WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Sharp Objects episodes 1 and 2
After getting off to a harrowing start last week, HBO’s Sharp Objects continued to disturb and mystify in its second episode.
Amy Adams delves deeper into the troubled character of Camille Preaker, in episode two which is titled Dirt.
Dirt provides a deeper insight into the town of Wind Gap and its inhabitants.
The central event of the episode is the funeral of murdered teen Natalie Keen (played by Jessica Treska) which Camille attends with her mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson).
Natalie’s family are in the spotlight at the ceremony: her mother Jeannie (Jennifer Aspen) gives a eulogy declaring her wish for revenge and her brother John (Taylor John Smith) is crying uncontrollably.
The fact that a man is crying disturbs many of the mourners, who equate a man showing emotion with guilt.
Camille and her mother wrestle with the journalist’s pen and notebook during the ceremony as Adora becomes increasingly unable to hide her resentment for her daughter.
A flashback to young Camille (Sophia Lillis) at her sister Marian’s (Lulu Wilson) funeral shows that even when she was a child she was starved of affection.
Adora, who pulls out her own eyelashes when she is stressed, pushes her child off her lap in disgust.
Back in the present and their bickering over the pen causes Camille’s borrowed dress to rip, momentarily revealing her scars.
Adora and Camille in Dirt
Earlier in the house, Adora wouldn’t let Camille cut her own apple.
Before going to the Keen home after the funeral, Camille buys a sewing kit to repair her dress and proceeds to use the needle to prick herself.
This is a woman who appears to be addicted to self-harm as much as she is to alcohol and her psychological issues, or “demons” as her acquaintance Jackie (Elizabeth Perkins) refers to them.
When she sees her younger half-sister Amma (Eliza Scanlan) sneaking vodka out of the convenience store, she pays for her Sprite and gives her a half-hearted warning.
Amma and Camille in Dirt
The Keen home is filled with small-town folk from Camille’s past and there are some awkward encounters before she explores Natalie’s bedroom, which is pink and girly and not reflective of the teen’s personality, we’re told.
Then there’s the underlying biases that seem to plague Wind Gap – a poor eight-year-old boy, James Capisi, who lives with his meth-addled mother who is suffering from cancer, says he saw the Woman in White take Natalie.
The Woman in White is some old Wind Gap legend but Camille questions police chief Vickery (Matt Craven) as to why they discredited an eyewitness and suggests that some want to make the town folklore real.
Adora in her white night gown
Meanwhile, Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) delivers one of the episodes most disturbing scenes.
In an effort to figure out who could be strong enough to pull out all of Natalie’s teeth with pliers, Chris takes a pig’s head into a motel room and yanks its teeth out.
He establishes that somebody would need some muscle, so likely not a woman, to achieve this but is no closer to finding a lead in the investigation.
The episode ends with Camille hearing Amma scream in the house, she runs downstairs to find her having some kind of fit, being cradled by Adora but both are dismissive to explain what happened.
Next week’s episode is titled Fix and is set to see Camille face some consequences for publishing her story on Natalie’s funeral.
Sharp Objects airs on HBO on Sunday nights and Sky Atlantic on Monday nights
Those affected by the issues raised in the show can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org