Season Review The Sinner

The Sinner – Season One

"God doesn't mind if you're sick".


I love it when a show comes out of nowhere and hooks me right until the very end. With its bold central performance and disturbing subject matter, The Sinner did exactly that.

To reveal too much would be a disservice to the show’s mystery, but The Sinner is basically the story about one very disturbed woman who commits a shocking act of violence out of the blue. It’s a genuinely anxiety-inducing show; I often found myself feeling uneasy and unsettled, and yet… I couldn’t stop watching. The show does an impeccable job of weaving together its mystery across the span of eight very compelling hours. So many shows drop the ball after a couple of episodes, but this brief season does an excellent job of slowly revealing the different pieces of the puzzle.

Of course the entire show would fall apart if it wasn’t for Jessica Biel’s astounding performance. I was never a fan of the actress, but she is downright exceptional in the role. In fact, she perfectly captures the nuances of Cora Tanneti, our protagonist, and the immense trauma of her ordeal. Biel in fact reminded me of Elisabeth Moss’ recent Emmy-winning turn in The Handmaid’s Tale. She conveys so much without much dialogue, and that’s a real testament to her skill. I certainly have newfound respect for the actress.

You could certainly argue that the show’s finale is a tad rushed, but it still does an effective job of bringing everything together and tying up all the loose ends. While there is a possibility for a second season centering on another mystery (be sure to read this interview with the show’s creator explaining the finale’s twists and future prospects), I would be satisfied with the show ending here. I got my closure, and I was fascinated by the ride from start to finish.

It’s creepy and definitely not for everyone, but if you’re willing to experience something truly dark, then The Sinner is not to be missed.

Nad Rating


  1. This show really became one of my favorites shows of the year. Much like Big Little Lies, I find that I’m gonna miss these characters!

    Weird that I didn’t find the finale rushed at all! Wasn’t too fond of the masked nurse twist but still found the whole thing so riveting!

    Also, please no season two!

    1. Rushed in that I felt like we didn’t get any answers all year long and then suddenly everything was revealed in ten minutes. Kind of wish it was more spaced out over the last two episodes. Still, terrific show and so glad we discovered it! 😀

  2. Beware. Spoilers here.

    I’m sitting at work, and I’m thoroughly exhausted. I only got three hours of sleep and it’s you guys’ fault. I started watching “The Sinner” after supper and could not stop. My wife went to bed at 10:00 and I said to her, “I’ll be upstairs after this episode.” Yeah, right!

    Seriously, thanks for the recommendation. I, too, was entrenched in this show. The entire cast was perfect and their characters thoroughly developed. Cora’s confusing Maddie for Phoebe was a tremendous study in denial and defense mechanisms. And Jessica Biel nails it. At the same time, Pullman is sympathetic as the masochistic, guilt-plagued cop, Harry. That final image of him examining his damaged fingernails is loaded with ambiguity. Is he finally taking a good look at himself? Is he going to go back to his dominatrix? (And when did Pullman develop that Robin Williams-like twinkle in his eyes?) Christopher Abbott and Nadia Alexander were outstanding as the two people most affected by Cora’s multiple traumas. While I have been a fan of Kathryn Erbe for a long time, I thought the subplot concerning Fay and Harry’s crumbling marriage bogged down the pace. Harry’s inability to communicate in a healthy way was already established by his masochistic tendencies. (Or is it me?)

    Anyway, thanks again. I truly enjoyed this.

    1. Woohoo! You’re most welcome Rocco I’m so glad you watched it and appreciated it. You know this show really disturbed the hell out of me last year. I watched it all and adored it, but it was seriously disturbing but oh so captivating. I never even liked Jessica before this but she and the rest of the cast were just spectacular.

      Now I feel like rewatching it…. (not excited about season 2 without her but of course will give it a shot and eat my tongue!)

  3. Like “Alias Grace”, “Black Mirror” and “Hell on wheels” this show was disturbing but not gratuitously so, and definitely not to the point of being exploitative. It was just plain quality.

  4. Binge-watched all 8 episodes in 1 day & was hooked from beginning to end. Every aspect was so addicting & thrilling. But I just skipped over Harry’s personal life. This is 1 of the best mystery seasons I’ve ever seen. Idk how the writers & directors did it. There’s elements from the last episodes in the first episodes from what someone says to what someone does. The story itself is amazing & unpredictable, filled with well thought out/logical twists & turns. The casting was perfect. Jessica transformed into Cora; she was phenomenal. Harry was very humane & a great character. Anything the characters say is subtle & believable, even the lies. One thing I didn’t like is how strict Cora’s mom is. She looked at Cora’s dress, which only reveals her shoulders, & called her a whore. I also have a catholic family but my mom is nowhere near that strict.

    1. So glad you loved this too Kathleen! Let me know what you think of season two! I only saw a few episodes and stopped. Don’t know if it was the lack of Jessica Biel or the overall arc but I wasn’t hooked. Season one was MASTERFUL though and I love that you appreciated it! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      1. You did more than me. Couldn’t make it through the 1st ep. Felt like I was watching an ep of supernatural. The deaths in it weren’t as realistic as the death in season 1 & the story didn’t hook me. Also not having Jessica didn’t help. She was playing 4 roles in 1 & the way she growled “I’m gonna kill you” to Harry after she attacked him was so impressive; she sounded like a ghost in a horror film.

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