The Sinner, USA Network, Episode 2

(Courtesy of Peter Kramer/USA Network)

After the highly anticipated pilot, USA Network continues the momentum with Episode 2 of their gripping crime drama, The Sinner, starring Jessica Biel. In the limited miniseries event, audiences are introduced to a murder mystery that doesn’t ask the “who” or the “what” — but the “why.”

Just when Cora Tannetti (Biel) is about to plead guilty, detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) makes a call to the judge. Harry believes there may be more to the murder of Frankie Belmont (Eric Todd). He convinces the judge to give him more time as she orders Cora to complete a 730 test.

Time is ticking as Harry has to prove Cora is competent to stand trial. Harry learns from Frankie’s girlfriend in mourning, Maddie (Meredith Holzman), that he once mentioned an affair that almost ruined him. There was an incident that happened five years ago.

Life seems to be falling part for Cora’s husband, Mason Tannetti (Christopher Abbott). Because of the high-profile case, Mason has problems getting jobs at his small town. He starts to wonder about their relationship as he remembers their first date. Cora had intimacy problems with her husband during their first night of lovemaking.

During his interrogation, Cora confesses to Harry that she once met Frankie, who called himself J.D., five years. After a night out together, which involved drugs and an orgy, Cora ended up pregnant because of Frankie. She was then hit by a truck and lost the baby. 

Even though he has a confession, Harry starts to unravel the lies. The bartender recognizes Cora but that wasn’t Frankie that night; he was blonde. Harry learns another big revelation from the grieving parents; Frankie had left to California five years go.

At the prison, Cora is having problems with the other inmates. In her childhood flashbacks, Cora remembers her mother praying for her sick sister. The mother blames Cora’s lack of faith as the reason behind her sister’s turn for the worse. Cora hides under the covers as her father enters her bedroom and shuts the door. 

Harry attempts to fix his broken marriage and solve the case. During the second interrogation, Harry confronts Cora for lying to him;her parents are still alive. After playing “Hugging and Kissing” by  Big Black Delta on his cell, Cora snaps and beats the crap out of Harry.

After hearing details about Cora’s confession, Mason takes it upon himself to find out who J.D. is. In the bedroom, Harry undresses and looks at the bruises on his chest. He discovers a shocking pattern between his wounds and Frankie’s stabbing.

Cora punched him seven times just as she repeatedly stabbed Frankie seven times.

The Sinner airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA Network.

– By Jorge Solis