REVIEW: JESSICA BIEL CHANNELS A VERY DARK SIDE IN USA NETWORK’S ‘THE SINNER’!

USA Network’s The Sinner which launched last night is full of promise. As murder mystery’s go, this one unspools in reverse. We know who did it. Now, we just have to figure out why, unfolding over eight episodes of the limited series.

sinner Brownie Harris USA Network

Based on Petra Hammesfahr’s best-selling novel and adapted for the small screen by Derek Simonds (The Astronaut Wives Club, When We Rise), The Sinner is set in sleepy upstate New York with its manicured lawns and white picket fences. The show centers around Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel), a seemingly normal, if slightly underwater mother and wife. Without warning, Cora commits an unthinkable crime, stabbing a man to death on a stretch of beach with her family bearing witness to the bloody act.

The question becomes why…why would a suburban mother without a history of violence erupt in such rage? Rage taken out on a stranger as Cora swears not to know her victim nor why she would do such a heinous thing.

Enter detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) whose job it is to deconstruct the crime, reaching back into Cora’s life and perhaps more importantly, her psyche, for answers. Dealing with personal issues of his own, often finding solace perched on a bar stool, Harry can relate to his rudderless suspect, not ready to throw away the key quite yet.

While Cora sits in jail, afraid and confused, we are left to wonder what could have pushed her over the edge. Biel, taking on her darkest role to date, is compelling to watch. She succeeds in portraying the dichotomy between her character’s plain-Jane outer countenance and the threads of darkness that lie within. We only get a hint of what is to come, but it is enough to tune in for more.

‘THE SINNER’ AIRS ON USA NETWORK, WEDNESDAYS, 10/9C.

PHOTO: BROWNIE HARRIS/ USA NETWORK

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