Critical Condition: The Sinner (S2)

The Sinner | Netflix, from Friday

☆☆☆☆ “Jessica Biel may be gone, but Carrie Coon is a more-than-capable replacement, joining Bill Pullman for another unnerving murder investigation — this time with a religious commune backdrop … The second season of The Sinner’s structure is similar to that of the first. We open with a harrowing murder that appears to have a clear-but-confounding perpetrator. The evidence points to a straightforward conviction and an open-shut case, but as the tagline for the first season declared, ‘It’s not a question of who or how, but why…?'” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆☆ The Sinner didn’t need a Season 2; it was conceived of and executed as a limited series. But it turned out to be the top-rated new cable series of 2017, so USA renewed it. Fortunately, the creative team of Biel and her production partner Michelle Purple, showrunner Derek Simonds and director Antonio Campos took that renewal as a challenge to top themselves, and they succeeded in every way … It’s a confident, intelligent and tense improvement on a solid first season.” — TV Guide.

☆☆☆☆ “Drama fans, especially those who love a good murder mystery, would be well advised to give The Sinner Season 2 a chance. Even from the first three episodes, it’s clear there’s more afoot than meets the eye — and not solely in terms of plot. This chapter is fascinated with the assumptions we make about people based on appearances—and, once we get to know them, the things we presume to know about them based on their beliefs and where they come from.” — Vanity Fair.

☆☆☆☆ “The series returns with a new plot and a new lead, Carrie Coon. The Leftovers star plays enigmatic and menacing cult leader Vera Walker, a character whose intensity permeates every corner of this story. Returning to the fold is Bill Pullman, once again excellent as the dysfunctional and empathetic detective Harry Ambrose … If the first few episodes are any indication, this is yet another disturbing/thought-provoking mystery worth unraveling.” — Los Angeles Times.

☆☆☆☆ One of the greatest strengths of this season is its confidence in the compelling nature of the story itself to carry the day. Under the supervision of showrunner Derek Simonds, who also wrote the first episode, The Sinner takes twists and turns but is neither flashy nor heavy-handed. It’s straightforward, smart, and doesn’t condescend to its audience.” — New York.

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