Part II of The Sinner Season 3 gives us a closer look into Jamie and Nick’s complicated relationship and unveils more questions than answers in the circumstances surrounding their car accident and the days and even years leading up to that fateful night. Catch all the highlights below.
Nick and Jamie were together before the night of the accident.
Jamie’s flashbacks throughout the episode show that while Nick was checked into the Dorchester motel for several days prior to his visit to Jamie and Leela’s home, he was also in New York City for some time before that and that the two of them met up at Jamie’s behest, contrary to his claims. While they catch up first in a bar and later in a fancy hotel restaurant (indicating Nick makes very good money), we learn Jamie unceremoniously cut Nick out of his life 18 years prior, which led to Nick going sober and climbing the economic food chain until he’s on top. Now, he says, “there’s nothing to do up there but jump off.” Jamie is inexplicably attracted to Nick’s nihilism; he says he called Nick because despite his little family and perfect life, he doesn’t feel anything anymore. He apparently wants Nick’s help to change that.
“Why shouldn’t we try it again? You wanna wake yourself up, you said so yourself,” Nick later says. (It’s unclear what “it” is.) Nick says that instead of going back to the “dollhouse,” Jamie needs to “cut the cord.” As he’s talking, he goes over to a rich couple who sit scrolling mindlessly through their phones; he grabs the phones and puts them in their glasses of water, emphasizing the need to disconnect. As the couple calls security, Nick comes back to Jamie’s table, takes Jamie’s hand with a knife, and forces him to push it through his own palm. (Now we know where Nick’s the knife wound came from.) “This is real,” Nick says as the knife punctures clean through. Later that night, the two of them go to the hotel’s roof and stand dangerously close to the edge. “You miss this, admit it,” Nick says. Staring down at the street, Jamie smiles, breathing heavily. He looks alive.
In Nick, Jamie “ain’t got no friend in a world like this.” He continues to grieve.
Part II opens back at the car accident after Jamie has decided to let Nick die. While his reasoning is still unclear, Jamie walks around to the radio and dials to a station playing Kevin Morby’s “Come to Me Now” (hence the bloody fingerprints on the volume dial later on).
But life continues to go on after that night, and Jamie is shown throughout this hour grieving and coming to terms with the actions that led him here. He throws away his weed vape pen and he forgoes coffee in the morning with Leela; he tells her he’s “trying to stay clear,” echoing Nick’s sentiment. But the clearheadedness without the chemical crutches seems to only make Jamie more manic. For instance, he unwisely advises one of his students to not only write her own recommendation letter from him for Brown University, but to stray from focusing on all her extracurriculars and other “resume bullshit” and instead get personal about her depression. (“It’s strange isn’t it, that some letter should determine your fate?”) It points to his growing disillusionment with the systems that society by and large rely on—and he’s later reprimanded by his boss.
Later, a panic attack mid-dinner party puts him in the hospital. While the doctor’s aren’t concerned about his overall healthy, they say that he’s suffering from anxiety. Before he checks out, Jamie walks through the hospice ward and is drawn to an elderly man sitting alone in his room. Striking up a conversation with him, the man says that he wants whiskey and that he’s ready to go. “OK,” Jamie says with a hint of ominousness. “We can go in a minute.”
In the episode’s final scene, Jamie leaves Leela sleeping in bed and revisits the hospice center to see the old man. Per the man’s request, Jamie has brought him Kentucky bourbon. As they share a few rounds, the man eventually falls asleep, and Jamie takes the opportunity to help him “go.” He wraps his hands around the man’s neck, choking him so hard that his vocal cords break under the pressure. The man, now awake, panics and fights back, eventually pushing Jamie off of him. As the man struggles to call for help, Jamie flees the scene and leaves the man to his nightshift nurses.
Sonya inserts herself in the case.
The car accident on her property has left Sonya more than a little shaken, and seeing Jamie visit the crash site didn’t help, either. We first see her in Part II confronting Harry at the precinct and demanding answers. And that’s not her only run-in with Harry; they have a somewhat flirtatious-if-apologetic encounter at the local diner, where Sonya admits that she went a little “full throttle” in the precinct due to her history with stalkers. Apparently she had quite the traumatic experience while exhibiting her work in Santa Fe.
Later, going for a walk through her wood-laden property, Sonya comes upon yet another scene that takes her breath away: Someone has dug a grave and left the shovel stuck vertical in the ground next to it with a jacket draped and hanging over the handle. She calls Harry, who calls in a forensics team before investigating a bit himself. Shuffling through the pockets of the jacket, he finds the same paper fortune teller from Part I. Is this how Nick and Jamie choose where they’re going to go and what they’re going to do? Something is wrong here. Harry’s arc closes this episode with him posting up on Sonya’s porch to keep watch for the night.
Harry is onto Jamie and eventually confronts him about it.
Harry, meanwhile, is slowly learning along with the audience of the intricacies and lies behind Nick and Jamie’s relationship. Harry slowly invites Detective Vic Soto in to help him with the case, and they successfully find footage from the hotel, from the subway, and credit card receipts that all point to Jamie and Nick meeting in Manhattan prior to Nick coming over to Jamie’s home. Harry is simultaneously trying to get to know Jamie personally, insisting that he help him plant a tree. (You’ll remember Harry has a green thumb.) It’s a means of gaining Jamie’s trust while uncovering exactly why he continues to lie to him.
That goes out the window, however, when Harry comes knocking on Jamie’s door to tell him he knows he’s been lying and to question him about Sonya’s grave. Jamie insists that he knows nothing about the grave on Sonya’s property (though he was mysteriously late getting home from work that same night), but he admits he lied about meeting with Nick because he was trying to help him. “Nick, he’s unstable, he acts out,” Jamie explains. “I lied because the whole thing is embarrassing. He keeps roping me into these imposslbe situations.” He adds that Nick might’ve dug the grave because he wanted to kill him: “He’s capable of anything.” Upon further questioning, though, Jamie gets defensive and angry; he tells Harry to leave him alone. “I’m a high school teacher living in the goddamn suburbs about the have a baby. I’m not driving around in the middle of the night digging graves for painters I don’t know. What is it with you? You keep showing up at my house pretending we’re friends but now you’re harassing me. If you have evidence that incriminates me, call me in. Otherwise I’m going back inside to my wife.” With that, Harry, giving Jamie a knowing smirk, walks away.
Additional Takeaways, Additional Clues
● Leela isn’t given much to do this episode other than sit at home and worry, but it’s clear that she’s concerned about her husband. He’s coming home late and he’s having panic attacks and fainting spells. And all this while she’s expecting a child to be born any day. Anytime she tries to approach Jamie about it, he deflects and downplays, and at one point even seduces her into not talking about the grief that’s plaguing him. Most alarmingly, though, is the fact that mid-coitus with Leela, Jamie is struck with memories of Nick; he thinks of his dead friend as they reach climax. Suffice to say, the two men had a complicated relationship—and we’re sure to learn more next week.