Sharp Objects continues to maintain its methodical pace, uneasy atmosphere, and high standard.
Warning! Spoilers for Sharp Objects ahead!
The story so far: St. Louis reporter Camille Preaker has returned to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri after two young girls go missing. Camille’s mother Adora is not happy that her daughter has returned and has progressively made it more apparent to everyone. Meanwhile, the police want little to do with Camille. Through it all, Camille’s self-destructive tendencies seem to be getting worse.
Adora’s relationship with Camille is futher explored with some of the most revealing moments in the short history of Sharp Objects. Adora barges into an interview being conducted by her daughter and precedes to reprimand her daughter while simultaneously apologizing to the subject of the interview in a great scene. Camille’s reaction further shows the power her mother has over her by the way both deal with direct confrontation. A later conversation between the two is even more telling as the viewer is sees what mother truly thinks of daughter.
As the mystery deepens, Adora has also become more involved in Camille’s investigation. ‘Fix’ is no different, as along with interfering with interviews, she has also taken it upon herself to warn other people about her eldest daughter. Previously, Adora has been content to watch from the sidelines and just berate her daughter. This episode makes it clear that Adora will go to much further lengths to prevent Camille from continuing her investigation.
Frustratingly, Adora’s motivation seems to be based on the town’s perception of her and is not about respect for the dead or protecting her daughter from what may be found. While Camille may have initially been hesitant about returning home, she has also shown from the beginning that she is concerned about what is happening. Adora’s arguments start with compassionate sentiments and end selfishly. Wind Gap has consistently shown itself to be image obsessed with Adora being the biggest example.
Surprisingly, Adora also has a moment where she almost seems to let her guard down and shows general concern. She questions the town’s police chief, Bill Vickery, about the direction of his investigation. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell whether the questions are based on concern for others, her family, or just because she wants to have the best gossip.
Adora is an imposing character who usually peddles fear and anxiety. ‘Fix’ also shows she is filled with uncertainty and self doubt. She is a multi layered character who works thanks to Patricia Clarkson’s standout performance. After Adora’s actions over two and a half episodes it was impossible to believe she can make the viewer feel anything but uneasy. Clarkson not only succeeds in adding another dimension — she brings compassion to the family matriarch.
Adora and Camille’s relationship is not the only one examined. In earlier episodes, Camille’s step sister Amma was portrayed as innocent if a little mischievous. ‘Fix’ changes that perception immediately as it quickly becomes apparent that Amma is more like her step sister than Camille would like. This does not endear Amma to Camille and worries Adora, which Amma seems to enjoy. In addition, Chris Messina is settling into his role as Detective Richard Willis, and Chief Vickery is not as oblivious as he let on.
Each episode of Sharp Objects has done an excellent job of world building. The premiere set the tone, the second episode added an air of discomfort, and ‘Fix’ brings the underlying tension to the forefront. Even more insight is given to Wind Gap and it is clear that the townsfolk are more self aware than it initially appeared. Camille also forms a relationship that is explored over the course of the show, leading to a shocking conclusion.
Sharp Objects continues to maintain its high standard. The show continues to handle several themes deftly with the mystery and the effects that someone’s upbringing can have on them being at the forefront. Sharp Objects is a great show that continues to head in an uncomfortable direction.