“Cherry” finally led us closer to the truth of who killed Ann Nash and Natalie Keene, while still making time for dollops of the usual weirdness and extreme social dysfunction.
It took six episodes, but “Cherry” finally revealed some clues about who might have murdered Ann Nash and Natalie Keene. At the pig farm belonging to Adora (Patricia Clarkson), workers dredged the bike Ann was riding on the night she died from a burbling sludge pool. It doesn’t say much on its own, but the implications are enough. We know John Keene (Taylor John Smith) was hastily fired from the farm just recently, and one of the workers says he saw him bury the bike there. And we know who else frequents the farm: Amma (Eliza Scanlen), who remains the likeliest culprit, even if it seems suspicious that Sharp Objects is making it so obvious.
Then again, that might be a clever ploy in itself – it’s never who you most suspect, until, of course, it is. But enough speculation. “Cherry” had plenty of other things going for it, including a half-bitten ear and the vague suggestion of incest, both of which seem the least of Wind Gap’s problems.
Lured by Amma to a suburban house party, Camille (Amy Adams) fishes for gossip amongst the squabbling teens, who look upon her with alternating suspicion and respect. It’s more an opportunity for getting drunk and popping mollies than digging up clues, but a confrontation with Ashley (Madison Davenport), John Keene’s girlfriend, suggests that Natalie’s mother might be a person of interest. Ashley got that chewed-up ear from somewhere, after all.
It’s also a good excuse for Amma to weaponise her burgeoning femininity, which in Wind Gap is the equivalent of a superpower. I looked up the age of the actress, because she’s so good at this that it seems unreasonable. Turns out she’s 19, which makes sense; the story keeps telling us she’s younger, but the character, damaged as she is, has the kind of wily self-awareness you only get from living a little. It might make some of her actions ring a little false, as she’s better at being openly manipulative than she is vulnerable and sincere, but whether she turns out to be the killer or not, she exudes danger all the same.
While sisterhood, biological and surrogate, was the main theme of “Cherry”, Sharp Objects still made time for the bitter bond between mother and daughter. As Camille gets closer to the truth, Adora gets closer to the bone; after telling her daughter that she never loved her last week, in “Cherry” she says, in no uncertain terms, that she wants her out of the house – and presumably out of Wind Gap. But Camille has every reason to stick around, especially now that new details about the case are emerging, and her feelings for Detective Willis (Chris Messina) are starting to solidify – even if the good detective spent most of “Cherry” digging into Camille’s secretive, traumatic past.
There are only two episodes of Sharp Objects left, which worries me, in a way. The show has been so tight-lipped with its plot that you can’t imagine two hours is enough time to spill all the secrets, and a rushed conclusion would be a disappointment in a show that has been delivered so masterfully thus far. But let’s not condemn prematurely. “Cherry”, another fine episode, saw Sharp Objects finally veer in the direction of the truth. Things can only get weirder from here.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.