The third season of the gritty crime drama The Sinner is here, and the plot this season manages to take the show's reputation as a slow burning thriller to a whole new level. Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) is still hard at work as a police detective, but his latest case involving the secret relationship between two old friends might be the most nefarious in his tenure on the force.
Season three of the anthology series introduces us to Jamie Burns (Matt Bomer), a private school teacher who lives in the upstate New York town of Dorchester with his pregnant wife, Leela (Parisa Fitz-Henley). Jamie is loved by everyone he comes across, but his soft smile and positive demeanor are just a facade masking a deep unhappiness. He should happy, but something's amiss, and it feels like Jamie just isn't present.
The humdrum of his daily life is interrupted by a surprise visit from Nick Haas (Chris Messina of The Mindy Project), a friend from Jamie's college days. But their relationship doesn't seem so friendly. In fact, it's bubbling with an underlying tension that suggests that Jamie and Nick may be more than friends. There's an iciness between them, a cold but familiar energy that makes Leela — and all of us watching at home — uncomfortable.
We don't know much about Nick other than the fact that he works in "private equity" (sounds fake, but okay), but it's obvious that he and Jamie aren't being one hundred percent truthful about what has transpired between them.
"Did Jamie ever tell you about what we used to do in school?" Nick probes Leela during dinner, to Jamie's discomfort. "Did he ever mention me?"
Nick's awkward visit doesn't end well for anyone involved. He's killed in a violent car accident, his body painfully mangled in the crash. Jamie, who was in the vehicle with him, manages to escape with only a few minor cuts because he happened to be wearing a seatbelt, but the trauma from the accident continues to haunt him. He sees Nick's ghost everywhere — as does the law.
Detective Ambrose is on the move, looking into what looks to the rest of his team to be an open and close case. However, further investigation into Nick's death reveals that there might be more to the story than Jamie is letting on. Later, we'll learn that the men had once experimented as youths. "We tried once," Jamie tells Leela in bed. "It didn't work for either of us."
The episode ends with a flashback to the accident, caused when Jamie pulls the hand brake to stop Nick from his manic speeding down the dark Dorchester back roads. The car flips over multiple times, injuring Nick in the process. His friend crawls out of the vehicle, soothing Nick's soft cries for help by turning on the radio. As the blood drains from Nick's body, Jamie reaches for his phone but doesn't call 911 — he shuts it off instead.
Did anyone else just get a chill down their spine?