Picking up exactly where we left off last week on The Sinner when Mason (Christopher Abbott) was walking up to JD's house (Jacob Pitts) armed with a pistol. He decided to go there to get revenge after JD had assaulted his father. The ironic thing happens as Mason sees two men coming out of the house so he quickly hides on the side. After they leave he walks inside to surprisingly discover his work has already been done for him. JD is lying face down in a pool of his own blood-dead. As Mason looks around (probably trying to decide what to do next) he hears the baby crying in another part of the house. He digs out the phone from JD's pants pocket, calls 911, and alerts them to the murder. After leaving the scene, he walks to a lake where we're shown in a flashback he used to go there with Cora (Jessica Biel). When he's done daydreaming of the happier time in his life, he throws his gun in the lake. Considering he didn't actually use it maybe he gets rid of it because he feels guilty for wanting to kill JD?
On a way less sweet note we then find our Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) in a hotel having his wild sex escapades with his "dominatress" Sharon (Meredith Holzman). He asks her to choke him harder which causes Harry to pass out. After Sharon wakes him up she is upset with him for wanting to push their actions so far. She gets up, puts her clothes on, and tells Harry that he could actually talk to her about what's wrong with him. When he just stares blankly back at her she is offended by his silence and tells him that she's "doesn't want to do this anymore." Harry is one damaged soul, which sure makes it difficult for him with the ladies.
At the prison, Cora is having a meeting with her lawyer who is telling her about how the coroner matched her DNA to the blanket they found on the remains in the woods. She urges her to take the DA's offer but Cora doesn't want to admit to a crime she doesn't even remember happening. She asks to speak with Detective Ambrose and when her lawyer questions his motives Cora replies with "at least he's doing something." BURN! Take that lawyer lady.
Meanwhile, at the police station, a security camera picked up Mason near JD's house so now Detective Farmer (Joanna Adler) thinks he had something to do with his murder. Ambrose tells her that it doesn't add up why he would bother to kill him since JD's relationship with Cora was before she got married. When she makes a snarky comment that maybe his math is better than hers, he runs her through all the dates and events that have led them to this point insinuating about how the Beverwyck hotel is somehow behind this. Farmer is not phased by his grandstanding at all, in fact, she turns it around on Ambrose and enlightens him on how none of this information gives them the answer on why Cora killed Frankie Belmont. I have no love for Farmer as a character but I do give her credit for being focused on her job and never letting anything but the facts dictate her actions.
In our first flashback of this episode, we are in the girls' bedroom as Cora is getting ready to meet up with JD who apparently she has been dating for some time. Her sister Phoebe (Nadia Alexander) is questioning her on if Cora even wants to still move to Florida since she hasn't even been running their scam lately. Cora reassures her she does, it's just that she's been busy. Phoebe comments how she's just busy with JD's penis. She knows what's happening but since Cora is her only way out she is just forced to hope for the best.
Still staying in the past we then find Cora over at JD's house as he is playing with her sexually, demonstrating the control he already has over her. Suddenly Maddie (Danielle Burgess) opens the door and says she is looking for her shoes. Cora is embarrassed while JD is not even slightly rattled. He tells Maddie to sit down and tells her that jealousy is keeping her from her potential. Potential for what there, JD? You pimping the girls out? He then makes the comment how Maddie had said they were ALL in this together. I'm not totally sure what he's referring to, but these examples have definitely shown where Maddie's dislike for Cora comes from.
Back in the present Mason is being interviewed by Farmer about finding JD's body earlier. When he tells her that he was going over there because JD had attacked his father Farmer accuses him of going over for revenge. Mason quickly dismisses that and tells her that he was just planning on talking to him. When she asks him if he was armed, he answers with a 'yes.' I don't understand why he said that I really don't.
Next, we head over to Harry Ambrose's old house where he is fertilizing his dogwood plants. That's right, I said 'old' house since his wife Faye (Kathryn Erbe) asked him to move out in the last episode. She tells him he can't just come over when he wants but he argues that no one is taking care of the plants so he needs to. She tells him he needs to leave right away and with that Harry's anger fully surfaces and he explains to her that she just can't decide when they are over, especially since he's been trying so hard for them. She looks at him with a cold stare and just replies "For the first time, I do." She goes back into the house and Harry is left there in the rain having just been kicked in the teeth now by both of the women in his life.
Mason decides to make a visit to the prison to tell Cora that he found JD dead. He tells her that he thinks he went over there because he feels so helpless that he just wanted to do something to fix things. Cora apologizes for all the lying she had done but he confesses that he had felt something was wrong with their relationship for some time, so not to just blame just herself. But now he's at a loss and doesn't know what else to do. The dedication that Mason still feels for Cora is another reason why you have sympathy for hoping somehow they can get back together again.
After Mason leaves Cora calls Ambrose and tells him that she needs to go back to the Beverwyck Club. That somehow, maybe if she is actually there in the building she'll remember something. He tells her he doesn't think he can make it happen but she reminds him how he's believed in her this whole time and not to give up now.
Back to flashback city where we find Cora at JD's house and he catches her texting her sister because she's in bad shape in the hospital. She apologizes to JD for being so distracted and he tells her that if Phoebe really cared about her that she would "let her go" and let her live her life. He continues to tell Cora that she will never be her own person until she can separate herself from her sister. So he suggests that upcoming weekend when she leaves her house to never go back and instead to come live with him. Now we know things didn't end up going well with this plan, so my main question I have is what his end game was when he told her this.
Ambrose approaches Farmer with the idea to take Cora out to the Beverwyck Club, which she doesn't seem too impressed with so he is told as long as he can convince the Judge it is approved. The thing is the Judge initially does not agree with Ambrose on his idea but, when he brings up some old dirt he has on her she considers him calling in a favor and grants him his request.
They grant Ambrose only two hours to take Cora to the club and back which according to the travel time only gives them thirty minutes to walk the grounds. They arrive and immediately when they pull up to the building Cora knows she has been there before. They briefly wander around inside before Ambrose takes her to the basement he had been in previously. Now not only did they take the masks down off the wall, but as the viewer, we know that this is not the right room because we haven't seen it in any of her memories. Cora looks around the room but predictably she gets no sense of ever being there so with their time up they need to begin driving back.
While they do that, we head back to her memories for another flashback to Cora coming home from JD's and her sister is now back from the hospital. Phoebe is upset and crying because she knows that Cora is going to leave her and she tells her as such. So she gets in bed with her sister in an effort to comfort her and tells her that's not going to happen (liar). Now here is where the show gets WEIRD. Phoebe asks her sister to tell her what JD does to her when they are together. When Cora is vague and just tells her about touching each other in the "usual places," Phoebe gets frustrated and asks what it's like when JD kisses her. So the two sisters kiss gently but after that, it's still not enough and Phoebe wants to know where JD touches her. So Cora proceeds to caress her sister's breast and then works her hand down to in between her legs. Look, I get that Phoebe has never been touched in her entire life, but the fact that it's her SISTER is just a realm of strange that's hard to watch. I do give it to both of the actresses to have the courage to do this scene for the sake of the story.
Returning again to the present Cora asks Ambrose to stop by her old house for a minute. She gets out of the car and walks up the steps holding the hand rail and something jolts her memories of when she lived there all those years ago. This gives her the idea that she needs to try again at the club because she must've missed something. Ambrose protests saying that they are already running late be she tells him she can't go back there without anything.
So being the understanding Detective he is they head back to the Beverwyck again. As they enter Ambrose gets a phone call that he must take so he lets Cora go in on her own. When he gets done with the phone call he goes inside, but can't find her. The concierge tells him that she went to the library and when he goes there the door to the outside is open. When he goes out the door all he sees is the lavish green lawn, but no sign of her. Did she run? She couldn't get far if she did. Ambrose calls out for her as he walks all the way to the base of the property. He comes across another smaller cottage made entirely of rock and he sees Cora standing inside just staring at a wall. When he goes inside she tells him "it happened here," as we see the wall in front of her with the two lamps. The one that has been seen frequently in her visions in this USA Network series. But is she going to remember what happened to her? Are we finally going to get the full story on that night after she left the Taproom on The Sinner?!