The Sinner 4×01: “Part I”

The Sinner
4×01: “Part I”
Directed & Written by
Derek Simonds

* For recaps & reviews of Season 3, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part II, click here.
Father Son Holy Gore - The Sinner - Harry Close UpOle Harry Ambrose is on the sea, headed for a little getaway with Sonya Barzel. They’re going to a small island for lobster rolls and other delights. Soon they arrive at their destination, where they meet Greta (Kim Roberts), who’s set the couple up in a fancy chalet during their stay. Harry, Sonya, and Greta go for food together, discussing local racism concerning white folks worried about a “Chinese takeover.” Harry’s retired from the police force a year now, but will he be able to leave it all behind forever? Both Harry and Sonya are still carrying wounds of their own respectively. Maybe an island vacation will help them. Yet the look in Harry’s eyes says there’s something missing in him, something he may not get anywhere else but detective work.

Harry goes for a walk on the shoreline where he runs into one of the Muldoons, Percy (Alice Kremelberg). Percy’s family essentially runs the island, connected to the fishing industry. She works for the family business, Muldoon Fish Co., in spite of her issues with the label of “girl fisherman.” She asks Harry if the ocean’s spoken to him since he’s arrived and he hasn’t heard anything yet. They talk about nature and humans briefly before Percy has to get back to work. Later, Harry and Sonya have vacation sex; he’s found a healthier outlet for his masochism apparently, no longer needing to have his hands stamped on until they’re black and blue. Again there’s something not right with Harry, and soon we discover he’s not taking his antidepressants. He claims he’s weaning himself off the drugs, but that’s not how antidepressants work. And it troubles Sonya, obviously.

That night, Harry goes for a walk and all he can think of is Jamie Burns. While he’s walking he sees Percy, who tells someone to leave her alone, asking the unseen figure to “stop it.” Percy rushes off and Harry follows a while, though he can’t see anybody else apart from the young woman. He follows her all the way into the woods through a walking trail until he hears her groaning and grunting somewhere in the trees. Harry keeps following Percy to the water’s edge, where she stands atop a cliff before dropping off the edge. He runs to the cliff and finds nothing below.Father Son Holy Gore - The Sinner - Alice Kremelberg as Percy MuldoonSoon there are people in the water searching as Harry watches on above from the cliff. Nothing’s found in the nearby water for now. So the first question is whether Harry’s been drinking or getting high or taking any meds that would affect his judgement. Percy’s grandmother Meg (Frances Fisher) and her uncle Colin (Michael Mosley) arrive at the scene wondering what’s happening. Meg doesn’t believe Percy would’ve jumped off the cliff. Uncle Colin’s curious about how Harry knows Percy and suspicious about why he’d follow her. Percy’s father Sean (Neal Huff) turns up with his own questions, too. Seems as if Harry might’ve stepped into the wrong situation in the wrong town. Oh, my.

The next morning, Harry insists to Sonya that he’s okay but he’s rattled. When he gets a chance he calls Chief Lou Raskin (Joe Cobden) for an update on Percy. No news on all fronts. Though one lobsterman believes he saw Percy in her car about a half hour after Harry called 911. Hmm, odd. Given that Harry will never be able to shake his cop hound dog instincts it just makes him wonder what exactly happened the night prior. He goes back out to the woods near the cliff, thinking it might jog something loose in his mind. All he has now is just more questions. He looks around the woods close by and near a hollowed out stump he notices several items: a crucifix, a tiny jade statue, an old cigarette case, and some kind of weaved knot. Harry brings the items to the local cops. Clear as day on Harry’s face that he won’t be able to let this go.

The retired cop goes looking around at the docks, strolling through Muldoon Fish Co. until he runs into Sean. He asks Sean when Percy left and where she might have gone. Meg shows up now, wondering why Harry’s investigating things himself. She’s very sceptical of him. Harry thinks he could’ve “made a mistake.” It’s almost as much about him verifying reality as it is whatever happened to Percy at this point. Harry also hears about tension between Meg and Mike Lam (Ronin Wong), probably more of the local racism. A fisherman tells Harry that Percy was at a local bar called The Knot last night. So Harry goes to the bar, asking whomever he can about the missing Muldoon woman, gathering any info available. Generally appears that Percy was well liked by most folks in town. One woman at the bar, Kerry (Jessica Marie Brown), mentions Percy going to the washroom and coming back with a head wound, claiming she just bumped her head.Father Son Holy Gore - The Sinner - Budda, Crucifix, Knot, Cigarette CaseWhat are the strange sounds Harry heard in the night?
In the morning, Harry meets Chief Lou in the woods to give the local policeman some help. Percy’s car has been found abandoned on a road headed into town. Nearby is a private property sign, so Harry and Lou go take a look around. A man lives on the property in a camper. He’s not exactly a super social guy. Lou and Harry get nothing out of the man. The chief’s fine not pressing things: “Its kind of a live and let live mentality out here, Harry.” That won’t stop the retired cop. Harry talks with Sonya about it all. She’s not sure if helping in an investigation will be good for him. But he’s unable to stop thinking about what happened to Percy. At the same time, Sonya knows she “cant solve” this situation for Harry. He has to do this for himself, whatever the choice.

Chief Lou needs Harry again up at the Muldoon place, where the latter’s been requested by Meg. There are no real updates, outside of more reinforcements coming to help with the search. Meg takes the time to show Harry around the place, including Muldoon family history, and she also apologises for treating him harshly. She wants him to keep helping with the investigation. She brings Harry to see Percy’s room, too.
The grandmother and granddaughter are close, yet Meg thinks Percy was hiding something from her over the past few months. She produces a book her granddaughter was reading titled The Lunar Goddess: Connecting to the Spirit of the Earth by Rosemary Beckett. And she points out how Percy had started collecting odd things, such as pieces of rope and other trinkets, just like some of the things left out in the woods. The rope came from Percy taking a piece while she and Meg were on the boat together one day, all in the name of “preserving the moment.”

Harry goes back to where he first met Percy down by the shoreline, searching for anything at all. He finds an empty pack of what looks like gum; perhaps Nicorette or something similar. Then he notices a security camera pointing right at that spot. He goes over to the Muldoon Fish Co. looking for security footage, which necessitates calling Chief Lou down in an official capacity. They go through the footage until locating Percy, right before Harry showed up. Percy was on the phone, then she stopped out of nowhere, falling to her knees, and someone approached, though not visible to the camera. She was terrified, pleading with the person, then she ran to hide. Incredibly creepy moment. Harry believes it was like Percy was “worshipping” the person, and that this same person was in the woods the night she supposedly walked off the cliff.Father Son Holy Gore - The Sinner - The Lunar GoddessThat night, Harry hears strange noises coming from the woods again. This time he goes out there, looking for the source. He comes upon a group of people naked in the water, reaching out to the sky, making those near neanderthal noises. He alerts them to his presence so he has to run.
Back at the chalet, Harry’s in a fog. He hears Percy like she’s speaking to him, as if she’s right in the room with him, as if she’s begging him to find her. While it might seem to Sonya like Harry’s doing well, he is, in fact, not doing well, and this investigation might not be good for him. But, once again, that’s not going to stop Harry anyway.

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