The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Sharp Objects recap: “Fix”

Written by: Adriana Gomez-Weston, CC2K Staff Writer

The mystery unfolds and raises more questions than answers in a new episode of Sharp Objects. By now, we have an established list of suspects and a series of clues leading us closer to the murderer. While Camille (Amy Adams) interviews subjects, Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) is hot on the trail of his own investigation. Wind Gap’s Chief Vickery (Matt Craven) wants to blame immigrants for the murders, but Det. Willis believes the killer lives among the town’s residents. Based on the evidence compiled, he notices the murders are not sexual in nature, and the method used is not sporadic. It is someone who knew both girls. Det. Willis and Camille initially butt heads, but later come to the consensus that the murderer is no stranger in Wind Gap. Since Camille is a native of the town, Det. Willis recruits her to assist him on his investigation.

Camille interviews Natalie Keene’s brother John (Taylor John Smith) and Ann Nash’s father Bob (Will Chase). Both are the main suspects, but it’s easy to tell neither one is the killer. While John is viewed as odd due to his shyness and closeness with Natalie, he is just a sensitive soul destroyed by his sister’s death. Bob is a little more suspicious, but he is a drunk amidst unfortunate circumstances. He seems to love Ann almost more than his other children, so why would he harm her?

Aside from advancing the mystery, “Fix” is an emotionally powerful episode that dives deeper into Camille’s tragic backstory. The episode explores the longstanding toxic relationship between Camille and her mother. In relation to the episode’s title, we realize Camille is an extremely broken person – possibly incapable of being fixed. Adora recognizes her eldest daughter has demons, but fails (or doesn’t attempt) to understand what made her the way she is. Adora believes she failed to “help” Camille. However, Adora never really helps at all. She is constantly exasperated and embarrassed by her daughter’s behavior. As someone who cares about how she’s perceived by others, Camille’s actions shatter Adora’s perfect and matronly image.

There’s something not quite right about Adora. While she showers Amma with love and affection, she’s unusually steely towards Camille. As Adora trims roses in her garden, she cuts herself while she lectures Camille; “You never mean to do anything, and yet you cause so much hurt.” While she projects her emotions onto Camille, Adora fails to look at her own actions and how they play a role in Camille’s imperfections.

Coincidentally, Adora acted as a mother figure towards Ann and Natalie. More than anyone else in town, she dissuades Camille from investigating the murders, constantly scolding Camille in her attempts to prevent her from talking to anyone in Wind Gap. She even describes Camille’s job as harassment. In an unprecedented act, Adora issues a warning to Amma. She states Camille is dangerous and not “someone to be admired.” Why would she pit her youngest daughter against her own sister? Camille is flawed, but exists as a product of her past. What appears to be dangerous about Camille is her quest for the truth. Could that be what’s threatening to Adora?

Nothing is displayed in Sharp Objects without being part of a greater purpose. Although Camille has a smartphone, she listens to music separately on a cracked MP3 player. It is revealed that it belonged to a dear friend named Alice (Sydney Sweeney). In the not-so-distant past, Camille checked herself into a self-harm treatment facility where she met Alice. A few years younger than Camille, Alice was deeply troubled. Like Camille, she struggled with a family that didn’t understand her behavior. While they talked, they bonded over music – listening to Alice’s MP3 player. While Camille never truly got better, she left the facility to live her life. Alice’s fate, on the other hand wasn’t so fortunate.

Hot off The Handmaid’s Tale, Sydney Sweeney makes a brief, but powerful appearance in this series as a titular part of Camille’s past. This episode left me speechless and I want more. The Academy shafts Amy Adams at every turn, but next year’s Emmy’s look promising, with a guaranteed nomination for the actress.

Camille’s return to Wind Gap forces her to face her past head-on. Adora resents the fact that Camille left but it’s easy to see why she wanted to escape. Wind Gap is a vortex of lost souls, Amma being one of them. Like her mother, Amma isn’t right either. Adora views her as an innocent little girl, but Amma is quite the opposite. At home, she dresses in doll-like, modest clothes and caters to her overbearing mother, but when she’s out in town she dresses provocatively, parties, and talks about seducing older men. The rest of Wind Gap’s youth retreat to the safety of their homes, and Amma skates carefree across town. The sisters cross paths, prompting Amma to taunt Camille about being “dangerous.” It turns out who’s truly dangerous isn’t the one we expect. Of the Preaker/Crellin family, who is to be trusted? There’s a storm coming, and we have to wait to see who comes out unscathed.