The Sinner season 2, episode 8 recap: One big secret

THE SINNER -- "Part VIII" Episode 208 -- Pictured: Bill Pullman as Detective Lt. Harry Ambrose -- (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/USA Network)
THE SINNER -- "Part VIII" Episode 208 -- Pictured: Bill Pullman as Detective Lt. Harry Ambrose -- (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/USA Network) /

The finale for season 2 of The Sinner has arrived. Was it as satisfying as we were hoping?

The Sinner gave us bits and pieces of the real story throughout the season. One could figure out that Marin was still alive (until the previous episode) and that she was really Julian’s mother, before being explicitly told or shown those things. The show’s final episode for the season picks up right where the last one left off.

We learn that the man who was talking to Marin and Julian is nowhere to be found. Harry also mentions that it looks like Marin was holding the gun, there was a struggle and it went off by accident. My previous guess was that Terry is the one who shot her, which is clearly not the case.

The cops find a car in the middle of the road nearby and set up a perimeter. They find Terry all by his lonesome and realize that it’s a decoy. We then see Julian and Vera pay Danielle Vaughn a visit. She’s helping them out and it seems like the plan is for them to leave by bus.

Heather pays her dad a visit after Chief Lidell sends her home. He tells her to stay the night and get some rest. It’s a small moment that they have, but it lets her know that he’s there for her. That is something she needs right now. She just found out Marin was alive only to have her actually die.

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Courtesy of Julian’s memory, we see what happened to Marin and it was a struggle that set the gun off. Vera notices that something is wrong and apologizes for not telling him about Marin. It’s of little consolation at this point, though.

Harry confronts Chief Lidell about the payments to Mosswood and wants to know why he’s been sitting on crucial information. It’s a reasonable question and Chief Lidell answers it with little effort. He mentions having to be sure and then we see Heather find a key to the motel that Marin was at in her dad’s laundry. Maybe he isn’t always going to be there for her after all.

Harry and Heather confront Jack about the motel key. He tells them that he went up there, she had the gun and it went off when he grabbed her hand. It turns out that he’s the one who took Julian to Vera. We then see a flashback to Marin talking to Jack and as he tells them the story, we learn that Julian is his son, not Lionel’s like we were led to believe.

We catch up with Julian and Vera as they’re still with Danielle. After seeing the news, Danielle doesn’t want them there. Julian calls Harry and tells him that her plan is for them to go away and start over. He’s scared and doesn’t know if he should go back or just go with Vera.

Heather plays the call with Marin over in her head when Marin said that she didn’t know what she had been through. Now that she does, she goes to talk to her dad and his apology comes a bit too late. She asks why he did it and gets no response out of him.

THE SINNER — “Part VIII” Episode 208 — Pictured: Tracy Letts as Jack Novack — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/USA Network)
THE SINNER — “Part VIII” Episode 208 — Pictured: Tracy Letts as Jack Novack — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/USA Network) /

Vera’s plan is to get to Chicago, but Julian tells her he doesn’t want to go. They already had to evade the cops. When he remains adamant about leaving, Vera finally hears him out and he tells her that he’ll make sure he can see her (at least once he’s 18, anyway).

Harry meets Julian and Vera once they arrive at the station. After Julian heads up with Harry, we see a flashback to Vera and Julian in the woods. I’ve never doubted that she truly cared for him as if he were her own son. We then see Vera burning a bunch of things in a pretty large bonfire. However, she does send Harry the tape of their session.

Vera burns down the barn where the larger rock was. Harry listens to the tape that Vera left for him and we finally see just how intensely personal their session was. They go from talking about his mother to Vera choking him.

At Julian’s hearing, Harry speaks up in favor of him being rehabilitated instead of incarcerated. The judge sentences him to four years at New Horizons in Syracuse. Heather and Harry take Julian one final place before he leaves and unsurprisingly it’s Niagara Falls, where he was heading in the first episode. Vera, on the other hand, makes her way back to Mosswood to see the rock after burning the building around it down.

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We get a lot of answers in this episode, but not all of them. We have no idea what happened to Jack after Heather confronted him. Was he charged with manslaughter at least? He knows that what he did to Marin was wrong (both times) and he clearly knows he’ll be paying for it, but it’s not something we get to see. While Julian’s ending was fairly predictable, I still thought it was a good ending for him. It’ll be interesting to see where The Sinner goes next if we get a third season of it.

The Sinner airs on Wednesdays on USA at 10 PM.