'The Sinner' Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Ambrose suspects Jamie and it's validated by latter's death obsession
We know the victim, and we know the most likely suspects right at the beginning, yet it is the twists and the turns in the story showcasing why the murder was carried out that keeps us hooked to the somewhat anthology series
Spoiler alert for 'The Sinner' Season 3 Episode 2
As we enter the second episode of 'The Sinner' Season 3, we see detective Harry Ambrose's (Bill Pullman) suspicion over the otherwise seemingly normal high school teacher, Jamie Burns (Matt Bomer), escalates to a whole other level. We know Jamie is in the wrong for something, but to give it away so blatantly in just the second episode is not something one would expect a murder mystery to go ahead with, but such is the charm of 'The Sinner'.
We know the victim, and we know the most likely suspects right at the beginning, yet it is the twists and the turns in the story showcasing why the murder was carried out that keeps us hooked to the somewhat anthology series.
As of now, we know Jamie's college buddy Nick (Chris Messina) had mysteriously died in a car crash, right after ambushing Jamie at his home which he shares with his heavily pregnant wife, Leela. What we are about to navigate why Jamie let this 'friend' who randomly showed up after 18 years of no contact die by not alerting 911.
And to add to all this suspense, Jamie is seen not only playing a song on the crashed car's stereo but also recalls the incident at odd moments, such as bathing, while Ambrose is trying to figure out if Jamie had actually met Nick before the accident or not. The biggest key? Sonya Barzel, the painter on whose property the crash happened, informs Ambrose that Jamie had recently visited her property.
Upon being interrogated, Jamie reveals his little visit was to just apologize to Sonya, but later, he recalls the meeting with Nick recently in the past. Vic's investigation reveals that Jamie had stayed at a hotel in Manhattan, and Ambrose's visit to the hotel reveals that nick had attacked Jamie over dinner, which is recorded in a CCTV footage.
Flashbacks running parallelly, however, reveal that as an answer to Nick's question about why Jamie invited him, the latter had replied "I don’t feel anything anymore", something Jamie recalls while having dinner with Leela, her brother and the husband of Leela’s brother, ending with a fainting episode during the recollection.
Flashbacks recur a lot in the episode and one occurs to Jamie when he's in the hospital after fainting and decides to help an old man grab a glass of water. The scene with Nick and Jamie dining is resumed and everything culminates to a fit of rage from Nick before he places a knife in Jamie's hand and pierces it, revealing the wound in on Nick's hand that we have previously seen.
The fact that Jamie thinks of this scene while having sex with Leela, and ends up crying afterward only stresses the speculated psychological control that Nick has on Jamie. Even the CCTV footage that Ambrose retrieved from the Manhattan hotel show Jamie climbing atop a ledge and clearly, without unnecessary influence or manipulation.
Meanwhile, Sonya discovers a grave-sized hole on her property, with a shovel hoisted next to the hole and a coat hanging on it. The coat pocket also has a chip-chop paper game in its pocket, the same kind Ambrose had found back in Nick’s hotel room in the last episode. When confronted, Jamie tells Ambrose to stop visiting him unless there's an official warrant, along with denying having dug the hole.
And right when one might think that this whole progression is just to put up a facade of Jamie as the murder suspect, the man hoes back to the hospital to meet the old, dying man and suddenly, we see Nick tampering with the monitory device in the room before Jamie suddenly begins choking him.
Could Nick be Jamie's current subconscious? Was the knife injury a blood pact to connect each other out of some desperate need for attachment as Jamie was getting over his feelings? The old man manages to push Jamie off before he can kill him, and Jamie snaps out of his hallucination to run out of the room. But that doesn't stop us from deducing that something is seriously wrong with this man who is always there whenever a murder is about to happen.
Could it be his strange obsession with death? The whole almost-burn-his-palm-on-the-barbeque-grill thing might assert that deduction, but with 'The Sinner' one never really knows!
'The Sinner' Season 3 airs on Thursdays at 9 pm on USA Network.