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Sharp Objects Episode 4 ‘Ripe’ Review: A disturbing and compelling watch

Sharp Objects has done a great job of foreshadowing episode four.

Warning! Spoilers for Sharp Objects below!

Previous Episodes: Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3

The story so far: Camille has been home for a few weeks after the murder of two young girls. More clues are being discovered and townspeople are becoming suspects. The citizens of Wind Gap are shocked at the gruesome murders and make sure to tell anyone who is willing to listen (which is everyone) about it. Camille is constantly butting heads with her mother Adora and now seems to have problems dealing with her half sister Amma.

Sharp Objects has done a great job of foreshadowing episode four. Starting with its debut, the miniseries has hinted that Camille has a horrible secret from her childhood. When the title card flashed across the screen reading ‘Ripe’ it became obvious this would be the episode that gave the revolting details.

Thankfully, Sharp Objects does not go into the disgusting minutia of what happened to her (yet), but what it does suggest is both abhorrent and frightening. The incident and episode add much more insight into Camille’s character. Previously, her self-destructive tendencies seemed to have been a way of escaping reality and driving away bad memories. ‘Ripe’ seems to suggest that her actions may be a result of shame and self-loathing. Like many victims of sexual assault, Camille justifies the actions of others while claiming she was just as responsible. In a show filled with shocking imagery and moments, Camille’s casual comments about how high school football players spend their Friday nights stands out.

Camille’s nonchalant attitude about the repulsive tradition also provides a deeper understanding into questions asked earlier in the season by Amma regarding why her older half sister was not in a relationship or did not have children. It also makes sense why Camille almost seems incapable of getting close to others and is only be able to hold defensive and combative conversations with people. Most telling (and frightening) of all, is Camille seems to have developed an indifferent attitude towards sex.

‘Ripe’ is easily the most sexually charged episode of the season. Where Sharp Objects shines is the way it mixes sex into the uncomfortable atmosphere that surrounds Wind Gap. There are no instances of “making love” and every act shown is dirty, awkward, scary, or some combination of the three. The scenes are sad and apprehensive since even the most natural things in Wind Gap have a feeling of unease. The apex of the uncomfortable sexual tension occurs when someone uses the word ‘ripe’ in a moment that will make the viewer’s skin crawl.

During it all, Camille, Detective Willis, and Sheriff Vickery are putting together the clues to discover the killer. While none of them have more than theories, they all seem to know that the problem is much greater than initially believed. Vickery in particular seems to know that there is a much deeper issue while Camille seems to want to exorcise the demons of her past.

Sharp Objects tackles difficult issues head on with its cast of interesting characters and engrossing mystery. Each episode gets harder to watch due to the high level of tension built; conversely, the show is impossible to turn away from as the mystery deepens.

Sharp Objects Ep. 4 'Ripe'
Is it good?
If the mystery does not draw you in , the characters will. Sharp Objects is one of the best shows on television while also being the most uncomfortable.
The show's uneasy atmosphere wraps itself around every action, making for an uneasy and unique viewing experience
Methodical pacing leading to meaningful reveals
Great use of imagery that shocks without being overpowering
Handles subjects that may turn viewers away

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