This week on Sharp Objects, we delve even deeper into Camille’s psyche and physical scars, while also tracing some continuing developments in the mystery in Wind Gap.
Despite filing the Natalie story, Camille’s editor won’t let her come home – he wants more pieces, especially stories that include some local color and personal insight on what it’s like for her to be home. Basically Camille’s worst nightmare. She continues trying to gather evidence/stories by interviewing two of the police’s top suspects and two men directly connected to the dead girls.
First, Camille pays a visit to Bob Nash, who seems happy to talk at length about Anne and what a smart, special girl she was. He’s irritated that the police are focusing on him instead of John Keene, and re-asserts his belief that a man is the killer. “Women around here don’t kill with their hands; they talk you dead,” he points out. Before Camille can get much further, she’s interrupted by her mother, who forbids her to question Bob further.
Adora is horrified by Camille’s interrogation of grieving family members and takes her daughter to task for it. It continues to be a sticking point in their relationship, and Adora can’t seem to move past the wounds of the past and her perception of Camille as a “dangerous person.” She feels compelled to apologize to the sheriff for her daughter’s behavior, and after chastising Amma for breaking curfew, warns her to stay away from Camille because she’s “not safe around her.” Camille and Adora continue to be at odds, and one of their arguments ends in her accidentally slicing her hand open on a rose bush and viciously telling Camille, “Nothing is ever your fault.”
None of this stops Camille – she also goes to question John Keene, an interview set up by his overbearing girlfriend Ashley, with whom he’s been living since Natalie’s death. Ashley is a lot. Like so much that she wears her cheerleading uniform for Camille’s interview. AND IT’S NOT EVEN FOOTBALL SEASON. She tries to talk John through Camille’s questioning, covering up John’s lack of alibi with an insistence that he was with her that night. John has a lot of pent up anger for the town in general – they only moved there two years ago, he’s never been a fan, and now his sister’s dead because of it. But he still finds time to praise Natalie as well – her creativity and more. You can tell Camille thinks John didn’t do it though because she deeply relates to his hatred of the small-town suffocation and gossip.
Amma continues to push the limits of her relationship with Camille, coming home drunk and running over her mother’s roses with a golf cart before interrogating Camille about why she came back home and her own macabre tendencies. Camille grows suspicious of her precocious little sister, who is determined to break curfew and drop cryptic comments about the murders. She follows her to the family pig farm and watches as Amma plays with a piglet in a way that can only be described as creepy. Camille urges her sister to be careful given the state of things, but she continues to flout the rules and drunkenly flaunt her sexuality about town. The slow burn between the two sisters and the sense that Amma is hiding something is the primary attraction of the series at this moment – their shared scenes shimmer with tension.
Meanwhile, Richard is also still investigating the case, despite racist pushback from the sheriff, who insists it was a Mexican trucker passing through and not a member of the town. Richard disagrees, believing it was someone in town scratching an itch and seeking power. While he continues to look into the case, he also delves deeper into his undeniable attraction to Camille. The two meet in a diner (after she not so subtly follows him inside) and he calls her out for her flirting/the sob story she wrote about Natalie.
Nevertheless, episode’s end finds them back at the local watering hole, trading theories about suspects and sly glances of yearning. He wants Camille to show him around town, and she starts to open up to him about her past. They carry their tête-à-tête into the darkened parking lot after last call. He asks her favorite color, drink, and season. She responds “black, coffee, and winter” – God, Camille, we get it, you are DARK AND DAMAGED. But their romantic interlude is interrupted by a vindictive Amma who comes on to Richard, calling him “Dick,” and mocks their connection, singing “Camille and Dickie sitting in a tree, f—k-i-n-g.” Amma tries to provoke Camille into being “dangerous,” shoving a lollipop in her hair and being absolutely wretched to her sister.
Disturbed, Camille runs off and hits the highway, driving drunk with her music turned up loud at full speed. And that’s when we come to the conclusion of a key piece of her past that we’ve seen flashes of throughout the episode.
Some time in the recent past Camille checked herself into a rehab center after slicing her wrist with a razor blade. Her roommate is a young, teenage girl named Alice, who interchangeably reminds Camille of herself, her dead sister, and in the present day – Amma. The two trade stories and showcase their scars (Alice can still wear a skirt, Camille can’t) and help each other heal, with Camille doing Alice’s lipstick and Alice introducing Camille to her love of music. This is, it turns out, where Camille has learned her habit of jamming in earbuds to get away from it all. Both Alice and Camille endure difficult visits from their parents, and when Alice asks “if it gets better with your family?” Camille tells it like it is and says, “No, you just have to survive.”
As we reach the episode’s conclusion, we see the end of Alice’s story. Camille left the room for a time to make a phone call and when she returned, Alice had taken her life by swallowing bleach. Camille immediately breaks down at the sight of it and the realization she couldn’t save her friend (just like her sister) – she throws up and then takes a screw from the toilet lid and drags it down her arm, slicing it open. Orderlies quickly subdue her, and we return to Camille breathless on a dark road 90 miles from St. Louis where she sees the ghostly specter of a woman in the street. Is it the Woman in White? Alice? Marion? Amma? All of them? The final shot is of the word “Fix” carved into her arm – but who exactly did or does Camille want to fix? Herself? Or the various young girls she couldn’t save from Marion to Alice? It’s a question to mull over as we pitch forward further into darkness and Camille’s complicated relationships with her mother and half sister.