The Sinner Season 1 Episode 4 Review: The School Bus

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Now we're really getting somewhere.

A lot of pieces were revealed on The Sinner Season 1 Episode 4 that will eventually add up to something.

Right now, it's horrifying.

Hidden Memories - The Sinner

It's not often I don't know what to say, but I don't know what to say short of recapping everything we discovered, and I've already done that.

It's almost as difficult to review this series as it is for Cora to recall events from her missing time.

It's fascinating, though, how many people are able to recall the weekend she went missing and how many people had brushes with Cora.

She's only just beginning to remember things, and from what we can tell, it's from one night.

What's going to happen when she begins remembering the two months that follow? There aren't that many episodes left in the series. Memory must be like a faucet. Once you turn it on and it begins running, they come flooding back.

JD's involvement wasn't a slip of the tongue by Cora when she originally spoke to Ambrose. In fact, he may have murdered his ex-girlfriend Maddie.

That chest crunching sound of the shoe on Maddie's chest is terrible, isn't it? At least that didn't kill her, as when Cora and Maddie were out in the woods being hunted later, she was complaining about her chest hurting. 

See? Ambrose isn't the only one who can put clues together to figure out timelines and such.

Interestingly, Ambrose thought Cora was metaphorically speaking about being stuck in mud, but I don't think so.

I have a feeling that memory will pan out to be something real, too. Whether she got stuck by accident or was put there as some sort of creepy punishment by whoever ultimately held her captive or was hunting her I have no idea.

I don't mind that we haven't had to see anymore of Cora's mother in her memories, but Cora didn't do herself any favors by living for her sister.

Living like she did was almost worse than being told by her mother her very breath was responsible for keeping Phoebe alive.

On the one hand, she seemed incapable of lying. On the other, she lied anyway. 

Cora: I had two orgasms.
Phoebe [squeals]: Tell me everything.

Why did she have to give the neighbor kid a blowjob in order to lie to her sister about having two orgasms? Will Phoebe ever know the difference? 

Cora must have known that it was worth risking your family for since her dad was sneaking out for sex every night.

Or maybe that's why she begged him not to go. She wasn't doing that because she loved her mother so much. She was trying to save the neighbor lady the humiliation of doing what she had just done with her son. Oh my.


Mason is working almost as hard as Ambrose to find evidence for Cora's trial. What I can't determine is what they hope to do with the evidence they find.

The circumstances of Cora's missing two months may mitigate whether or not she gets a life sentence, but women who are abused by their husbands for years and then kill them often go to prison for the rest of their lives.

What will two months of torture do for a woman who killed a man on a beach in front of hundreds of witnesses? 

It seems like they're going to a lot of trouble for what will amount to very little reward. 

Then again, this is fiction, and trials often end much differently than they do in the real world.

Regardless of how the story determines the outcome of her case, it's worth playing out. 

It's downright crazy what's being revealed. Scam artists, polyamory, girl hunts, busses in the woods, masked men, drugs...who knows what else is coming up?

We don't even know the extent to which Cora "lived" for Phoebe yet. She could have had a really messed up existence from those experiences alone. No wonder she wanted to get out of that house so fast!

What do you think of the latest? Did the extent of JD's involvement surprise you?

Do you have any theories about what was happening to Cora for the two months she was missing?

If you need to catch up with the earlier installments, you can watch The Sinner online to do so.

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Sinner Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

You screwed me in the photo lab and then you wouldn't look at me in public. So no, that wasn't fun.


Cora: I had two orgasms.
Phoebe [squeals]: Tell me everything.