There are TV finales, and then there is the Sharp Objects finale, “Milk.” The supposed final words of the HBO miniseries — “Don’t tell mama” — will leave you reeling. But. Then. Comes. The. Post. Credits. Scene. The scene, which absolutely no one would expect without stories like this, doesn’t merely leave you gasping for air, it tears into your lungs and rips out all the oxygen with the same brutality the montage reveals Amma Crellin (Eliza Scanlen) harbors under a mask of roller skating teen abandon.
The official final scene of Sharp Objects suggests Camille Preaker’s (Amy Adams) 15-year-old little sister Amma is the killer who terrorized Wind Gap and is continuing her murderous reign in St. Louis — not the pair’s now-imprisoned mother, Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson). The post-credits scene confirms that hint in visceral, jarring detail. Pick your jaw up off the floor so we can talk about each second of the sequence.
The first shot of the scene is a single manicured hand grasping a wire fence; it is the hand of a Black girl. Then the shot changes and we see a different hand, adorned with the exact same pink polish, thrashing around in a creek. This time, the hand belongs to a white girl. This is Sharp Objects’ way of confirming Amma’s unquestionable serial killer signature: turning her prey into ladylike life-sized dolls. The hand in the creek belongs to the teen’s first victim, Ann Nash (Kaegan Baron).
There are a few ways the series telegraphs the identity of the choking girl in the creek. First, there’s the matter of the creek in the first place. Then, we see an enraged Amma pulling a clothesline tight around the girl’s neck. Ann’s body was eventually found in that creek, and police determined the murder weapon was a clothesline. Even the secondary post-credits mini scene — which caps the series and shows a white dress-wearing Amma slink into the forest — confirms James Capisi's (Dylan Schombing) “Woman In White” story of Ann's abduction. This is how Ann Nash died.
Amid Amma’s full exertion of strength, her sidekicks, Kelsey (Violet Brinson) and Jodes (April Brinson), desperately paw at Ann to seem like they’re helping in any way. They're not.
After this horrifying display, the scene switches to the murder of a different little girl. This time, we see Natalie Keen (Jessica Treska). As the blood splatter in Kelsey and Ashley Wheeler’s (Madison Davenport) carriage house suggests, Natalie was murdered somewhere on the Wheeler property. Remember, Ashley found the aforementioned bloody evidence underneath the bed where her boyfriend, Natalie’s brother, and original lead suspect John Keene (Taylor John Smith) slept once he could no longer live in his family home. But is unlikely Natalie actually died in the carriage house.
The room where Ashley found the blood is stark, with white walls and a blue bed set. As Natalie’s death scene in the post-credits scene proves, the girl was killed in a room as pink and girly as the polish that would eventually lacquer her own nails (remember, when Ann's body is found in premiere “Vanish” the most suspicious detail is her magenta manicure).
The setting of Ann's section suggests Natalie was likely killed in Kelsey’s room, and then her body was moved to the carriage house for long-term safe keeping. That would make sense, as in the book version of Sharp Objects’ Amma keeps Natalie prisoner in Kelsey’s carriage house for days before killing her and placing her body on a main street in Wind Gap. And, even the show version of Natalie was missing for some time before she was found in that alley.
While these two parts of the post-credits scene explain season-long Sharp Objects mysteries, the last portion of the montage confirms a finale question. Namely, whether Amma murdered her new St. Louis friend, Mae (Iyana Halley), one of the only Black girls in the entire miniseries. In the last scene of the sequence, we see the same pink-manicured hand from the beginning of the post-credits scene, and the camera focuses — it’s Mae, looking terrified from behind the wire fence. Quickly, she drops to the ground, and we see Amma’s same rageful face appear behind her. Amma gives one last final tug. It’s suggested the teen strangled yet another victim.
It’s important to remember the last time we see Mae alive in “Milk” proper, her nails aren’t painted. So, Amma expressly painted them with the exact same color she used on Ann Nash and Natalie Keen before murdering the teen of color.
We now know why Amma killed Mae and her other victims. Namely, she is inherently jealous. During the scene in question, Camille, Amma, and Mae have dinner with Camille’s boss Frank Curry (Miguel Sandoval) and his wife Eileen Curry (Barbara Eve Harris). Everything is going swimmingly until Mae garners praise from newspaper man Curry by saying she enjoys his columns and may even want to go into journalism herself. That night, an obviously upset Amma asks Camille, a journalist, if she wishes she, too, were a writer. In the next scene, Mae’s mom reveals her daughter and Amma had their first fight… and she doesn’t know where Mae is. This is not a coincidence. It’s especially not a coincidence that Camille subsequently finds the dollhouse comforter Mae made for Amma — and Camille complimented earlier in the episode — in the trash. Clearly, Amma began resenting the attention Mae received.
Throughout both Sharp Objects the book and the HBO miniseries, it is suggested Adora also gave similar attention to both Ann and Natalie. While Adora’s maternal interest was equally as harmless, Amma was enraged by it.
That unbridled teen rage is the final image Sharp Objects gives us, with one final teeth-baring sigh from Amma Crellin.
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