The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4 Review: A New Kind of Man

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That's some fairly potent hypnosis Vera knows.

We finally got to see "the work" on The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4, and it consists of sucking the life out of someone, getting them incredibly emotional and hypnotizing them. Maybe.

Whatever Harry suffered at the hands of Vera might have included poison. He continues to put his trust in places where it isn't warranted, and Heather is following in his footsteps.

You'll Get Out - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4

The Sinner Season 2 continues to be quite unfocused. 

For a "whydunnit," there isn't much interaction with the supposed offender. Julian is almost an afterthought instead of a main character, and he's the one accused of murdering two people.

Instead, it seems as though the commune and its teachings are at the heart of the series, but nobody understands what it means to the case.

If Harry sees the teachings of Mosswood as a defense for Julian, he would also be putting Julian's mother on trial, as she's the one who engaged Julian in "the work" in the first place.

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But Vera is willingly working with Harry, so she must not see what he's attempting to do as harmful to her or the commune, OR she has a boatload of confidence in her ability to ensure whatever Harry learns there won't be used against either in the end.

As for Heather, she's more interested in finding Marin than anything to do with Julian at all. He just conveniently murdered two people so she could revisit the loss of her friend and lover.

And it all has to connect in the end in some satisfactory manner. For this installment, USA Network didn't even release any photo, so I had to scrape together screenshots from the trailer. That was a feat in itself since each scene flashed for a nanosecond.

I'm concerned.

In the Woods - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4

Wait! I forgot to note this also ties back to Harry's childhood as if there is not enough going on in the small town already. A small town with another small town nestled inside it with enough secrets for a major metropolitan area.

The crazies have been flocking to the area for centuries. One rock has, for reasons yet unknown, fascinated people there for as long as there have been people to fascinate. 

By building structures around it, those who reside on the land can make it even more mysterious and make claims about its powers (or lack thereof). 

Harry: Who's on the mantle?
Vera: The Beacon. He was the leader of Mosswood back when Mosswood had a leader. This was his cabin.
Harry: What time's he expected home?
Vera: He's gone now, but he did most of his writing and meditating right here in this room.

"The Work" that Vera does is snatched from another fellow who has been MIA since the '90s because his therapy got him into a spot of trouble. The odds are good he is still on the land somewhere, either with a second identity or dead and buried. 

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Meeting Carmen Bell at the mental institute also made me wonder if those at Mosswood aren't forbidden to procreate and if they do get pregnant forced to terminate. 

Vera: Julian is a new kind of man, at one with nature, fluid with all of the darkness and all of the light.
Harry: You're never going to show me what the work actually is, are ya?
Vera: You've already been doing it.

With the ease with which Vera hypnotized Harry, doing it to women whose hormones are in flux might be even easier. Would they be targeted for hysterectomies if they refused to go along with plans that Julian was to be the only child at Mosswood?

It's not a coincidence he's the only kid there. Don't communes and sex seem to go hand in hand, even if it's only with whoever leads the place? Something isn't quite right with this one.

Storage Opens - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4

So many of the nights we've seen Heather recall seemed like the night Marin joined the cult, and now we have confirmation of the night she took off. 

Several things happened that night, including whatever sent her to the sidewalk, followed by Heather's pass that the two had decided wouldn't continue, and then the discussion with Jack in the street, the whole truth of which I do not believe for one second was revealed.

Related: The Sinner Season 2 Episode 3 Review: A Lost Cause

The more Tracy Letts tries to play innocent, the less I believe his character to be that way. When was the last time he played a nice guy? Even his character on Divorce went down in flames. 

Jack is giving Heather just enough information to keep her satisfied, but there will be a reckoning that tears her little heart out by the end of the season.

After all, Harry wondered how many more people in town were like Dr. Poole. That was just asking for trouble.

Vera Does Her Thing - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 4

The connection between Julian and Harry will be what drives the end of the case. It is the one thing that Vera won't see coming. She'll think Julian tells her everything he says to Harry, but he'll withhold a lot, and that will be her downfall.

Her downfall of what? I don't know. Trying to make a young boy enlightened by his whole self at such a young age at the same time he has no peers or understanding of the world outside his cocoon isn't a good plan, though.

Vera didn't account for the fact Julian would at some point be outside of her grasp and need an understanding of how to control himself without her help. That's my thought. 

What's yours at this point? Do you have any theories? Did "the work" give you a better understanding of what's going on or only confuse you even more?

If you need a little more insight, you can watch The Sinner online, and then be sure to comment below!

Part Four Review

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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 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Harry: Are you playing games with me? Huh? Is that it?
Vera: Finally. There you are.

Vera: There's your cruel streak. I knew it was in there somewhere.
Harry: I do get cranky listening to analysis while we're wandering around in the woods.