powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Season Two of USA's The Sinner again makes a strong case for itself


Not everything’s as it seems with Vera and Julian. USA photo

Premiering: Wednesday, Aug. 1st at 9 p.m. (central) on USA
Starring: Bill Pullman, Carrie Coon, Elisha Henig, Natalie Paul, John Rue, Hannah Gross, Jay O. Sanders
Produced by: Jessica Biel, Charlie Gogolak, Derek Simonds, Antonio Campos

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Season One of USA network’s The Sinner took the who out of whodunit and replaced it with why.

Second verse, same as the first, with all new principal characters save for one. Bill Pullman returns to Season Two as troubled veteran detective Harry Ambrose, who in the first go-around had a marriage-killing relationship with a dominatrix.

This time out he’s having recurrent flashbacks to a traumatic childhood while reluctantly returning to his hometown of Keller, NY to help investigate the case of a child who’s confessed to a double murder. In Season One, Harry delved into why a young, married woman named Cora Tannetti would stab a man to death during a crowded beach outing with her husband and their young son.

Jessica Biel, who played Cora (and is an Emmy nominee for that role), stays off-screen in Season Two as the returning head executive producer of The Sinner. The leading women are Carrie Coon as a possibly culpable commune leader named Vera and Natalie Paul in the role of police deputy Heather Novack, who’s proudly pronounced as gay by her rather creepy father, Henry (John Rue), an old chum of Harry’s.

Eleven-year-old Julian (Elisha Henig) is traveling with his outwardly presumed parents when their car breaks down on a road trip to Niagra Falls. They take refuge in a motel for the night, and are served cups of hot tea the next morning by Julian, who’s brought them in from the breakfast lounge. Choking, gasping and death ensue, with Harry and Heather soon determining that little Julian intentionally poisoned his adult traveling companions. He soon admits as much. But ???

Open and shut it’s not, particularly when Coon’s Vera shows up near the end of Wednesday’s premiere episode to make a surprising claim. So Harry is right when he says of the hometown he’s tried to forget: “There’s something in the soil here. Things won’t stay quiet.”

As in Season One, this new why-dunit will take eight episodes to unfold, with USA making the first three available for review. Flashbacks abound, not only Harry’s but Natalie’s recollections of her girlfriend, Marin (Hannah Gross), who’s been missing for the past 10 years after becoming infatuated by the goings-on at the isolated and much-maligned Mosswood commune.

Henig, who recently co-starred in Zach Braff’s quickly canceled ABC sitcom Alex, Inc., is already quite an actor as a pre-teen. His scenes with Pullman are both assured and increasingly revealing as they probe each other’s fractured psyches. Coon as usual is a command presence, telling Harry over the phone in Episode 2, “Trust me, detective. I know where the monster is.”

Episode 3 ends on a grisly note, further imbedding the hook. Season One of The Sinner paid off with a satisfying ending. Season Two has only just begun its twists and turns. But so far, so good, with ample possibilities still in play while Harry’s head tries to stay in the game.


Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net