Each week, I will recap the latest episode of Sharp Objects, which is currently airing on HBO. (See the previous episode recaps here.) The third episode to air was “Fix”.
We learned last week that there will be no season two of Sharp Objects. HBO programming executive Casey Bloys stated that the primary reason the series will end after one season is because the material is too heavy and dark. Series star Amy Adams said that the material was almost too much to handle while she was filming:
I had really bad insomnia [during filming] and would wake up with anxiety. I had to realize that I didn’t own it, it belonged to Camille. I had to decide what I had to let go of and what I could use the next day.
So that means the remaining five episodes that have yet to air are going to be filled to the brim with very difficult scenes. And “Fix” was the most difficult one yet to stomach, in my opinion. It answered a lot of questions I’d had since the premiere aired, but honestly, I’m not so sure I’m glad to have the answers, because they were tough to swallow.
Here is a gentle-as-possible recap of “Fix.”
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Obligatory warning: Spoilers ahead, so beware!
The episode starts out with a group of local teenagers (Amma included) hanging out in a field, drinking beers and raising some general hell. John Keene (who some have claimed is “too emotional” in the wake of his sister’s murder) is also there, and Amma spends most of her time making fun of him, for no particular reason. She goads him from one end of the field, while his girlfriend begs him to sit down and ignore Amma. Eventually, police Chief Vickery arrives to disperse the group of kids.
The next scene shows Amma running the property’s golf cart into her mother’s rose garden, because she is so intoxicated. Camille helps her into the house and gets her upstairs without alerting Adora. (Camille has obviously had much practice with this.) Amma asks Camille why she’s being so nice to her, even though she herself is “not nice,” and Camille says it’s because she wasn’t nice when she was Amma’s age, either.
Eventually, the rain begins to fall, and Camille experiences her first flashback of the episode. This one is different than all the other ones we’ve seen, because it starts out in snippets, like the others, but then it forms into one continuous moment.
We’re about to witness a full and complete memory from Camille’s past.
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She is sitting in her car, watching the rain fall, drinking from a bottle. She pulls out a razor and pulls back the sleeve from her sweatshirt. The next scene thankfully skips over what happened in the car and shows a nurse at a desk asking her if she’s checking in. She is in a hospital, and while she is filling out the paperwork, we see a janitor walk by with his cleaning cart: this scene is one of the flashbacks we have seen numerous times in the previous two episodes.
Next, Camille sees a girl, about 17 years old, listening to music (Led Zeppelin, actually) on her phone that is plugged in at the nurses’ station. The nurse tells Alice (the girl) that her listening time is up, and she has to hand over her phone. And a few minutes later, the nurse leads Camille to Alice’s room. They are now roommates in what appears to be a psychiatric hospital.
Is the girl’s phone the same one that Camille has been using to listen to Led Zeppelin throughout the series?
Camille wakes up the next morning/afternoon and heads to the store to stock up on liquor. Meanwhile, Detective Willis is still investigating the girls’ murders. He has become frustrated with Chief Vickery who refuses to listen to Willis’ thoughts about the cases. Vickery seems set on believing that both girls were murdered by some random trucker or grifter. Willis, however, is convinced that the murderer is someone the girls knew.
Camille is seen at the Keenes’ house (Natalie’s family), and Natalie’s mother has just slammed the door in Camille’s face. At the same time, John’s girlfriend Ashley (the “Jackie O” from Camille’s funeral notes) arrives and sees what happens. She asks Camille if she is there to speak to John. She says yes, and Ashley tells her that he lives with her now, and she is welcome to stop by later to talk to him all she wants.
There is another memory from the psychiatric hospital: Camille helps Alice with applying her makeup. Camille tells her that she is lucky that she can still wear skirts, revealing that Alice, too, self harms. The scene flips back and forth between the memory and Camille driving her car in present time, with a smile on her face, as she reminisces and mouths along with the dialogue in her head.
Alice plugs in her phone at the nurses’ station and hands one ear bud to Camille. “With these, I can get the hell out of here whenever I want.” Led Zeppelin begins to play. The song is “Thank You.” And the scene cuts from the phone in Alice’s hand to the beat up phone in Camille’s car, playing the same song.
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Driving through town, Camille sees Detective Willis’ car at the local diner and decides to stop in to talk to him. He shares with her (albeit inadvertently) that Vickery is convinced the two crimes were random. But Camille realizes that he does not agree with that hypothesis and says that she thinks the murderer knew the victims. Willis, realizing that she is trying to coax some more information from him, tells her to stay out of his way and abruptly leaves.
While sitting in her car outside of the Nash home (Ann’s family), Chief Vickery pulls up next to her to find out what she is doing. She asks him if he really thinks that a random trucker killed the two girls. He realizes that she has been talking to Detective Willis. This understandably upsets him, and he leaves.
Camille makes her way inside the Nash home and is listening to Bob Nash talk about his daughter. She asks him about his D.U.I. and assault charge. Bob says he got in a fight one night, but that does not mean he killed his daughter. To change the subject, Camille brings up the “woman in white” theory, and Bob says that he would bet money that the killer was a man. “The women around here, they don’t kill with their hands. They talk you dead.” Camille agrees with him.
Suddenly, Adora enters the room and apologizes for her daughter’s “interrogation.” She tells Camille that she is at the house for a social visit and that her presence is inappropriate. Camille leaves. The only thing Bob says, as a pathetic attempt to make Camille feel better, is that Adora tutored Ann, and that Ann was very fond of Adora.
Driving away from the Nash home, an angry Camille spots Amma roller skating through town. She decides to follow her. Eventually, they end up at their family’s hog farm, and she sees Amma in a farmhouse with a worker. The worker hands her a young pig, and they both leave the farmhouse. But before Amma closes the door, she turns and smiles at Camille, who is peering through the opposite door window, letting her know that she is aware that she followed her.
The scene ends without an explanation of what Amma wanted with the pig.
Back at the Preaker home, Adora serves Chief Vickery a cup of coffee and says she appreciates what he did about her daughter. “Which one?” he replies, and he tells Adora about Amma’s night at the field with the other teenagers after curfew. She asks him how he knew that Camille was at the Nashes, and he says that the police are watching him, and others. Adora asks him if he thinks the murders were random, and Vickery says that he isn’t sure, and that he might have to start entertaining the idea that they were not random.
Amma comes down from upstairs, and Adora confronts her about being out after curfew. Amma says that she should be allowed, since Camille was allowed when she was her age. “You don’t think bad things happened to girls back then?!” Amma says. Adora replies, “And look how she turned out. Your sister does not see herself in a good light. You need to be careful with Camille. She is not someone to be admired.”
“You are not safe around her.” And with that, Adora ends the conversation with Amma.
Camille arrives at John Keene and Ashley’s home. During their conversation about his sister Natalie, Camille mentions that Bob Nash and others around town noticed that John and his sister had a very close relationship and “spent a lot of time together.” John says that is true, but only because they were siblings. He asks Camille if Bob Nash described his “perfect Ann,” and that if Natalie and Ann had never met… But Ashley cuts him off and does not let him finish his sentence.
Camille asks John about his whereabouts the night his sister went missing. He says that he was out driving around, but Ashley says that is not the truth, that he is trying to protect her and was, in fact, with her that night. He attempts to argue with her about that, but she says that she does not want the town thinking he is guilty any more. It is unclear which one of the two is lying.
Back home, Camille sees Adora repairing the rose garden that Amma destroyed a few nights earlier. Adora immediately gives Camille hell (again) for bothering Bob Nash. Camille says that she didn’t mean to upset anyone, and Adora replies “You never mean to do anything. And yet you cause so much hurt.” Adora then accidentally (I think) cuts herself on a thorn, turns to Camille and says “Look what you’ve done!”
Camille relives another memory. Back in the hospital, she hears Alice crying in her bed. Alice asks her is family relations improve as one gets older. Camille says that they do not, not really. Alice asks her, “What do you do?” And Camille says, “You survive.” Camille later retrieves Alice’s phone from the nurses’ station, and says to her, “Let’s get outta here.” Camille lies next to her, and they listen to the music together.
Downstairs at home, Adora asks her husband, Alan, if Amma is safe with Camille in the house. Adora says her drinking, coming and going at all hours of the night worry her. Alan says that Camille is a grown woman. He then says to Adora, “Perhaps I should stay with you tonight…just in case….” Adora tells him that that will not be necessary.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Camille is finishing up her article and drinking very heavily. She eventually makes her way into her sister’s room. She sees a framed picture of her and Marian on the dresser. And when she picks it up, she sees in the reflection of the glass Alice, lying in Marian’s bed, with blood on her face. Camille drops the picture and runs out of the room.
Camille is at the local bar and sees Detective Willis there, too. She tells him that she spoke with John Keene earlier, which piques his interest. He asks her to tell him what John said, and in return, he would answer any three questions for her story. They leave the bar which is closing down for the night and end up at the high school parking lot.
While they are sitting on the car’s trunk, drinking from a bottle, Amma and some of her friends arrive. Amma relentlessly makes fun of Camille sitting with the detective and drinking, asking her if they’re dating. She tells Willis that there are many stories of Camille and the boys from when she was in high school. Camille gets angry, and threatens to hit Amma. Amma says, “You could kill me right here, and [Detective Willis] still couldn’t figure it out.” Eventually, she and her friends leave.
Camille drives off and drives down a lone highway at a dangerous speed. She thinks about the scene with Amma that just occurred, and it’s spliced with images of Alice from the hospital. We pick up from the scene where Camille and Alice are lying together in Alice’s bed, listening to music. Camille takes her phone back to the nurses’ station and makes a personal phone call on her phone. When she is done, the nurse escorts her back to the room, where they find Alice lying on the floor. She has taken her own life.
Camille immediately runs to the bathroom to throw up, and she sees a loose screw holding down the toilet lid. She removes the screw and begins to violently cut her wrist and arm.
At this point in the memory, Camille (in present time) slams on the breaks in the middle of the highway and throws Alice’s phone out the window.
Be sure to return for a recap of Sharp Objects‘ fourth episode, “Ripe,” which will air on Sunday, July 29, at 9 p.m. EST!