The Sinner Season 3 series review: A solid and gritty new season that outdoes old ones
Jamie, the third season of The Sinner, is about a high school teacher, who is on the verge of turning into a dangerous person to society, and only detective Harry Ambrose can stop him
It is said that The Sinner was initially conceived as a close-ended series based on German writer Petra Hammesfahr's book of the same name. However, the complexity of Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) has made the creators explore more with series, and rightly so. The third season, titled Jamie is about a high school teacher Jamie Burns (Matt Bomer), and I am tempted to say that it is the best of the three seasons of The Sinner.
Developed by Derek Simonds
Cast: Bill Pullman, Matt Bomer, Jessica Hecht
This high school history teacher from Dorchester, a New York suburb, is charming, sleek, and one of his students says that almost all the girls in the school have a crush on him. He is married to an African-American woman, Leela, and they are expecting their first child in weeks. But everything is not as rosy as it seems with Jamie. He is tempted to burn his hand on the searing barbecue grill as he cooks a romantic dinner for his wife. Even the very first scene of the series has him vaping cannabis in the school restroom.
We feel the dam is ready to break and it does when his friend, Nick Haas (Chris Messina) makes a surprise visit to his house. Later that night, Nick and Jamie meet with a car accident which turns fatal for the former, while the school teacher escapes with minor injuries. It doesn't take a lot for our detective Ambrose to prove that it was not an accident but a crime. From then on The Sinner season 3 dives into the dark world of Jamie and Nick. However, by the end of the season it becomes apparent that the world of Ambrose is much darker.
One of the interesting aspects of The Sinner series is it's more of the 'why' than the 'how' and 'who' of the crime. In the season 3, there is also suspense of 'what' has happened, and that makes this a bit more fresh than the other two seasons.
Season 3 kept reminding me of the British series, The Fall, and I mean that in a good way. Both series have a family man from a suburb, whose acts are driven by ideologies. Both keep manipulating an underage girl, they talk about Nietzsche and think they are above everyone else. But the more eerie similarity between The Sinner and The Fall is the way the two series show how their killers are similar to their detectives. A character in The Sinner notes that Ambrose and Jamie even look similar. This constant meddling with morality and constructs of good and bad makes the show dense.
The third season also works brilliantly because of Bill Pullman and the amazing new cast. Matt Bomer, with his ever-dilated pupils, sells the complexity of Jamie effortlessly; he just makes it look so easy. Even the casting of characters like Sonya Barzel (Jessica Hecht) and Nick Hauss (Chris Messina) is done with much deliberation and the pay off is huge.
But, of course, Bill Pullman steals the show yet again with his hesitant and wavering look. With every new season, the writers have made his character darker and it looks like he is a bottomless pit of despair and guilt. The last scene of the series is outright heartbreaking as Ambrose finally reveals his vulnerable side, and it is heartening to see that the detective finally has Sonya's shoulder to lean on. The series has been renewed for a fourth season and it makes us wonder if Ambrose will find solace in Sonya's shoulder for a bit more. With this guy, you never know.
(The Sinner is streaming on Netflix)