SHARP OBJECTS SEASON FINALE “MILK” EXPLAINED: recap & analysis
Can you predict what will happen?
The season finale ‘Milk’ of Sharp Objects was raw, unnerving and gruesomely addictive. This episode reveals that the real story and truth behind the series was, the effect of abuse on children and the trailing release of that distress in harmful and damaging ways.
Now if you watched this episode and Sharp Objects from beginning to end, you may have still been lost. But the post credit scenes really show the hidden story that was readily visible. The scenes reveal how the two girls were murdered along with Amma’s new friend Mae. We see her pleased and completely satisfied and we begin to understand why the girls went into the woods in the first place.
Amma calls herself Persephone, the Greek goddess, and queen of the underworld. That comparison is not used lightly, and personifies the depth of her despair and evilness. She looks, innocent, beautiful yet is sharply harmful.
In Amma’s case it seems that she has somehow associated love with pain and suffering and has been able to attach the feeling of euphoria to the feeling of killing. It’s no wonder she’s this way given that she learned early on that to win her mothers affection, she had to endure pain or else she would have to risk being shunned like Camille.
A quickly overview of Sharp Objects however hinted to this nature in Amma so early on, but in small ways. Remember, she was always sadistic and twisted in her approach to relationships and seemed to really enjoy inflicting pinches of emotional abuse onto her friends. Then quickly, she would follow with compliments and coquettish gestures about being playful and not really meaning what she was saying. Like her mother would say, “a little sweet before the bitter.”
She was very sinister in her every gesture yet very good at hiding that tendency and playing innocent when it suited her narrative. Camille fell for it so much so, she relied on her to seek help for both of them, as she allowed her mother to poison her to save Amma. But instead of going forward to seek help, with the door readily available for her to leave, Amma stands on the stairs and considers the cake that Alan will give her if she stays. Luckily for Camille, her boss cared enough to check up on her to ensure that she was OK.
The rest of the story line is a complete confusion and blurred mess. We see Camille and Amma at court as their mother pleads guilty to both harming them and to the killing of Natalie and Ann.
Camille tries to build a new safe haven for Amma and Amma even fools Camille to believing that she’s flourishing in the new environment, even winning a friend. But there seemed to be an edge, a sinister feeling in the air the entire time. There is one moment in particular which seemed so peculiar, and that is Amma’s interaction with Jackie O’Neele after visiting her mom at jail. She seems very warm with her mother, a woman who has abused her for years and yet sharply bitter to Jackie, a contrast that emphasized her dual personalities.
That scene foreshadows the rest of the story and the behavior of Amma. Later on in the episode, Camille’s neighbor, whose daughter Amma had taken a liking to, visits Camille to ask about her daughter Mae and tell her that her and Amma were in a fight. Her mother looked concerned but Camille assured her that they probably went to a park and would send her back as soon as they returned.
Of course that never happens and we learn that, that sinister undertone that was leaching throughout the episode was meant to lead as to the truth of who Amma really is.
The dark truth is revealed to Camille as she looks closer into Anna’s doll house by chance, seeing that Amma’s dollhouse tile flooring, after her mother’s room, was actually made of many teeth. As she looks at the teeth in horror, she turns to Amma, who she says “don’t tell Mama,” with a nonchalant smirk.
This means that Amma is a serial killer and enjoys doing it too. The question now is, how many people has she killed? When did she start? Did her mother know and is that why she pushed for John Keene to be convicted of the murder? Did her mother realize after she was in jail that her daughter committed the murders?
We see Ann being killed with Amma and friends at the Wind Gap pond. The rollerblading buddies- Kelsey and Jodes that cruised by in the background. It’s interesting because the girls kept quietly hinting at the truth.
Wind gap is said to have two kinds of people, the crazy and the evil. Which ones are the girls? Were they groomed and manipulated to be accomplices?
Though it’s unclear where Kelsey and Jodes fall, Amma is clearly evil; a sociopath. It takes strong sinister depths to do what she did. Camille said that who ever pulled the teeth off the girls had to have a great deal of anger within them so perhaps that was the way Amma saw to relief herself of the anger she felt against her mother and father for poisoning and abusing her.
Still, remember her victims had their nails painted. That means she would have had to sit with them for a while, talk to them, make them comfortable (kind of like her mom does to her before poisoning her) then randomly attack them like she did Mae. She is like a predator in the way she finds her prey, gets close to them, remove their shields by hitting them little by little like her mother did then following with love, to make them more vulnerable and pacify their objections, then she kills them.
The fact that Amma is the killer makes the story more visceral, gruesome, even scary to think that a child could do something so hideous and frightening with so much glee. It would have been more palpable if her mother was the killer, tolerable even, but of course this is a story about the destruction that can exudes from children who are unhinged and nurtured in abusive environments. Sharp Objects is meant to be shocking, even jarring, and it does so, very well and stands to be a reminder that the people in our society who we deem to be innocent and beautiful can also have a hidden, toxic nature just hidden under the surface.