The ‘Sharp Objects’ Finale Ends on a Creepy Cliffhanger

Culture
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Warning: Spoilers for Sharp Objects episode 8, “Milk,” ahead.

All’s well that ends terribly…for pretty much everyone in Wind Gap. The creepy finale of HBO’s Sharp Objects takes a sharp turn from thriller to straight-up horror in the final stretch.

The first 35 minutes of “Milk” is paced agonizingly slow—filled with many shots of Camille (Amy Adams) vomiting, Alan Crellin (Henry Czerny) looking regretful, and Adora (Patricia Clarkson) practically preening. To prevent further poisoning of Amma —and possibly to prove the extent of Adora’s Munchausen by proxy—Camille feigned sickness, finally allowing her mother to poison her like she’s always wanted. The aftermath of this decision could have easily played out in 15, but I’ll give director Jean-Marc Vallée this: watching Camille drag her body from the bathtub to the stairs while salvation in the form of Detective Willis (Chris Messina) waited just downstairs, yet excruciatingly out of reach, made my heart pump a mile a minute.

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Though he’s initially turned away by the thoroughly complicit Alan, Willis returns with sirens and—somewhat inexplicably—Camille’s editor Frank Curry (Miguel Sandoval). While searching the house for evidence of poison, the cops also find the pliers used to rip out the teeth of Anne Nash and Natalie Keene. Adora is arrested for all crimes.

In the end, we learn all of two things in part one of the Sharp Objects finale: John Keene (Taylor John Smith) definitely did not murder his sister and Camille is actually capable of selflessness. It’s in the final 12 minutes when things really fester.

While Adora awaits trial, Amma goes to live with Camille in St. Louis and all seems to have worked out for the best. After what must be a few months, Camille looks healthy for the first time and Amma seems to be thriving away from her toxic environment, making an adorable new roller-skating buddy and taking up sewing between visits with her mother in prison.

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In what could easily be the “where are they now” portion of the episode, meant to properly close out a one-off miniseries, there is an undercurrent of malice. At a dinner with Curry and Amma’s new friend, Camille almost misses a fresh wound on the little girl’s hand. Every moment onward I found myself thinking get her out of there.

Sure enough, at a later date, the girl’s mother arrives at Camille’s apartment looking for her child. While Camille assures her she’s still out at the park with Amma, the tension is palpable. The reporter finds a dollhouse blanket in the trash and heads to Amma’s room to replace it. Inside the dollhouse she discovers a room full of teeth and a rug made of human hair. Amma—having returned home, friendless—finds Camille there and says, “don’t tell mamma.”

Who knew an ‘Angel of Death’ and a ‘Woman in White’ could reside in the same messed up household? No one in Wind Gap, that’s for sure.


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HBO

I leave Sharp Objects with only one thought: this doesn’t feel like the end. Is the smart preteen Amma befriended missing? Dead? How did Natalie Keene’s blood end up in the carriage house, where John Keene was living? But most intriguingly, and what I would surely tune into season 2 for, is the fallout and subsequent evolution of the small Missouri town.

While there is only one book and HBO has announced there are no plans for a season two, actors Chris Messina, Elizabeth Perkins (Jackie), and Taylor John Smith are not ruling it out so fast. Maybe we shouldn’t either.

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