The murder mystery is less ‘whodunnit’ and more ‘whythefuckdidyoudothat?’
The Sinner is back. And, by the sounds of it, the modus operandi of the show hasn’t changed: an unlikely killer commits horrific murder. However, the protagonist is entirely new.
Jessica Biel starred in the last season as Cora, the picture-perfect wife and mother who stabs a man to death on a chilled day out on the beach and doesn’t really know why. What begins as a random attack takes a tumultuous twist, through a creepy past full of evangelical parents, drugs, sibling incest, and hedonism. Now, the story is focussing on a murderous little boy, with Biel behind the scenes as the executive producer.
If you’re not yet convinced, here’s some more reasons to get into this twisted murder mystery.
THE MURDER ISN’T THE MYSTERY, THE MOTIVE IS
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the deeply confusing thriller, the murder mystery is less ‘whodunnit’ and more ‘whythefuckdidyoudothat’? All is gradually revealed through a series of flashbacks. Having tied up all the loose ends of Cora’s tale, the second season of the show kicks off with an 11-year-old boy who has poisoned two adults he is travelling with in a motel. The case comes to the attention of smouldering detective Harry Ambrose, who spent a lot of the last season getting beaten up by his dominatrix on the side who is part-detective, part-confidante. Instead of relying on lazy thriller or horror tropes, the killer is present the entire time – they look just like you and I, and it’s up to Ambrose to find out what made them a murderer.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SINNER (BUT DON’T EXPECT JESSICA BIEL)
The first rule of The Sinner is that you never know what to expect from The Sinner. However, Jessica Biel has revealed she will not be in the next season. "We did talk a lot about, does Cora come back for season two, and what is the relationship because that's what was interesting to me,” she told Variety. “What happens when a woman goes through that? What is life like after that when the only person really in her life that she can connect with, even besides her husband, is the detective who got her out of this thing? But we just couldn't do it this particular season.”
THE KILLER IS A LITTLE BOY FROM A COMMUNE
The child under investigation has a story more unordinary and dark than how he first appears. A synopsis released before the season premiere said that as Ambrose realises there's “nothing ordinary about the boy or where he came from” the investigation forces him to revisit the darkness of his hometown. “He's pitted against those who'll stop at nothing to protect its secrets — and a mysterious woman who proves to be a complicated, enigmatic piece to this haunting puzzle.” There’s been talk of a possible cult backstory, as the child may have once lived on a commune – which will satisfy everyone who has a Bhagwan-shaped hole in their life from Netflix’s Wild Wild Country.
EVERYONE, EVEN THE DETECTIVE, HAS A DARK PAST
Surprise! Everyone had a fucked up childhood in The Sinner. The show continues to unpick childhood trauma in the second season, but not just through the tiny killer. Ambrose, who spends most of the first series trying to be “normal”, is battling with demons from his past. He ends up investigating his own character before he actually solves any mysteries.
The Sinner season two is now airing on USA on Wednesdays and will arrive on Netflix later in the year