TV: Biel Evolved: The Sinner - Finale Reviewed

A great character study shows emotional momentum and dramatic movement from its central players. In a short span, USA Network's jarring hit show accomplished things that we never typically get from the television format. Setting a tone that continued across this piece of nearly cinematic work, it used pulsating music, hard hitting emotion, and brutal pain to inflict scars on its viewership that will be felt for years to come. 

The Sinner was a genius crime story that pulled no punches. From sensual doom and gloom to highly rendered bloody beach murder, the event series is how TV should be done. It asks its viewers to push past the turmoil, sexual deviancy, and religious zealotry to find answers. Much like the characters in the show, we were forced to the edge of sanity as a story of human pain found closure and some type of twisted remorse as Ambrose and Tannetti realize it's over. Like most other popular shows, we're left with an open book: a detective looking to the future with the possibility of more cases to solve. And it's distinctly beautiful. 

So what you're saying is that Emmy season is over.
But there's always next year, right?

In what has perhaps been one of the greatest televised mysteries of all time, The Sinner came and went in eight episodes that forever changed the way we look at Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman. From deep within came performances from both of them that captivated and painted highly rendered portraits of lost souls looking for answers. From episode one, Biel altered our perception of her acting talents, giving us the best she could while offering up the best role of her career and also the most engaging female lead of 2017. Somehow, she found a way to use this short series to do her best work while fully supported by the glorious talents of Mr. Pullman. As the emotively challenged Ambrose, Pullman digs deep with what will be the most revered role of his long running resume in and out of movies and TV. 

Television doesn't often find the perfect mix or chemical balance when creators are trying to amalgamate so many excellent ideas into the hour long format. In the case of The Sinner, there is never a dull moment. Each intricate detail could spell hell or salvation for the main cast. Rolling out little hints over the path of eight weeks, the plot never felt rushed or poorly paced. Instead, the show was given just enough room to breathe as Cora's fate hung in the balance. Honestly, there are far too many great things to say about The Sinner. It would be far too easy to gloat about how well done this entire project was. 

Damn it! Can't stab anyone with BOOKS!
Who put these here?  I said I wanted
a shelf of fruit knives! Justin, did you do this?

If you missed this show, it's a sin. Biel oozes with despair while Pullman pines for some type of acceptance. Ending the way it did with arms cautiously wrapped around each other, The Sinner is not just a defining moment for these performers but is relevant proof that the idea of a great story is not lost on today's TV viewer. Derek Simonds' creation is worthy of Emmy Awards all around, specifically for Biel come next year.