The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2 Review- Lies, Ouroboros, And Bad Romance
The push and pull that has been a hallmark of this drama/thriller hybrid continues with a tense The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2. If the last episode ended with a decidedly supernatural moan, this episode was all about the human component of this story. Someone knows what happened to Percy, and they aren’t talking. This island holds dark secrets that those who have watched the series from the beginning know Harry will expose. It’s only a matter of time before the past catches up with everyone.
The suspect of the week is CJ Lamb, who gives every appearance of being an innocent, if unsatisfied, college student. Unfortunately, the CJ we meet in The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2 is a shell of the person he was before his affair with Percy. Whatever darkness was chasing Percy is contagious and has tainted the once innocent boy. David Huynh(CJ) does an admirable job bouncing between the dutiful son, a wild-eyed boy in love, and a broken man just barely holding on. His affair with Percy changed him. It made him the kind of man that is as quick to throw a punch as he is to lie.
Through flashbacks, CJ and Percy’s affair is witnessed. It is a tragic, messy relationship built on quiet passion, desperation, and need. Through Percy, he begins taking drugs and, even scarier, is introduced to a sadomasochistic lifestyle. Percy needed to be hurt. Likely, she is punishing herself for something yet known.
His father initially gives him an alibi for the night of Percy’s disappearance, but that quickly proves to be false. The Lam’s are afraid for their son and have good reason to be. As one of the few non-White residents of the community, they are tolerated, but the Muldoons have all the power. There is no love lost between the Muldoons and the Lams as Colin Muldoon. Michael Mosely(CJ), who has been in everything from Longmire to Ozark, is a talented character actor. So far, he has small but memorable screen time. I predict Colin will be more involved as time goes on.
Someone wearing a black or navy hooded sweatshirt scared Percy on the night of her disappearance. Colin and one of his brothers wore a dark hoodie when they assaulted CJ later in The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2. It is a detail that clarifies the Muldoons are not the happy family they pretend to be. Maybe Colin is involved or at least is aware of what happened several years ago when Percy changed. Brandon says that night near Labor Day when she arrived drunk and broke it off marked a difference in her. What happened to her, or what did she find out that endangered her?
CJ eventually agrees to talk to Harry alone because the Muldoons have ears and eyes everywhere, and he can’t trust anyone but an outsider. His Dad lied about his whereabouts, and he did admit to seeing and hurting Percy on the night of her disappearance. The injury was an accident, though, and the only thing he is guilty of is becoming a drug addict obsessed with a girl. Curiously, this line of questioning, which seems like a dead-end, actually yields the most significant lead so far.
Either the Sherrif is feeding Meg Muldoon information, or she is lying about the last time she saw Percy. She slips up when she chastises Harry about letting CJ go. She may call the shots on her tiny island, but Harry is much savvier than anyone she has tried to manipulate before. He now knows she is lying about the last time and place she saw Percy because she knew about her head wound.
That injury took place two hours after the last time she says she saw Percy. Frances Fisher(Meg Muldoon) continues to impress as the cold as ice and tough as nails matriarch of this family. She lies and manipulates with ease, but she has always had a scared community to control. Now that Harry is present, she has lost some of her iron-clad control over the island, and it should be interesting to see how she responds to be questioned.
We know Meg lied about Percy leaving the island before. Why did she leave, and where did she go? Why did Meg keep that a secret, and what happened during that year? Most importantly, what drew Percy back to this island and her family? Did she leave before or after her affair with CJ? We know from one of CJ’s flashbacks in The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2 she wanted to leave and kept the small jade statue of CJ’s close to her. It was found in the collection of things Percy was looking at on the cliff. Percy was drawn to CJ’s innocence just as he was drawn to the darkness that swirled around her like fog. It sucked him down into the void, just as Harry worries his involvement in the investigation will drag Sonya into the darkness.
A powerful moment in The Sinner Season 4 Episode 2 between Harry and Sonya is full of subtext. Sonya is a grounding force for Harry and Jessica Hecht and Bill Pullman have incredible chemistry. As much as Percy is leading him into danger, Sonya is traveling with him to guide him out. She seems to understand him in a way that few ever have, and the parallel between their relationship and CJ and Percy is interesting. Harry thinks he uniquely understands Percy. Investigating again has restored some of the life in Harry, but it might just kill him too. Let’s hope the truth sets everyone free and doesn’t ruin everything he is fighting to save with Sonya. Find all our The Sinner coverage here.
What is the thing “so much bigger” Percy tells CJ about?
What secret was Percy keeping from CJ that would make him hate her? Did her family do something to the Lam’s, and Percy was drawn to him out of some sick need to atone?
Does she need to be hurt by CJ because she feels guilty about something she witnessed or participated in, or did something so vile happen to her she can only feel pleasure from pain?
The ancient lunar goddess Percy was researching had ties to the Ouroboros. The neverending snake is a symbol of rebirth and eternity. Percy told CJ early in their relationship that she was different and could see him now. She had a special tie with the concept of the perpetual cycle of creation and destruction. Why was she so taken with this idea?
Lastly, who was the woman at the dinner Harry and Sonya went to? She is clearly the woman he saw dancing with two other nudes near his house. She denies the event, but she looked right at him. Either too many sleepless nights are causing Harry to hallucinate, or this woman has a strange hobby. Does any of this fit into Percy’s disappearance? Is it possible this woman is hiding her nude midnight romp because she was helping Percy somehow and can’t risk the Muldoons finding out?
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.