'The Sinner' Season 3 Finale: Jamie's transformation is complete as he faces death after he is shot by Ambrose
Jamie Burns did everything in his power to bait Harry Ambrose into accepting that he was the same as Jamie
Spoilers for 'The Sinner' Season 3 Episode 8
In Episode 8 of 'The Sinner' Season 3, we see how Jamie Burns (Matt Bomer) has finally disconnected from his timid side that stopped him from committing crimes and is now completely gone over to the dark side. This is exactly what Nick Haas (Chris Messina) had hoped for when he kept pushing Jamie to go further than he was comfortable and it is almost poetic that Jaimie's need to kill, his violent behavior pattern has all surfaced after he killed Nick.
When Nick had stopped Jamie, he had awakened the monster within Jamie.
With Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) betraying Jamie's confidences, the shackled monster was let loose and it took complete control over Jamie's life. While in the previous episode, we just saw an inkling of how Jamie has now transformed his look and his behavior, this episode takes us all to the start to show why Jamie targetted the captain of the Dorchester police department. He had nothing to do with Jamie's arrest, in fact, he was far removed from the case and if Jamie did want to target someone other than Ambrose, he should have gone for Ambrose's partner Nick Soto.
Then, Ambrose finds why he is unable to get a feel of Jamie's moves. It is because he is playing the game of chance that Nick and he used to love. Jamie heads out to Brooklyn, where Ambrose's grandson Eli takes classes. He arrived there much before Ambrose even has a clue that Jamie would get up close and personal with his attacks only to bait Ambrose. The detective is not close to too many people so the targets might seem easy to protect. However, since Jamie got out of jail, he has been a step ahead of Ambrose. So after Eli, Jamie arrives at Sonya's farm.
Also, what is interesting at this point is that when he speaks to Sonya, Jamie says he has killed three people. So Eli is safe somewhere, and all that Jamie is trying to do is get someone to stop him. The only person who he thinks is capable of stopping him, especially after the metamorphosis he recently experienced, is Ambrose.
We also learn that what really broke Jamie Burns apart are the people around him. His family who didn't want him back after learning about Nick and the other guy he murdered at the party and Detective Ambrose who betrayed Jamie to ensure that a killer such as him is locked up in jail, play a big part in Jamie completely turning away from living as Jamie.
After he is unsuccessful at killing Sonya, Jamie ends up visiting his home and sees his wife Leela on the other side. This moment is nothing but a moment of reckoning for Jamie who has taken it upon himself to let go of his wife. Jamie looks ready to have this as his end. After all, he has now seen his wife and in a way bid goodbye as well. He has been holding Eli in Ambrose's house. He baits Ambrose into arriving at his place alone, and when he does arrive, Eli is forced to face the wall and sit with headphones on.
Despite the monster that he has become, despite his plan to kill Eli, he cares about what Eli hears. Ambrose strikes a nerve when he tells Jamie that if he killed Eli, and then Ambrose, there would be no one to understand him ever and that results in Jamie pausing for a moment. This pause indicates how much Jamie wants someone to understand him and his actions. He can see that Ambrose understands him like no one else, but the same man was also the reason behind him getting locked up.
This back and forth between Ambrose and Jamie comes to an end with Jamie confessing that the only reason he had come this far was to get Ambrose to confess that he understands Jamie, as he has also experienced it all himself. He wants Ambrose to accept that the two of them are the same.
In the end, it is Ambrose who loses control and even shoots Jamie when he didn't have to. Jamie was by then unarmed and all he wanted was to talk to Ambrose. Now, as Jamie sees death get close, unlike the other times when he had a modicum of control over the results, Jamie is scared. He doesn't want to die alone, or he doesn't want to die. Period. He had always wanted to live and to see him meet an end such as this leaves us with a sense of something being left incomplete.
One wouldn't have expected to feel so conflicted to see a murderer meet his end, but in 'The Sinner' we saw Jamie struggle to control his violent side, struggle to deal with his past and all of that makes this ending sad.