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‘Sharp Objects’ Finale: Why Jean-Marc Vallée Used Post-Credits Scenes to Solve the Show’s Big Mystery

"Sharp Objects" made a bold creative decision to wrap up its story during the end credits of the final episode.

Sharp Objects Amy Adams

Amy Adams in “Sharp Objects”

Anne Marie Fox / HBO

[Editors’ note: The following post contains spoilers for “Sharp Objects”]

Post-credits scenes have become a staple in comic book movies, which made the inclusion of a pivotal scene during the end credits of the “Sharp Objects” series finale all the more surprising. Any viewer still unclear about who the murderer was at the center of the show’s mystery got visual confirmation during the post-credits scene, which depicted graphic shots of Amma (Eliza Scanlen) and her friends viciously murdering the young girls whose disappearances set the series’ plot in motion.

Jean-Marc Vallée, the director of all eight “Sharp Objects” episodes, spoke to Vulture about the inclusion of the post-credits scenes. While these scenes in comic book films often tease where a sequel might be heading, the “Sharp Objects” post-credits footage was notable for providing a definitive answer to the show’s biggest mystery. While some directors may have thought this information was so important that it had to be included during the episode, Vallée felt strongly about editing them into the credits.

“It was written to be at the end, before the end credits,” Vallée said. “It didn’t make sense to cut to these flashes from Amma’s perspective, suddenly, as we’re with Camille. The whole series was designed through Camille’s perspective. So she’s the one discovering the teeth and the floor made out of teeth. We’re with her and she sees Amma arriving, so of course, she wasn’t there when Amma killed the girls.”

Vallée didn’t want to shift to scenes from Amma’s perspective during an episode (and an entire series, for that matter) told entirely from Camille’s perspective. The filmmaker said a sudden cut to Amma’s perspective “didn’t make sense” for a series so concerned with Camille’s psychologically. It wasn’t good storytelling,” Vallée said of cutting to the murders before the credits.

“The writers put it in there and we shot it, but we thought maybe we don’t need this at all,” he continued. “Maybe we just finish on ‘Don’t tell mama.’ Which is what I did. And then, suddenly when we were editing, I went, ‘Wait a minute, why don’t we just give it away later on?’ We explained with these quick images and glimpses of what happened — we now officially know, ‘Oh my God, it was Amma. And not only it was Amma, it was Amma helped by her two friends.’ So now we have the conclusion. We have the official answer to our questions.”

Putting these moments during the credits meant some viewers could have missed them, but that never worried Vallée. “A lot of them will stop before seeing it, and then it will become a thing on the web. And they’ll go, ‘Oh my God, go back if you haven’t seen it.'”

“Sharp Objects” is now streaming in its entirety on HBO GO and HBO NOW. Head over to Vulture to read more from Vallée about the finale.

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