Written by: Adriana Gomez-Weston, CC2K Staff Writer
Sharp Objects, in its book form, is 250 pages. The first question was how the series was going to wrap up the main event in less than an hour. A slow burn at the beginning, Sharp Objects quickly picked up the pace in the second half of the season. At the conclusion of “Falling,” Camille discovers her mother was the one who murdered Marian, which leads her to believe Adora killed Ann Nash and Natalie Keene as well. However, that theory doesn’t quite hold water. Adora is a perfect case of Munchausen’s by Proxy, but she appears too delicate to pull out the teeth of two teenage girls. In the final episode of the series, “Milk,” the episode answers some burning questions in the best way it can, ties up most of the loose ends and confirms what we may already know.
In order to convince the police of her mother’s guilt, Camille devises a quick plan to gain evidence so Adora can be arrested, and also to temporarily distract her from poisoning Amma. After years of refusing her mother’s care, Camille finally decides to let Adora treat her. As expected, Adora is overjoyed to take care of her most stubborn child. Over several hours, Adora tenderly feeds her a toxic concoction from her mysterious blue bottle, and places Camille in a child-like gown. Alan retreats downstairs and is blissfully ignorant of the situation…or is he? Even though Adora spends the majority of her life degrading Camille, she relishes the opportunity to shower her with praise, telling her that of the three girls Camille is the most like her. When Adora steps away, Camille manages to check on Amma. While she has the perfect opportunity to run away, she decides to remain. Amma sits at the foot of her dollhouse and claims she wants to be a “good girl.”
As Adora continues to treat Camille, she becomes delirious and unable to walk. In the nick of time Richard and Chief Vickery come to search the Crellin home, along with Camille’s editor, Curry (Frank Sandoval). Alarmed by Camille’s phone call in the prior episode, Curry promptly makes his way to Wind Gap and warns the police, who probably wouldn’t have done anything otherwise. They find Camille in a fragile, drug-induced paralysis on the bathroom floor clinging to life. The police search the premises and seize any evidence. As they search the house, Adora switches up on Camille again. While showering her with love and affection moments earlier, Adora attempts to throw Camille under the bus by describing her as mentally ill. Ignoring Adora’s pleas, they find her collection of medicines and poisons…and also the pair of pliers used to pull the teeth of the murdered girls. After decades, Adora is finally arrested.
Following Adora’s arrest, Camille returns to St. Louis with Amma in tow. Amma adjusts to her new life well, even though she genuinely misses her mother, who is now in prison. There is a loving, but toxic relationship between Amma and Adora. Even though Adora commits some pretty heinous crimes, Amma still desires her affection. Amma finds another mother figure in Camille and pines for her affection too. Her new friend, Mae (Iyana Halley) takes a liking to Camille and bonds with her as well. Mysteriously, she comes up missing shortly after Amma arrives.
In the final scene of the series, Camille finds one of Amma’s dollhouse pieces lying on the floor. As she attempts to carefully return it, she comes across the replica of Adora’s bedroom. As she places the piece inside, she notices some carefully placed teeth fashioned to imitate the ivory floor. A spare tooth remains. As Camille observes the strange tooth, her eyes widen with shock. All of a sudden, Amma reappears. Camille looks at her sister with disbelief.
“Don’t tell Mama,” she says.
The screen fades to black and like that, the series is over.
Following the end sequence, director Jean-Marc Vallée drops a little morsel depicting what truly happened. In the span of a few seconds, there are flashbacks on the screen that show Amma murdering Ann, Natalie, and Mae. For Natalie’s murder, we see her hide under the bed (which explains the blood there found later). Amma’s two friends, Jodes and Kelsey are accomplices, mainly in Ann’s murder. The entirety of the story is told from Camille’s perspective, alluding to the horrors Amma committed. This post credit scene gives us the satisfaction of knowing which theory is the right one.
The book is a quick read, but the series takes its time playing out the events, dropping little pieces of a evidence at a time. With a new episode each week, viewers marinate in what they’ve seen. In the final seconds, it rapidly slaps you with a conclusion.
The first and only season of Sharp Objects ends on a pitch perfect note. While we as an audience have grown accustomed to sequels, remakes, and spinoffs, we must realize not everything successful needs another installment. After the conclusion, what more can you do? Why try to out do something that doesn’t need to be improved on?
Georgia-born, (North) Carolina raised, Adriana is now based in Southern California (Migrating between San Diego and LA). As well as being a writer, she works as a film festival Marketing Coordinator. She has always been passionate about film, writing, and creating and celebrating work that champions diversity and feminism. She is also a potato enthusiast and fashion school defector.