Sharp Objects series premiere recap: Camille returns home

Amy Adams.photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO. Acquired via HBO Media Relations site.
Amy Adams.photo: Anne Marie Fox/HBO. Acquired via HBO Media Relations site. /
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Last night HBO aired the premiere for Sharp Objects, the new miniseries based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name. Here is everything that went down in the first episode.

The Sharp Object series premiere opens on two young girls sneaking into a house. They go into another girl’s bedroom and try to cut her hand while she is sleeping. We then learn the sequence was Camille (Amy Adams) dreaming.

Camille reports to her editor at the St. Louis Chronicle. He wants her to write a story about the murder of Ann Nash, a young girl, and another missing girl, Natalie Keene, in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri. She is hesitant, but he convinces her it could be big for her career. On her way to Wind Gap, she stays in a run-down motel. She flashes back to her childhood.

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In Wind Gap, she tries to question the police chief. However, he does not want information about Natalie Keene to go public outside the town. He does tell her a little bit about the murder, which she relays later to her boss.

Camille goes to join the search party for Natalie. There, she learns from a group of teenage girls that word has already spread about a reporter in town. She also meets Detective Willis, an out-of-town detective on the case and Jackie, her mom, Adora’s, old friend.

She unexpectedly arrives at her mom and stepdad’s house. Adora worries about the house not being ready for visitors. Camille tells her she’s there for a story about the murder and missing girl. This upsets Adora and she says she does not want to hear any more about it. Camille asks about her younger half-sister, Amma.

SHARP OBJECTS — Photo credit: Anne Marie Fox/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations
SHARP OBJECTS — Photo credit: Anne Marie Fox/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations /

In her old bedroom, Camille remembers her sister having a seizure in the room years earlier. She rushes out of the house and goes to a local bar. At the bar, she talks to an old friend and sees Natalie’s brother drinking. Before she can interview him,  Willis interrupts her. She tries getting info out of him, but he is careful with his words.

She spends the evening in her car. When she comes back to her mom’s house, Adora tells her not to embarrass her as things travel quickly in Wind Gap. Camille says she did not come here to stir up trouble.

Later, Camille interviews Ann’s father. He says Ann was on her way to her friend Emily’s but never made it to Emily’s house. He gets upset when Camille asks where he was that day as he does not want people to think he was involved.

Camille finds teenagers playing with items left to remember the victims. She tells them to stop, but Natalie’s brother says it is okay. Across the street, they hear screams for help. They find Natalie’s dead body propped up against a window. Camille is visibly shaken.

Camille is taken to the police station where she has to make a statement. She asks Willis if Ann’s dad or Natalie’s brother are suspects. He refuses to respond. When she arrives back home, Adora won’t hear what happened. She tells her Bob Nash called and chastises her for talking to him.

Amma comes down the stairs and greets Camille. When they are alone, Amma asks her if she’s been in Mariah’s room yet. She tells her Adora keeps it like a museum. Amma says she is incorrigible but Adora doesn’t know it.

Camille steps into Mariah’s room and flashes back to a funeral. Mariah was Camille’s sister who passed away. Camille lashes out at the casket and is carried out of the church. In the present, Camille gets into the bath. We see words carved into her body, including one that spells out “vanish”.

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Sharp Objects is off to a little bit slow, but steady start. Some scenes dragged, but the questions raised throughout the episode were enough to keep my attention throughout. Also, the acting and directing were captivating. Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson are excellent in their respective roles. Through the camera lens, we are shown a sort-of gritty Midwest, reminiscent of the gritty portrayal of the south in True Detective‘s first season.  Although there were slight pacing issues, I am excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

Sharp Objects airs Sunday nights on HBO.