In the fifth episode, flashbacks continue to delve deeper into Cora’s teenage years. She and her feeble sister Phoebe (Nadia Alexander) apparently had it so bad at home that Phoebe decided to pimp out her sister with older men from the Internet for extra cash in order to be able to escape. What was really going on in this house?
The suspense still mounts for that, but we have now demystified the design seen in Cora’s later flashbacks, the recurring one where we see Maddie beckoning her down a staircase. It’s the wallpaper from the Beverwyck Country Club, located outside the woods where Maddie’s remains were found, which also happens to be Ambrose’s next stop in his investigation. If Cora’s accounts are true, this is the scene of her most traumatizing flashback where we see her body intertwined with J.D.’s then someone stepping on her rib cage and cracking it. This could explain what J.D. and Maddie were planning for Cora, before Maddie ended up dead. Maybe.
We’re brought back once again to a teenage Cora on another Internet date with an older man. But this time she gets cold feet and turns away. The man gets aggressive and she tries to free herself from his grasp. But guess who saves the day? J.D., who happens to be lurking nearby and scares the man away. This is apparently the first time Cora meets him. She agrees to go to a random house party with him where she sees Maddie, pissed off in a corner because she’s with her man. Cora and J.D. go upstairs and hook up for the first time.
This unexpected turn of events ends with Cora coming home late to an inconsolable Phoebe who thought she was dead. And right on cue, their mother calls Cora a whore. Wait, did Phoebe rat Cora out to their mom (Enid Graham), when it was her idea in the first place for Cora to go on these dates? That’s shady AF, especially given the fact that their mom is cray-cray and already thinks Cora is a heathen.