SHARP OBJECTS Ep. 5: “Closer”


The setting is a beautiful summer day – a sprawling mansion, green acres and all the southern decor, food, drinks, seating and costumes that money can buy. It looks tranquil enough but we all know that tempers are ready to blow over and that some of the townsfolk are spoiling for a fight. Calhoun Day is taking place on the Preaker grounds. Detective Willis does not like it one bit but Captain Vickery, once again on his high horse, tells him the show must go on and it’s his town, his rules. To add to the already tense atmosphere is the inflammatory article that Camille wrote – and was published on this day – so you know that guests are going to be gossiping left, right and center about it. Given that two teen girls have been murdered, that the town has a clear divide in terms of economic and social status and that no killer has been apprehended yet sets the stage for a confrontation or an ominous event of sorts.

On the home front, Camille continues to struggle with Adora. It’s not like Adora makes things easy for her eldest daughter – first with insulting her appearance and then making cryptic remarks about her first husband (Camille’s father). Add to the fact that Amma is being a snotty bitch to her older sister sure doesn’t make for a collegial environment. An emotional display inside a clothing store drives Camille to unleash a scream – having to bare her body to her mother and younger sister in order to get a point across – is painful and uncomfortable to watch. Adora may dress Amma up like a pristine little doll (although we know Amma is a snotty nosed punk) but Camille isn’t interested in putting on phony airs for her mother, or for anyone in Wind Gap. Still, it hurts to see the scars and cutting all over Camille’s body. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of emotional, psychological and physical pain she was in, during those formative teenage years, that she had to cut herself to drown out the pain.

Several of Adora’s friends are on the wraparound porch, scanning the grounds to see if anything of interest is taking place. Adora tends to the guests, floating around as a gracious hostess, trying to set a cordial and celebratory tone. Many of the women on the porch are fascinated by Willis. He is, after all, gorgeous and an out of towner – so they don’t know a lot about him but I’m willing to bet they’d like to get to know him better, if you know what I’m saying.

Camille sums up Calhoun Day to Richard – that’s it’s a day to celebrate a ‘founding pedophile’ (Calhoun married a very young teenage girl, about 13 years of age) and while the war raged on, the young wife didn’t give up her husband’s location to the Union soldiers that raided through Wind Gap and did horrific things to the town and to Millie Calhoun. What I find revolting is how the townsfolk admired and respected Millie for what she went through to protect the town. BUT she was grievously assaulted by Union soldiers – she lost a baby as a result of the assaults – and that’s the price to pay for bravery?! NO THANK YOU! What this says to me is that a woman who endures pain and suffering (and sexual assault) at the hands of a man or men has to shut her mouth and carry on. This must resonate with Camille on a personal level, given that she experiences flashbacks of what happened to her as a teenage cheerleader.SharpObjects_Ep5

Did anyone else catch the lingering gaze of Vickery – especially when Adora is nearby?  And how his wife was seething about it? It appears there’s some bad blood between the two women. One guest that was speaking with Camille seemed pretty intent on staring at her husband, Kirk, while he’s talking with Camille. What was really creepy was Kirk was also looking at Amma. Gross. Lots of undercurrents in this town. People were watching Bob and John, wondering when insults would be traded between the two or when a fight would break out. There appear to be many secrets in this town and nobody seems willing to share them directly. Adora gives Richard a tour of the house and while the two are alone, she imparts some advice about Camille. Camille is ‘delicate, a rose but not without its’ thorns.’ Way to go, lady, we get that you love Amma and treat Camille like garbage but really? How sweet of you to talk to Richard about Camille – we get it; you don’t want Richard becoming involved with Camille because God forbid, the townsfolk will gossip and more importantly, that Camille would be happy.

We are also prone to the flashback that Amma and one of the boys in the play used drugs before the play and while the play is in progress, Amma keeps watching Camille and Richard. What’s her angle? What’s with the interest in her sister and the detective?  It’s like Amma doesn’t want Camille to be happy either. She’s spoiled and has a cruel streak a mile wide. What’s a gathering without an incident? We see during the play put on by several high school students, with Amma taking the lead (of course) that Natalie’s brother, John and Bob get into a fight.  Amma takes off and a search ensues. What a way to end the Calhoun Day celebrations, am I right? We weren’t surprised, given alcohol and town prejudices were involved, right?

Camille can’t catch a break in Wind Gap. When she’s not being gossiped about by guests or former high school acquaintances, her mother is cutting her down to size by stating she’s cold, just SharpObjects_Ep5Pic2-243x300like her father and she couldn’t love Camille properly and she’s being sabotaged by her younger sister. It’s no wonder why Camille drinks the way she does. And the self -harm, that was years of an unhealthy coping mechanism for the pain and suffering she endured. She doesn’t allow herself to get close to anyone. It’s another coping tactic – you put up walls around you, never allowing anyone to get too close. You don’t get attached, so you don’t develop feelings and when you feel the need to leave, you just get up and go, no strings attached.

Camille visits Richard in his motel room and you can put two and two to figure out what happens between them. In the dark, they give in to their attraction but she makes sure he doesn’t see her body. Again, putting those boundaries up so nobody gets in. Camille, is Richard going to be another guy you dump and run from, or maybe, just maybe will you allow your hardened shell to crack a bit?

Is Sharp Objects going to be all tragedy or is there hope here? We are still not so sure. Look at next week’s Teaser. 

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