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The Sinner Season 3 Episode 1, Explained

February 6, 2020
5 min read
The Sinner Season 3

‘The Sinner’ returned with its third season this year to provide viewers with yet another intriguing tale, filled with suspense and mystery. The anthology series presents a new self-sustaining narrative each season and has been met with extremely positive reviews so far. Hence, the crime drama faces ridiculously high expectations from its third season.

The basic concept of the entire series is its focus on the why part of a criminal investigation rather than the who. Because of its focus on the motif of the culprit, the show has been called a “whydunnit” appropriately. Each season presents a riveting character with a dark past that is explored as the central focus. This season, Matt Bomer plays the mysterious central character. The plot revolves around a car crash that Bomer’s character is involved in. The first episode of the season effectively sets the ball rolling, highlighting the tale’s premise and direction. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Sinner Season 3 Episode 1 Recap:

The first episode of the third season begins with Bomer’s character, Jamie taking some cannabis in a washroom, followed by using some Eye Cool drops to conceal his intoxication. He is a teacher and proceeds to take a class afterward. We find out more about him as he returns home to his pregnant wife, Leela in a large house in the suburbs.

Meanwhile, detective Harry Ambrose finds himself being advised to take retirement from work. However, he is not too keen on doing so. He stays in a secluded house, with limited phone network inside it. His daughter and grandson pay him a visit. He gets impressed by his grandson having inculcated a reading habit at a young age.

On the other hand, a man comes to Jamie’s house at night. The man, Nick seems to know Jamie very well. In fact, Jamie seems to be uncomfortable due to his visit, signaling the fact that he is trying to hide something that Nick knows. When Leela shows up, Nick pretends to know Jamie from college and invites himself for dinner.

Later, Ambrose is woken up at night by one of his colleagues because of a car accident. It turns out that Nick was driving that car and has died. The accident takes place at a private property. It is revealed that Jamie was also in the car but survived the crash. He is called to the police station for a statement.

Then, on a hunch, Ambrose goes to Jamie’s house but only finds Leela home. Continuing the investigation, he questions the private property’s owner who is a painter. He looks into phone records and finds out that Jamie had called 911 an hour after the crash. Ambrose thinks that it is fishy that Jamie took so much time to call 911. When Ambrose takes this to his superior, he is told that there isn’t enough information to proceed with the investigation. Later, Ambrose gets a call from one of his colleagues who tells him that Nick’s phone has been found. However, it does not have ANY fingerprints: an implication that somebody tried to wipe off any traces from it. This is when Ambrose realizes that his hunch had been right.

Meanwhile, Jamie is seen to have been extremely troubled by the circumstances. He starts to hallucinate and sees Nick frequently. He even starts to feel like his hands don’t belong to him. A flashback scene depicts the moments before the accident. Nick starts driving rashly despite Jamie asking him not to do so. To stop Nick, Jamie pulls the handbrake, making the car spin and crash. A heavily injured Nick asks Jamie to call 911 from his phone. However, Jamie switches it off. Nick realizes that Jamie is going to let him die and shuts his eyes…forever.

The Ending, Explained

The ending of the first episode of the third season of ‘The Sinner’ is pretty straightforward. It provides an explanation of the night’s events through a flashback. It is revealed that Jamie did take Nick’s phone after the accident and did not call 911 immediately, on purpose. Jamie wanted Nick to die, which wasn’t too surprising. Nick knew something that Jamie did not want anyone else to know. Plus, Nick wasn’t being the nicest, threatening to tell Leela about Jamie’s past. Moreover, the end also reveals that it was Jamie who wiped off his fingerprints from Nick’s phone.

This sets up the crime of ‘The Sinner.’ Now, the rest of the series will focus on why Jamie chose to let Nick die. Frankly, it does feel like a relatively minor crime, in comparison to the ones shown in the first and second season. However, things could get more complicated and sinister as the series moves on. Lastly, the ending also reveals how Ambrose had been correct in suspecting something fishy and the cat-and-mouse game between him and Jamie seems to have begun.

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