Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sharp Objects 1x02 Dirt

By Sati. Wednesday, July 18, 2018 ,

(spoiler-free!)

The second episode of Sharp Objects is spookier and even better than the series' premiere. There are truly hard to watch scenes, especially detective Willis talking to the coroner about the recent murder victim and Camille's flashbacks of her painful memories. As all of this is going on the central relationship between Camille and her mother Adora grows even more tense.

The episode is loaded with creepiness - from mouths with pulled out teeth to a meth addicted, sick with cancer woman slowly approaching Camille. We also got multiple moments of Adora's peculiar nervous tick - pulling out of the eyelashes. And on top of all of that, the longer Camille stays in Wind Gap, the worse she gets, her demons ready to attack her again.
By now we already know Camille's secrets - that she drinks and that her body is covered in words carved on her skin. While there was some ambiguity in the series' premiere about who did it to her I feel with numerous scenes of Camille touching the needle and even carving a word into her jeans the audience by now realizes Camille did that to herself. We get hidden words again, "hope" becoming "hurt" in funeral scene, "sacred" becoming "scared "written on car's door as Camille heads to reception.

The series continues to develop her character and Adams continues being surprisingly impressive. On one hand Camille is a mess. On the other she is kind and almost maternal towards the vulnerable - she is concerned when the boy she talks to is revealed to be playing with a gun, she tells Amma to be careful with the vodka she is smuggling in Sprite bottle, she even releases the spider trapped in a jar because she doesn't want it to starve.
We see glimpses of Adora favoring Marian and not being maternal towards Camille. Is that why Camille is so messed up? Is it because of rejection? And her problems don't ease even though there are people around her who care about her and want to help her - Jackie, her boss and detective Willis. Camille is perhaps beyond any help, years of rejection having taken her beyond saving.

We also see startling flashes of trauma, memories and experiences coming back to Camille in the beginning and the ending of the episode. Vallée's style really captures that sensation of getting ambushed by the past, that comes back even only for a moment and then haunts you for hours. Some of the imagery used in the episode is nightmarish and the editing cuts only get faster, swifter and more disturbing.But other than all of that there's still murder mystery at play here.
The show does a really cool thing in episode 2 where thanks to the style and Camille's strange state of mind it makes the supernatural element plausible. A young boy claims that one of the girls was taken by a 'woman in white' and thanks to Camille we find out it's actually a popular folk tale in Wind Gap - children tell stories of her, snatching children. But then we see Camille imagining seeing or maybe even seeing the Woman in white emerging from the woods.

The show also does a splendid job throwing fake leads and suspects at the audience, I almost wish I didn't read the book and didn't know who did it. There's a scene where Camille encounters older woman taking down 'missing' posters not to make the mother of the dead girl feel bad after the girl was already buried. So you naturally start to wonder, who is that woman? Maybe she did it? Then we have quick but disturbing scene with detective Willis trying to - and after using considerable strength - pulling a tooth out of dead pig's mouth. So it couldn't be a woman who committed the murders, right? We also get a scene of police captain fixing the stop sign, pliers attached to it...
The episode spends a little bit of time developing other characters - the heartbroken family of Natalie, Camille's nice and concerned boss who wants her to get better and Amma - throwing hissy fits over dollhouse while she is at home, and drinking and misbehaving while she is outside. There's even a curious moment of Amma staring at the knives in the kitchen and Vallée aptly suggesting to the audience that Amma and Camille are very much alike.

The show also developed the relationship between detective Willis and Camille a little bit and we got a delightful scene of their banter in the pub.. I also wanna give the shout out to the little boy who was playing while Camille was asking him questions on the edge of the woods - he was badass! That scene also subtly sets up just how wild the children of Wind Gap are.


On the next episode....

1x03 "Fix" - Camille (Amy Adams) relives a recent tragedy as she struggles to piece together the murders in Wind Gap. Richard (Chris Messina) grows frustrated with Chief Vickery’s (Matt Craven) assumptions regarding potential suspects. A defiant Amma (Eliza Scanlen) shows off her wild side to Camille, while Adora (Patricia Clarkson) admonishes Camille for meddling in the investigation and a town in mourning. Written by Alex Metcalf; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

12 comments:

  1. I really love the setting of Wind Gap...it creepily reminds me a little of my hometown...only in the sense of how small the town is/the house she grew up in. I mean...New Orleans is not like Wind Gap in the larger scheme, but there are definitely little subtleties that I can relate to...which is pulling me in more to this show.

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    1. I envy you that you live there! I always thought NO was such a magical place

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  2. I'm loving this show so much! It is so disturbing and unsettling.

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    1. I'm so glad you love it! The story is only about to get even better :D

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  3. Another great episode. I'm super bummed I won't get to watch Sunday's episode right away. I loved that they focused on Adora's eyelash picking, so you can see self harm in a way runs in their family.

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    1. That eyelash picking is so odd, Flynn comes up with the strangest stuff :D

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  4. I'm really interested in movies/shows that detail the effects of trauma, and, as you said, I think this show is capturing that incredibly well. You're right, the imagery is absolutely nightmarish at times.

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    1. I was legitimately creeped out by the vision she keeps having of the girl with bloody mouth!

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  5. OH man I need to get on this.

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  6. Nice recap! I liked that the series didn't take too long or toy with the idea of Camille's self-harm, since it's such an intricate part of her. They've done a wonderful job showing how alcohol and self-harm are her coping mechanisms. Patricia/Adora is absolutely stifling, and add in the mix of the misdirection of who it could be, Wind Gap is nightmarish. I was a little peeved that they started splitting up the investigation between Camille and Richard though, since the book is told from her perspective. I don't know how they're going to let that play out later on...

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    1. Richard is mostly just annoying the police captain and hitting on Camille though :) But at least he has moments where he attempts to investigate so that's good. Camille imho is still looking like the smartest person there

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