Somehow, someway, The Sinner finale on USA Wednesday night did an exceptional job of trying up the majority of the loose ends that were dangling around out there. Not only do we know the truth now about what happened to Cora, but it actually makes a certain degree of sense.
While J.D. remains the true villain at the heart of this story, the Man in the Mask was very much involved and was … Dr. Patrick Belmont. Frankie’s own father, a man who was very much intent on helping to care for him, was responsible for the injections and for speaking to Cora in her altered state. We said previously at CarterMatt that the mask could’ve just been a red herring after the fake-out last week, but rest assured that we’re very much pleased this isn’t the case and there was a larger meaning here than we first realized.
Patrick’s motives also made some sense. For one, he was trying to protect his son after Phoebe accidentally tied while having intercourse with him after the two celebrated and shared a fun night together. J.D. had some dirt on Patrick in the form of his drug trade and his involvement, and was able to basically blackmailing him into keeping what happened a secret and working to bury Phoebe’s body in the woods. However, he couldn’t bring himself to kill Cora, so he brought her back to the and rehabilitated her back to health. When she woke up and saw the injection marks, the assumption to make there was that she was a heroin addict. That wasn’t the case. Everything makes sense, and what we like about the reveals were how so many of them were a complete misdirect. While there was something terrible that happened on this show, the central death was the result of an accident; meanwhile, the cover-up wasn’t some weird cult or terrible religious practice as we’d suggested previously. Instead, it was Dr. Belmont trying to make up for his sins. He is the sinner just as much as Cora ever was in the eyes of her parents.
After the truth started to come out Cora’s mother returned in the present, which did offer up the two parties some nice closure while Cora started to see her fate turned around. After first being sentenced to a 30-year minimum sentence, the truth about Frankie’s father led to the charge being dropped down to manslaughter. Her time in jail is done, and she can now receive treatment at a psychiatric facility and be eligible for release in a couple of years. She now has a future again, and it’s in a place she belongs.
While The Night Of and True Detective, two similar crime series, chose to wrap things up with ambiguous endings, we’re very pleased The Sinner finale did not. In the closing minutes tonight we saw Ambrose find his peace, Cora start to understand what happened, and for justice to actually prevail for a change. While there were a few dangling threads (Mason was a little under-developed, and there could’ve been more done with J.D.’s eventual death), The Sinner still delivered a heck of a great mystery that was revolved with a heck of a human ending. This was a story about death and drama, but also about redemption. Hopefully, Cora can now find it and have the shot at a life that she’s always deserved, but so rarely ever hand.
Our overall take
A brilliant end to a by-and-large brilliant limited series.
Could there be a second season of The Sinner?
If you missed it, head over to the link here to see what Jessica Biel had to say on that subject recently. (Photo: USA.)