TV Review: The Sinner Season 2 🚔

It was a slow and—sort of—underwhelming reveal this season.


Bill Pullman (left) stars as Detective Harry Ambrose, and Carrie Coon (right) stars as Vera Walker in The Sinner Season 2. CREDIT: USA Network

This post for The Sinner Season 2 contains spoilers.

The second season of The Sinner focuses on Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) and the double murder case caused by the 13-year-old Julian Walker (Elisha Henig). Amidst the murder investigations, the series also attempts to explore Detective Harry’s past and the story behind Heather’s (Natalie Paul) missing friend Marin (Hannah Gross).

I’m going to be honest here and say that I wasn’t particularly impressed with the story this season. I’m not sure if it’s because I followed the episodes weekly, and thus, that could have been a factor that made the show less suspenseful. I remember binge-watching Season 1 (2017) on Netflix and being mind blown by the plot twist at the end, and it seems that Season 2 (2018) has adopted that same non-linear storytelling format—Yes! You have to watch till the end to make it worth your time, but hey there are only eight episodes.

The best episodes are definitely the final few, and the obvious ones with Carrie Coon giving the performance of her life. When her character Vera was “dancing” with the rock and screaming at it in “Part III”, I was left speechless and I’m now eager to start watching The Leftovers and Fargo to see more of her on-screen work.

I thought the inclusion of the Mosswood plot line was interesting for this season. Most of the scenes at Mosswood were mainly told in flashbacks, as we see Marin’s life at the commune years ago. Throughout this season, Marin’s name keeps popping up because she’s Heather’s missing “friend” and is revealed to be Julian’s real mother, but her character is short-lived as she died at the end of “Part VII”. I honestly think the writers made her character die because they didn’t want audiences to get that possible happy ending between her and Heather.

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I also feel that there wasn’t closure for Jack (Tracy Letts) and Heather’s relationship. It was revealed in the finale “Part VIII” that Jack had forcefully had sex with Marin years ago; thus, causing Marin to join Mosswood and avoid all contact with Heather for so many years. As this plot twist is revealed only at the end, there was no in-depth exploration of how Heather dealt with her father’s disgusting behaviour.

Additionally, I feel like this season got carried away with creating an intriguing murder mystery that it totally forgot about building a concrete backstory for Detective Harry. The exploration of his childhood trauma felt briefly explored, as I couldn’t see the direct link between how the past events affected his adult self—apart from the obvious nightmares. I was honestly not at all interested about what happened to him and why he started the fire at his house when he was a kid. Instead, I was keen to see more of Vera’s past and how she ended up at Mosswood.

It was an overall good season, but it didn’t live up to the hype of its predecessor. As of this moment, a Season 3 hasn’t been green-lit yet, but I’m keen to see how the writers will proceed with another season and whether it will be anthological again.

Rating: 4/5

Sidenotes on The Sinner Season 2:

  • If you’re curious about the chronological timeline of events that happened in Season 2, USA Network has carefully written it on their blog.
  • It was implied in “Part VI” that Vera killed the Beacon of Mosswood Lionel Jeffries, and I’m pretty sure Detective Harry knows about it. So why has this murder been overlooked? Or is Jeffries still alive? 🤔
  • I would have gone for another casting choice for the character Julian because Henig looks nothing like his TV mother and father.
  • There’s a line in “Part VIII” that Detective Harry says to Jack, and it totally made me snicker to myself. 🤣

    Detective Harry: “You know Vera Walker?”

    “Yes, of course they know each other! They are married in real life,” was what I thought when I heard that line.

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