The Sinner is back on USA for a third season, this time centering on a mysterious car crash. Like the previous two seasons, we find out the details of the crime in the premiere. What we don’t know is the motive. The perpetrator, Jamie Burns (Matt Bomer), seems like a nice enough guy on the surface. He’s a teacher who writes glowing letters of recommendations for his best students. But there’s also something off about him. He’s in a daze at times. He even contemplates burning his hand on the grill at one point.
Jamie’s strangeness comes to a head when his college friend Nick (Chris Messina) arrives on his doorstep uninvited. What follows is a very uncomfortable dinner. I find it somewhat unbelievable that Jamie’s wife, Leela (Parisa Fitz-Henley), just lets Nick antagonize Jamie. Nick acts like a creep and is clearly upsetting Jamie. We don’t need the ominous score to know that.
Typically, anthology series have new characters, who may or may not be played by returning cast members. The Sinner ignores that trend by featuring Bill Pullman’s Detective Harry Ambrose in each season. Characters mention the previous season, but you don’t need to watch it to understand this one. The police are ready to wrap up the case, but Harry believes there’s more to it. You would think the department would listen to his hunches more after two seasons.
I reviewed last season’s premiere, but I didn’t watch the rest of the season. It was apparently pretty good. I liked the first season, which had a better hook. I wanted to know why Jessica Biel’s character stabbed a man to death when she herself didn’t know. By comparison, I can assume Jamie and Nick got into something illegal in the past and things went south. It’s not that it isn’t intriguing—there’s definitely more here than your standard procedural—it’s just not enough to make me come back. I advise watching the premiere if you’re interested and deciding for yourself.
The Sinner Season 3 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the USA Network. The first two seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.