USA’s The Sinner
Season 3: Part V
Directed by Colin Bucksey
Written by Ahmadu Garba
* For a recap & review of Part IV, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part VI, click here.
Jamie’s still holding a rock he clearly used to bludgeon that psychic, Kyle. He tosses it in the trash, along with clothes, and starts to clean. He takes the bag with his bloody clothes and bloody paper towels down to the river, where he tosses it all in and watches it sink. Back at home, Leela wakes to look after their baby and discovers Jamie sitting in the living room cradling the child. She was worried sick about him. He explains going to the hospital with Dt. Ambrose to get some help, lying about what actually happened, and, of course, not telling her he murdered a man last night. Doesn’t help that his wife finds blood on his ear, though he’s got a nonchalant mosquito explanation for that, too.
Meanwhile, Harry is at the crime scene where he sees not only the dead body but a bunch of people from the party. Oh, my. Naturally the detective blames himself for what’s happened, having passed out in the car after taking pain medication. He’s busy trying to find “credible evidence” before sounding the alarm to anybody in Brooklyn. Vic is looking out for his colleague, but Harry, like usual, pushes anybody away who’s attempting to help him.
Dt. Ambrose finally gets a call from Jamie. Simultaneously, the beleaguered teacher can’t stop thinking of the night before, heading back to the party to see Kyle again. “I really fucked up,” he tells Harry when they see each other. This is a strange situation for Harry to be in, and he urges Jamie to give himself over to the police for what he’s done. However, Jamie’s damaged morality won’t let him give up, believing he can simply get away with murder. The detective offers “no public arrest” and no embarrassment for Leela. This isn’t enough for Jamie, unwilling to face the consequences.
Doesn’t mean Jamie won’t have to answer questions from the Brooklyn police. He speaks with Dt. Jones, mentioning Ambrose. And when they’re done with questions he also complies with their request to take a DNA sample. Shit.
So, why does Sonya have pictures of Jamie, as if she were stalking him from afar? Are these older, or has she been trying to keep an eye on him lately? She makes sure to keep them out of eyesight when Dt. Ambrose drops by to see her. The detective shows her the random unluckiness of Nick and Jamie’s little childish paper game, hoping it’ll quell her fears about being targeted by the two men. Harry tells her not to worry anymore but something definitely has Sonya spooked.
Sonya goes to the shop where Leela works. She soon introduces herself as the woman who owns the property where Nick and Jamie had the accident. Awkward at first, things get worse once Leela starts to piece together the fact she has no clue about what actually happened that night with her husband and his estranged friend. That night, Leela confronts Jamie about “the grave” and the party in Brooklyn. Suddenly all the threads are unravelling at once. Leela tells her husband: “I can‘t sleep with you in this house.”
At the Brooklyn PD, Dt. Ambrose speaks with Dt. Jones. He offers her bits of evidence, telling her they have to “contain” the suspect because he’s a dangerous man. But things aren’t going exactly the way Harry would’ve hoped, and he didn’t fully anticipate not being listened to right away. He gets a visit from Sonya at his place and she tells him about going to see Leela. Everything’s crumbling.
Flashback to Jamie and Kyle. The psychic saw Nick again, telling Jamie he’s “hooked onto you” and there’s some sort of unfinished business between them. He asked what Jamie’s afraid of, sensing it. The teacher believed he was going to “lose everything” soon. He wasn’t wrong. Back to present day, Jamie’s getting pushed away by his school because of being questioned by the police and the chaos it’s creating.
On top of everything else the Brooklyn detective is calling to talk with Jamie again. He sees CCTV footage of him with the garbage bag and newly changed clothes. He gives Dt. Jones a bullshit story about papers from school and no briefcase. Jones is no slouch, she can tell the guy’s hiding something. She offers him an out. Once more, the teacher refuses to go the easy route. He decides to ask for a lawyer.
Then there’s Harry, being kept at arm’s length, concerned about what may happen next. He’s got to answer Dt. Jones’s questions and she’s been digging into Harry’s phone records. Goddamn! After a while, Ambrose walks out of the interview, and shit is really going sideways. Not helping him when Jamie, again, refuses to tell the truth. Aside from the law, Harry has his grandson Eli coming to town so they can spend more time together. Probably not the greatest moment in time for them to bond.
More flashback: the psychic told Jamie he must “follow through” to the end, a message from Nick on the other side. The psychic had to stop, not wanting to go on because things felt strange. This pushes Jamie over the edge and he pulled a rock from the man’s bookshelf, pummelling him into a bloody pulp on the floor. He’d once and for all stepped over that line and became just like Nick.
After supper, Harry hears Eli laughing with someone outside. He walks out and sees Jamie dropped by to see them. The detective’s feeling uneasy, warning the teacher not to come near his family. He doesn’t know what Jamie’s capable of, and Jamie probably doesn’t even know himself. The teacher’s pulling Harry into a deceptive, manipulative web, and acting like it’s the other way around. When Jamie calls out to Eli he gets a punch in the gut from Ambrose, as well as a quick choke, and this relationship is devolving into something genuinely dangerous.
One of the best episodes of the season. Harry’s journey across these three different chapters of the show have been astounding to watch. He’s a damaged, fragile, but also strong and, at times, stubborn man, which all makes for an excellent character study alongside the various criminals and victims he’s met.
Part VI is next time.