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With the first episode, everything points to All the Sins being an addictive, slow-burn crime drama series.

All the Sins
All the Sins: (L-R) Johannes Holopainen as Lauri Räihä, Maria Sid as Sanna Tervo, Matti Ristinen as Jussi Ritola — Photo by Hannele Majaniemi, courtesy of PBS Distribution / Walter Presents

The opening scene of All the Sins (Kaikki synnit) is enough to get you hooked. A man who’s tied up gets strung up in an old barn. Then his captor raises a knife…

The victim is the second Laestadian man to have been murdered recently in Varjakka. Since the local police haven’t made any headway in the first case, the national police sends two detectives — Lauri Räihä (Johannes Holopainen, Tellus) and Sanna Tervo (Maria Sid, Before We Die) — to help solve both cases.

Varjakka is a small, religious community in the north of Finland, and most of the residents here follow the extremely conservative Laestadianism. It also happens to be Lauri’s hometown, so it’s basically a given that his boss would send him to investigate. But Lauri’s been gone from Varjakka for ten years and he doesn’t want to go back now, not even for two homicides. Because although it gets him out of couples therapy with his husband, it also forces Lauri to deal with the people who rejected him and lifestyle all those years ago, including his family.

Sanna, on the other hand, is a bit more relaxed than Lauri — at least on the surface. A former smoker, she has a healthy sexual appetite, no issue with being with a different guy each night, and no desire for a serious relationship. But beneath that veneer, Sanna is a hurt mama.

Anyhoo, after Lauri gives Sanna a crash course on what Laestadians believe and how the leaders of the close-knit community lord their power over the townspeople, the two fly to Varjakka, where local officer Jussi Ritola (Matti Ristinen, Exorcist: The Beginning) takes them through the information gathered so far on the two killings.

Two possible suspects are the planner of the “shopping paradise” project and the leader of an activist “antitheist” group. As Lauri and Sanna conduct their inquiries, they learn others in town had motives for killing the victims, too.

Then a third Laestadian man goes missing.

The winner of the 2019 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize, Season 1 of All the Sins, a Walter Presents program, premieres in the US tomorrow, Friday, December 20, on the PBS Masterpiece channel on Amazon and the Walter Presents digital channels.

(Stay tuned for updates about Season 2.)


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All the Sins: Intriguing Finnish Mystery Series Set to Premiere in the US