This is a blurred hand touching an orange-ish flower with just the tip of fingers. The background of the picture of a mutted grey. This is used to represent the deceptive nature of character that feel harmless but are often obfuscating truths in "Sharp Objects" episode 7.
Evie Shaffer

At this rate, the killer could be anyone but there are a few suspicious people.

Falling, the most recent episode of Sharp Objects almost seems to deliver the killer on a platter­­—too easily. The question with this episode is not who the killer is but who else is involved?

A man has been assumed to be involved in the crime because of the amount of strength needed to pull the teeth of the victims, a detail that was revealed earlier on when Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) decided to try it out on the head of a dead pig. So, if this is true, what type of man would be involved in a crime like this?

The central theme of Sharp Objects has been that the women are underestimated by men and that they appear as roses but actually have sharp thorns. The men haven’t really been addressed in connection with any central idea except that they are the ones leading the investigation for the case and also the suspects.

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Yet in this episode, the overarching narrative for the men seems to be that they have floundering egos and strong insecurities that is keeping them from being alert or distracting them from the truth. So perhaps the accomplice of the killer is a man who is weak, susceptible to manipulation and who has an outward appearance of strength and confidence but is actually very insecure.

Let’s have a quick overview of some of the clues about the killer from this episode and from previous episodes  like “Closer” and “Cherry.” The killer has some sort of a sadistic attraction to children, maybe not pedophilia like I originally thought but something close to it. The killer clearly seems to choose children as victims because of how vulnerable they are and often impressionable. They likely can gain access to children easily because people believe them to be warm and beautiful like a rose.

The killer is also probably a woman, as suggested earlier by a neighborhood kid who said that he saw a woman in the woods wearing white, luring one of the victims in. For this person to be successful, she would have had to know the kids intimately; enough to make them feel safe to go into the woods, one that has been known to be the center for crimes and unsavory events.

Now in this episode of Sharp Objects, all the characters seem to be on the edge of revealing something but never actually formulating the words. We see it when Adora’s (Patricia Clarkson) best friend Jackie O’Neele ( Elizabeth Perkins)  helps Detective Willis to documents and nurses like nurse Beverly. We are able to learn that she has information about the weird and malicious relationship between Adora and her children.

Nurse Beverley tells Detective Willis that Marian (Lulu Wilson) Adora’s second child, had a long list of ailments from gastric internal issues to respiratory conditions that could never be confirmed because she was passed around to different physicians who gave different diagnoses. She suspects that Adora has Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome, a mental illness typically found in adults that make them likely to make others sick so that they can care for their victim or appear to be seen trying to save them.

“You’re saying Adora has this?” asks detective Willis. “I’m saying people have this,” she says while nodding to detective Willis, “… mostly mothers. Mothers who need to be worshiped, to be heroes, nothing more laudable than a woman who puts all her energy into a sick child.”

Jackie knew about Adora’s complex, and it seems many others, including nurses at their local hospital suspected something, except for the police. The men in the town seems to ignore the women to a fault, making them vulnerable and easily used.

It’s clear that Chief Bill Vickery (Matt Craven) has an intimate relationship with Adora despite being married and is so taken by her that he allows her to control him. It’s also important to note that their relationship may be sexual but one-sided in terms of affection for one another. Adora doesn’t let her husband touch her but she seems OK with allowing the chief to touch her because she uses her sexuality when manipulating and influencing him. It’s a skill that Amma knows too well and for someone so young, it’s clear she may have learned that education from observing her mother.

Still, Chief Vickery seems to have a moral compass but is clearly in denial because of his love for Adora. So, it’s very likely that he may not be her accomplice but is actively taking actions to protect her without actually wanting to believe that she could be involved with the murders.

Notably, in this episode of Sharp Objects, the police have decided that John Keene (Taylor John Smith) is the killer regardless of how weak their witness is. It’s almost obvious that John Keene should be blamed for the murders even though he didn’t do it. He’s too feminine and he’s being punished for it.

Later in the episode, there’s a warrant out for his arrest but he’s nowhere to be found. Somehow, Camille (Amy Adams) has managed to find John Keene in a bar and the conversation they have and the ones that follow during an initiate encounter reveals so much about who the killer is.

“Her nails were painted,” he says, a detail that stuns Camille. This clue, among other evidence provided by Jackie O’Neele eventually help her to realize that her mother is the killer. Unlike the men, she’s going to take control and actually do something.

Adora was close to the victims, had a savior complex and was unrelenting in her goal to get close to the girls and to be seen helping them. She has already proven that she has the propensity to cause harm through Marian and Amma but she probably isn’t the one actually hurting the girls. She’s too proper, fragile for that so she probably has a man helping her in her scheme. But who is this man? Whoever it is has to be weak against her strong personality and readily susceptible to her manipulation. So, start looking at the men.

Who seems to be sweating or over compensating a little too much to show their masculinity in public? Could it be her husband Alan (Henry Czerny)? It could even be Amma’s teacher Kirk Lacey (Jackson Hurst). Whoever he is, he is closely connected to Adora and her family, and may be has secrets of his own that are being used against him.

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