So—just who is Vera Walker? And why did her young son, Julian, murder his adult companions at the Rockford Lodge Motel? Last night’s episode of The Sinner brought us a bit closer to uncovering the (seemingly) sinister secrets of Julian, Vera, and their controversial commune outside Keller, Mosswood Grove.
Now with Vera, Julian rescinds his confession, butts heads with Harry
We know from the start that something is fishy with Vera and her son, Julian, and Heather quickly puts together that they’re from a commune called Mosswood Grove. In disbelief that Julian could commit such a crime, Vera insists on sitting with him during his next meeting with Heather and Harry, and Julian rescinds his confession, saying he doesn’t remember making Adam and Bess tea. Later, Harry tries to get to know the boy better and comes up against a wall.
Vera runs into trouble with the court while trying to get custody of Julian back
She may have a birth certificate for Julian, but Vera learns while trying to get custody of her son back from foster care that she’ll need to prove documentation of his education and home. The judge serves it to her straight: “I know where you’re from and I know what your son is accused of. And frankly, I have more confidence in foster care right now than I have in you. Come back when you’re prepared.”
Harry believes Julian is hiding trauma in his past.
In speaking with Julian further, Harry learns of ongoing nightmares Julian has where a hooded figure comes into his room at night while he’s physically paralyzed and presses it’s hand down on his stomach -- “inside me.” Speaking with Chief Tom Liddell, Harry uses this potential trauma as a means of getting into the compound to search.
Vera has a warning for Harry
We can’t say that Vera’s been very good at cooperating with the law and she goes so far as to call Harry the night before his visit to the compound to confront him about his meetings with Julian. She assures him, “Trust me, detective, I know where the monster is.” What’s she hiding? What’s she so scared of?
Harry and Heather spot holes in Vera’s cover-up
In their investigation, Heather and Harry suspect that Adam and Bess weren’t going to Niagara Falls, but instead abducted Julian -- and Vera knew about it before first contacting the police. Heather also uses her time on-site to search for signs of her old girlfriend who joined Mosswood, Marin, but to no avail. The episode’s final moments reveal more possibly sinister cover-ups on the Mosswood compound when Vera speaks of “the work,” and Heather finds a giant stone alter covered in blood.