Sharp Objects Season: 1 / Episode: 6: Cherry / HBO
Content Warning: Self-harm.
Sharp Objects starts us off with the Camille Preaker special: a memory. She finds Amma in the hunting shed and then poof wakes up post-coital next to the pristine skin of Kansas City who, once he wakes up spends half his time trying to subtly ask why she slept in her clothes and the other half trying to convince her to go on a date with him.
Rise and Shine
All over Wind Gap, people are waking up.
The chief’s morning follows a similar rhythm: his wife wakes him up, he pauses before a crucifix hanging on the wall, eats breakfast, and leaves. [See also the definitions of boring and sad].
Alan wakes up in a pull out couch in his study next to his vintage pin up girly mag.
Adora, too, is woken up in bed by a phone call that leaves her cagey and anxious to get out of the house. After turning down a ride from Camille, Adora disappears to “go into town” and Camille is once again left with her memories of her horrible childhood. But to remind us that her family is present tense horrible, Amma makes a joke [upward inflection] about connecting some of the scratches she got on her arms in the woods to make a word. [sigh]. I hate these people.
Meanwhile, in town, Kansas City finds Jackie in the alley where Natalie’s body was discovered “paying respects.” He asks about Camille—about the “episode” Adora warned him about—but her disdain for Adora is palpable and she puts him off. So, Kansas City does what all creeps with a bit of authority do: he runs a “522” on Preaker. Now, I’m no law enforcement agent, but that sounds a lot like using his professional resources to stalk the woman who he was, hours earlier, intimate with.
A second later he gets a call and goes running. A bike is pulled from the lake near Adora’s pig farm. Adora, the chief, and Kansas City are joined by Natalie’s father who identifies the bike as belonging to his daughter. Adora comforts him in a way that makes it seem like it’s a tax she has to pay to maintain the good will of the people beneath her in Wind Gap’s social hierarchy.
Meanwhile at Jodes’ house, Amma is up to her asshole ways alternately trying to insult and seduce John as she lounges by the pool in front of the carriage house where he lives. Camille walks up in time to hear part of this without being seen, so she gets to be in the audience when Amma goes from “let’s go to the bunk house together before Ashley comes home” to “try not to kill anymore little girls” in bout 3.7 seconds.
Camille interrupts the party to go inside the carriage house to interview Ashley who showers her with awkward praise about her looks and Camille’s life that Ashley imagines and envies.
Preaker is having none of it. “What can you tell me about the girls?” she asks. Ashley starts painting a picture of two adorable girls snatched from those shitty precious moments statue my gramma collected. Preaker stops her recorder because she doesn’t need to record this obvious bullshit. When they start talking again, slightly more honestly, Ashley says something about popularity that sends Camille back down memory lane.
This time she’s a cheerleader. It seems like it’s after practice and she has an intense cramp in her leg.
Alert: there is a black cheerleader. I repeat: we have confirmation that there is another black character in this series.
Kansas City calls as Camille is finishing up with Ashley to ask her out to dinner. He casually mentions finding the bike because he’s totally trying to impress her. However…
Cut to a pissed off Camille storming up Adora’s plantation steps. She confronts her mom and calls bullshit on not mentioning it to her that morning when [clap] she [clap] offered [clap] her [clap] a [clap] ride [clap]. Then, she slips seamlessly into journalist mode, and Adora is peak pearl-clutch because how dare her journalist daughter interview her after she’s tried to ruin Camille’s story for going on six episodes.
Then, this chick has the nerve to say to her henpecked husband that Camille has outstayed her welcome and that he should tell Camille how he feels. This dude gave her a look that was all at once aghast and defeated because we all know –including him –that she runs him.
Boundaries? What Boundaries?
On the other side of poor boundaries, Kansas City pulls up to the St. Louis Rehabilitation Center where Camille was once a patient. I wanted to like him; I really did. Once inside, he straight up lies and tells the staff that he is looking for information that could help him with his current investigation—not that he’s trying to make an informed Tindr decision. The doctor says that patients come in all sizes and shapes but are rarely dangerous to anyone except themselves. And mostly, I just want to give Camille a hug.
Curry, Camille’s editor, calls and they talk out the newest lead (the bike), and she casually floats the idea that the killer could be a woman. Minutes later, she’s walking out of the door when Alan flags her down. My dude is still sitting in the same chair he was sitting in when his boss/wife gave him his orders earlier. He starts in on how her doing her job for which she specifically came to town and how it is really adversely affecting her mother. Somehow he pivots to Joya, Camille’s grandmother, who was evidently an asshole. [head tilt] How did we get here?
Aint no Party Like Whatever TF This Is
Luckily, I guess, an SUV pulls up, and Camille gets in. One of the pregnant cheerleaders of yesteryear immediately hands Camille some liquor, her favorite pre-liquor drink. This is a pre-game made exclusively of gossip and bourbon. Once they arrive at the girls’ night that Camille was pressured into attending at the shit show that was Calhoun Day, Camille sees just how sad her life could have been: the women are watching a sad movie and crying. All of the women that is except the one black cheerleader from Camille’s memory earlier that day.
Speaking of functional alcoholics… on the other side of town Kansas City walks into the bar and sees Jackie. They exchange some cryptic Camille talk.
At the cheerleader pity party, Becca, aka the black cheerleader, leans over to Camille and says in her most bored voice, “this happens every week” so of course they go outside to talk and…not cry. Unfortunately the other ex-cheerleaders follow them outside and begin to talk in condescending and essentialist terms about what women are good for. Spoiler: it’s breeding. Which is, of course, a stab at the childless Camille.
Because there’s no party like a Wind Gap party, the night just gets worse. One of the cheerleader’s husbands (the music teacher who Amma had a creepy exchange with earlier in the week) semi-corners Camille and apologizes for running a train [Camille’s words, not mine] on her. She seemed detached as he confessed that that night has haunted him because he has daughters now. Sidenote: I’m so sick of that trash take. “Oh shit my daughter’s a person so… oh my god… women have been people all along!” You are trash. The trashest. Go sit on my curb, a truck will be along to pick you up on Wednesday.
Back at the bar, Kansas City asks Jackie why Camille was in rehab.
And since we’re asking questions, at the Plantation Adora asks Alan why TF Camile is still there.
At the party, Becca drove Camille home and in response to Camille’s inquiry about why she put up with all the white girls’ shit in high school, including her own, the woman reveals that she saw Camille’s cut, high on her thighs when they were kids. That day Camille remembered…when she had a cramp in her leg.
Camille leaves her and buys alcohol. Amma and her hoodlum ass friends show up at the liquor store and insist on giving Camille a ride home but of course they need to make a stop first. At a party. They offer her drugs and more alcohol and everyone is evidently fucked up, so Camille is officially the old guy at the club.
But she’s not the biggest spectacle because John and Ashley show up. Camille has a front row seat at the Amma is an Asshole show. She ends up having to break up the argument. Afterwards, Ashley is pissed that Camille hasn’t run her article yet. But Camille is not interested in who took a bit out of her ear.
Amma drags Camille upstairs to the VIP room which is really just some high school kids doing more drugs in a bedroom. Amma makes sure that Camille gets some. Flashback to Camille taking a pill in the car on the ride over, so now she’s drunk and high and surrounded by minors. Solid choices all around.
At some point, Camille and Amma leave the party and skate high AF through town. They see/are seen by Chief Vickery who heads to the diner to tell Kansas City that he’s going home tomorrow because a plant worker ID’ed Keene as the guy who dumped the bike.
Back at the plantation, the two sisters are giggling when Camille’s trip starts going bad. Amma becomes her dead sister and her dead rehab mate, in turn. The younger sister rambles about sex and power and using boys. The two sneak into the house though the ghost of a girl sees them. Amma sleeps in Camile’s bed and as she falls asleep reveals that she thinks bad things are going to happen to her. Both of them are semi-asleep and don’t see Adora watching them from the doorway. The ghost girl takes Camile’s hand and says “it’s not safe for you here.”
I Need Answers
What did Adora (or whoever) have to give that plant worker to ID John Keene? Why doesn’t Camille get a room at the hotel near Kansas City so she can avoid her triggering ass mother? Who was Joya?
If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm or substance abuse, please seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1–800–662-HELP (4357). For additional resources visit www.hbo.com/sharp-objects/resources.
Need to refresh your memory? Check out our recaps of Sharp Objects here.
Want to get Black Nerd Problems updates sent directly to you? Sign up here!