TV Review: Sharp Objects (Season 1, Episode 3)
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As I consistently award every episode four stars, I am racking my brain trying to find something to criticise about this week’s episode of Sharp Objects, but yet again I am at a loss. HBO has once again delivered an excellent piece of television that is very well deserving of its four stars. In this week’s episode we are finally shown the tragedy that is plaguing Camille’s conscience. Flashbacks take us back to Camille’s time as a psychiatric patient during which she shares a room with a young girl named Alice (who is revealed to be the owner of the smashed iPod Camille listens to religiously). Camille and Alice’s relationship begins antagonistic, with Alice resenting her new roommate and Camille displaying scars on her stomach that read “Fuck U”. However, Camille and Alice begin to develop a sisterly relationship throughout the episode, the one that Camille has mourned in the years following Marian’s death. Sweet moments, such as Camille helping Alice to apply her lipstick and Alice laying a rose on Camille’s are intertwined with moments set in the present of Camille’s interactions with half-sister Amma, who is becoming more and more menacing as the series progresses. At the start of the episode, Amma’s drunken whining, proclaiming her love for her long lost sister and exaggerated affection come across contrived and manipulative. Later on, Amma reveals her true cruelty she spitefully mocks Camille in front of homicide detective Richard, belittling their burgeoning relationship and even going as far as to stick a lollipop in her sisters hair. As Amma commits such childlike cruelty against her adult sister, she infantilises her and reduces her to a helpless victim of a cruel bully. Amma is shaping up to be the series’ most intriguing character so far, a distasteful combination of sweetness and spite that leaves a lasting sense of unease for the viewer at every turn. It’s a wonderful performance by newcomer Eliza Scanlen and brilliant direction by Jean-Marc Vallee.
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