Four times a 'Sinner': Jessica Biel-produced series closes out latest season

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Rachel Jones / TV Media
Bill Pullman in "The Sinner"

Bill Pullman in "The Sinner"

USA's "The Sinner" has been leaving audiences at the edge of their seats for three, almost four, complete seasons. With each eight-episode season has come a glimpse into a different crime investigation with a dark and empathetic twist. Now, as we approach the holidays, case No. 4 draws to a close. Don't miss the shocking conclusion of "The Sinner" Season 4 when it airs Wednesday, Dec. 1, on USA.

The show follows Det. Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman, "Independence Day," 1996) as he solves the crimes no one ever saw coming. All the while, this straight-arrow cop has some seemingly "sinful" secrets of his own.

Season 4 has been action-packed and emotionally taxing, to say the least (so beware of spoilers ahead as the details are unpacked).

The show confirmed that Ambrose did, in fact, see a young girl jump from the bluffs, and the floating corpse was none other than Percy Muldoon (Alice Kremelberg, "Orange is the New Black"). Ambrose, who had been out one evening, watched as Muldoon ran from someone's backyard. In that moment, she calmly approaches the cliff, looks over her shoulder and jumps. No foul play.

Meanwhile, Sonya (Jessica Hecht, "Whatever Works," 2009), the artistic loner whom "Sinner" fans met in Season 3, has become discouraged with the case and is encouraging Ambrose, her romantic partner, to call the investigation quits. Nearly ready to concede, Ambrose soon finds a Celtic North Star Totem on Percy's body with the name "Valerie" etched onto the back. He then finds the same exact totem on Colin's (Michael Mosley, "Ozark") boat.

From this point on, Ambrose is led on a journey that includes finding Colin at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a curious encounter with Percy's grandmother, Meg Muldoon (Frances Fisher, "Grace and Grit," 2021), and discussions with many locals who — each more than the next — are convinced that Percy would never take her own life.

Heading into the finale, it seems there are more questions than answers as Ambrose learns the suicide couldn't be suicide, Percy was struggling with her faith and somehow the mysterious "Valerie" totem found on Percy's body might have some connection to her death (though viewers and characters know by now that the connection does not necessarily mean Colin is to blame).

It's a lot to make sense of for any viewer, or, indeed, any detective. (Needless to say, Ambrose does not have an easy job.)

Since its debut at the end of the summer of 2017, "The Sinner" has forced audiences to ask themselves the tough questions. Knowing from the get-go how the crime was committed and who committed it really upsets the narrative TV audiences are used to experiencing. The show treats each viewer as a willing participant in solving the crime, but as soon as anyone thinks they know what's happening, they learn they couldn't have been more wrong.

Jessica Hecht and Bill Pullman in "The Sinner"

Jessica Hecht and Bill Pullman in "The Sinner"

In its first season, "The Sinner" shocked viewers with a perplexing scenario. A frustrated woman, Cora Tanneti, played by Jessica Biel ("The Illusionist," 2006) hugs her son, eats a pear and then stabs a seemingly innocent man on the beach where they're spending the day.

Despite Cora's obvious guilt and dozens of witnesses to the crime, Ambrose is dedicated to investigating Cora's past — a decision that sets the standard for every season since.

The captivating series is based on German author Petra Hammesfahr's novel "Die Suenderin" ("The Sinner"), a work of literature in which anything can happen and nothing is as it seems. In both versions, Det. Ambrose questions the truth as he comes face-to-face with two impossible choices: setting Cora free after she committed a heinous crime, or locking her up without explanation.

Regardless of format or installment, "The Sinner" is all about complicated pasts — not just the complicated pasts of the guilty, missing and murdered, but those of the very people behind the investigations as well. From Ambrose to Sonya to, this season, Percy, everyone has a secret. Anyone could be the titular "sinner."

As the last episode of Season 4 airs, the key to Percy's death will finally be revealed. Ambrose has been dealt a mess of clues, confusion and red herrings since the premiere, and only now will he (and viewers) begin to make sense of the pieces.

Is Percy's death linked to the eerie Bazegw Point, which has an interesting lore of its own? Could the iconographic artwork of one P. Muldoon spell out a supernatural ending to Percy's story? Who, or what, is "Valerie"?

Join Det. Ambrose for the final leg of the titillating and sinister investigation when Season 4 of the Jessica Biel-produced series "The Sinner" airs its finale Wednesday, Dec. 1, on USA.