SEASON 2: PART IV
Starring: Bill Pullman, Natalie Paul, Carrie Coon, Hannah Gross, Elisha Henig, Tracy Letts, Victor Williams, Jamie Neumann
Director: Jody Lee Lipes
Writer: Jesse McKeown
Based on the book: The Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr
Reviewed by Sidney Morgan
This review CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS.
Though Julian is the accused, The Sinner is now focusing quite a bit on Marin. Initially, it appeared as though Heather was only trying to satisfy her curiosity about a friend’s whereabouts and well-being since joining the cult. But after some digging, she begins to believe that Marin may actually be Julian’s mother and not Vera. According to the birth certificate, Dr. Poole was the attending
physician, which earns him a visit from our two detectives. It takes Heather and Harry very little time to find out he only signed the birth certificate, claiming he wasn’t present during the birth. That’s as much information they get from him as when he goes to retrieve other files and doesn’t return. They find him, having slashed his own throat.
Heather and Harry follow up on Dr. Poole, who’s got an exemplary record, except for one complaint. They meet with Carmen Bell (Jamie Neumann from the equally amazing The Looming Tower) who while a member of Mosswood, is sent to the doctor for an abortion. Things don’t go as expected, but it’s all kept hushed up. An easier feat when one considers our kind and polite resident doctor was also a member of the cult. Of course, this begs the question how many other ‘normal’ citizens in the town of Keller are members. But that’s for another episode.
As they leave, Harry and Heather have new leads to follow up on. First, Carmen references a purple lake, directing the detectives to look there, likely foreshadowing some dark discovery. Second, she goes apeshit when they show her a picture of a man she identifies as ‘The Beacon,’ the founder of Mosswood. She begs them to give it to her. But why?
Heather decides to look into this founder, Lionel Jeffries (Brennan Brown), who turns out to be a disgraced psychiatrist. But that’s it. Not much else is known, including his whereabouts. Clearly, we haven’t heard the last of him as not only is he involved in Julian’s issues, but likely in Marin’s as well. And that’s key for Heather. She hasn’t gotten over her long lost friend and requires closure. The numerous flashbacks show a deteriorating relationship between the two. Marin, coming from a broken home and exhibiting progressively self-destructive behaviors, was a perfect fit for the solace Mosswood offered. However, her absence seems to indicate her fate was sealed years ago.
Harry is a good detective, but an imperfect man. Faults aside, he’ll give an accused the benefit of the doubt, which doesn’t sit well with district attorney Hutchinson (Victor Williams). He did so with Cora Tannetti and now with Julian. His investigative abilities and information processing abilities are brilliant, especially when dealing with people who are broken and who act against expectation. He’s vigilant and careful. Which makes his actions this episode, that much more frustrating.
After Vera tells Harry she’s found some evidence, she wants to share with him. He agrees to meet, except that Heather isn’t convinced about her intentions and warns him. Though he agrees with Heather, Harry still goes ahead with the meeting, but does so on Vera’s terms! This means that he has to leave his gun, his badge, and his cell phone in the car while on Mosswood property.
Seriously? What is the man thinking? Remember when Sydney Prescott (Scream) tells us the reason she avoids horror movies is because the main character always seems to be “running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door.” Well, it’s almost as insulting to see Harry act this way. Frankly, he deserves the consequences of what he did. There’s some irony that Heather called Harry for help, feeling that as a rookie, she might make mistakes in the investigation. Let’s hope he knows what he’s doing.
Though frustrated with Harry’s decisions in this episode, the story remains absolutely brilliant. The closer we get to answers, the more questions arise. The closer we get to the end of the tunnel, the darker the truth and reality become. Can Vera be trusted? Is Julian who he claims he is? What’s going on with Harry? What did happen to Marin? Where is The Beacon? Season 2 continues to evolve in ways that are unexpected. As leads are followed up on, the secrets of Mosswood are beginning to unravel. But are Harry and the town of Keller ready for the answers that may come? Question after question, the suspense is fantastic and only wets our appetite for the next episode.