Meet Camille's Casualties: Sharp Objects Episode 3 Recap

Photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO.
Camille Preaker tried to save someone once — someone who wasn't Marian. Her name was Alice, and she was her roommate during her stay at a hospital to receive treatment for self-harm. Alice was like Camille: quietly struggling, and privately hurting herself. She was from a good family. She was pretty. She didn't smile, but when she did she got what she wanted immediately. Just like Camille. Alice started as an acquaintance, and then she became a friend, and finally like a little sister. And like Camille's real little sister, Marian, she left her life too soon. This is Camille's most haunted memory. It's also the one that rules episode 3 of Sharp Objects, "Fix."
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Now that we know more about Camille and her constant vivid flashbacks, it's no surprise that most of this episode was dedicated to one particularly upsetting and disturbing moment from Camille's past: the moment that Camille lost the one other person she's ever cared about — a person she tried to help fix when she couldn't fix herself. At the beginning of the episode, a drunken Amma teases Camille that she just loves dead girls, viciously smiling the whole time, and it just might be true. Everyone that Camille has loved ends up dead. It's hard to stomach as a viewer. If "Fix" is any indication of what is to come, then I will be recapping this show with all the lights turned on. The final two minutes of the episode are the most brutal two minutes I've seen on television in awhile (maybe second to that one scene in 13 Reasons Why). The present-day plot line (which has no new leads on who killed Natalie Keen and Ann Nash) really took a backseat to the torment of Camille's past, and it's all Amma's fault.
Amma is paying no mind to her mother's (overbearing) rules at home. She is sneaking out, coming home drunk, and even wearing her more risqué clothes around the house. But the biggest rule she breaks is getting close to Camille. Adora warns her youngest that Camille is dangerous, chastising her for even talking to her half-sister. “You need to be careful with Camille," she scolds. "She is not someone to be admired. You are not safe around her. Do you understand me?” But this only fuels Amma to bother Camille more. She's dead set on pushing all of Camille's buttons, and she starts by trying to have Camille hold her, hug her, play with her like she's a doll. Later in the episode, she tries to convince Camille to come out with her and her friends (she is 13!) to get drunk and party. But all this does is make Camille think of Alice, the young women who died after drinking a bottle of Draino in their shared room at the hospital. Camille finds her, surrounded by chunky, bloody vomit, in the middle of their room. Her initial response is to start harming herself, and she does that using a screw (sharp object number one) from the toilet in the room's bathroom (one of the sharp objects Camille's mind flashed to in episode 1) until medical professionals pull it out of her hands. She is devastated by Alice's death, mostly because she was the last one to talk Alice, telling her that, no, things do not get better as you get older (Camille is about 10 years Alice's senior) — not with family, not with self-harm, not with...mostly anything. This final depressing conversation is what Camille sees and hears when she looks at Amma, another young girl who is looking up to Camille as a sister. We finally realise why Camille's been so reluctant to be seen as a big sister or role model — they have all died. She can't handle getting close to Amma and losing her, too.
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But enough about Amma: let's talk about the other most popular girl in town: Miss Ashley Wheeler, John Keen's girlfriend. Ashley is the ideal Wind Gap lady. She wears her cheerleading uniform even though it's the middle of summer, and she puts out ice-cold beer for guests, despite being a teenager herself. She also wants to lie to the police to protect John from all the gossip around town (“I’m not going to have people thinking that my boyfriend is a fucking baby killer, thank you very much"). She also irritates the hell out of Camille. John is also clearly not as into her as she is into him, and Camille senses that. In fact, she leaves him her number. (Camille... be careful.)
John isn't the only guy Camille needs to be careful around. Vickery has been following her, even informing Adora of Camille's whereabouts. There's a weird tender moment between Vickery and Adora in the kitchen which seemed sus. Do the two of them have a romantic history? He seems very sympathetic to her helicopter parenting methods. But "parenting" is not even the right word to describe the way that Adora and Camille interact. Adora sees Camille as the enemy. While cutting roses (the thorns in present-day and in a flashback mark sharp objects two and three), Adora yells at Camille for going to interview Ann's father at his home again (even though he totally consented to the conversation) and in the process, she cuts her hand on a thorn. She yelps out in pain, screaming: "Look what you made me do!" What else does Adora blame Camille for? Amma's rebellious behavior? Yes. Marian's death? It feels like it. (Camille accidentally breaks a photo of her and Marian later in the episode, too, marking sharp object number four).
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Wind Gap is getting to be darker, filthier, and more vicious by the day. Camille asks Frank if she can come home yet in one scene, and he tells her she needs to stay. But Camille knows she can't leave. Not yet. She has unfinished business with her mom, her half-sister (who pushes her over the edge after she throws a saliva-soaked lollipop in Camille's hair), and her own past.
We may not know anymore about the "woman in white," but we do know more about the woman in black — and how little she has to lose to find out who killed those girls.
Nightcaps:
-Alan's presence in the final scene really has me shook. Does he scream out into the night, out of frustration over the three complicated women living in the house? I don't feel that sorry for Alan, but just imagine being the fourth person in that house.
-Ann's dad, Joe, is quickly becoming Camille's most talkative source, and Adora is not a fan. He is very frustrated with the police, and still maintains that the killer is a man, despite the "woman in white" theory. He thinks John did it.
-What the hell was going on with Amma and the pigs? That shot of the piglets feeding on a swollen, bloated momma pig is very gross. I may be a vegetarian after this is all done. But really, it's confusing what was meant to accomplished by that, except for the fact that Amma has a lot of different sides.
-This developing relationship between Camille and Det. Richard is going to get messy. Whiskey will likely play a contributing role in whatever private moments the two share again.
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