HBO’s Sharp Objects finale, which aired on Sunday, August 26, ended with a shocking last-minute twist and a cliffhanger that left fans reeling. The twist was especially shocking for those fans who had not read Gillian Flynn’s 2006 debut novel on which the TV series was based.
Ending the finale episode on a cliffhanger might have been frustrating for viewers who had hoped for a closure, but most fans might also have found the unsatisfying end mitigated by the fact that it gave hope Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) and her dysfunctional family would return for Sharp Objects Season 2.
Immediately after the finale ended, hundreds of fans took to social media and other online forums with questions about the shocking last moment twist involving Camille and Amma (Eliza Scanlen), after their mother, Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson), was sent to prison.
Fans also debated whether the cliffhanger ending was a sign that HBO was planning to renew Sharp Objects for another season. And while the debate continues, here is everything we know so far about a potential Season 2 return for HBO’s Sharp Objects.
Sharp Objects ended on a major cliffhanger
Sharp Objects was a litany of plot twists and turns right from the start, but the writers reserved the most shocking twist for the closing scene of the finale before signing off on a cliffhanger that left fans with tons of unanswered questions.
In the closing scene, Camille makes the shocking discovery that part of Amma’s dollhouse model of their mother’s bedroom consisted of human teeth, presumably extracted from the mouths of the two local girls — Ann Nash (Kaegan Baron) and Natalie Keene (Jessica Treska) — murdered in the quiet Midwestern town of Wind Gap, Missouri in the recent past.
Amma appears to admit responsibility for the killings when she says “Don’t tell mama,” just before the ending scene fades and Led Zeppelin’s In the Evening begins to play.
.@HBO’s #SharpObjects' Eliza Scanlen on being able to explore her character Amma on her own terms: "She is just so multifaceted. In a way, if you were to pigeonhole her into one direction, it would limit her as a character" https://t.co/YKHN4fUXbr
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 29, 2018
The chilling mid-credits scene, which shows Amma strangling her victims, including her new friend Mae (Iyana Halley) in St. Louis, appears to confirm that she was the killer.
Sharp Objects: The finale ending opened up endless storyline possibilities
Fans who have read Gillian Flynn’s novel, which inspired HBO’s Sharp Objects miniseries, noticed that the TV series did not end where the novel ended. The TV series ended its story before the novel.
In the novel, after Camille discovers human teeth in Amma’s dollhouse and realizes that she was the killer, she turns her in.
Camille later visits Amma in prison to learn why she committed the gruesome murders.
Sharp Objects show creator Marti Noxon explained to TV Guide why they chose to end the finale at the moment Camille makes the gruesome discovery.
“That’s something you have to wrestle with after the show is over… what’s going to happen to those women now?” she said.
Although Noxon denied it an interview with The Wrap, some fans have argued that it is possible the writers chose to end the series before the novel’s ending in anticipation of an alternative ending that would be introduced in Sharp Objects Season 2.
Ending Sharp Objects Season 1 at the point where Amma pleads “don’t tell mama,” could give writers the opportunity to use Sharp Objects Season 2 premiere to present an alternative ending to Flynn’s novel that provides a launch pad for a multi-season story arc.
— Amy Adams Fan (@amyadamsfancom) December 22, 2017
The series led viewers all along to believe that the Crellins were in some way involved in the murders, and Adora was the prime suspect following the revelation that she purposely poisoned her children with antifreeze and rat poison to make them ill.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 20, 2018
So, when Adora was arrested and jailed, it might have seemed to viewers who had not read the novel that the story had reached a satisfying conclusion. However, other viewers might have sensed that the apparent wrapping up of the murder mystery was just too pat and neat for a dark crime mystery as Sharp Objects and that a plot twist was likely lurking ahead.
While fans who had read the novel were expecting the last moment revelation that absolved Adora, many still felt that the TV adaptation would be justified to not entirely absolve Adora, although, in the novel, she was convicted and sent to prison only for murdering her daughter Marian (Lulu Wilson).
In the novel, Amma’s friends helped her to murder Ann and Natalie. If Sharp Objects Season 2 happens as fans are hoping, then the writers could get the chance to creatively explore the dark details of the sinister alliance between Amma and her friends.
Fans of the novel know #SharpObjects wouldn't work without the right actress playing Amma. Luckily for @HBO, Eliza Scanlen can go toe-to-toe with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson: https://t.co/dInQE6w8RS @EW
— Shirley Li (@shirklesxp) June 7, 2018
Noxon admitted in an August interview that the show’s creative team had “talked about” the potential storylines based on the involvement of Amma’s friends in the murder of Ann and Natalie.
In addition to shedding more light on the roles that Amma’s friends played in the murders, Season 2 could also explore what Adora knew about Amma’s crimes, and her role, if any, in the crimes. Some fans have rightly pointed out that given her influence over Amma, it appears implausible that Adora knew nothing about the murders.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 6, 2018
Some have even suggested that Adora went to prison to take the rap for Amma.
Will Sharp Objects be renewed for Season 2?
Sharp Objects was intended to be a limited one-off miniseries that ends where Flynn’s book ended. But the finale ended with a cliffhanger that clearly left the storyline open for Sharp Objects Season 2.
The cliffhanger ending raised multiple questions about what happens next. Despite the fact that the producers had insisted that Sharp Objects was intended to be a limited series, fans haven’t been able to resist the conjecture that the unfinished and unsatisfying end of the finale episode was designed with a possible Season 2 in mind.
Currently, we have absolutely no official word that Sharp Objects will return for Season 2. When the Sharp Objects first premiered on HBO in July 2018, the producers took pains to stress that Season 2 was off the table.
“We’re not talking about a Season 2. This is it, so bask in it while you can,” Noxon said when asked about the possibility of a new season during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour in July 2018.
When asked whether Sharp Objects will follow the precedent set by HBO’s Big Little Lies (TV series 2017- ), Casey Bloys, the chief of programming at HBO, told Deadline that they could not continue the series because Amy Adams did not wish to reprise her dark role as Camille Preaker.
“Unlike Big Little Lies where all of the stars wanted to come back, Sharp Objects is very dark… Amy doesn’t want to live in this character again and I can’t blame her, it’s a lot to take on for an actress,” Bloys said. “So no plans for a second season. We are very happy with this living as a limited series.”
But following the earlier strongly worded denials, Noxon and her colleagues have softened their tone, with Noxon admitting the possibility of Sharp Objects Season 2.
When Vanity Fair asked Noxon whether the cliffhanger ending of the finale episode could be taken as hinting an upcoming Season 2, she cautiously admitted that Sharp Objects Season 2 was not entirely out of the question.
“I mean, I never say never, I guess,” she teased, “I think for us, it’s less about whether…you know, that team, it was pretty hard to assemble in the first place. The idea of doing [it again] seems next to impossible.”
“It’s not hard to imagine [Sharp Objects Season 2] from a story standpoint because obviously, we love these characters,” she also said in a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter, “but from a technical standpoint it seems like a long shot.”
“Camille’s doing great. My characters always go on in my imagination. They have full working lives in there, and I keep in touch with all of them,” Flynn said when asked about Camille’s future in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I would never say no [to a second season]. I know exactly what happens to [my characters].
Flynn also posted a cryptic message to Twitter on August 27, 2018, that fans hoped was a veiled reference to Sharp Objects Season 2.
Huge gratefulness to everyone involved in SHARP OBJECTS. More soon. But for now…huge gratefulness.
— Gillian Flynn (@TheGillianFlynn) August 27, 2018
Significantly, director Jean-Marc Vallée also did not entirely rule out the possibility of Sharp Objects Season 2 when Vulture asked him, but he said it was unlikely that he would play a role because he expected to be busy elsewhere.
“Would I do Season 2? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe. It’s meant to be a limited TV series and I have other projects, so I think I’m gonna be somewhere else,” he said.
Fans will recall that Vallée had also previously insisted that Big Little Lies, which he directed, would not return for a second season, but HBO eventually approved it for another season.
The return of Big Little Lies raised fans’ hopes about Sharp Objects Season 2
The expectation that Sharp Objects would return for Season 2 is encouraged by the precedent set by HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies, an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name.
Big Little Lies, which premiered on HBO on February 19, 2018, was also directed by Vallée, but he is being replaced by Andrea Arnold for the show’s second season. And like Sharp Objects, Big Little Lies was originally billed as a limited series based on a novel that has no sequel.
However, the critical and commercial success of Big Little Lies and the fact that the ending of the series left open a universe of possible new stories to tell led HBO to announce in December 2017 that the miniseries was being renewed for Season 2.
HBO has renewed Big Little Lies for a second season set to premiere in 2019. Production began in March 2018.
With Big Little Lies set to extend its storyline beyond the end of its novel, fans see no reason why HBO couldn’t also renew Sharp Objects for Season 2, after a successful first season run.
Sharp Objects Season 2 cast: What happens if Amy Adams won’t reprise her role?
Amy Adams, who played the leading role in Sharp Objects, appears to be the main obstacle regarding the return of Sharp Objects for season 2. Deadline first reported in July that Adams had no interest in reprising her leading role as the troubled character Camille Preaker even if HBO approves the show for a second season.
Bloys’ statement to Deadline that the series could not continue because Adams did not want to reprise her dark role as Camille acknowledges the fact that it would be very difficult to successfully bring the show back without Adams.
Camille was a deeply troubled character who struggled with alcoholism and a gruesome self-harm behavior, the after-effects of childhood trauma.
In #SharpObjects, Amy Adams plays deeply troubled newspaper reporter and alcoholic, Camille Preaker: "I thought I was going to die of water intoxication. Literally, [on one episode], I had, like, 24 O'Doul's" https://t.co/901Fxltfgx pic.twitter.com/Rgiq3XpyNx
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 20, 2018
Adam’s role in the series apparently took a toll on her. She revealed in July 2018 during HBO’s Television Critics Association press tour event in Beverly Hills, that she suffered an “extremely bad insomnia” while playing Camille.
“I would wake up with anxiety and have to realize that I didn’t own it — it belonged to Camille,” She said.
“I’d have these insane conversations with myself at four in the morning trying to decide what my anxiety was and what was Camille’s,” she added. “So I felt crazy. I did.”
Based on Adams’ comments, many fans think it is unlikely that HBO would be able to persuade her to return for Season 2 of Sharp Objects.
However, some have proposed a way out of the situation in which the producers are unable to persuade Adams to return if Sharp Objects is renewed for Season 2.
Sharp Objects could return for Season 2 without Camille and shift attention to Eliza Scanlen’s character Amma, who admitted in the ending scene of the finale episode that she killed the Wind Gap girls, Ann and Natalie.
Flynn has also talked in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about doing a spin-off about the post-credits Woman in White believed to be Amma.
“I’ve always wanted to do a Woman in White spin-off — the original Slender Man sort of idea, how that came to be, what the origin story of the Woman in White was,” she said.
Suggestions that the show could continue without Camille if Adams refuses to return as Camille reflect Chris Messina’s insight expressed in an August 13, 2018 interview with Elle.
Messina, who played Detective Richard Willis, said there was no reason why Sharp Objects could not continue into another season after the first season storyline wraps up.
“The characters could live on [after the end of the first season]. With the ramifications of the finale, there would be other [stories] to tell,” Messina said. “Gillian Flynn and Marti Noxon are extremely talented, so I’m sure they would figure out some way to do it.”
Sharp Objects Season 2 returning cast
Noxon told Vanity Fair last August that she thought it would be difficult to reassemble the original cast of the series for a second season.
“[That] team… was pretty hard to assemble in the first place,” she said. “The idea of doing [that again] seems next to impossible.”
However, besides Adams, no other member of the original cast has indicated they won’t return for Sharp Objects Season 2. Although Patricia Clarkson told Instyle in a recent interview that she will return only if Amy Adams does, it seems likely that she would reconsider if the writers come up with a good story.
Likely returning cast members include Patricia Clarkson as Adora Crellin, Eliza Scanlen as Amma Crellin, and Henry Czerny as Allan Crellin.
Original cast members who may not return include Chris Messina as Detective Richard Willis, Matt Craven as police chief Bill Vickery, and Taylor John Smith as John Keene.
Sharp Object Season 2: Possible release date
Unless HBO renews Sharp Objects very soon and quickly starts production, it is unlikely that Sharp Objects Season 2 will return in 2019. However, 2020 is open.
Meanwhile, fans can only keep their fingers crossed.