TW: Self Harm, Alcoholism
In contrast to the murders of the teenage girls addressed in the first two episodes, Sharp Object‘s third episode opens with a group of kids out partying after the mandated curfew, including Amma. The wild child then goes on to crash a golf cart in her mother’s rosebushes and is discovered by her “dangerous” big sister, Camille. As Camille nurses her drunken state, Amma bombards her with questions about her life and declares how much she wants to know her sister, though her sincerity is questionable. This spurs another one of Camille’s flashbacks, this time revealing that, not long before returning to Wind Gap, she checked herself into rehab for her cutting. While there she meets her roommate Alice, a young girl who wears long, black clothes and listens to music through headphones, much like Camille in the present.
Back in Wind Gap, Camille and Richard continue their investigations. The Kansas City detective finds difficulty in getting Chief Vickery’s cooperation, who assumes the murderer is just one of the Mexican workers in the field. Camille’s investigation leads her to Josh Keene’s girlfriend, who, rather suspiciously, invites her to speak with him at her house. This interaction triggers another flashback to the rehab facility, where Alice introduces Camille to an escape plan – Led Zeppelin bursting through her headphones.
Continuing in her conversations with Bob Nash about his daughter’s death, the interview abruptly comes to an end when Adora barges into the room, degrading Camille for speaking with Nash. Bob is much like the audience as he is confused why Adora is taking such an issue with Camille speaking with him. Camille’s frustration is palpable as she and Nash, along with the viewer, can’t comprehend the odd reaction Adora has to her daughter doing her job. Later on, Adora is told by Chief Vickery of Amma’s outdoor behavior and sees her in a shorter outfit then what she typically allows her daughter to wear. Her mother’s warnings about Camille only increases Amma’s suspicions of Adora and her sister.
Camille soon visits John Keene and his girlfriend, who’s strangely dressed in her cheerleading outfit in the middle of summer, and learns that Keene blames the town for his sister’s death, revealing he is just as wary of Wind Gap as Camille and the audience. When she returns to her mother’s home, Camille is bombarded with Adora’s accusations and seemingly misguided disdain for her eldest daughter, even blaming her for somehow making her cut her own hand on a rose thorn. The fallen rose bush brings us to another flashback to the facility when Camille and Alice’s families visit. Adora brings her daughter roses only to angrily throw them on the ground, assuming the facility doesn’t want to risk patients having access to something sharp like thorns. After Alan hands the cut roses to his stepdaughter, Camille comforts her young roommate following a difficult visit with her mother and gets her time to listen to their escape.
Later in the night, Camille and Richard drink and unwind from the tough investigation that occupies most of their time and energy. Unfortunately, this time of relaxation quickly comes to an end when Amma and her friends rudely interrupt. Amma goes on to taunt her sister with their mother’s accusation that Camille is dangerous, furthering Camille’s annoyance and ending her night on a sour note. Back in her car, Camille’s last flashback reveals why Alice’s presence still haunts her – Camille discovered her roommate’s dead body after she had killed herself with a toxic cleaning liquid and left a single rose on Camille’s pillow. Camille runs to the bathroom to vomit, finding a loose screw on the toilet that she rapidly uses to cut the episode’s title into her arm – “Fix.”
To close out the intense third episode, Camille finds herself driving back to St. Louis but throws her phone out the window and turns back to Wind Gap. Finally learning the story behind the music helps us understand Camille and her reality that she attempts to run from more than the previous episodes. While extremely disturbing, actually seeing Camille cut into herself with both aggression and swiftness allows the audience to get a glimpse into her mental state when she harms herself. Her character comes undone more than the two episodes beforehand and Amy Adams acts with such frankness and pain that it’s hard to not remain captivated by this somewhat muted series. If it wasn’t clear enough before, the people of Wind Gap are beginning to unravel – including the forgotten stepfather, Alan.