Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sharp Objects 1x04 Ripe

By s. Sunday, August 5, 2018 ,

If Sharp Objects is like an acid trip, this last episode was the peak of it, so far. Halfway through the season we are deep into Wind Gap dysfunctional ways, stuck there with Camille. And with each episode we find out more and more painful things about her.

This week we got to see more of Adora too. Still nursing that scratch from the rose bush (and when Camille says "it's only a scratch" Adora hisses "to YOU"), Adora only livens up and puts on charming facade when Chief Vickery pays her a visit. He comes over inquiring about Camille and asking Adora not to host the annual festival event. Adora has him wrapped around her finger so much that even when she openly threatens him, he is simply charmed by her.
Meanwhile, Camille is still mad at Amma for her rude behavior. Amma wants to make nice but Camille is focused on her investigation. She meets with detective Willis and shows him the crime scenes in Wind Gap. Turns out over the years there was a lot of death there, all women. Some of them suicides, some of them murders. Camille tells Richard and the audience disturbing stories which paint the picture of a place where women are used, abused, hurt and sometimes even killed.

We also go to that creepy shed we saw Camille think of several times. Turns out not only is the shed the place where the girls that were murdered went to play, but it's also the place where boys "had their way" with girls. Camille essentially admits that she was raped by five boys in there and gets very defensive when Willis offers her sympathy. It's very clear that Camille was raped but she was telling herself a story, ever since that happened, that she wasn't and she wanted it to happen. It's one of her many ways to cope. To lie to herself and to stifle the truth.
Then we get a scene from the book where the two finally get intimate - the placement of that scene in front of that traumatic shed was not the greatest maneuver. Anyways Camille obviously doesn't take her clothes off and just takes Willis hands and guides it. As she climaxes she thinks of the blood, of the shed, of death. It's so clear how much her trauma affected her. We see heartbreaking moments with young Camille in this episode, so beautifully played by Sophia Lillis. The episode's most shattering moment comes when she comes home after getting raped, on her birthday and approaches the birthday cake, closes her eyes as if she is thinking of a wish but doesn't blow the candle, knowing it won't come true.

When Camille comes home, she is ambushed by Adora who was sitting in the living room. They have another unpleasant chat in which Adora manipulates, blames and taunts Camile. Adora even tries to make Camille think she did something one of the dead girls did - cut her hair in act of defiance. Camille looks like such a helpless girl whenever Adora's viciousness strikes with full force, particularly now. Adora tells her she "smells ripe", basically calling her a whore and turning a happy sexual encounter she just had with the detective into yet another trigger. It was difficult watching that scene, with Camille being so utterly destroyed and Adora at her utterly merciless. Also I don't recall seeing the word "ripe", the episode title on Camille's body unlike with previous words/titles. Perhaps that is because Adora's viciousness was as sharp as the blade.

Not only do we see more flashbacks showing that after Marian's died Adora was never there for Camille - Alan showed her more affection getting her a birthday cake - but she blames her own daughter for everything. It even gets to the point where Alan is growing increasingly tired of Adora's shit. He is listening to music, drinking and finally snapping and joining her in their bedroom in the end.

Adora's another soulless deed this week was firing John from the pig slaughterhouse. John goes drinking and Camille is already there and they talk a little. John reveals to her that Amma knew the dead girls and played in creepy shed too. Worried about her step-sister's safety Camille storms out of the bar and drives around looking for Amma, she even hallucinates opening the door to the shed and finding Amma's corpse lying there. Meanwhile, Amma is skating through town with her minions with cars following them around, one of them stopping right in front of Amma as the episode ends.
There were two extremely cryptic and interesting moments in this episode - first when Camille bites into Willis' shoulder and we immediately cut to Alan, inside the house, and we see a bite mark on his hand - a bite from when he bit his hand last episode, but still a very interesting editing cut. We also saw John's girlfriend noticing and then frantically cleaning a blood stain under his bed. Sure, it could be pig's blood considering where John used to work. But it doesn't have to be.The show just keeps throwing suspects at you. It also keeps adding conflicting information about those you may suspect - turns out Amma was the one separating the girls whenever they fought, to prevent anything bad from happening. We also see how disgusted John's girlfriend is with blood so she probably couldn't bring herself to pull a person's teeth out.

The episode also featured a guy, who I suspect, was one of the boys who raped Camille, now all grown up. It's Amma's teacher. We saw him before - at Natalie's wake and storming out of the bar when Camille entered. The episode also gave more details about Camille's boss - we saw him undergoing a chemotherapy. And the music game is just so strong, now adding The Doors to all that Led Zeppelin we already got. And then there's this Apocalypse Now reference. Oh and Beth Broderick, in the brunch scene. As in Sabrina, Teenage's Witch's Aunt Zelda.

On the next episode....

1x05 "Closer" - Despite a potential serial killer on the loose in the community, Wind Gap residents gather for Calhoun Day, an annual southern-pride festival hosted by Adora (Patricia Clarkson) on the grounds of her house. As Amma (Eliza Scanlen) and her friends act out a traditional play depicting the sacrifices made by the wife of a Confederate soldier, Adora shares confidences with Richard (Chris Messina) that may impact his relationship with Camille (Amy Adams). Written by Scott Brown; directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.


  1. I didn't notice that Apocalypse Now reference. It's absolutely brilliant! Great recap, as always!

    1. I didn't either I'm acting smart here but in reality I saw it on tumblr and that's how I remembered it :)

  2. Great recap! Adora is really a despicable character. Even more so in last night's episode.

    I love the editing going on here. It takes a lot of skill to flash back and forth between present and past without looking like a mess but they do it perfectly.

    1. Yeah she is just getting worse and worse with each episode!

      They do such a great work here, it's even better than editing in BLL which was also quite impressive. But here it adds so much to understanding Camille, it literally shows us her triggers in all those horrible memories she has

  3. Great recap! I'm loving everything about this show. I really appreciated your assessment of Camille coping with what happened to her in that shed. It's all so dreadful and horrifying.

    And yeah, that Apocalypse Now reference was awesome.

    1. It's really incredible what a great job they did with this adaptation, they added so many things and Flynn already created such an interesting character with Camille

  4. Nice recap! Chris and Amy have great chemistry. They really made the scenes from the books come alive. I always forget they were in Julie and Julia together. I liked how much this episode expanded with John, and added more layers to Alan/Ashleigh too. And that scene with Camille and Adora was so creepy and painful. The amount of trauma Camille faces at every turn is dizzying.

    1. Yeah it's so funny they were in Julie and Julia together! People on reddit keep making memes based on that :)