The Sinner (2017– )
8.6/10
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5 user 14 critic

Part VIII 

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Cora's fate is determined.

Director:

Tucker Gates

Writers:

Derek Simonds (developed by), Jesse McKeown (written for television by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Biel ... Cora Tannetti
Christopher Abbott ... Mason Tannetti
Dohn Norwood ... Dan Leroy
Abby Miller ... Caitlin Sullivan
Bill Pullman ... Harry Ambrose
Jacob Pitts ... J.D.
Joanna Adler ... Captain Anne Farmer (as Joanna P. Adler)
Enid Graham ... Cora's Mom
Nadia Alexander ... Adult Phoebe (19)
Patti D'Arbanville ... Lorna Tannetti
Robert Funaro ... Ron Tannetti
Eric Todd ... Frankie Belmont
Orlagh Cassidy ... Elsa Belmont
Christopher Innvar ... Frankie's Dad
Susan Pourfar ... Cora's Public Defender
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Storyline

Cora's fate is determined.

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Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Harry Ambrose: [to Cora] You know, when I first interviewed you at the station, the way you were blaming yourself, I realized it felt familiar. Because I do that too. But the thing is, we're what somebody did to us when we were young. I know it wasn't our fault. I know we didn't do anything wrong. But somehow, I, I don't know what to do with it all.
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User Reviews

S1: Engagingly obtuse in how it unfolds, even if it is a bit too overwritten in some ways
9 March 2019 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It was being rewarded a second season that brought this show to my attention, otherwise I had never heard of it nor really what it was about. Playing out as a whydunnit, we are left in no doubt about the violent murder that brings the first episode to life, but why it happened is a mystery. We follow a troubled cop as he digs deeper to identify motive or root cause. Mostly it is an engaging narrative as we unfold memories and mystery, finding out more about the lead character in a mix of partial revelation, and flashbacks. Unusually for American television, it is a short run of episodes, and it has a decent pace through them - never moving fast, but giving enough in a sharp way to keep the viewer moving with the material.

As a whole it is well constructed, leading out of a convincing character, and into an oddity that keeps you watching to see how it ends. There are plot holes, convenient writing, and other issues with the way it plays out, but the pace and general air of mystery keep you watching. Having just watched Sharp Objects, it did strike as interesting to see another famous actress starring and ex producing in a show that draws so much from a toxic religious maternal relationship, but it was only a curio as a side note. This core construct though does give the show a real base to work from, because you can see the destination and the start, and the rest feeds in slowly over the episodes. That this is convincing and engaging means that some weaker aspects of the writing are covered or carried, but there are other strengths that do the same.

The style of production, the editing, and other technical and aesthetic aspects help this too, as it is well constructed in these ways. The performances are the main reason it works though. Biel is great in the lead; she sells her character's confusion, fear, and general sense of deserving whatever comes even though she doesn't really know why. Pullman doesn't have as much to work with, although he does well with what he has - but mostly it is his quality that makes more of a role that could have just been generic and lost behind Biel. The supporting cast are solid throughout in different roles - no obvious weak links.

It does have problems in the writing, and in the way it plays out, but overall the mystery, pace, cast, and production standards all carry it to be better than these. Not sure I would follow Pullman into a second season, but certainly the first season was worth a look for what it did well.


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