The Sinner Finally Gave Us A Major Clue About That Mysterious Wallpaper

Photo: Peter Kramer/USA Network.
Whether you’re a Sinner viewer or The Sinner’s actual protagonist Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel), you’re being haunted by a single pattern of wallpaper. You know what wallpaper I’m talking about. It’s blue and gold, with mysterious, almost Illuminati conspiracy theory-friendly designs. As Cora says of the decoration at one point, it’s like "the design on a dollar bill." Up until last night’s "Part V," all anyone’s truly known about the wallpaper is it’s all over the house that’s tied up in Cora’s traumatic, disjointed memories of July 4th weekend. It’s heavily implied the wallpaper is what Cora stared at while she was sexually assaulted on July 3, the night she blacked out and was later hunted. With "Part V" officially beginning the second half of The Sinner’s limited season, fans finally got some huge clues about what the wallpaper actually means, and where it comes from.
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Thanks to the information dug up by Cora’s hypnosis in "Part IV," Agent Ambrose (Bill Pullman) is able to track down a woman’s dead body in the woods. The "teen or young adult" corpse has been there so long — likely three to four years, and no more than 10 — it’s essentially just a skeleton at this point. The night of Cora’s blackout was about five years ago, which is well under the decade mark. While surveying the scene of the crime, Ambrose goes for a walk to figure how the body could have ended up in the woods. This is how the officer comes upon The Beverwyck, a ritzy country club sitting on 3,000 acres of forest preserve.
The Beverwyck seems to be the key to understanding what happened to Cora the night she blacked out, why she and Maddie (Danielle Burgess) were hunted that night, and how Cora ended up losing her memories for the two months following July 3. Why? Because the country club is absolutely plastered with the blue and gold wallpaper. Ambrose initially finds the wallpaper in one of the first floor rooms and obviously notices how it fits into Cora’s story of July 4th weekend.
The evidence pointing towards Cora’s night of horrors involving The Beverwyck increases towards the end of the episode, when Ambrose returns to investigate further. The detective walks through the Staff Only section of the country club and finds a wooden door and a set of stairs leading to the basement. While The Sinner is filled with flashes of both Cora and the missing, presumed dead, Maddie walking through similar settings, they don’t precisely match up because the wall treatments and lighting are different. Yet, the stairs do seem strikingly similar. It's possible either The Beverwyck has done some recent redecorating, or, we're looking at another set of stairs in the same country club.
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What does exactly harken back to Cora’s traumatic memories is what Ambrose finds in the basement. The extremely disturbing ski masks that keep popping up in Cora’s visions are hanging in a service closet. Of the three masks Ambrose stumbles upon, the center mask is a perfect match to one that appears in two of Cora's horrifying memories. The first time we see it is in "Part IV," where it flashes on the screen right before Cora's hallucination of her own shoe crushing Maddie's chest. It then appears in "Part V," during a memory of Cora's where she has a massive bandage around her head and is cowering underneath a bed. A person in scrubs and the mask crouches down to where Cora is, leaning over a knocked-over IV pole, and asks in the creepiest voice possible, “How did you get all the way down there?” Cora is terrified of the unidentifiable person. It’s hinted this bizarre confinement is how Cora spent her two missing months in 2012, as opposed to shooting up heroin, as she originally — and inexplicably — believed.
Another scene with Ambrose further pushes the idea that something suspicious and predatory is going on at The Beverwyck. The cop eventually tracks down the one person who has created waves around the country club: an employee named Cynthia Burrows (Elaine del Valle). Ambrose asks the women why she was fired, and she gives a chilling account of her own suspected sexual assault or rape, which is connected to the club.
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"I was working late. Some kind of fundraiser. Table of guys kept buying drinks. I had one. I blacked out. Like, totally out," Cynthia tells Ambrose. "Next day I woke up in a Walmart parking lot sitting in the passenger seat of my own car. I was totally naked. Anyway, they fired me the next week." It’s clear Cynthia, whose Beverwyck settlement stipulates she can never speak of the horrific incident again, only shares this information because the detective explains he’s looking into the murder of a young woman.
The other Sinner fact worth noting in all of this is that J.D. (Jacob Pitts), the seemingly villainous drug dealer Cora was with on July 4th weekend, has a lawyer far above his paygrade. As we see in "Part IV," J.D.’s lawyer usually defends "scumbag millionaires," which sounds like the exact would-be clientele of The Beverwyck, which didn’t even start admitting "Blacks" (as they say on the show) until the mid-1980s. This hints someone who could very easily be a member of The Beverwyck is protecting J.D. and footing his legal bills, because we all know a low-level criminal can’t afford a legal shark in a tailored suit.
So, to surmise, The Beverwyck, which is always locked and only accessible to members and crew, is a short walk from the place where a woman’s dead body was found and Cora was hunted. It also has the blue and gold wallpaper from Cora's memories, as well as the masks from her most chilling visions. One woman connected to the club was already sexually assaulted at an event, and one member might be spending stacks of cash to keep J.D. out of jail. Ladies and gentleman, I think we’ve found the mysterious "house" Cora keeps talking about.
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