Last week’s episode of HBO’s Sharp Objects ended with our heroine, Camille Preaker, hearing the words she hoped she’d never hear from her mother. A confession from Adora’s own lips that she never loved her. And whether it was a need to be distracted, a need to be wanted, or a combination of many things, Camille hopped in her car and drove to Richard’s motel room. The night was filled with passionate heat, but Richard couldn’t help but notice that Camille never let him see her skin.
Episode 6 opens the morning after, where Camille gets out of there as fast as she can. Richard tries to get her to open up, in a playfully, but genuinely curious way, but Camille won’t be swayed that easily. She words it perfectly.
“You’re gonna have to do better than a cup of coffee and an old flannel shirt.”
And granted, he does try, with the offer of a home-cooked meal. But alas, we’ll have to wait until Episode 7 for that. If our Detective gets to stick around that long. But more on that later.
Camille heads home, where she digs into the cherry pie leftovers from the previous day’s festivities. And Adora, surprisingly, is much more civil than usual. She comments that she’s happy to see Camille finally eating, and she even offers to pick her up the hand cream she needs while she’s out. Sounds small, but for this family, it’s pretty huge. But what Adora neglects to mention is the fact that she’s not just heading to the store. No, she’s gotten a call from the Chief himself, who’s found the bicycle of Ann Nash dumped into a lagoon on her property. Well, her farm, at least.
Adora, the Chief, and Bob Nash are the first to arrive, with Richard swiftly on his way. But while he’s driving through town, he comes across Jackie, cleaning up the window sill where Natalie Keene’s body was found, throwing out dead flowers and the like. He takes the opportunity to ask her what she knows about Camille’s most recent episode, but Jackie’s lips are sealed. At least, she says, when she’s sober.
Richard gets to the farm just as they’re fishing the bike out of the pond, but it’s covered in muck, completely black. Before they wipe some of the grime away, Bob says that Ann’s bike seat was white with flowers. And lo and behold, what should they find when they wipe away the dirt but exactly that. Bob completely breaks down. All these wounds opening again and still no sign of an arrest. But with the bicycle found, they may be one step closer.
Meanwhile, Camille visits Ashley and John again, hoping to find out whatever Ashley is hiding. This girl may be longing for her fifteen minutes of fame, but there’s a lot more to her than that, a lot more than she’s letting on. Unfortunately, she’s not apt to say much that Camille doesn’t already know, but she does notice a chunk of Ashley’s earlobe missing. Something that perhaps one of the girls are responsible for? Maybe even John’s late sister? No confirmation on this yet, but what is interesting to note is that Amma is sitting poolside at Ashley’s, torturing John. One moment flirting up a storm, the next calling him a baby killer. I have to say, I may have been sympathizing with Amma in Episode 5, but she’s making it awfully hard in Episode 6.
Before heading back to her house, Camille gets a call from her handsome Detective, who, after a fair bit of flirting, reveals that the bicycle was found on her mother’s property. And you can bet that Camille came home in a fury. But Adora is unfazed by her daughter’s wrath. She simply tells Camille that she isn’t one of her sources and doesn’t owe her any explanation. But of course, she can’t just leave it at that. Instead, she asks her husband to tell Camille that she’s outstayed her welcome. He takes it one step further by telling her that she’s making her mother sick. Camille simply responds by telling him that she’ll be out as soon as she can, not a minute later, and proceeds to give him the finger before hopping into her friend’s car. Good on ya, Camille.
If there’s anything the residents of Wind Gap know how to do, it’s drink and gossip. Camille’s friend, though pregnant, has a stash of bourbon in the car, complete with ice for Camille as she fills her in on the latest gossip of the town. Some things never change, as she finds more evidence of when they get to the house, where almost all of the ladies are bawling while watching a questionable (meaning cheesy) movie. Breakdowns about their personal lives shortly follow, ranging from going back to work to a husband who thinks having four kids is enough. Camille, though a little exasperated, looks genuinely concerned until her old friend, Eileen, whispers to her “this shit happens every week”.
Eileen seems to be the only true friend of the group. She doesn’t join in when the others tell Camille that she isn’t truly a woman because she doesn’t have children. That the only true purpose of every woman is to bear children. Trust me, you’re not the only one eye-rolling hard right now. But this little party reveals a lot more than misguided opinions and idle gossip. No, it turns out that the husband of the woman hosting the gathering is a teacher at the local high school. The same teacher that went to school with Camille, who was on the football team, and was part of the group that raped Camille in the woods. When they have a minute alone, he apologizes profusely. She tries to brush it off, but he won’t let her, saying it’s haunted him every single day since, even more so now that he has daughters. Camille looks at him blankly.
“Looks like we both got fucked.”
This was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful scenes in the series so far. The entire thing is so messed up. Camille still has trouble coming to grips with what happened, and now one of the men responsible is apologizing to her, after pretending nothing happened only the day before? There aren’t words.
After this encounter, Camille’s had enough, so Eileen drives her to the local store. She offers to drive her home, but Camille refuses. Before she leaves, she asks why she’s being so nice to her. After all, they certainly weren’t nice to Eileen in high school, as we see in a flashback, where subtle jokes and insinuations are made about her because of her race. But as Eileen points out, Camille wasn’t as bad as the others, and she had just lost a sister. She took her pain out on herself, she saw the cuts on her thighs back in the day. Camille is visibly shaken, but I think, more than anything, it’s because it’s one of the first times in her life that she’s really seen.
That moment is short lived when, before Camille can start walking home, she’s greeted by Amma and her friends, who convince her to get in the car and promise to drive her home before going to a party. Unsurprisingly, they head to the party first, where Amma drags her along, promising they’ll be five minutes. Cue another eye-roll.
Every teenager in town must be at this party, and they’re doing more than just drinking. Amma and her friends are taking Oxy and ecstasy, both of which Camille ends up taking. Amma always wanted to party with her sister, after all. And the atmosphere creates an interesting dynamic between the two girls. The ecstasy is passed mouth to mouth, and it’s Amma that passes it to Camille. If you got incest vibes/questioned whether or not Amma may have a thing for her sister, you aren’t alone. And incest definitely fits in with the Southern Gothic theme. And as any Game of Thrones fans can attest to, HBO isn’t one to shy away from that topic.
The combination of drugs and alcohol leaves Camille smiling softly throughout the entire night, despite everything else. But this night is about more than letting off some steam, Camille actually gets Ashley to open up a little bit, granted in an aggressive, vague way. She tells Camille that if she wants to learn about Natalie, she should ask her own mother. So, either Ashley is lying, or Adora’s hiding something. My money’s on the latter.
After a dramatic, drug-induced, music-filled night, Camille and Amma skate home, laughing and clinging to each other all the while. When they get back to the house, they fall on the grass in a daze, still giggling as they get up and begin to spin. But Camille’s hallucinations start coming back, and in Amma’s place, she sees her other sister, her dead sister, who reappears in the last frame of the episode as Camille and Amma crash together in bed. Holding Camille’s hand, her hallucination warns her that it isn’t safe for her here. To say this final scene will have shivering and looking over your shoulder would be an understatement.
And what about our Detective? While he didn’t spend much time with Camille this episode, he spent an awful lot of time thinking about her. He dug up her past, visiting the rehab center she was last at, where he learns a little bit more about what happened. He knows she’s self-harmed, and he knows she left rehab shortly after her roommate killed herself. But what he doesn’t know is why she hurts herself. So, late that night, he meets Jackie in the bar, who’s drunk enough to spill everything she knows. But what she knows isn’t anything bad. It’s that Camille’s sensitive and special, and never recovered from her sister’s death. It’s here that we learn there was never even an autopsy. The fact that there’s so much mystery around her cause of death leads me to believe that it wasn’t an illness that killed her. It was something even worse.
With only two episodes left in the series, we can’t help but ask ourselves one question: who murdered Ann and Natalie? Well, we’re about to get our first arrest. One of the workers on the farm swore he saw John Keene dump the bike in the pond. But Richard doesn’t seem convinced, and frankly, neither are we. In fact, we’re pretty sure the killer is a woman. Everyone, except for Camille, is convinced it has to be a man, that women don’t kill this violently. What a twist that would be, if they did.
Stay tuned for next week’s recap, and for previous recaps of Sharp Objects, visit our official Sharp Objects page.
Sharp Objects Airs Sunday Nights On HBO.