'The Sinner' Season 3 Episode 2 reveals how Nick's appearance unlocks all of Jamie's secret desires
The season unravels the relationship between the two men who reconnect after almost two decades.
Season 3 of 'The Sinner' follows the same format as its preceding seasons. We see police detective Harry Ambrose, who has moved to Dorchester, get called to a site of an accident in the middle of the night. Just before this, we see Dorchester resident and professor Jamie Burns' dinner plans with his wife get interrupted by a man from his past --- Nick Haas, and he tries to do his best to make the best of the situation. There is a tension between the two, something about an incident that occurred in the past, but we directly cut to the accident that has resulted in Nick's death, with Jamie being brought in for questioning as a witness.
The theme of the previous two seasons -- "There's more to this than meets the eye" -- continues with season 3. From the moment we see Nick's dead body at the site of the accident, everything about Jamie's life and his psyche begins to unravel. Jamie seems like a lovely professor who paid extra attention to his students. Then we see his character getting sketched layer by layer - with the relationship with his very pregnant wife Leela Burns and his friendship with Nick adding the details.
For instance, there is a creepy look in his eye when he speaks to one of his students, but it disappears in an instant. There is also a scene where he thinks about burning his hand by placing it on a hot grill, but that thought passes. Then we see him not paying attention to his wife while having a conversation, which hints at him being unhappy, and to wrap it up, he gets super anxious when he finds Nick at his door, uninvited.
Harry, who is investigating the accident, has a nagging feeling after he takes down Jamie's witness statement. He understands that there is more to the accident than meets the eye, and continues to investigate. And as he begins to retrace Nick's steps in episode 3, we find out more about Jamie.
The fact that he reconnects with his friend from college after almost two decades, but never mentioned a word about him to his wife. The fact that his relationship with Nick was a lot more intense than friendship - not as brothers but more in the line of them being lovers. All of this comes to light!
One of the conversations that Jamie has with Nick in the past highlights how scared Jamie was with regards the intensity between them. Jamie recalls this when he is trying to manipulate his wife into forgetting about his anxiety over the accident by engaging in sex. In his mind, he goes back to the conversation that he had with Nick in the past. Nick had forced a steak knife into Jamie's hand and had him stab Nick's hand as a metaphor for cutting up all things in life that make him unhappy. And as he recalls the stabbing, the sex between him and his wife his wife becomes intense.
So intense that it surprises him and his wife; Jamie realises he cannot have such emotions for Nick and begins to berate himself for what had just happened. By entering Jamie's life again, Nick has unlocked all of Jamie's secret desires.