3 theories about USA’s ‘The Sinner’


Photo Credit: The Sinner/USA Image Acquired from NBC Media Village

‘The Sinner’ debuted August 2 starring Jessica Biel asking the question “why” rather than “who.”

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The first episode of The Sinner didn’t waste any time getting to the crime. Cora (Biel) is spending a day at the beach with her husband, Mason (Christopher Abbott) and infant son. All seems normal until she impulsively stabs a man repeatedly in front of several eyewitnesses. For this crime story, the “who” and “how” have already been detailed. It’s the “why” that will carry out for the remaining episodes.

We got a few flashbacks to work with to start piecing together clues and theories about what motivated Cora’s bloody act. It’s too early on to tell exactly where this story is going, but here are three theories that initially came to mind as to why Cora stabbed a man she didn’t know.

#1: She’s been traumatized by abuse, possibly by her mom.

In a flashback, she’s shown as a young girl saying her prayers with her dad. She says she doesn’t want her mom to come home. And while, she doesn’t look scared or worried necessarily, it made me think of the opening scene of a woman beckoning to her. Even if her mother didn’t directly abuse her, she may have introduced her to people who did.

#2: She’s hallucinating/having a nightmare.

It’s mentioned that Cora occasionally takes sleeping pills. And, in a scene before being intimate with her husband, he talks to her about if she’s “feeling better.” When they are in bed, her face looks strained and uncomfortable. Is she recovering from something psychologically? Maybe the story that’s unfolding is actually part of her subconscious mind coming to life in a hallucination, while she’s being monitored in a hospital.

THE SINNER — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: Jessica Biel as Cora — (Photo by: Brownie Harris/USA Network)

Next: The Sinner, episode 1 recap

#3: The man she stabbed isn’t a stranger.

One key detail from one of the eyewitnesses was that the man who was stabbed grabbed Cora by the elbow as it was happening. But then, looked at her face and seemingly loosened his grip. Was it a look of recognition? Had this man victimized Cora in the past?

All three of these are loose theories based on hunches of what could be happening. It’ll definitely be tense in the weeks to come, with what I’m hoping are plenty of jaw-dropping moments of suspense and surprises.

The Sinner airs Wednesday nights on the USA Network.