TV Review: The Sinner “Part I” S02E01 🍵☠️

A murder mystery reminiscent of Sharp Objects, except this time the killer is revealed at the beginning.


Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) returns for Season 2, alongside new cast members Detective Heather Novack (Natalie Paul) and Vera (Carrie Coon) (left to right). CREDIT: USA Network

This post for The Sinner “Part I” contains spoilers.

I went into Season 2 of The Sinner without any knowledge of what the story is going to be. I have to say I’m intrigued, but I need more.

Many media outlets have already compared “Part I” (2018) to Sharp Objects, and that was exactly what I thought of too when I was watching the premiere episode.I guess what differs it from Gillian Flynn’s masterpiece is the fact that the identity of the killer is known from the start; also The Sinner may have decent cinematography, it definitely can’t be compared to Jean-Marc Vallée’s directorship.


Julian (left) and his supposed mother (right), whom he poisoned using jimsonweed.

“Part I” follows the tragic death of a couple, who is poisoned by their supposed son Julian (Elisha Henig) using jimsonweed—a type of plant from the nightshade family. Detective Novack seeks help from her close family friend Detective Ambrose, as he had just recently solved Cora Tannetti’s (Jessica Biel) case. Julian may seem like a perfectly normal 13-year-old kid, but something dark is brewing in him.

From this episode, I’ve also gathered that this season will explore more of Detective Ambrose’s past and the struggles he have with being back in his hometown. Flashbacks of his younger self was shown in this episode; it appears that he has nightmares and a forgetful memory of his childhood. I guess I’ll have to watch “Part II” to find out more; but to be honest, the first episode didn’t interest me much until the end, where Vera appeared and claimed that Julian is her son. I had thought that she was his psychiatrist, as flashbacks of Julian and her—that took place in what seemed like a children’s counselling room—talking were shown. I’m not familiar with Coon’s work in Fargo and The Leftovers, but it seems like she’s popular as Vulture had high praises for her.

Rating: 3/5

Sidenotes on “Part I”:

  • I’m not sure why Detective Novack’s father Jack (Tracy Letts) had to outrightly tell Detective Ambrose that his daughter is a lesbian. Is there any significance in terms of story for this?
  • I really enjoyed Season 1’s twist ending; I hope Season 2 is going to be as good.
  • Wow Carrie Coon is in this show together with her husband Tracy Letts. Cool cool cool.


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