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S01.E06: Cherry

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I knew a high functioning alcoholic once that I do believe all things are possible. This guy operated like a 1 armed man, in that he absolutely positively never put down his beer from morning til night. If he had to fix something, he was a 1 armed mechanic, he had the beer with him, under a car, inside a machine and if he had to have a tool in one hand and hold anything else it went in his mouth, the beer was not set down. He was most definitely a chain drinker, like a chain smoker, when one ended you popped another. And in the evenings you added "real" alcohol to it. As far as him ever being out of control, like he never "seemed" drunk except on occasion, we went bowling once and a little girl cried so he went after her, lecturing her to toughen up, you can't always win and if winning is so important then just don't suck so much, yada, yada, he didn't exactly slur his speech but it was the only time I noticed he did something that was outside his usual behavior. I did notice that on most outings his wife drove, and on the bowling he didn't really "bowl" just "helped" so he learned how to keep it within the lines so no one noticed. There are people who suffer no hangovers. I don't Camille is one of them but it's possible that her "sober" is as painful as a hangover so the hangover actually feels better. And she clearly isn't "getting away" with her drinking, everyone has taken note, it hasn't cost her a job yet.

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It's possible to be a high-functioning alcoholic, but not in the way it's being portrayed on this show. And not so that you would still look like Amy Freaking Adams either.

Mileage varies of course, but Amy Adams looks like a regular ordinary woman to me, and definitely a worn-out and self-abusive one in this show. 

And, yes, people can do exactly what she's doing--get up in the morning, work, walk around, talk, drive, think, make plans, whatever--whether you have personally seen it happen or not. Some of us here have—for example, even though my friends, some pretty heavy drinkers themselves, and I knew our friend had a serious long-term problem (along with two jobs and a home), we all still freaked right out when actually seeing the amount of empties in the recycling in just the course of just a week.

ETA: The HR lady at my last job too! She was in early, left late (hmmm, maybe she slept there!), and was the only one in that department. She was also kind of a jerk. And my maternal grandpa too—high functioning (and a jerk).

Edited by TattleTeeny
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16 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

Imagining things, or did I hear Amma whisper "I can't remember being inside you" to Camille while they were out on the lawn?

So close to turning on the closed captioning.  Even with the volume cranked, I still miss half the dialogue. 

I just rewatched that scene with cc, and no, she doesn't.  She asked if she can sleep in Camille's room, and the last whisper was, "I just can't remember being this happy."

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Just read a good review of this episode on Vulture.com.  Reminded me of a few things.

How many times can you watch Beaches before you stop crying. FFS you know she's going to die. It's not even that good a movie.   Now I know why I don't attend the yearly lunch with old high school friends - "they're building that I 69 expansion so the Mexicans can walk up here and kill us".   

Maybe Camille could explain what feminism is to these nitwits. 

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43 minutes ago, teddysmom said:

 

Maybe Camille could explain what feminism is to these nitwits. 

Doubt it.

The cheerleaders were going on about how women are meant to have babies and how you’re not really a woman until you bear children.

Camille cracked someth8ng about “there’s girl power for you.”  The other women didn’t seem to get the sarcasm.

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1 hour ago, teddysmom said:

How many times can you watch Beaches before you stop crying. FFS you know she's going to die. It's not even that good a movie.  

I’ll let you know when I hit whatever that magic number is :). I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it - more than 5 but probably not yet a dozen times - and still get weepy.  In my own defence, I do tend to watch it when I’m feeling low and/or sentimental to begin with.  The whole town of Wind Gap is one big feeling low and/or sentimental pity party. 

And it is too a good movie. The original. The remake sucks. But mileage varies. 

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22 minutes ago, Trillian said:

I’ll let you know when I hit whatever that magic number is :). I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it - more than 5 but probably not yet a dozen times - and still get weepy.  In my own defence, I do tend to watch it when I’m feeling low and/or sentimental to begin with.  The whole town of Wind Gap is one big feeling low and/or sentimental pity party. 

And it is too a good movie. The original. The remake sucks. But mileage varies. 

Heh, IMHO, both versions suck. It's just manipulative and makes me feel queasy watching it. But the original version was better acted from what I could see. Full disclosure: I've only seen bits and pieces of the remake, because I disliked the original so much. The only thing it had going for it was Mayim Bialyk.

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Alan telling her to be nicer to her mother?? WTF? It's amazing how people can be taken in like that. 

Amma reminded me of a crocodile, going under, before attacking... only she'd already verbally attacked someone. The actress is very good. 

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This episode's music was a prime example of what irritates me about it. The soundtrack is filled with songs teenagers wouldn't be listening to. They really sit around the pool and listen to Boz Scaggs (I think it was)? They get together at a party and put on Can't Take My Eyes Off of You? And this week we get some Twin Peaks-ian opening song? 

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19 minutes ago, Anela said:

Amma reminded me of a crocodile, going under, before attacking... only she'd already verbally attacked someone. The actress is very good. 

Indeed she is.  (And it's a great role.)  I have no idea whether Amma's a budding sociopath or just a teenager in need of stronger parental guidance, but she makes me believe both. 

So much discussion on pinning down the ages of the teenagers (and actors) makes me think of how a key theme must be that in-between-land that teenagers occupy: legally, sexually, cognitively, and why it's so, so important to protect them since sometimes they look like adults.   Amma embodies that, in extremis.  (Oh, and she may be a murderer.)

Edited by Penman61
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5 hours ago, snarts said:

Imagining things, or did I hear Amma whisper "I can't remember being inside you" to Camille while they were out on the lawn?

So close to turning on the closed captioning.  Even with the volume cranked, I still miss half the dialogue. 

I've had the CC on since the first episode. The actors mumble and the sound editors were sleeping on the job. That's largely the reason why I've missed the changing words that appear throughout each episode -- I'm too busy reading and it's not worth a re-watch.

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3 hours ago, izabella said:

I just rewatched that scene with cc, and no, she doesn't.  She asked if she can sleep in Camille's room, and the last whisper was, "I just can't remember being this happy."

Thank you. I was going to re-watch tonight with the CC on.

For as close as the sheriff & Adora are, I'm shocked Amma's able to run around town with her crew like that.

If cheerleaders are back practicing, can the start of school be far behind? 

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I thought the scene with Amma and John, at the pool, was super creepy:

Amma: Why don't you come rub me down?  (holding up a bottle of OIL, not sunscreen, but baby oil.  I know this deosn't mean anything to the plot, but my skin is offended on her behalf.)

John says nothing.

Amma: Where's Ashley?

John: Cheerleading practice.

Amma: What time does she get home?

John: Why?

Amma: Because there's you, me, and an empty carriage house.

Camille arrives and sneaks up on them, listening.

Amma: Who do I remind you of?

John: A bad little girl who thinks she's a lot cuter than she is.

Amma: Then you should stop watching me.  You know how Ashley gets when she's jealous.

John:  I like to keep on you, Amma.  Just know I always got an eye on you.

Amma: You sure do, now.

John:  It'll be your day.  Soon.

 

Sooo, what "day" is he referring to?   The day he cheats on Ashley with an underage girl? 

I'm not entirely sure what has given me this impression, but I get the sense that the football players pick a cheerleader each year to rape in the woods, like Camille was raped.  And that the girls are supposed to see this as being a rite of passage for the most popular girl.  And it's supposed to be some kind of honor, an annual tradition, like the play at Calhoun Day glorifying that Calhoun ancestor raped by soldiers.  Maybe I'm way off base, but everything in this town is creepy and just plain messed up.

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1 hour ago, SHD said:

This episode's music was a prime example of what irritates me about it. The soundtrack is filled with songs teenagers wouldn't be listening to. They really sit around the pool and listen to Boz Scaggs (I think it was)? They get together at a party and put on Can't Take My Eyes Off of You? And this week we get some Twin Peaks-ian opening song? 

Who knows though? In high school (in the late '80s), my BF had no idea what his peers listened to--he was all Led Zeppelin, the Doors, and Hendrix and whatever else.

And, yes--ugh, the low sound is nuts. I have to remember to turn it down before I switch back to regular TV from Apple TV or I'll accidentally blast the walls out of this place.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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31 minutes ago, izabella said:

I thought the scene with Amma and John, at the pool, was super creepy:

Amma: Why don't you come rub me down?  (holding up a bottle of OIL, not sunscreen, but baby oil.  I know this deosn't mean anything to the plot, but my skin is offended on her behalf.)

John says nothing.

Amma: Where's Ashley?

John: Cheerleading practice.

Amma: What time does she get home?

John: Why?

Amma: Because there's you, me, and an empty carriage house.

Camille arrives and sneaks up on them, listening.

Amma: Who do I remind you of?

John: A bad little girl who thinks she's a lot cuter than she is.

Amma: Then you should stop watching me.  You know how Ashley gets when she's jealous.

John:  I like to keep on you, Amma.  Just know I always got an eye on you.

Amma: You sure do, now.

John:  It'll be your day.  Soon.

 

Sooo, what "day" is he referring to?   The day he cheats on Ashley with an underage girl? 

I'm not entirely sure what has given me this impression, but I get the sense that the football players pick a cheerleader each year to rape in the woods, like Camille was raped.  And that the girls are supposed to see this as being a rite of passage for the most popular girl.  And it's supposed to be some kind of honor, an annual tradition, like the play at Calhoun Day glorifying that Calhoun ancestor raped by soldiers.  Maybe I'm way off base, but everything in this town is creepy and just plain messed up.

I think John suspects Amma of something. I don’t get the impression he wants her, sexually.

We did see a lot of flashes of Camille in the woods beside the Calhoun Day celebration. With a town founded on the celebration of rape, I can see this becoming like a rite of passage. 

On another note, it might be a little too on-the-nose, but I do like the visual contrast of both Richard and Camille in their dark uniforms while everyone else floats around them in colorful caftans and sundresses. 

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I had this niggling in the back of my mind about an Edgar Allan Poe story about pulled, bloody teeth, and I finally remembered:

(from Wikipedia)

"Berenice" is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. The story follows a man named Egaeus who is preparing to marry his cousin Berenice. He has a tendency to fall into periods of intense focus during which he seems to separate himself from the outside world. Berenice begins to deteriorate from an unnamed disease until the only part of her remaining healthy is her teeth, which become the object of Egaeus' obsession. Berenice is buried, and Egaeus continues to contemplate her teeth. One day Egaeus wakes up from a period of focus with an uneasy feeling, and the sound of screams in his ears. A servant startles him by telling him Berenice's grave has been disturbed, and she is still alive; but beside Egaeus is a shovel, a poem about "visiting the grave of my beloved" and a box containing 32 blood-stained teeth.

Back to me:  There is no Southern Gothic without Poe, and it is Southern Gothic we're dealing with here.

This episode scared me.  The shifting  identities of the girls Camille was swinging around with, then ghost Marian telling her she wasn't safe there, made me too scared to go outside in the dark and bring in the bird feeder.  Thanks to Sharp Objects, the raccoons will feast on sunflower seeds tonight.

Edited to add:  Tooth-pulling is a genuine sexual fetish:

Odontophilia is a fetish for sex involving teeth, and it can range from licking a partner’s teeth or gently biting their skin to actually removing their teeth.

The use of dental props such as Jennings, Whitehead or Hallam gags, which are used in dentistry to keep the patient’s mouth open, may also play a part.

It’s something the Marquis De Sade wrote about, describing somebody called Boniface being sodomised while having sex with a woman whose teeth he was pulling out. Our dentist almost seems gentle by comparison.

https://metro.co.uk/2017/10/04/metros-a-to-z-of-fetishes-o-is-for-orville-orthodontists-and-getting-thrown-out-of-pets-at-home-6938796/

Edited by Mothra
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1 hour ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

I think John suspects Amma of something. I don’t get the impression he wants her, sexually.

We did see a lot of flashes of Camille in the woods beside the Calhoun Day celebration. With a town founded on the celebration of rape, I can see this becoming like a rite of passage. 

On another note, it might be a little too on-the-nose, but I do like the visual contrast of both Richard and Camille in their dark uniforms while everyone else floats around them in colorful caftans and sundresses. 

John clearly can’t stand Amma. He’s not trying to get in her pants. He’s saying that eventually she’ll be punished for something she did. My guess? She was probably mean to his sister, he saw her doing something bad to his sister, or he suspects she had something to do with his sisters murder. Amma antagonizes John because he’s probably about the only male in town I’m that 14-25 age group that her “magic” doesn’t work out. She seems to have all of the other boys her age and older wrapped around her finger. 

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13 minutes ago, ShellsandCheese said:

John clearly can’t stand Amma. He’s not trying to get in her pants. 

I know what you mean, and I actually agree about John, but the second statement most definitely does not follow from the first, especially in a story where rape is, at best, blithely woven into the town's history and culture.

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Some serious boundary issues in this family. Ghost girl knows what's up. That last scene was so creepy. Maybe the best so far.

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10 hours ago, snarts said:

...

So close to turning on the closed captioning.  Even with the volume cranked, I still miss half the dialogue. 

The CC will increase your frustration.  I use it full-time and this show has the worst CC I've ever seen.  Whole scenes pass with only a couple of random sentence fragments displayed.

The last sentence of this episode, for example, seemed dramatic and important.  No caption.

Grrrrrr.

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The thing that struck me most (among a lot of striking things) was that gathering of former cheerleaders to watch "Beaches."  Camille wasn't the only cheerleader who was gang-raped.  Every week a different girl was subjected to that horror.  Yet the only person who even tries to talk about what happened was that man whose name I can't remember, and his effort to apologize to Camille was rebuffed.  The idea of those women sitting there together, enjoying having their emotions played upon by a movie, knowing that they shared this awful secret--hell, it wasn't even much of a secret--and apparently never having acknowledged that it happened, is as chilling to me as anything else that happened in this episode.  The "sisterhood" of "Beaches" indeed.

I am in love with this show.  I love the fact that there are factual contradictions throughout--things that we know couldn't be true, yet we (if we allow ourselves) accept as the price of admission to Camille's poor mind.  I don't think it matters whether a person could drink as much alcohol as we are shown Camille drinking and still function; the idea is that she drinks a hell of a lot and maybe to her (and us) it seems continual.  Ditto Adora's casual cruelty.  I don't think it matters whether she actually said every word Camille (and thus we) hear coming out of her mouth; that Adora is a monster is undeniable.  It's like an impressionist painting--those daubs don't really look like trees, but if we allow ourselves to be entranced by the painting, they *are* trees.

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The actress playing Amma is really great, she is just nailing it. Its like watching a darker, more southern Regina George from Mean Girls. She is clearly awful, but you can also see why people are drawn to her, and why they want her to like them. The only person she seems to really like though is Camille. Although, its hard to know if this is her weird way of reaching out, or she just wants another relative to win over. 

The whole sequence between Amma and Camille at the end was super creepy, I loved it.

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1 hour ago, Mothra said:

It's like an impressionist painting--those daubs don't really look like trees, but if we allow ourselves to be entranced by the painting, they *are* trees.

I think you may be on to something. I think the problem is the show has a murder mystery to justify why the characters are interacting. So people who want clues and answers are getting frustrated.  Which is fair. I am glad it is only an 8 hr show. 

It took me a while to get into the flow. Also the show feels more concrete each week. Fewer flashbacks and what we see now has context.

The actress playing Amma is good but man I hate her. She makes my skin crawl in every scene.

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On 8/13/2018 at 2:37 AM, bijoux said:

Glory be, we have found one normal, non-vile person in that place - Camille’s old classmate. Those other women are just crazy, although amusing from time to time. I straight up chuckled when the brunette was shimmying to get onto the chair next to their hostess.

That character, and the maid,  are in dangerous Magical NegroTM territory. Neither of them have inner lives. They are cardboard 'good folk,' to show us how good Camille is supposed to be. Hugging the maid, the cheerleader saying she wasnt as bad as most. Then ...why is she even there at those get-togethers?  Please; Im findinf Adams and Noxon and the author particularly tone-deaf, with this aspect. The 3 of them are the producers and creators of this show.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 1:58 PM, CountryGirl said:

That little moment when Adora peeked in at her daughters sent chills down my spine in a way nothing else on this show has - yet.

I laughed at that. It was so straight up, cover of a V.C. Andrew paperback, it was hilarious!

I want to know they did that with that in mind. The evil mother figure lurking, the implied incest of them caressing on the bed, and of course all the frilly froufrou, with murder underpinning it.

And I finally get why people find ghost kids the most scary kind of ghosts.

 

On 8/12/2018 at 9:22 PM, jeansheridan said:

I was hoping for more from Alan, especially when we learn he sleeps on a hideaway couch! Is that to avoid the appearance of two separate bedrooms? 

 

Also, I think I will respect the show more if they don't show the gang-rape. They've told us about it twice now. I don't really need to see a young actress go through that to get the point. What do you all think? Is it necessary? Do you need to see it to get closure or certainty?

There's definitely no need to show a bunch of children raping children. I do not want to see that, and i want to see even less of that Willy Wonka spider. I hope they dont do something cheesy and show any of them smashing it, though. We get it. It was rape. 

  I cannpt fathom going through that, and then being stuck in that town, with those same cruel people, and no solace at home.  Or going back there at any time, actually. Which makes me hate her boss even more. What a clueless piece of crap he is.

Lacey? the teacher, did seem sincere about apologizing. The fact that he said it's been haunting him, makes me think it's been years longer than than just since his daughters were born, but Camille had every right to be as tart with him. I liked the delivery there, "Guess we were both fucked,"

Cant stand the fake smugness of those old cheerleaders. Trying to get Camille drunk. All they're weepy bullshit.  Thinking they've achieved the pinnacle of society just because they have 1500 sq ft of a shitty suburban ranch, pottery barn  candles in tacky autumnal colors, a ring on their finger and they can poop out kids.

I love that proper gentlemanly Alan is jerking off to vintage stag magazines, when we meet him this episode.  He's so trapped in his own little bubble.  Since we now know he likes DD bullet bra boobs, hes probably not the killer.

Richard would be a bad cop if he didnt follow up the lead that Camilles roommate died while confined with her in a rubber room.

Ashley is probably not the coolest girl in school and thats why she's obsessed with popularity?

Also was she wiping up her own blood from when Natalie bit her, last week, after her halfhearted hj?

WHY do we suppose Nat bit her? Because she was a psycho kid who purposely stabbed someone in the eye? Thats a truly disturbed thing to do, each of those things.  And twice as sick for a kid to do them. Yet wasnt John chuckling while telling that story? Like it was a cute thing Nat did?

I know a reporter wants to go where the story is but, to a kid's houseparty?  Yeah that was also boring and cringey.Camille, having known how bad teenagers can be, should have a healthy dose of fear of them. Especially how nasty her sister is. And I have to ask, are we supposed to find Amma 'hot'? Because all I see is an unpleasant rat-faced kid. And her statement that John was all over her, watching her, is put into context now: he thinks she had something to do with the murder of his sister. Was Amma's name on the hate side of her list?

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Watching this show makes me so thankful that I grew up in a major city. People always act like it’s so risky to grow up in NYC or LA - but I find that the small town  kids are much more likely to engage in substance abuse.  The people on this show lead such miserable lives... at this point I’m watching out of a mild morbid curiousity. I just want to shake the shit out of every character on the show, except for the black cheerleader lady. Hopefully, at least a few more of them get murdered by this show’s end.

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1 hour ago, Buttless said:

That character, and the maid,  are in dangerous Magical NegroTM territory. Neither of them have inner lives. They are cardboard 'good folk,' to show us how good Camille is supposed to be. Hugging the maid, the cheerleader saying she wasnt as bad as most. Then ...why is she even there at those get-togethers?  Please; Im findinf Adams and Noxon and the author particularly tone-deaf, with this aspect. The 3 of them are the producers and creators of this show.

I am behind you on Gayla, but I don't know that I'm ready to paint the cheerleader with the same brush. She was only on in this episode and it's not like the rest of the women at the so called party got any substantial characterization. In fact, for a character study, most of them are two dimensional. 

56 minutes ago, Buttless said:

Also was she wiping up her own blood from when Natalie bit her, last week, after her halfhearted hj?

WHY do we suppose Nat bit her? Because she was a psycho kid who purposely stabbed someone in the eye? Thats a truly disturbed thing to do, each of those things.  And twice as sick for a kid to do them. Yet wasnt John chuckling while telling that story? Like it was a cute thing Nat did?

I know a reporter wants to go where the story is but, to a kid's houseparty?  Yeah that was also boring and cringey.Camille, having known how bad teenagers can be, should have a healthy dose of fear of them. Especially how nasty her sister is. And I have to ask, are we supposed to find Amma 'hot'? Because all I see is an unpleasant rat-faced kid. And her statement that John was all over her, watching her, is put into context now: he thinks she had something to do with the murder of his sister. Was Amma's name on the hate side of her list?

I doubt it was Ashley's blood, especially from the bite. That looked pretty healed over. As for why Natalie would have done it, who knows, just another outlet for boredom? Other kids fuck around and do drugs, Amma spices it up with playing Regina George on roids, so Natalie choses this as an outlet? 

I didn't think Camille went for the story, I think she did so because Amma pressured her to do it. Just like Adora must have done a million times and she still managed to a few times since Camille's been back. 

As for Amma, yes, I do think we're supposed to see her as attractive, or at least understand why the characters in the story might feel that way. She's got that fresh, on the cusp of womanhood thing going for her. Still, we've so far seen idiotic young boys respond to her most, and I think that's a mix of her willingness to try out stuff and a strong personality. We've seen her hit on/try to get a rise out of older guys (John) and men (Richard, Mr. Lacey) and they didn't take the bait. Even if I'm still suspicious about Lacey. Speaking of, was he the husband caught jerking over bank statements or whatever? 

It was mentioned upthread how the taking a turn at a girl after a game was a weekly thing. I can't remember what Camille told Richard, but I got the impression that it was more spaced apart. Can anyone remember what she said? 

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Regarding the name Cherry, I got the impression that it was from the memory Camille had when Adora confronted her in the kitchen and said she was going to the store. She shamed her because of her scars when she asked for cream. She then looked at Camille and said, “I’m glad to see you eating, you haven’t eaten a thing since you got here” and held the stare a very long time watching Camille stand eating a cherry pie (without a plate) left over from Calhoun Day (?) As she held her stare, Camille flashed to the memory of jumping in that same doorway in her cheerleading uniform to show it off and Miriam exclaiming how great she looked, saying, “Mama, doesn’t she look like you could just take a bit out of her?” Adora never looked up from the sink and said, “Yes, like a nice big ROUND cherry” to young short haired Camille in her red uniform and her face fell. Camille, in present time, realized adoring was staring so long and said, “What?” and Adora gave her a disappointed look and Camille put the fork down. It gave me the impression that Adora always told her or made her feel not pretty enough or thin enough or loveable enough and that she shouldn’t eat if she wants to be pretty and popular, as Ashley said, “That’s all that matters” (contrasted with what we see the popular kids in Amma’s group do and how they behaved when Camille was young too). Camille put down the fork to stop eating the pie and went over and gave a hug to the housekeeper to thank her for loving her unconditionally and suggesting she eat some left over pie, contrasted with her cold mother who never missed an opportunity to shame her by saying she never eats while simultaneously implying, “should you really be eating that?” Further, as Camille’s hair grew long in to her teens, I got the feeling that she had the nickname Cherry for her red hair. Yet like everything else in Wind Gap, everything means more than it appears on the surface. The boys may have called her Cherry because they know they took part in taking her virginity in the woods. That last sentence is only a guess and an inference because Cherry is one of the words carved on her upper leg. So it is a painful word that she uses to punish herself. The hurtful words of others carved in to her skin because they are who she believed she was at a time. 

 

I agree that that it seems weird that Camille would be pulled in to hanging out with Amma. However, we have seen that 1) Camille is very curious about finding out more of what is going on with the teens even if she doesn’t think this is a smart way to do it;and 2) Amma is clearly sociopathically level manipulative. She seems to know what people want and need and crave and enjoys tempting them and playing on their weaknesses to get what she wants. Camille is still mourning (or never properly did mourn) her younger sister and she seems to subconsciously want to protect Amma or please or pacify her and she responds to the “you’re my sister and I want to know you and spend time with you!” She also doesn’t like seeing Amma drunk or high and feels need to stay nearby as if that could help somehow. Amma knows this and plays on these strings. She also knows her sister LIVES in pain and therefore offered her an oxy (Percocet) after that horrendous night with the bitches at Beaches and mind it sound not a big deal and so enticing and got the whole car to pressure her to take it. Then purposely gave her ecstasy. I think Amma is fascinated by Camille and does want to know her as her darkness fascinated her and she is tired of playing at manipulating everyone else in Wind Gap and this is a new interesting person. Amma craves a sister, yet not in the way Camille does. Amma says hurtful things and then is sweetly contrite the next day and throws her arms around Camille. Camille is a new fascinating factor in town (and she got out of the town) so Amma is fascinated by her in a sociopathic way of wanting to get close to learn what lies beneath, so she can understand her, and likely manipulate her (that seems how Amma operates— she doesn’t seem to have true empathy or any true remorse for her actions). 

 

I also get the feeling that Adora had something to do with Camille’s sister’s death. Her cause of death is left unexplained except that she was “always sickly” and we saw her in the spinning flashback with Camille getting more and more weak and skeletal like. It makes me think there is some kind of Munchausen by proxy situation in which Adora hurt one of her daughters, by keeping her ill, due to the attention and sympathy it brought her. She is forever a fragile flower and a saint because she had a daughter who died, who she and Camille never had a conversation about. She was cruel and hurt Camille in different ways. I suspect Adora telling Alan the cruel things her mother did to her are things that she did to Camille, which was blowing Camille’s mind during that conversation with Alan. Adora finds a way to blame everyone else for her pains and made Camille her target of her pain for losing her daughter and Camille took it out on her body. Amma is a similar sociopath and thus, knows, how to play to her mother’s needs and she does whatever she has to in order to get approval. Adora is now lost in her own world fugued by alcohol and not that close in raising Amma, so that if Amma satisfies a few things it satisfies her mothers needs and she is left alone. Something Camille was NEVER able to do.

ETA: I don’t know anything so this is pure speculation, yet it seems like Amma is a true sociopath without feelings beyond using her charm to get what she wants. It seems as though she is possibly evil and cruel enough to be the killer of the girls and may also be a factor in why she wants to get closer to her sister who is investigating the murders. Amma is inserting herself a bit and seems to love playing with fire to see how much she can fool people and get away with things— especially to those closest to her. It is just a strange feeling I get when I see Amma smile when she manipulates Camille in to doing what she wants— especially something she shouldn’t do, like taking drugs and partying together. A micro expression of satisfaction of successfully drawing her in and again having control over another person’s behavior. 

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58 minutes ago, msleecy said:

What is the symbolism/meaning of the constant shot of FANS and sometimes air conditioners?  Anyone else notice that?

I don’t know, however, my interpretation was that it showed and reminded us constantly how hot it is there in the summer. It is another aspect of the grim environment in Wind Gap, it is super hot and humid, yet many buildings are old and without central air. The heat is another conflict they all constantly battle. Rooms always have in room air conditioners or fans. It also shows how Camille’s outfit choice sticks out in weather like that and looks so out of place compared to others and to wear heavy black long clothes in that heat is odd (we know she is covering herself) in that environment. 

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No good conversation ever begins with, "Please have a seat." I did find it interesting that Adora clearly has no issue hurting Camille's feelings (usually on purpose) but she wanted Alan to be the bad guy in this situation and tell Camille to leave. Honestly, if I were Camille, I would just go stay at a hotel. Staying at her mom's house might not cost her any money but it's still not free. The price is too high in my opinion.

The music wasn't as bad as last week (gawd, the song for the opening credits last week was TERRIBLE) but seriously? They couldn't use the Frankie Valli version of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"? Despite the countless covers of it, that's the only one that exists in my universe.

I was rolling my eyes the entire time that Camille was with her high school friends. Between the crying and the condescension, I would have been chugging any alcohol in the house. Yes, Katie, women are incomplete and incapable of fully understanding love and loss until they've pushed a baby out. STFU.

6 hours ago, Buttless said:

I love that proper gentlemanly Alan is jerking off to vintage stag magazines

Those were actually vintage albums. The one at the very bottom is a Gil Ventura album and apparently some of his other album covers were even more explicit than the ones we saw! Check out these two! One of the other albums was by Billy Maxted and another was by Harry Bendler.

5b72e24a74694_sharpobjects.thumb.jpg.24e0d739cb0e79b9ce398d8f365660b0.jpg

5 hours ago, bijoux said:

Even if I'm still suspicious about Lacey. Speaking of, was he the husband caught jerking over bank statements or whatever? 

It was Lisa's husband who was jerking off on a copy of her credit card bill, which was odd but not nearly as creepy as some of the weird porn out there on the internet so I don't know why Angie made it sound like it was THAT bad.

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The part where Amma and Camille are spinning in the yard and Camille sees the dead people scared the shit out of me.

I also liked the interaction with Alan.  Like she finally had some spark in her and dum dum Alan who has to sleep on a fold-out bed thinks he can chastise her.  

I thought this episode was clearly pointing to Adora but I don't know why.   

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8 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

The actress playing Amma is good but man I hate her. She makes my skin crawl in every scene.

Me, too.  Do we think it's coincidence that her unusual name is an anagram of "mama?"  And of "ma'am" too for what that's worth.

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I also noticed some cross symbolism in this episode. Richard had a tattoo on his upper back that looked like a cross necklace hanging down. It sort of looked like a cross when the sheriff tossed his black utility belt thing over his shoulder as he was leaving the diner. There was a shot of Richard in his car where we could see the sky above his head and and shoulder and there was a cross sort of floating there. IIRC, there was a cross hanging on the wall as decoration in the cheerleader’s home. There may be more, but that’s the ones I noticed. 

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4 hours ago, bijoux said:

It was mentioned upthread how the taking a turn at a girl after a game was a weekly thing. I can't remember what Camille told Richard, but I got the impression that it was more spaced apart. Can anyone remember what she said? 

I also got the impression it was a more spaced out thing.  I think she said something along the lines of "this is where they would bring the cheerleader of the week," but I just took that as a turn of phrase, not that they literally did it once a week. 

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8 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

The actress playing Amma is really great, she is just nailing it. Its like watching a darker, more southern Regina George from Mean Girls. She is clearly awful, but you can also see why people are drawn to her

OMG, a southern, meaner Regina George.  Nailed it.  The Bitch Queen Bee.

 

6 hours ago, Buttless said:

And I finally get why people find ghost kids the most scary kind of ghosts.

Remember Kyra from The Sixth Sense?  Reminded me of that.  She scared me as well.

 

John is supposed to be like, sooo super GORRRRR-JUSSSS and Ashley being an average girl, wants the attention of dating the hottest guy in town.  Parading him around like, "Hey, look who *I* am dating!!!"  There's also that wounded-guy factor that a lot of girls like. 

 

I hate it when women say that you're not really a woman unless you've birthed a child.  WTF?!  So, if you're an adoptive or a foster mum who has never had a biological child, you're not a real woman??  Or if you've never had a baby (for whatever reason), you're also not a woman?  Yes, yes, I get what you're TRYING to say, but you're saying it wrong!

 

There is absolutely no reason for the sound to be shit.  It's 2018, ffs.  I get that it's supposed to be all dark and whatever, but so what?  You should still be able to hear what the people are saying.  Especially if the scenes are in the dark and you can't really read their lips. 

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24 minutes ago, Angeleyes said:

I also noticed some cross symbolism in this episode. Richard had a tattoo on his upper back that looked like a cross necklace hanging down. It sort of looked like a cross when the sheriff tossed his black utility belt thing over his shoulder as he was leaving the diner. There was a shot of Richard in his car where we could see the sky above his head and and shoulder and there was a cross sort of floating there. IIRC, there was a cross hanging on the wall as decoration in the cheerleader’s home. There may be more, but that’s the ones I noticed. 

Yep, and every time (twice, I think) we see the sheriff going through his morning routine, after he's put on all his accoutrements carefully laid out by his wife, he pauses with his back to us.  When he moves to go downstairs, we see that he's been facing a crucifix on the bedroom wall.  Yet there hasn't been a lot of overt religion in the show, has there?  Church, in my experience with two southern grandmothers, is a central part of small-town life down south.

I think the only times we've seen churchiness has been at funerals, and then the emphasis hasn't been on god's love or things you might expect, but on overpowering grief and desire for revenge.

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14 hours ago, SarahPrtr said:

There is absolutely no reason for the sound to be shit.  It's 2018, ffs.  I get that it's supposed to be all dark and whatever, but so what?  You should still be able to hear what the people are saying.  Especially if the scenes are in the dark and you can't really read their lips.

You're right--there isn't any reason, any technical reason.  So I think we have to assume that the difficulty we have in hearing exactly what's being said is deliberate, and significant somehow.  I do watch with CC on and find it helpful, but not revelatory, so I tend to think that the poor sound quality is more to create an ambiance of murkiness and unease more than to conceal clues we should be looking for.  I think it's yet another aspect of this very arty show we have to allow to wash over us and influence how we feel, rather than what it means intellectually.  Which can be very frustrating to me, but I find I love the show more if I don't struggle against it too much, trying to make things more (or less) meaningful than they are.  As an English major, I'm constantly on the lookout for imagery and metaphor and allegory in a narrative.  I find I enjoy noticing things--like the crosses that keep popping up--without trying to decide what they mean, or if they're meaningful at all, but just noticing them as part of the work of art I'm being exposed to.

 

17 hours ago, msleecy said:

What is the symbolism/meaning of the constant shot of FANS and sometimes air conditioners?  Anyone else notice that?

Yeah, I've noticed all the fans, too, and wondered what's air-conditioned and what's not.  And I've noticed that we don't see anyone (not that I've noticed, anyway) using a hand-held old-fashioned fan, which I would have expected to see.  All I can tell you that's occurred to me re: fans is that they stir the air; fans *stir things up* more than a/c does.  Those fans must be largely symbolic, I think, because it's clearly hot as hell, and the fans we see do not look very effectual--not all of them are even turned on!

About the Magical Negro mentioned by an earlier poster:  I've been annoyed by that, too.  There's Gayla, who's the only real *mother* in that household; there's Becky, the only cheerleader who came to Camille's aid when she had the leg cramp, and there's the nurse/receptionist at the rehab who was kind to both Alice and Camille.  The only women who are as close to pure, primal love that we're being shown are black women, and that smells a little racist to me.  There are very few black faces in this southern town, it seems, which is puzzling, and we haven't seen much of all those Mexicans who are supposed to be at work slaughtering hogs, either.

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7 hours ago, Buttless said:

That character, and the maid,  are in dangerous Magical NegroTM territory. Neither of them have inner lives. They are cardboard 'good folk,' to show us how good Camille is supposed to be. Hugging the maid, the cheerleader saying she wasnt as bad as most. Then ...why is she even there at those get-togethers?  Please; Im findinf Adams and Noxon and the author particularly tone-deaf, with this aspect. The 3 of them are the producers and creators of this show.

I don't know if "magical negro" is the right trope, because the characters don't necessarily seem to have deep spiritual wisdom; and they aren't doing much to guide the white main character on her journey. But I definitely agree that their cardboard depictions are tone-deaf.

The white actors have been given some very juicy roles, while the three roles for black actresses (Gayla, Camille's editor's wife, and the cheerleader friend) have all been boring, put-upon voices of reason.

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I think the fans might be partially there to set a mood of crippling heat that no one can escape. The show has an almost hazy feel, and oppressively sticky levels of heat, which I think works with both Camille's hazy memories of her troubled past, and the heat gives the show a pressure cooker feel, like everything in Wind Gap is about to bust. It also shows how hot everything is, so it makes Camille and her dark, long sleeved clothes stand out among a town full of short shorts, tee shirts, and flowery dresses. 

Richard is investigating Camille because...he gets nosy about the women he slept with? It seems super weird that he is spending time on creeping into the secrets of a women that he CANT think has anything to do with this, when he could be looking for the murderer. 

Camille at the teen party was so awkward, that I found it a bit endearing. She knew that she had no reason to be at this party with all these drunks teens, but hadn't quite figured out the best way to make her exit. She even gave these kind of cute awkward smiles a few times, when she wasn't just watching her sister rule over her kingdom. 

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17 hours ago, izabella said:

I thought the scene with Amma and John, at the pool, was super creepy:

Amma: Why don't you come rub me down?  (holding up a bottle of OIL, not sunscreen, but baby oil.  I know this deosn't mean anything to the plot, but my skin is offended on her behalf.)

John says nothing.

Amma: Where's Ashley?

John: Cheerleading practice.

Amma: What time does she get home?

John: Why?

Amma: Because there's you, me, and an empty carriage house.

Camille arrives and sneaks up on them, listening.

Amma: Who do I remind you of?

John: A bad little girl who thinks she's a lot cuter than she is.

Amma: Then you should stop watching me.  You know how Ashley gets when she's jealous.

John:  I like to keep on you, Amma.  Just know I always got an eye on you.

Amma: You sure do, now.

John:  It'll be your day.  Soon.

 

Sooo, what "day" is he referring to?   The day he cheats on Ashley with an underage girl? 

I'm not entirely sure what has given me this impression, but I get the sense that the football players pick a cheerleader each year to rape in the woods, like Camille was raped.  And that the girls are supposed to see this as being a rite of passage for the most popular girl.  And it's supposed to be some kind of honor, an annual tradition, like the play at Calhoun Day glorifying that Calhoun ancestor raped by soldiers.  Maybe I'm way off base, but everything in this town is creepy and just plain messed up.

I'm guessing it'll soon be the "day" that Amma gets called on her bullshit and all the horrible stuff she does.

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2 hours ago, wovenloaf said:

I also got the impression it was a more spaced out thing.  I think she said something along the lines of "this is where they would bring the cheerleader of the week," but I just took that as a turn of phrase, not that they literally did it once a week. 

Yeah, there wasn't a weekly gangbang. It was where the team brought the most popular/lusted after cheerleader at the moment.

Re: the pies in the kitchen...I assumed maybe they were leftovers from the Calhoun Day festival?

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1 hour ago, rubinia said:

Yeah, there wasn't a weekly gangbang. It was where the team brought the most popular/lusted after cheerleader at the moment.

Re: the pies in the kitchen...I assumed maybe they were leftovers from the Calhoun Day festival?

I wonder if Becky was raped.  She is the only black cheerleader.  It looked to me that all the football players were white--in itself unusual, I think.  I wonder if racism protected Becky?

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I was surprised with Alan getting upset with Camille. At least in that one flashback on her birthday, he seemed to sympathize with her. Why does he now take Adora's side?

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11 hours ago, loki310 said:

Watching this show makes me so thankful that I grew up in a major city. People always act like it’s so risky to grow up in NYC or LA - but I find that the small town  kids are much more likely to engage in substance abuse.  The people on this show lead such miserable lives... at this point I’m watching out of a mild morbid curiousity. I just want to shake the shit out of every character on the show, except for the black cheerleader lady. Hopefully, at least a few more of them get murdered by this show’s end.

This. A friend got custody of his daughter in high school because she was growing up in a small town where all the kids got stoned or drunk. She did fine in L.A.

 

20 minutes ago, smartymarty said:

I was surprised with Alan getting upset with Camille. At least in that one flashback on her birthday, he seemed to sympathize with her. Why does he now take Adora's side?

Because Adora told him to do it.

HBO is always low volume. We have to turn it up to the max when we watch John Oliver, and he doesn't mumble.

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On 8/13/2018 at 2:14 PM, DiabLOL said:

But in the flashbacks (where Camille has short hair) Amma is way too old to be her daughter, no? 

yes, the age gap makes no sense there. 

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18 hours ago, Mothra said:

I had this niggling in the back of my mind about an Edgar Allan Poe story about pulled, bloody teeth, and I finally remembered:

(from Wikipedia)

"Berenice" is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. The story follows a man named Egaeus who is preparing to marry his cousin Berenice. He has a tendency to fall into periods of intense focus during which he seems to separate himself from the outside world. Berenice begins to deteriorate from an unnamed disease until the only part of her remaining healthy is her teeth, which become the object of Egaeus' obsession. Berenice is buried, and Egaeus continues to contemplate her teeth. One day Egaeus wakes up from a period of focus with an uneasy feeling, and the sound of screams in his ears. A servant startles him by telling him Berenice's grave has been disturbed, and she is still alive; but beside Egaeus is a shovel, a poem about "visiting the grave of my beloved" and a box containing 32 blood-stained teeth.

Back to me:  There is no Southern Gothic without Poe, and it is Southern Gothic we're dealing with here.

This episode scared me.  The shifting  identities of the girls Camille was swinging around with, then ghost Marian telling her she wasn't safe there, made me too scared to go outside in the dark and bring in the bird feeder.  Thanks to Sharp Objects, the raccoons will feast on sunflower seeds tonight.

Edited to add:  Tooth-pulling is a genuine sexual fetish:

Odontophilia is a fetish for sex involving teeth, and it can range from licking a partner’s teeth or gently biting their skin to actually removing their teeth.

The use of dental props such as Jennings, Whitehead or Hallam gags, which are used in dentistry to keep the patient’s mouth open, may also play a part.

It’s something the Marquis De Sade wrote about, describing somebody called Boniface being sodomised while having sex with a woman whose teeth he was pulling out. Our dentist almost seems gentle by comparison.

https://metro.co.uk/2017/10/04/metros-a-to-z-of-fetishes-o-is-for-orville-orthodontists-and-getting-thrown-out-of-pets-at-home-6938796/

i have dental phobia. this is one of the most sickening horrifying things i have ever heard of. some sexual fetishes are really crazy and the people need to be in intense therapy.

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11 hours ago, loki310 said:

Watching this show makes me so thankful that I grew up in a major city. People always act like it’s so risky to grow up in NYC or LA - but I find that the small town  kids are much more likely to engage in substance abuse.  The people on this show lead such miserable lives... at this point I’m watching out of a mild morbid curiousity. I just want to shake the shit out of every character on the show, except for the black cheerleader lady. Hopefully, at least a few more of them get murdered by this show’s end.

and in too many small towns live racists, hillbillies, good ol boys, just back wards (woods). a thousand time better in my opinion to live where there is diversity and openness. i am also thankful i did not grow up "in the country" . every rural place i have lived has been terrible.  

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