HBO Sharp Objects weekly review: 'Ripe' spills secrets that can really cut the people of Wind Gap
In comparison to the episodes so far, 'Ripe' was uncomfortably fast-paced, leaving one with vague answers and more questions than ever before.
I'm still in Wind Gap.
'Sharp Objects' is slowly and then suddenly running toward the story of Ann Nash's and Natalie Keene's murders in its fourth episode - 'Ripe'. The secrets are pouring out as Camille Preaker is opening up to Richard Willis and the show is inching towards giving us a clue about what is really going on. In comparison to the episodes so far, 'Ripe' was uncomfortably fast-paced, leaving one with vague answers and more questions than ever before.
'Ripe' starts off with Wind Gap's mysterious residents waking up to another day, planning to go about business as usual. The normalcy portrayed in Mrs. Vickey's cooking skills to Detective Willis' hungover morning almost making you think that you would be blessed with one happy day, but boy! you couldn't be further from the truth. After 'Ripe' is done with you, you're going to be sick to your stomach.
We make progress in terms of who may be behind the toothless bodies of the two girls in the woods but what is more interesting is the sudden surge of secrets from Camille's past. 'Sharp Objects' is hitting us with them one after another and none of them are pleasant. This is nothing new. We've seen this side to Camille where she clearly does not feel at home in what is supposed to be her hometown. 'Ripe', however, pokes a little further into why.
We are introduced to the shed in the woods that Willis describes as a clearing for a hunter following its prey. This shed sitting quietly in the midst of the woods has its secrets - one of them is that something sinister happened to Camille here. She's like the pieces of meat hanging out to dry in her flashbacks - the stench of the things that happened to her too much for Adora to bear. Willis doubts that this may be the place where the two girls were killed and if you ask me, I think he's getting at something.
The clearing is a metaphor for Camille and Willis' relationship at this point. Willis leans in, quite ferociously, to kiss Camille and she backs away. Instead, she unbuttons and slips his hand into her pants. As she climaxes on his fingers it dawns on you how broken she really is yet how open and vulnerable - like the trees in the forest dancing to the winds and possibly hiding away the story of Anne and Natalie's gruesome murders.
This moment between the two of them not only opens up a lot of windows in the character arc of our disturbed alcoholic protagonist but also holds the mirror up to what trauma looks like. 'Sharp Objects', in a true raw fashion talks about pain without really talking about it and that is perhaps the beauty of the show. From blowing out candles alone to puffing cigarettes like a chimney, Camille Preaker has come so far.
While on the subjects of not talking about feelings and running away, 'Ripe' shows us a right about turn in Amma's character. From a sweet mama's girl with ribbons in her hair to the seductress unafraid of the dangerous, we see a much deeper side to her character. Her manipulation, her overtly sexual nature and her will to impress may be more than just teenage hormones - she may just hold the key to solving these murders. Extremely sinister and no longer strange, Amma's character is becoming more interesting by the minute. We really want to know what plays in her head as she rollerskates on the silent roads followed by drunk young boys.
At first glance, you wouldn't think that Camille and Amma are related in terms of who they are, but if you look closely, you'll see - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Camille's character lives two lives at the same time. One of a reporter from St. Louis and the other of a daughter who simply wants to be loved and to have a family. Amma lives her dual life, one in front if Adora and the other in front of the rest of Wind Gap. The similarities are unsettling, especially when you think about how the claws of sexual abuse have their nails deep into Camille's existence.
Adora's character is slowly falling apart - from the controlling, cold, calculated and maddening matriarch in 'Fix' to the woman with a past. Camille's mother appears to be getting crushed under the weight of keeping up a flawless reputation. Her sensual flirting with Chief Vickery ticks off Alan and as he stomps angrily into her room making us wonder if he "had his way" with her. At the same time, you feel his pain. Years of coldness from the woman he holds dear, powerless when it comes to making her love him again - this may be Alan's way of finding himself again. The power struggle is real in 'Ripe' much like the will of the killer, as Willis puts it. What Willis doesn't know is that Adora, like the rest of Wind Gap, preys on the weaker ones to blame them for their failures and hurts them to feel better.
The more and more we go deeper into the show, the denser it gets. The layers of abuse, thinly veiled by roses and parties cut deep - like the way the world slowly chips away at the psyche of the Camille's of the world. It is a story of self-harm and the results of denial. These women's truths are like lacerations in the face of the town - like word shaped scars, ripping open one at a time and you know what they say about secrets - they make the sharpest cuts.
'Sharp Objects' airs every Sunday on HBO at 9 pm.