Anyone who still operating under the belief that Sharp Objects was a standard murder mystery at heart can consider themselves told. The signs all pointed towards Adora and the show never really seemed all that interested in drumming up any misdirection. Adora herself did though, and it’s that misdirection that results in Chief Vickery leading his hounds right to John Keene’s door. In hindsight, it was always going to be Adora at the heart of everything and it was always going to be John who took the fall. Why? Because, by Wind Gap standards, John isn’t ordinary enough.
There are divides all through Wind Gap and most of them seem to revolve around that word, ‘ordinary’. For some, like John’s girlfriend Ashley, it’s something to be escaped. She’ll sell him out in a heartbeat just to be on TV or get her name in the paper, anything but being just another person in another boring, small town. What’s worse, though: to be ordinary and yearn not to be or to be different and unable to change? The price of being truly extraordinary in a town like Wind Gap is a high one, as John and Camille have both discovered. They’re both too resolutely sensitive and different to escape unharmed and the toll their uniqueness has taken is what draws them together for the world’s worst timed dalliance in a motel room.
Richard has been digging deeper and deeper into the mystery of Camille’s family, especially the death of Marion. Many of you may have suspected this already from little clues littered through the scenes of Adora and her daughters, but Adora has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and had been poisoning Marion, eventually killing her. Suddenly Camille’s flinching at Adora’s touch and her defiant anger makes sense. Whether she knew it or not, she sensed that Adora was poison and kept her at a distance. Amma’s listlessness around the house makes sense now too, as Adora has moved onto her youngest daughter, dishing out sinister spoons of pink goo from her blue bottle, emotionally manipulating her into taking it when she tries to refuse.
A drunk John, drinking himself to the point where he can bear to commit suicide, tells Camille that Adora was the only person who never gave up on Ann and Natalie, a resolve which takes on a nefarious bent in light of the revelations. Natalie was a biter who’d had all her teeth removed when her body was found. The links form quickly once Richard gives Camille Marion’s medical files, requests for information denied all over the place, mostly from Jackie.
Although, that’s only after he discovers her in bed with John Keene. Camille has been trying to forge a bond with Richard, slowly getting to the point of trying to let him know her, but that’s not the same as John, who has experienced the same pain that Camille has. The grief they share is so great that only empathy can allow someone to truly understand it. Richard’s not wrong when he lashes out verbally, telling Camille that one bad thing happened to her and she allowed it to define her life, but it’s still designed to hurt and there’s no doubt that it does.
Camille goes to confront Jackie about the files, laying an element of culpability on her for never doing anything to protect Marion. Alan obviously knows too, withdrawing into his record collection and using his headphones to shut out the monstrous evil in his own home. Who else knows? I’d put money on Chief Vickery. As Camille pulls into the drive, ready to face her mother, the question lingers: is there anyone who will stand by her side?