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S01.E08: Milk

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I'm left feeling betrayed.  So many unanswered questions, and a too-neat wrap-up.  I loved this series, I really did, and then it cheated on me, betrayed my love and trust with a too-rushed, too ambiguous ending.  Sad.

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3 hours ago, Schmolioot said:

That interview with Flynn is obnoxious. She even admits that they didn’t really leave any clues that you’d notice in rewatch and then said that she consulted with people on the “physics” of Amma being able to commit the murders. 

Please

Because the actress is older, it's not quite as jarring to believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl would be a serial murder and could talk her friends into committing murders with her.

I've heard of mean girls in middle and high school but this is kind of ridiculous.

I would guess that young teen girls are not often murderers.

Now if Amma got teen boys, maybe her age or a little older, to help her commit those killings, it would be more plausible.

Sure the "physics" are possible.  Amma could have just plunged a knife into the guts of her victims, with them caught by surprise.  But to kill with her bare hands?  Yes if she has some pathologically criminal aggression, which is unusual for prepubescent teens, she might have been able to pummel her victims with blunt objects.

But choke them out?

If she managed to get boys to help kill, then it would be hard to keep her secret that long.

But you know in the 21st century, these teen killers probably would have posted pictures and videos to social media and get caught that way.

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5 minutes ago, scrb said:

Because the actress is older, it's not quite as jarring to believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl would be a serial murder and could talk her friends into committing murders with her.

I've heard of mean girls in middle and high school but this is kind of ridiculous.

I would guess that young teen girls are not often murderers.

Not often, but look up the Slenderman case.  There's a documentary about it on HBO.  12 year old girls lured a "friend" into the woods and stabbed her to please a fictional character.

Edited by peach · Reason: add details
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6 minutes ago, Mothra said:

I'm left feeling betrayed.  So many unanswered questions, and a too-neat wrap-up.  I loved this series, I really did, and then it cheated on me, betrayed my love and trust with a too-rushed, too ambiguous ending.  Sad.

I feel downright ghosted. Not even a text breakup.

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2 hours ago, 100Proof said:

Looks like Camille faked feeling sick when she got up from the table. Probably because she was gonna get kicked out in the morning so that gave an excuse for her to stay on

Adora was on her way up to the bedroom to poison Amma some more, so Camille faked being sick to draw her mother's attention back to her, to protect Amma.  And to become a trap.

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6 minutes ago, peach said:

Adora was on her way up to the bedroom to poison Amma some more, so Camille faked being sick to draw her mother's attention back to her, to protect Amma.  And to become a trap.

True.  Turns out Amma didn't need protecting though. Being poisoned to death would've actually been justice served, lol

Edited by 100Proof
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21 minutes ago, teddysmom said:

She is very good.  It's amazing how the two younger actresses (young Camille and Amma) look so much like Amy.  I know it's acting but it's not easy immersing yourself into that kind of darkness day in and day out. 

Are there like 100 Little Women's being shot right now? I saw where Emma Watson was taking over for Emma Stone, is this the one with Meryl Streep?  Is Beth the one that dies? 

She's in the version with Emma and Meryl Streep, along with Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet. Great cast, great director, I'm happy for her. Yes, Beth dies, she has to play a sickly girl again, but at least she's not a psycho.

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17 minutes ago, scrb said:

I've heard of mean girls in middle and high school but this is kind of ridiculous.

Google teen girls killing. You'd be surprised how often it happens. 

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1 minute ago, 100Proof said:

True.  Turns out Amma didn't need protecting though and being poisoned to death would've actually been justice served, lol

Right?  Mae would still be alive.  This show made me think of I, Tonya in a way.  I left that movie feeling a huge amount of compassion for Tonya because of her upbringing, and still thinking she was terrible.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Oh my gaw, all that barfing almost made me turn it off.  I liked the twist. Camille's family is a disaster and she's the only sane one (or as sane as someone could be in that situation). Raise your hand if you can relate a little bit.

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Considering that there are female dentists and vets of all sizes in the world, I don't think I take issue with Amma being strong enough to remove teeth. I am still baffled as to the staging of the one girl in the alley though. 

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3 minutes ago, luna1122 said:

She's in the version with Emma and Meryl Streep, along with Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet. Great cast, great director, I'm happy for her. Yes, Beth dies, she has to play a sickly girl again, but at least she's not a psycho.

Thanks!  That is a great cast.  When I saw Meryl in that brief clip from Big Little Lies last night I got cold chills.  Reese, Nicole and Meryl Streep. Cannot wait. 

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2 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

Considering that there are female dentists and vets of all sizes in the world, I don't think I take issue with Amma being strong enough to remove teeth. I am still baffled as to the staging of the one girl in the alley though. 

Attention? Drama?  Just guessing.  Maybe it was because it would keep Camille there longer, since she was writing about it.

Edited by peach
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I know this really doesn’t matter for a fictional drama, but as someone who likes a little realism, is there any explanation for how, legally, Camille is allowed to remove Amma from her home and take her to a brand new city hours away?

As far as I know, Alan has not been charged with anything. Did he allow this? Give up guardianship? Presuming he gets cleared of criminality and that his only crime is being oblivious, he should probably get his kid back. 

You can’t just show up with a kid and enroll them in school, put them on your insurance etc. Camille has to have some kind of legal paperwork to do that. When did that happen?

Also, is anyone from the state checking in on them? I know CPS can order temporary guardians to provide psychiatric care to their charge. Doesn’t seem like Camille is doing that (or it isn’t working considering Amma still won’t sleep alone).

Further, the Crellins are really wealthy. I presume they’ll get sued by the Keene’s and Nash family at some point but old money families like that usually have a trust for their kids that wouldn’t be collectible. Wouldn’t Camille have some access to that? Why can’t she buy a decent car? Or a small house that’s more appropriate for the two of them?

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Attention? Drama?  Just guessing.  Maybe it was because it would keep Camille there longer, since she was writing about it.

Oh, I should have been clearer--it's the how (in the holy hell in broad daylight?!), not the why, that's getting me. But yeah, they probably loooooved watching people lose their minds over/police scouring that display.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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4 hours ago, Xantar said:

I’m not sure if you think the show was successful or not. For me it really wasn’t. I’m totally on board with a series that explores themes and atmosphere while leaving the whodunnit on the back burner. Big Little Lies did this very well. The question of who was bullying Amabella and who raped one of the mothers was almost beside the point while we explored the characters living on the California coast. Plus there was the side story of Nicole Kidman’s character dealing with domestic abuse.

The difference is Big Little Lies took the time to show us the aftermath of the ending and also actually had something to say in the leadup to the last episode. Sharp Objects just had lots of atmosphere and....people are really drunk? And they have a really messed up local holiday tradition? And the Queen Bee wields way too much power over law enforcement? That’s about two episodes of material at most.

 

I guess I did a bad job of explaining whether or not I think the show is successful.

I do.

My general thesis is that the story seeks to illustrate the hazards of buying into the good mother myth.  More specifically (and more oppressively), there is a greater risk in accepting the maternal instinct myth -- which postulates that all "real" women are born with a natural drive to have and rear children.  These lies about women and femininity have the power to do real harm, to in fact derail both families and communities, if we continue to accept them as truth.

Sometimes there is nothing more dangerous or scary than a parent who should have never been -- I believe Sharp Objects succeeds in taking this theme to the max.

Edited by zobot81
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15 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

Oh, I should have been clearer--it's the how (in the holy hell in broad daylight?!), not the why, that's getting me. But yeah, they probably loooooved watching people lose their minds over/police scouring that display.

I think Wind Gap has a strong case of people only seeing what they want to see.

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10 hours ago, Buttless said:

And it was satisfying and funny when Amma said. "Dick," after he left.

One of the themes of this , by way of a criticism, was how everyone is attracted to murdered little girls. So instead of taking the high road, they shoved in this superviolent montage that was sure to be screencapped and discussed by the fraction of the second. over and over.

I started a book called "Dead Girls" that's all about this. Alice Bolin is the author. She said her essays started with Twin Peaks, and how it revolved around a dead girl. 

6 hours ago, arvene88 said:

Hey when/where did you see that scene? After ending subtitles I only saw Amma standing in the woods in white dress and there is nothing more but maybe my version is cut or something? ;/

During the credits, when they show the other girls being murdered. You see a flash of the last girl's scared face, and then Amma as she finishes strangling her. That comes before Amma dressed in white. 

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2 hours ago, DFWGina said:

 

 

One question I have is how to Camille get so "clean" from her alcoholism so quickly?  I get she was in the hospital awhile and I was convinced by her new demeanor that she was no longer abusing alcohol but how did she get there so quickly?  

I was under the impression that she ramped up her regular alcohol use/abuse in order to cope with old feelings/trauma resurfacing due to the fact that she was going back to Wind Gap.  She didn't know or recognize Amma, so I assume she left Wind Gap at a young age and never went back to visit, etc. 

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16 minutes ago, peach said:
34 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

Oh, I should have been clearer--it's the how (in the holy hell in broad daylight?!), not the why, that's getting me. But yeah, they probably loooooved watching people lose their minds over/police scouring that display.

 

I think Wind Gap has a strong case of people only seeing what they want to see.

I thought the second girl was found during the day but the girls probably put her there at night. They were always out late at night skating. 

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Maybe? But I thought there were people out and about pretty nearby that alley (right? I don't even know), which made me wonder why it hadn't been noticed until all of a sudden.

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3 minutes ago, LydiaE said:

I was under the impression that she ramped up her regular alcohol use/abuse in order to cope with old feelings/trauma resurfacing due to the fact that she was going back to Wind Gap.  She didn't know or recognize Amma, so I assume she left Wind Gap at a young age and never went back to visit, etc. 

I don’t know if Camille is “clean” (or Amma for that matter) but she’s definitely down to a more reasonable level. She actually looked really good, healthy and happy.

Even Amma, I never really understood why she was such hot stuff in Wind Gap but in the St. Louis scenes, with her hair done and more normal clothes I actually thought she was really pretty.

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1 hour ago, Schmolioot said:

I didn’t notice anything between the editor’s wife and Amma. Amma seemed charming enough during those St. Louis scenes

She definitely got her antlers up when Mae commented on reading editorials and her aspirations to study journalism or politics. And the editor’s wife (does she have a name, she must) definitely took notice of Amma’s snide comments about Mae only saying that because of Camille, and being a kiss ass.

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So, I actually really did like this show. The acting, the atmosphere, the southern gothic style, I enjoyed all of that. However, I cant believe that we spent so much time watching teenagers roller skate in slow motion, but spent about five seconds on how the crime was solved! And we ended right there? Seriously?! Come on, show! We deserve more than just a "oh by the way, Amma did it and left the teeth of her victims in her dollhouse!" seconds before the ending! We didnt even get into how she did it, or why, or anything! 

And, I love how Amma will apparently always teach her friends how to roller skate. Its a requirement to be a part of her posse. 

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6 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

o, I actually really did like this show. The acting, the atmosphere, the southern gothic style, I enjoyed all of that. However, I cant believe that we spent so much time watching teenagers roller skate in slow motion, but spent about five seconds on how the crime was solved! And we ended right there? Seriously?! Come on, show! We deserve more than just a "oh by the way, Amma did it and left the teeth of her victims in her dollhouse!" seconds before the ending! We didnt even get into how she did it, or why, or anything! 

And, I love how Amma will apparently always teach her friends how to roller skate. Its a requirement to be a part of her posse. 

I was hoping they'd show Camille calling the police , and Amma being taken away as well. 

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5 hours ago, zobot81 said:

Of course, solving the murders is a natural curiosity, but I think it remains obvious from the first to the last episode of Sharp Objects who is dangerous.  And if the story fails to inform family dysfunction and mental illness, it is not a successful show.  If it does not highlight how behavior can be transferred from parent to child, and why sometimes it doesn't -- if we are not more curious about why Camille railed against her mother, while her two sisters did not -- then the show is not worth watching.

I found the show extremely challenging on a personal level.  The themes it exposes about maternal abuse and the stereotypes we carry about who a mother is v. who we think she should be are novel.   Cultural notions and realities about female power are prominent.

I don't want to write a full exposition about any of these thesis (tho I'm getting dangerously close to doing it), but when I reflect on the show as a whole, it is moving and terrifying on levels that go far deeper than murder.  I am most haunted by Adora's story of being taken into the woods in the middle of the night by her own mother and left alone there for no reason, when she was just a little girl.  The sheer horror of that abuse forces me to wonder what happened to Camille's grandmother, to make her so cruel.  Is it the town's fault, after all?  Is it about paying for the South's historical sins? For the sins of colonialism?  Or for the sin of believing that women should be wonderful, warm and self-sacrificing mothers?  

I am going to stand behind the latter proposition.  Some women should not be mothers.  They should never try.  It is not in every woman to want children.  And we are still holding onto the taboo of the unfulfilled, childless woman -- a myth perpetuated by middle-aged, Wind Gap cheerleaders in Sharp Objects.

These women verbalize a myth which is in violent contrasts to the ongoing reality of having children when you are unfit to be parent.  Adora, her mother and Amma are the bi-product of purchasing this myth, without consideration.

I know that I do not need to carry a child in my womb to feel compassion for children.  The danger is when you don't know the truth about yourself, when you give into the ideal that a baby makes you a complete woman -- perhaps the emptiness is filled instead with poisonous resentment for having been born a woman at all.

Maybe you will find yourself serving the lie with a teaspoon from a blue glass bottle to a new generation of sick women.

Love this entire post and the thesis. It's so sad when you see women who should never have had kids being crap moms and damaging their kids. My mom said her mom hadn't wanted to get married at all, but my grandfather pestered her to death. She ended up with 7 kids, and my mom was not terribly close to her -- she was raised mostly by her grandmother (my gm worked). And my mom tried, but she wasn't a natural mother at all. Heh. I knew pretty early that the idea of a universal "mommy" gene was pretty much a myth. Now, my upbringing was not 1% as unhinged as Camille's and the Crellin girls, but I'm so glad I live in a time when marriage and motherhood is a choice. I think I'd like to think I'd be a good mom, but I'm nowhere sure at all, and that's not enough for me to potentially screw up some kid's life.

 

3 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

After the rescue Richard mentions that Amma's body had built a tolerance (very Flowers in the Attic, isn't it?) while Camille's hadn't and that's why Camille was so violently affected. I think that we are to take the stare down between Camille and Adora (best scene of the series, BTW) as an unspoken confrontation which went something like this:

C: I know what you did to Marion

A: What do mean?

C; You killed her!

A: And I got away with it

C: I know you're doing it to Amma too

A: Yeah? and what are you going to do about it?

C: I'm going to stop you

A: Really?

C: I'm going to stop you if it kills me!

And then Camille decided that she would put herself in danger to stop Adora from continuing to hurt Amma and to make her body evidence.

 

My favorite scene in the whole episode. The tiniest changes Patricia Clarkson makes to her face to let you know she knows what Camille's gaze is telling her. Masterful.

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13 hours ago, peach said:

I liked the closure with Richard.  He was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of what happened in that family, and of Camille's suffering.  I think he felt genuinely ashamed of himself for judging her.  It also wasn't like, oh, okay, I'll help make it all better.  It was too much for him.  I felt that scene was more realistic than the typical thriller/drama ending of let's all cry and hug it out with relief and now it's over. (usually with an ambulance blanket around the shoulders)   Instead they showed him awkwardly struggling to even find the right words, and then "I'm sorry" is really the only thing to say.  And he did save her life.  But they didn't get together like a Lifetime movie or something.  They made their small moment of peace, and then he left.

That scene was the only thing about the episode I did like and you described it beautifully.  I detested everything else and feel cheated, or angry and made a fool of for suffering through the entire series of Camille driving aimlessly (I get it already!) and Richard's various sweat stain patterns.  Was that the entire point of his completely useless character, to show us how hot and humid it was?  

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9 minutes ago, Mocking Bird said:

Was that the entire point of his completely useless character, to show us how hot and humid it was?  

Have you ever been to St Louis? Or that area of Missouri? It is a fucking nightmare. 

His character is in the book, I think it was appropriate for him to be there, but as stated, this isn't Lifetime, where he saves her, emotionally.  And men have a hard time expressing themselves anyway, so add to it, this poor woman has been to hell and back, and survived this, he was probably just overwhelmed by the whole thing, the shitty way he spoke to her when he found her with John, embarrassed about that, etc.   I don't think he was grossed out by her scars, just shocked and taken aback.   The boss knew she had issues she was dealing with. 

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Partial double-post from the book thread: I too call shenanigans on important content being interspersed in the end credits. Granted, it was more of a fleshing out of Amma being the girls' killer than providing anything new, but it struck me as a very passive-aggressive way to treat your audience. (Most people click away once the end credits start, and the last scene seemed to provide enough of a "shocking" "conclusion.")

The episode title also made me think of "milk teeth," another name for baby teeth (which might or might not have been lost by the time Ann and Natalie were murdered).

I actually appreciated all the comments here about the fencing, as I had thought it was institutional fencing at first, and was interpreting Amma's and Mae's facial expressions differently. Y'all have persuaded me otherwise ?

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Just listened to the Vanity Fair recap podcast. Listen if you want to be further enraged by the obliviousness and cluelessness of Noxon and Valle. And the hosts fawning over them was really embarrassing.

And poor Eliza Scanlon did he best she could explaining his dreck as a 19 year old kid thrown to the wolves. One interesting thing she said was that she intended to play Amma as somewhat relieved that Camille found out as she thought that Amma doesn’t want to do this but can’t help and wants to be caught.

If only the genius director had actually let her show that instead of the nonsense we got.

 I can’t believe how poorly this thing ended with such a ridiculous tonal shift. Spent 8 hours setting a tone and mood and completely erased with a jump scare.

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4 minutes ago, Schmolioot said:

 And the hosts fawning over them was really embarrassing.

This is becoming a cottage industry!

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3 hours ago, Beezella said:

5b843b4f78f96_Teethfloor.thumb.png.1880d26bba5c9a8d1490ffab9dc70957.png

Thank you.  This does not show up on my  screen.  I saw the teeth she was holding, but not the floor of teeth.  I did laugh when the director in some interview said people watch differently now on different platforms and can rewind, etc. , so he is free to do things like his quick cuts and flashbacks.  But I missed most of them on my iPad, just could not see them, too dark.  

Gotta listen to that podcast .

Edited by weaver

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7 hours ago, Blakeston said:

The only thing I found shocking about the finale was that Amma was never revealed to be Camille's biological daughter. That was the one cliche that somehow didn't get included in the script!

 

WTF!  When was this ever brought up?????  As far as I can recall Amma was always thought to be Camille's half-sister.

Edited by preeya

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2 minutes ago, preeya said:

WTF!  When was this ever thought to be?????  As far as I can recall Amma was always thought to be Camille's half sister.

Some people speculated on the episode threads that Amma might have been Camille's daughter.  Not particularly based on anything overt or specific the show did, but more along the lines of "what other surprises can be waiting for us down the road'" and "what if....?", and so on.

 

This is what happens when people have seen many, many, many TV shows and read many, many, many books.  Surprises are rare because as the old adage goes: there's nothing new under the sun.

 

This is why I prefer showrunners that are not actively trying to surprise people because they either come up with increasingly convoluted scenarios or they don't put any clues during the episodes leading to the surprise (they don't want people to guess) and they end up feeling unearned. 

 

Same goes for books and book series. Example, GRRM (author of A Song of Ice and Fire, better known as, Game of Thrones).  I have many bones to pick with him, but, when asked if people on the internet had guessed some of the upcoming plot twists and surprises he said that some had, but that he was not going to change it because people put 2 and 2 together.  He said he put the clues in there for a reason, and if people guessed it, then they had earned it and they had interpreted his clues the right way, so, why would he change it?

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4 hours ago, peach said:

Not often, but look up the Slenderman case.  There's a documentary about it on HBO.  12 year old girls lured a "friend" into the woods and stabbed her to please a fictional character.

 

Mary Bell, an 11 year old girl in England, murdered two little boys. It was a horrific case.  She strangled them. the first murder was comitted alone. The second was with a friend. Of course killing little boys is much easier than teen girls. Mary Bell also had a horrific childhood. She did many years in institutions and was later relased and never recommited any crimes. Its a fascinating case for anyone to google. Usually young girls who murder have experienced horrific sexual abuse.

Edited by JennyMominFL
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7 minutes ago, JennyMominFL said:

Mary Bell, an 11 year old girl in England, murdered two little boys. It was a horrific case.  She strangled them. the first murder was comitted alone. The second was with a friend. Of course killing little boys is much easier than teen girls. Mary Bell also had a horrific childhood. She did many years in institutions and was later relased and never recommited any crimes. Its a fascinating case for anyone to google. Usually young girls who murder have experienced horrific sexual abuse.

Sounds like it would make a good HBO mini-series.

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4 hours ago, peach said:

Right?  Mae would still be alive.  This show made me think of I, Tonya in a way.  I left that movie feeling a huge amount of compassion for Tonya because of her upbringing, and still thinking she was terrible.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

True, but Tonya Harding was an adult who clearly knew what she was doing. That’s not clear with Amma.

While she might not be legally insane, as she seems to understand right from wrong given that she tries to hide the crimes, her upbringing is certainly a mitigating factor for me. All the more galling that Camille didn’t seem to have her in any kind of professional therapy.

 I mentioned this in another thread but Amma just doesn’t understand that love/attention/affection is not transactional and can’t run out. This is just how she was taught by Adora.

In her mind Camille, or Adora for that matter, only have so much love to go around and that any that she is not getting she’s lost. It’s a zero sum game to her. This is partly why not being given any real understanding as to her “triggers” was frustrating. We don’t really know what Ann or Natalie did that made her think she was losing some of Adora’s love and attention that was finite.

Same kind of thing with Camille. The new friend didn’t really do anything but Amma wants all of Camille’s love and any attention she pays this other girl has been lost to Amma. Camille’s answer about just wanting Amma to be happy and that she didn’t care if she was a writer or whatever obviously wasn’t enough for Amma. She even went back to her creepy, incesty well for a moment there.

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Amma had to let Adora poison her in order to receive her motherly love and attention. Adora was giving that to Ann and Natalie for “free.” That must’ve made Amma extremely angry and hurt.

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11 hours ago, Beezella said:

I actually was not being facetious. I didn't see the teeth in the floor at first. It might depend on the type of screen people might be watching on. Then thinking about it after,  it came to me and I went back and paused on the shot of the floor. I was surprised no one had mentioned it because I think to me that was the most horrifying thing in the whole series. Maybe she started with lost baby teeth? There were a lot of teeth in that floor!

Of course any ivory floor will be made of teeth.

I had many of my teeth pulled in my youth and doubt whether a young girl could do it.  At the least it would take a very long time.  Hours.

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14 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

Amma had to let Adora poison her in order to receive her motherly love and attention. Adora was giving that to Ann and Natalie for “free.” That must’ve made Amma extremely angry and hurt.

Right. To Amma, she and Adora had a deal and the attention Adora paid to the other girls was breaking the “deal”

Its not completely dissimilar with Camille. I’m sure that Amma “loves” her in her own way but again it’s sort of transactional. Amma is giving Camille everything she’s wanted. A sister, a daughter, a best friend, etc. And at an age when most kids rebel against their parents and chafe at their rules, Amma lets Camille dote on her. But Amma expects 100% of Camille’s love in exchange for this. And she doesn’t understand that her friend liking Camille doesn’t mean that Camille loves her any less.

Again, in Amma’s mind this is a zero sum game with a winner and a loser and she takes the ultimate step to “win”

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Good things about this series: Atmosphere, acting, some solid character stuff, some memorable dialogue, captured the feel of a small dying southern town really well, I was engaged in the mystery and the characters, it dealt with a lot of interesting issues, especially as they happen in small towns, great music choices. Made me interested in learning how to roller blade again. 

Bad things about this series: Pacing, gratuitous flashbacks, things set up that have little pay off, southern cliches*, meandering in the middle, spending too much time watching Camille drive and not enough time actually solving the murders and explaining what the hell happened. Made me afraid of people who roller blade. 

Those are kind of broad strokes, and there are individual scenes and beats that I liked a lot (creepy town festival) and individual scenes and beats that I disliked (that ending! Dont end there damn it!) but I am glad that I watched this show. I think I will end up looking at this show with fondness eventually, when I stop being annoyed at that stupid, rushed ending. 

*I enjoyed how this is basic a modern remake of half every Tennessee Williams lay ever written, while also admitting that this isnt exactly saying anything new about small southern towns.

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2 hours ago, DangerousMinds said:

Amma had to let Adora poison her in order to receive her motherly love and attention. Adora was giving that to Ann and Natalie for “free.” That must’ve made Amma extremely angry and hurt.

She says this in the book, giving a slightly different motivation...
 

Spoiler

"I could never have anything to myself. They weren't my secrets anymore. They were always coming to the house. They started asking me questions about being sick. They were going to ruin everything."

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IRT Mae's hand, it looked like normal reminders a kid might write on her hand in pen. I could make out Call Mom and Text A (Amma?). I don't think they were meant to be weird for Mae, but just serve as a reminder to Camille that as normal as that dinner was, her background and issues will always be in her head.

So many unresolved questions. Just so disappointed in this. Last summer I stuck with Twin Peaks all summer. This summer, this show. Both had some redeeming scenes and high points, but overall both were serious let downs. I hope I will have better judgement about what deserves my TV time next summer!

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4 minutes ago, Moxie Cat said:

IRT Mae's hand, it looked like normal reminders a kid might write on her hand in pen. I could make out Call Mom and Text A (Amma?). I don't think they were meant to be weird for Mae, but just serve as a reminder to Camille that as normal as that dinner was, her background and issues will always be in her head.

So many unresolved questions. Just so disappointed in this. Last summer I stuck with Twin Peaks all summer. This summer, this show. Both had some redeeming scenes and high points, but overall both were serious let downs. I hope I will have better judgement about what deserves my TV time next summer!

I saw on Reddit that the girl who played Mae answered a fan on Twitter who asked what the writing meant and she said that it was to show her growing fascination with and interest in Camille.

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Good Lord. I'm reading along here and I can't believe how much work we are all doing because the show didn't! It's ridiculous. It's one thing to leave something open ended or mysterious but come on! 

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And another thing:  so *now* we're supposed to go "oh, yeah, the ivory floor--I wondered what was up with that."  It's pretty clever to equate elephant teeth with murdered girls' teeth but cheese on crackers this pisses me off.  We were supposed to guess that's what the teeth were for?  I mean, we got hit over the head with that what-the-hell-is-*that*-about ivory floor--who's ever even *heard* of an ivory floor?--and we're supposed to go, "oh, yeah, Amma was kind of nuts over making the dollhouse exactly like the big house" and it never occurred to Camille to ask what are you doing for the ivory floor? and to top it all off we're asked to believe that Amma was able to get hold of a jigsaw fine enough to *saw* children's teeth into flat tiles that would look like the ivory on the floor.  Two girls equals 64 teeth if they have them all, and I doubt that you could get more than one usable slice out of each tooth, so with *no* mistakes you'd have 64 tiles of varying widths (because the ones from molars would be bigger than the slivers you could get from incisors) and I'm sure that would make a very fine ivory floor in a dollhouse.  Such horseshit.

And don't talk to me about fillings!

And I didn't think that doll was posed in the dollhouse window like Natalie's body was posed.  I thought the doll was looking into the window, and I don't know what the hell that's supposed to mean.

2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Good things about this series: Atmosphere, acting, some solid character stuff, some memorable dialogue, captured the feel of a small dying southern town really well, I was engaged in the mystery and the characters, it dealt with a lot of interesting issues, especially as they happen in small towns, great music choices. Made me interested in learning how to roller blade again. 

Bad things about this series: Pacing, gratuitous flashbacks, things set up that have little pay off, southern cliches*, meandering in the middle, spending too much time watching Camille drive and not enough time actually solving the murders and explaining what the hell happened. Made me afraid of people who roller blade. 

Those are kind of broad strokes, and there are individual scenes and beats that I liked a lot (creepy town festival) and individual scenes and beats that I disliked (that ending! Dont end there damn it!) but I am glad that I watched this show. I think I will end up looking at this show with fondness eventually, when I stop being annoyed at that stupid, rushed ending. 

*I enjoyed how this is basic a modern remake of half every Tennessee Williams lay ever written, while also admitting that this isnt exactly saying anything new about small southern towns.

I agree with everything you say, and I just want to congratulate all of us on writing in a forum where people use footnotes.

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