Written by Vince Calandra
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Early in the morning, Camille Preaker looks for something on the side of the road. She returns to her car with Alice’s shattered phone in hand and drives back to the Crellin house.
There, Camille has a flashback to when she was turning 15 years old. She finds Adora Crellin on Marian Crellin’s bed, crying. Young Camille goes downstairs to find their housekeeper Gayla and Alan Crellin in the kitchen with a birthday cake. Camille rejects the celebration.
In present day, Camille walks past Amma Crellin’s room, where Amma and friends Kelsey and Jodes are hanging out. Amma asks Camille if she’s “still sore” about the night before, when Amma taunted Camille and stuck a lollipop in her hair. Amma apologizes; Camille says she doesn’t feel like fighting. Before Camille leaves, she sees Amma, Kelsey and Jodes laugh at something on a computer screen. She notices it’s a photo of John Keene that’s been edited so that his teeth are missing. The caption reads: “SMILE! KARMA’S A B*TCH.” Amma offers Camille a joint, but Camille declines, saying she needs to stay sharp for her meeting with Detective Richard Willis.
Later, Amma practices her performance for Calhoun Day, an annual festival in Wind Gap that celebrates town founder and Confederate soldier Zeke Calhoun. In rehearsal, she fabricates an alternate version of the story where her character, Millie Calhoun, wife of Zeke, announces she’s forming the world’s first all-female militia. After they’re done, drama teacher and pianist Kirk Lacey goes outside to smoke a cigarette. Amma follows him out and asks what he thought. “It was entertaining,” he says. “But there was never an all-female militia in Wind Gap.” Amma responds flirtatiously and grabs his hand: “Don’t be sad, Mr. Lacey.”
Camille meets up with Richard, who promises to answer some of her questions if she shows him Wind Gap’s historical crime scenes. They walk through the woods and stop at the “End Zone.” Camille reveals it’s where “the football team would have their way with the week’s lucky cheerleader.” Richard says those events could be seen as rape. Camille argues, “Some people would call that consensual, you know?” They have a conversation about double standards. “If a guy had sex with five drunken girls, they’d erect a statue of him,” Camille maintains.
The next site is the hunting shed, where Ann Nash and Natalie Keene used to hang out. Camille is emotionally triggered and visibly shaken. She leaves the shed, and Richard follows her. She posits the two girls knew their attacker. Richard agrees. “It’s no coincidence that the only two girls killed in this town used to play in here,” he muses. “He probably hid out there, watching them.”
Richard thinks someone in town is hiding something because people are getting nervous. He asks Camille if something happened to her in that shed. “Good instinct,” she responds. He puts his hand on her face as if he’s about to kiss her, but she stops him. Instead, she undoes her pants, stuffs his hand down them and wraps her arms around him.
Back at the Crellin house, Chief Bill Vickery knocks at the door. Amma greets him and asks if he’s caught the killer yet. He ignores the question and asks if her mother is home. Alan comes to the door and says Adora is resting. Amma calls for her anyway. Adora appears at the top of the stairs and says she’ll be right down. She asks Alan to make Vickery a drink. “I’ll assume you’ll have the usual,” Alan says.
Adora sits with Vickery on the couch. Vickery tells her she’ll be the first to know if there’s a break in the case, but suggests she cancel Calhoun Day because he hasn’t caught the killer. She rejects his idea. Vickery mentions her daughters. “One of them is dangerous, and the other one is in danger,” he says.
As Vickery leaves, Camille arrives and finds Adora is still awake. Adora expresses her disappointment in her oldest daughter. “I thought you’d save me,” she says. “I thought you’d love me and then my mother would love me.” Camille tries not to cry. “Now you’re back here and all I can think is, you smell ripe,” Adora whispers before going upstairs.
When Alan and Adora are alone, he reminds her he “lost a daughter, too,” referring to Marian. He asks, “How can you show more compassion for the local civil servants than for your own husband?” She declares that if he’s referring to Vickery, she’s done with the conversation. She blames the tension between them on Camille, but Alan defends his step-daughter: “Not everything is that girl’s fault.”
Camille goes to her bedroom and finishes off the last of the liquor in her water bottle. She drives to the bar. John Keene arrives soon after. He orders her a drink and tells her a story about Natalie he’s never told anyone: She stabbed a classmate in the eye with a pencil when they lived in Philadelphia.
“Bob always thought Ann was on the straight and narrow before she met Natalie,” says John. “The devil child, that’s what he used to call her.” He talks about how much Ann and Natalie used to fight: “Amma was the only thing standing between them.” Camille says she didn’t know Amma was their friend. John recalls the three girls used to play in the hunting shed, and Camille leaves immediately. She drives home and checks Amma’s room, but it’s empty. She gets in her car and drives around, looking for her sister, and imagines finding Amma dead. Amma, however, has snuck out to roller-skate.