Television

The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5

The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5 Review- Harry Mirrors Percy’s Life In A Stunner

Some secrets should stay buried, and others will bury you. Percy learned the hard way as more of her troubles surfaced in a tense The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5. At just over the halfway mark in the season, the more we know, the less we understand. It is something the writers of all four seasons have been cognizant of. Give us just enough to keep us coming back for more, preferably with furrowed brows.

Critics in the past have complained a bit that the series was a tad too long with too much focus on Harry’s introspection. It’s a fair complaint, but one I can’t entirely agree with. Regardless of the victims and the killers in each crime, it has always been Harry’s story to tell. How each of these investigates change and destroy him is where the show really excels. In The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5, that is especially true when he walks in Percy’s shoes and finds a kindred spirit.

Harry can’t be happy unless he’s miserable. We all know people like that. A lot of us are like that to some degree. He is a damaged soul drawn to destroyed people. Harry is like a powerful, terrible magnet that pulls misery and violence to him. Of course, that’s nothing new to the antihero. But, it is something different for an actual hero. Harry has his demons, but he is a warrior for those who can no longer speak for themselves, even if it is partly to solve their puzzle. It is that truth that haunts him the most.

It is why Jamie’s death has affected him so profoundly. He worries that he isn’t a “good guy,” just a guy with a gun good at puzzles. The best thing about The Sinner Season 3, besides Matt Bomer, of course, was the repercussions for The Sinner Season 4. Some actions can’t ever be undone, and killing Jamie has ruined him. He was grizzled and worn before, but now Harry is possessed by the belief that he doesn’t deserve happiness.

Percy haunts Harry and says, we are both guilty. She counsels him to let Jamie go. Harry has such tremendous guilt he could end up like her. It is looking more and more like the reason Percy is dead, Sean is addicted to drugs, and all of this was set in motion was because of the allusive Valerie’s death. Meg denies knowing her or about any death two years ago, but as Harry has pointed out, she lies.

The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5
THE SINNER — “Part V” Episode 405 — Pictured: (l-r) Bill Pullman as Detective Lt. Harry Ambrose, Frances Fisher as Meg Muldoon — (Photo by: Michael Tompkins/USA Network)

Frances Fisher(Meg) is fantastic this week, playing off of Harry’s stoic curiosity. They are an interesting pair, both bristling with distrust and resentment. Neither of them trusts the other, and both resent the intrusion of the other in their lives. As badly as Meg wants to know what happened to Percy, she deep down knows she will have to face a hard truth she has been burying. Meg is a hard woman who had to be, but sometimes, she loses sight of flaws in herself and others in her quest to maintain control.

It is why she was so harsh to Percy when she told her she didn’t want the business. For Meg, it was a rejection of everything she was and everything she sacrificed to build. For Percy, the business was an albatross reminding her constantly of the mysterious tragedy. Fisher brings just enough vulnerability to Meg that although she is an unyielding, oblivious tyrant, she is relatable. Her anguish is palpable, and she is so tightly wound it isn’t hard to imagine her snapping when everything finally comes to light. It’s often said it’s easiest to lie to ourselves, and Meg looks to be world-class.

With the discovery of Brandon’s dead body, it will be harder to reconcile what Meg believes with the truth. Someone shot the man who, in all likelihood, stole Sonya’s photos from Harry’s house. He had a red rainjacket like the one Sonya caught a glimpse of, and he was overheard talking about it at the wake. All signs continue to point to Colin. He may have ordered Brandon to steal the photos and killed Brandon either to tie up loose ends or because Brandon no longer wanted to keep his secrets. In any case, we know Brandon was out in the water with another unidentified boat, and that scared someone badly enough to shoot him in the head. Did he fall overboard and get caught in the rope only to be hauled back to the dock, or was he deliberately left that way as a message?

Harry questions Emily Castillo, a Harbor Master, when she broke into his house after he broke into hers. Easily the most compelling segment of The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5 was Harry’s experience with Emily. She forces him to endure what Percy did to understand Percy and what Emily tried to do. The meticulously shot scenes wove Percy and Harry’s experiences together in a horrific tapestry of pain, confinement, loneliness, and guilt. The main difference is Harry seemed better for the ritual while Percy’s pain was too deep.

As Emily points out, you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. So Emily tried to help her gain control over the five relationships holding her back. The totems Harry found were representative of each of those relationships. The first was CJ. The second was her father. The third and fourth were Meg and Colin’s, but the fifth is still unknown. It is tied to the Celtic Northstar from Colin’s boat, though, which means Colin was probably involved.

Thick, lush shots of a seemingly primordial forest mingle with tight shots tinged in blue. Percy is everywhere and nowhere. Combined with an ominous sound design, The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5 felt oppressive and urgent. There is a claustrophobia to this season that makes me anxious as if the ghosts who were haunting Percy have been set free.

Trauma can be destructive. Small town loyalties can also be a problem, and when the two collide, you get cover-ups that cause such tremendous guilt only the wicked can survive being tainted. Gentle souls like Percy and Sean turn to substances and run when they can, but our past always catches up to us. In The Sinner Season 4 Episode 5, Percy’s past is coming to light, and Harry internalizes her struggle too much. Like a riptide, she is sucking him down into the frigid water. As with all seasons, The Sinner is about how our worst mistakes inform our futures. I hope Harry manages to keep from drowning. Find all our The Sinner coverage here.

Stray Kettle Of Fish:

  • “Free the bone from the flesh” sounds ominous, and for Percy, who has lost faith, it is a dangerous mantra.
  • Without death, there is no rebirth is the Wiccan version of ashes to ashes for Christians. But, in death, there is beauty, even if it is painful. Maybe Percy thought suicide was the only way to rebalance the scales and make something pure grow again?
  • The fifth totem has to be Valerie’s. Does Meg really not know her? What happened to her, and how involved were Colin and Sean? Did someone have an accident trying to help Percy, and that accident left Sean injured and addicted to drugs and Percy very conflicted?
  • The Lams continue to have trouble in the community. If the intent is to show bigotry is alive and well, we get it. Maybe there is more to their story, though. Is it possible Brandon’s death is related to something with the Lams business?