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Sharp Objects: Episode 4 "Ripe"

by Murtada

I was excited for this episode of Sharp Objects as it was billed as "Camille and Richard finally go on a date." They sort of did, in the Sharp Objects way by visiting Wind Gap murder scenes. But the episode also gave us a glimpse into Adora and Alan’s marriage and a memory involving Alan and Camille. I don’t think we’ve ever seen the latter two characters have any meaningful interactions before last night.

At the end of last week’s episode we saw Camille fleeing Wind Gap after her confrontation with Amma. However this time we start with her changing her mind and coming back. Images of dead girls fill the screen, we get it Jean Marc Vallèe, that's why she’s coming back. The constant cutting between now and the Camille's memories feels played out to me despite the story's dependence on memory. It was fresh and exciting when we first saw it 4 years ago in Wild (2014). Get some new tools, Vallèe!!

I’ve decided to let go of trying to look for clues to the mystery of the killer and just enjoy the performances and the eerie atmosphere that the series built. So I felt rewarded for that decision with this “date” and the Julie and Julia reunion between Amy Adams and Chris Messina. To honor their pact to exchange information, Richard tells Camile that the police chief is following John Keane and she takes him on a murder site tour of Wind Gap. Their interplay gives us information about Camille’s past and gives the actors the chance to play with each other. Camille tels Richard of Wind Gap’s history, one full of rape, murder, misogyny, homophobia and double standards between the sexes. She implies that she slept with the football team as a cheerleader. He calls it “rape”, she calls it “consensual".

A boy has sex with five girls, they’re gonna put up a statue in his honor.

They end up in the creepy shed with the explicit porn pictures that we've seen before in Camille’s memories. Richard tells HER that the murdered girls, Ann and Natalie, used to play there. Camille is circumspect about her past and doesn’t go into details, only broad strokes. All of this sharing of information though is foreplay, after Richard tries to kiss her, she takes his hand into her crotch. No matter that they are right outside the creepy shed, it’s hot and the actors sell the attraction. Of course Adora knows exactly what’s going on. When Richard later drops Camille home, Adora gets in another dig after she sees them kissing.

You smell ripe

So that’s where we get the episode title. I like that Sharp Objects has to tell us that every week, it’s a fun exercise to guess when it's going to appear and they’ve mixing up where in the episode it happens.

Adora has spent the day “recuperating” from scratching her hand in the garden. She sends Camille on her own to brunch with the ladies in Wind Gap, “giving them a gift they would enjoy, the opportunity to talk about me”. Of course Patricia Clarkson is gold in delivering every sarcastic line. Why care about the mystery when we could just bask in Clarkson’s delicious scene stealing. This week she also flirts with the chief while simultaneously warning him that she could get him fired if he doesn’t do what she wants him to do. She gets exasperated at her husband for daring to suggest that he also hurts from losing their daughter. No wonder he spends all his time alone in the house with his music. But maybe that wasn’t always the case with Alan? We see teenage Camille remembering a cake and celebration that he arranged for her birthday. Of course Camille being Adora’s daughter, rejects him in favor of Adora, who’s taken to her bed refusing to get up even for her daughter’s birthday.

Another performance that is worth basking in is Eliza Scanlen’s as Amma. Watch her manipulate everybody in her orbit. Apologizing to Camille but asking  - no warning - her “Don’t tell Mamma”. Dancing soothingly with Adora. Cutting to the bone with her drama teacher - Mr Lacey new character alert - at the school rehearsals.

That’s why you're sad, because you can't change your history?

A few other clues we get this week:

- The gossip in the ladies brunch is delicious and Elizabeth Perkins in particular is a hoot, but what does Jackie really know?

- Adora fires John Keane from his job at her pig farm and he seems even more lost after that. 

- Camille’s boss Frank Curry is sick and maybe dying letting us know why he’s trying to push Camille to resolve her issues.

The episode ends with Camille finding out from John that Amma used to play with the murdered girls in the shed and that they formed sort of a trio. What would this discovery mean to her investigation and could she be about to lose another sister? Tune in next week.

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Reader Comments (7)

This series is better than any narcotic I know of.

July 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I thought this one was weak. They are now throwing everyone and their brother in as a potential suspect. And the Amy sex scene frankly should have been more explicit. They can show dead bodies but not sex? It seemed way too demure. Finally, the whole momma daughter scene late at night in the living room seemed like a poor man's Postcards From The Edge. I am only hanging around in hopes they tie this mess together!

July 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Girl, anyone in that damned city could have killed those girls, even freaking Amma. This series is so good!

July 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

That was Beth Broderick as one of the ladies who lunch, right? Her voice is so distinctive!

Another BLL comparison is the music editing, somehow picking songs that describe characters perfectly. The use of Tupac's "Dear Mama" (different daddies but still the same drama) was MASTERFUL.

July 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

i am definitely suckered into watching this show, even though they do seem to keep adding possible murderers into the plot. wonder when SOMEONE is going to zero in on the actual murderer.

why don't they have air conditioning? the scenes where you can see them being hot, and standing in front of the fan are great for overall atmosphere, but wouldn't they have a/c in 2018?

July 31, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrrrich7

@rrrich7 - In the book, it's mentioned that Adora didn't want central air because she felt it would hurt the personality/structure of her old Victorian home.

July 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Anyone else Beth Broderick's cameo at the ladie's lunch scene?! From Sabrina?! She looks the damn same!

August 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermikenewq

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