“Part V” finds Jaime trying to cover up his actions at the house party as Harry becomes almost as much of a suspect as he is.
This recap of The Sinner season 3, episode 5, “Part V”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Since being battered to death with a big ungainly ornament is a pretty deserving fate for most mediums, I empathize with Jaime Burns somewhat. And since I’ve had sciatica I empathize with Detective Harry Ambrose. All of this means that the on-going cat-and-mouse game in the third season of The Sinner is one I’m quite invested in, even if it has kicked the wonderfully malevolent Chris Messina to the curb.
Nevertheless, we still have Matt Bomer to entertain us with his devilishly handsome nutcase face, and we fittingly re-join him in “Part V” as he frantically disposes of the evidence that he beat a hipster medium to death at a house party. Naturally, he keeps that part of his evening to himself, instead telling Leela that he’d had a lovely night out with Harry, which I suppose is true, in some sense.
Not that Harry would feel that way, obviously. Since the murder occurred outside of his jurisdiction and while he was at a party with a suspect in a different killing, investigating the matter proves a bit of a problem for him. It’s typical that the one time he took a pain pill was the one time that a murder occurred on his watch. Detective Soto looks on at him a bit sympathetically as he tries to explain this, as one would an eccentric neighbor, or indeed a colleague undergoing what increasingly looks to be some kind of existential crisis.
At Harry’s request, Jaime meets with him, and The Sinner season 3, episode 5 begins doling out flashbacks of how he returned to the party, and the medium, in the hopes of posthumously conversing with Nick. Despite Harry’s urging that he confess, Jaime reckons he can get his life back to normal on his own, despite all evidence to the contrary.
This belief lasts about five minutes since the murder is all over the news and detectives are roaming the halls of the school where Jaime works, asking him questions he can’t answer and requesting “routine” DNA swabs. Then again it’s hard to suggest that anyone follow Harry’s advice since as well as going on nights out with murderers he’s also delivering pastries to witnesses and revealing altogether too much information about the case and his involvement in it. By the time Sonya, a bit spooked by Harry’s revelations, goes to visit Leela, there seems to be no end to characters inappropriately blabbing to others.
Thanks to Sonya, Leela knows what Jaime was really up to the night before and promptly throws him out, despite his weak efforts to equate his actions with hers from two years ago – actions that he forgave presumably so that he could bring up that he forgave them at every opportunity. With further flashbacks to Jaime’s encounter with the medium, I do wonder what the show is trying to say here. At first, I suggested a vague flirtation with supernaturalism, but now I’m inclined to think that Jaime is just so close to the edge that he’s vulnerable to the claims of hipster house party charlatans.
All the relationships in this show are weird, as it happens, and it only seems to be Sonya who mentions it. She visits Harry and is right on the money when she says that he has a weird relationship both to Jaime and to her, but it amounts to them hooking up, so it’s hard to say that the lesson stuck. Meanwhile, Jones, the detective investigating the house party killings, is thinking along the same lines. She corners Jaime – after being asked to take a leave of absence from his work – with more awkward questions, and treats Harry much the same way, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have the kind of hard evidence that she needs.
The audience does, though, since we’re finally treated to a depiction of the medium’s murder. There’s no ambiguity around this one; Jaime did it, quite enthusiastically, and without much reason. This reframes the character in a new way. He has imagined committing violence before, and we know he left Nick to die, but Nick was awful – this is different. Jaime’s suddenly a dangerous, unpredictable murderer who will stove someone’s head in at the slightest provocation, so when he turns up at Harry’s house and starts charming his grandson, Eli, the implication is clear.
Harry doesn’t take it well, naturally, striking and choking Jaime and warning him to stay away from his family. Eli witnesses this, which Jaime is evidently pleased about. But he seems pretty chuffed with the assault, too. This, he insists, is the real Harry Ambrose coming out. Is he right?
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