Sharp Objects: Closer
August 6, 2018 12:53 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Despite a possible killer on the loose, Wind Gap gathers for their annual southern-pride festival, hosted by Adora. “Today celebrates what is unmovable about this place.”

‘Sharp Objects’ Inches Us ”Closer” to the Truth (Meredith Borders for Slashfilm)
“Closer,” last night’s episode of Sharp Objects, dropped a shoe that we’ve been waiting to see fall since Camille first arrived in Wind Gap, Missouri. Her article about the dead girls of Wind Gap has been published, and while her angelic editor (he calls her ”cubby” – can you think of anyone less suited to a nickname like ”cubby” than Camille Preaker?) is thrilled at the hits they’re getting, the reception in Wind Gap is a little less than warm. And, in keeping with Camille’s tradition of bad timing, her no-punches-pulled exposé goes live on the worst day possible.
Sharp Objects recap: season one, episode five – Closer -- Everything was set back to whatever approximation of normality Wind Gap can muster for Calhoun Day, but left us with no idea of who knows what (Rebecca Nicholson for The Guardian)
‘It’s honest, it’s refreshing, it’s timely’

Let’s begin with that scene. Sharp Objects can be a taut and nasty show, as concerned as it is with violence and dirt and secrets and shame, but from the moment Adora asked Camille to join her for a drink on the veranda, it was obvious that the episode had been a little too sunny until this point. In a conversation approaching intimacy, Camille thanked her mother for not telling Richard about her problems (although we know she did). Adora began to apologise, and talk about Camille’s mysterious father. “That’s why I think I never loved you. You were born to it, that cold nature. I hope that’s some comfort.” Reader, I gasped. With parents like that, no wonder Camille is hitting those Evian bottles.
Sharp Objects Recap: You’re Ruined (Angelica Jade Bastién for Vulture)
When I was about 12 or 13 years old, my struggle with mental health tipped into self-harm. But I didn’t carve into my skin like Camille. Instead, I bruised myself. Taking my fists, or phones, or the back end of the wooden brushes I used to tame my hair, I bluntly hit myself over and over again. Bruises the color of wilting plums would bloom on my sides and arms and hips. But they would fade and that’s what mattered. It isn’t that I’m squeamish or easily nauseated by blood; I was raised by a mother with exacting standards of presentation and beauty that were drilled into me since birth, and I knew if I left myself scarred, my mother would never look at me the same. In her face, I would see pity and disgust. I couldn’t bear that. The look I always feared to see in my mother’s face is the look Adora gives Camille as her eyes travel over her scars in Sharp Objects’ best scene to date.
All of the Hidden Words You Missed in Sharp Objects (Kathryn VanArendonk for Vulture) -- scroll to the end for episode 5, which is mostly about the train in the beginning of the episode, with some screencaps of Camille's carvings.

Episode soundtrack on Tunefind
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for posting this. On one hand, I continue to be a bit eye-rolley at the languid pace, OTOH I'm so haunted by this show that I dreamed about it last night.

The truly bizarre nature of the whole town is just creepy af, as the youths say. Someone said you should think of it like a surreal Stephen Kingish locale.

For example, I keep saying:

WHY IS THAT PORN CABIN STILL THERE, after decades? In the creepy woods where, we now realize, the high school football team's raping of a cheerleader echoes the assault on the Civil War-era woman. The latter an event that is celebrated with Junior high kids reenacting it in front of the entire town.

What a WTF moment that was, especially with the glazed look on Amma's face (my God, what a find this young actor is!), as one of the boys awkwardly swivels his hips over her. Disturbing.

And the deliberate messing with the timeline adds to the disorientation. E.g., the cliffhanger of the previous episode -Amma in some car's headlights - was not even addressed.
posted by NorthernLite at 1:59 PM on August 6


And the history teacher who's directing the students was one of the football players from the creepy woods. He might be sort-of decent and regretful now, telling Camille he was sure she'd make it out of this place, but they're both still bound into their roles.

Confession: I looked up Calhoun Day because I wasn't sure if it was real or not. The production created a totally realistic creepy holiday celebration.

Adora began to apologise, and talk about Camille’s mysterious father. “That’s why I think I never loved you. You were born to it, that cold nature. I hope that’s some comfort.” Reader, I gasped.

Adora is an amazing character, and Patricia Clarkson is perfectly cast. She makes that line sound utterly earnest and like a sociopath's attempt at sympathy.
posted by gladly at 7:35 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


At my house we rewound that scene to watch again with the closed captioning on, because neither of us could quite believe that's what she said.

It's been a long time since I've willingly put myself through "entertainment" that's this unrelentingly bleak and horrible, and if it weren't a mystery I think I would have already quit. But alas, I want to know what happens.
posted by something something at 11:59 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I continue to be a bit eye-rolley at the languid pace, OTOH I'm so haunted by this show that I dreamed about it last night.

The languid pace seems appropriate for this depiction of Southern Gothic. Also, it's hot enough that no one moves fast -- though there's not as much sweat as I'd expect. Maybe I'm basing "realistic depiction of southern living" is from the ever-sweaty Jason Lee in Memphis Beat.


The cabin in the woods spooks me out so very much. It's not just porn in there, it's bondage to torture porn. And then there were pieces of meat hanging in there when Camille first found it as a pre-teen. BURN IT DOWN (carefully, so you don't start a forest fire -- or maybe, a forest fire would be good to purge the town of its ghosts of past crimes).


Confession: I looked up Calhoun Day because I wasn't sure if it was real or not. The production created a totally realistic creepy holiday celebration.

I did, too, last episode, and this episode I was very happy I didn't turn out to be real (and that the production crew didn't create a Wind Gap community website, with an events calendar or a page on town history).


It's been a long time since I've willingly put myself through "entertainment" that's this unrelentingly bleak and horrible, and if it weren't a mystery I think I would have already quit. But alas, I want to know what happens

Ditto -- also, it's not verging on "premium cable torture porn" like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead could be. It's bleak, but somehow still within the confines of what seems to be believable, not pure fiction, which actually makes it more miserable.


Adora is an amazing character, and Patricia Clarkson is perfectly cast. She makes that line sound utterly earnest and like a sociopath's attempt at sympathy.

Very well put.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:03 PM on August 7


the glazed look on Amma's face

Not disputing the awesomeness of the acting, but they do show Amma and the other "kids" taking some kind of drug (I'd say "acid", but I have no idea what the kids these days take on blotter paper) when Adora walks in on them in the house when they're looking at the dollhouse. She was tripping balls.

I definitely agree that this show is just haunting, I find myself thinking about it at the strangest times. I love it so much even though it's so full of unpleasantness. I love the languid pacing, it's so perfect for a summer show set in the South. And it's building the unease and creeping dread so well.
posted by biscotti at 2:32 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Is "Millie" Calhoun a nickname for Camille? Is Camille named after the "great-great-grandvictim" of Wind Gap?

The way the whole Calhoun Day festival was shot was terrific and disorienting. You could feel the brightness & heat and everything had that feeling of slightly sour drunkenness. Chris Messina talks a bit about the way it was shot in this week's Vanity Fair Still Watching podcast (a good listen—they do discuss book spoilers but they confine them to a clearly-denoted segment at the end). I had some trouble catching everything happening in the crowds, and who witnessed what, but I'm not sure I want to watch it again to try to pick it apart.
posted by bcwinters at 4:27 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Ooh I loved all the shots of people watching each other. No one gives a crap about that terrible play, they're just staring daggers at each other.
posted by LizBoBiz at 2:15 AM on August 9


I haven't caught any of the hidden words, but at the festival, I noticed the umbrellas that were closed looked like Klan robes. I have to think that was intentional.
posted by riruro at 5:58 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


I've just watched this in binge mode and something weird I noticed is that at one point the "Calhoun Days" scrim on the stage is altered to clearly read "Shallow Days"
posted by hwestiii at 4:44 PM on September 1


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