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Why Jack Novack From The Sinner Is The Absolute Worst

USA's crime drama The Sinner will air its fourth season premiere sometime in 2021, per Deadline. And when it does, it will most likely feature Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) investigating another new mystery that will take a season to unravel. If the new plot aligns with past seasons, the compelling question fueling the story won't be as much about who committed a crime as about why they did it.

That isn't to say the show skips the "whodunit" element entirely. The Sinner's first two seasons begin with shocking murders committed by suspects who seem guilty to everyone except Harry. In season 1, it's suburban mom Cora (Jessica Biel), while season 2 has 13-year-old Julian (Elisha Henig). Sure enough, neither one is quite as guilty as they seem, and eventually, Harry finds the real culprits.

Spoiler warning: If you haven't finished season 2, stop reading.

In season 2 of The Sinner, the Big Bad turns out to be Harry's childhood best friend Jack Novack (Tracy Letts). At first, he seems like a caring father. His daughter Heather (Natalie Paul) has just been promoted to police detective and when she faces a challenging case, Jack invites his old pal Harry to assist. Much later, Harry learns Jack was at the center of it all.

The Sinner is the kind of cop show where even Harry is a flawed human being who is difficult to love. The title refers to the various murderers he catches, but Harry has plenty of his own demons, too. Still, even though most characters on The Sinner wouldn't qualify as great people, Jack Novack stands out as particularly reprehensible.

Let's remember why Jack Novack is awful, and then forget about him forever

Season 2 of The Sinner begins when Julian poisons and kills Adam (Adam David Thompson) and Bess (Ellen Adair), two people who claimed to be his parents. In reality, they were members of a local cult called Mosswood Grove, as was Julian, and they were smuggling him out. After the double-murder, another cult member named Vera (Carrie Coon) steps forward and claims to be Julian's mother.

Only that isn't true, either. As Harry looks into the cult, he discovers that Heather once dated a woman named Marin (Hannah Gross) who was Julian's real mother. Years ago, Marin joined Mosswood Grove when she was pregnant and had nowhere else to go. Marin gave birth to Julian and later left the cult. Julian murdered Adam and Bess thinking they were abducting him when really they were trying to reunite him with Marin.

But even after Harry figures that out, it still leaves the question of who fathered Julian. Shortly after Harry learns about Marin, she turns up dead, too. And then Harry finds evidence linking none other than Jack Novack to Marin's killing. Jack admits that not only was he Julian's father but that Julian was conceived when he sexually assaulted Marin.

That's already monstrous. And on top of it, Jack was also giving Mosswood Grove monthly payments for Julian's care, meaning he knew Julian was his son all along and never came clean until he was forced to. If he had done the right thing earlier, Adam, Bess, and Marin would all still be alive. 

The big takeaway here: Jack Novack is the absolute worst.