When you hear “Jessica Biel” it may conjure up images of 7th Heaven or that infamous Gear Cover she did when she reportedly wanted off the squeaky clean series, but it’s not likely you think of a crime thriller. But that’s what she is producing and starring in for USA in The Sinner and it is strangely unsettling and compelling.
When we meet Biel’s character Cora, a put-upon wife who seems to be unspooling before our eyes she’s clearing struggling: going through the motions at work, home and in bed followed by what appears to be a suicide attempt swimming out too far at a family outing to the lake. What comes next is the shocker, though. Cora just seems to lose it as she jumps to her feet back on the beach and stabs a guy to death in front of her husband, young son and dozens of witnesses.
Who the killer is in this mystery is not in question. The question is why. And why is what Bill Pullman’s detective character is there to unravel (he’s a little loose on the spool himself, FYI) in a story told mostly through flashbacks a la The Affair. Is it an affair that drove her to do it? Did she just snap? What’s the deal with that dead baby sister?
Really, really short review: Uneasy, taut thriller that’s bound to keep you up nights just like a good summer pool page-turner.
Episode III of The Sinner airs on USA at 10 pm on Wednesday, August 16.