and enjoying bird watching. I was never questioning his relationship with her until now. I know he's in a bad place because of his wife dumping him but this crosses all lines in the police handbook.
So where has Mason been in this episode? Well for one, he's trying to help his mom clean up the garbage on the front lawn all the reporters left from being there for days. His mom is angry because their relationship to Cora is causing them to lose business and their friends. They want to move away but Mason refuses. On that note, while his dad is leaving a canceled service call at one house, he is assaulted by JD. JD hits him twice with a baseball bat and then drives away. I guess he's bitter about his lady getting arrested?
Going back to another flashback, Phoebe has set Cora up on another date with a man named Kevin, who is willing to pay $1000 just to meet her (Anastasia). Even though doesn't like the look of his profile Phoebe convinces her because they're so close to leaving. Thank sis. We then see Cora in a very dark park meeting her next lonely man to steal from. When she sees Kevin is very large, she gets cold feet and retreats. Recognizing her, Kevin rushes up and grabs her arm which makes her scream and fights to get away from him. Out of the shadows, a young man comes out and yells at Kevin to walk away. As he leaves we see her "rescuer" is JD himself!
He asks her if she needs a ride and for reasons, I personally can't grasp she actually goes with him. He takes her to a house party and as they walk through we see the infamous Maddie (Danielle Burgess) is there and catches them go by. They sit out back by a bonfire for a while, and he tells her everything she wants to hear about how great she is and how she can do whatever she wants in life. While we all roll our eyes, it does make sense how he gets her to his bedroom and they end up having sex. As the scene ends we see Cora's phone light up and it's Phoebe trying to call her.
The next morning Cora returns home, and her sister Phoebe is in terrible shape as she is hysterical and hooked up to breathing hoses when Cora enters. "I thought you were dead," she screams. Her mother scolds her for what she has done to her sister and calls comments on her outfit by calling her a whore.
Cut to the perfect way to go back to the prison in present day and Farmer is there with Cora, trying to get her to confess by showing her pictures of the remains from the woods. Cora is crying as Farmer continues to dig and dig at her in an attempt to break her will. She tells her to think of her son Laine. "Don't you want to see him graduate from college?" Just when it seems Cora might finally give in Farmer calmly tells her, "Tell me what happened, and all of this will be over." She looks at Farmer, and with her face, a mess of pain and tears ever so slowly goes from uncertainty to courageous and simply says "Go to hell." Brilliant, Biel.
Ambrose thinking he's also an unstoppable force sneaks back into the Beverwyck Club and finding a door marked 'Staff Only' heads downstairs. He comes upon a room where he sees a collection of masks and we recognize the one from Cora's memories. BUT then he's discovered and gets kicked out.
Back at the station Farmer tells Ambrose she doesn't even need a confession out of Cora anyway. The DNA results have come back from the blood on the blanket and it's a match for Cora. Her small, sly smile of satisfaction makes me just want JD to take the baseball bat to her next!
Finally, as Mason sees his father lying in the hospital we can see he's stewing in rage. He kisses his mother on the forehead and then takes off. We next see him going through the woods and walking up to JD's house. But he's not coming to buy drugs this time. He's got a gun and I think we all know what he's planning on doing with it. Do you think Mason actually will go through with shooting JD when The Sinner returns next week on USA?!