‘Sweet Tooth’ Ending Of Season 3, Explained: Did The Hybrids Find Their Place In The World?

Stories are the vessels that preserve parts of life and history through time. Stories share an inherent universal language that goes beyond man-made boundaries and appeals to everyone, irrespective of their differences. Therefore, even though the narrator of Netflix’s Sweet Tooth (whose identity being revealed as an elder Gus himself was a delightful surprise at the end) puts much emphasis on the end of a story, we think the story within is as important as the beginning and the ending of it. 

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Created in a time when prejudice and discrimination against marginalized and underprivileged people are still strong and the relationship between nature and humanity is defined by unrestrained exploitation and greed, the dark fairy tale of Sweet Tooth couldn’t be more topical as it holds the hubris of man accountable through the plight of half humans and half animals—hybrids. Even within the dark depths of humanity, we find the best of us in Gus’ story, which is the quintessential hopeful tale that brings the promise of better days with its end. There were story arcs that found their way into the Gus’ journey, and all of them come to their befitting conclusion as the eventful finale marks the end of Sweet Tooth series.

Spoilers Ahead

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Did the hybrids find their place in the world?

The central narrative of Sweet Tooth has questioned the prospect of hybrid-human coexistence since the very beginning, and it finds a conclusion during the final moments of the series. The Sick wiped out most of the human population of the world, and the emergence of hybrids was perceived as the root cause by some of the insecure minds, whereas others saw hybrids as the remedy of nature against the plague known as humankind. Throughout the three seasons, Gus has witnessed both the good and ugly sides of humanity and has still chosen to put his trust in them in the hopes of finding a way to live alongside them. Which was the reason as to why he was adamant on finding a cure for the sick—as he was willing to give humankind another chance, going against the course of nature even. 

However, during the series finale, Gus’ tragic experience of losing his mother, Birdie, momentarily overwhelms his judgment, and he shares the sentiment of Munaq (the first hybrid) about humanity deserving extinction. When Zhang aggravates the wound on the Tree of Life, the possibility of human extinction gets accelerated, much to Gus’ shock and horror, as he fears losing everyone close to him. Finally, a vision of Pubba comforts Gus and helps him accept the truth of life and death. As Gus conquers his fear, he decides to let nature follow its course. For far too long, humanity has tried to play God, which has brought all the tragedy and misery for both them and the hybrids. Gus decides to rectify the mistake and burns down the dying Tree of Life, which entirely removes the Sick from the world. However, the generation of the existing human populace also proves to be the last one as well, as naturally born hybrids turn out to be the next step of evolution, and in the future, they’ll share the world with existing flora and fauna, with the best of humanity living with them in spirit. Gus and Wendy, the rescued hybrid children of Aimee, usher the world into a new age where they share a harmonious relationship with nature, and the lessons humanity has taught them become the foundation upon which to build this new world. 

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Did Dr. Aditya Singh finally redeem himself?

Among all the human characters of the series, Dr. Aditya Singh had the most interesting arc, which ranged from him being a hapless, desperate husband who risks everything and takes every heinous measure to protect his ailing wife—to becoming a workaholic puppet of a dictatorial figure, obsessed to such an extent that he loses his humanity—to finally becoming a disillusioned mind after losing everything dear to him. Aditya’s wife, Rani, became afflicted with the Sick, which prompted him to opt out of every viable means in order to save her, even sacrificing his moral ideals for their sake. Unfortunately, Rani left him during the events of the second season, after Aditya’s obsessive nature took over his humanity, and this broke him in every way imaginable. As the saying goes, faith is the last resort of someone who has lost everything; similarly, after losing the purpose of his life, Aditya chose to depend on faith to end the sickness. But the nature of his faith was not preserving; it was vile and destructive, which is why he turned on Gus and Jepp when things went south, interpreting Thacker’s words as some prophetic dictate and preparing to sacrifice Gus’ life to end the Sick. For so long, Aditya was a somewhat sympathetic, tragic figure who didn’t have the agency to take control of his life, and most of his actions had been motivated by his willingness to serve the greater good. But the sudden turn in the third season was indicative of his frail mental state, as the punishing ordeal since the beginning of the Great Crumble has taken a toll on his psyche, and the man of science has turned his back on reason and knowledge to willingly go down the treacherous path. Aditya is a representative of dying humanity, which faces the threat of extinction and, after trying to cling to the very end, loses its true self in utter disillusionment.

In the final moments of the series, Aditya is reminded of his past life, his true self, and his purpose by a mere mention of his wife, Rani. Afflicted with guilt, Aditya distracts Zhang to protect Gus and ultimately sacrifices his life to save him as well. It would be a stretch to outright call his final actions redeeming, but we should acknowledge that he died a changed man, whose motivation was to preserve life irrespective of the species it belongs to. 

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What Happened to Gus’ Family?

For someone who was born artificially in a lab, Gus had the most wonderful extended family one could ever wish for, which actually contributed to his strong moral compass and his almost infectiously optimistic perspective. By the end of the series, Gus has lost a number of people close to him: Pubba, Aimee, Birdie, and the Big Man, all of whom were responsible for Gus being the person he is, left him one by one. When we think about it, ultimately, what mattered most in the long run is the bond Gus had formed with everyone who came into his life as he grew up – which accentuated the journey motif in the overarching narrative as well.

Perhaps the most important lap of Gus’ journey was completed with Jepp aka the Big Man, who protected him ever since the demise of Pubba, and defended him with his life up to the very end. On the other hand, Gus had helped Jepp to give a new meaning and purpose to life, both of which he had lost ever since he had abandoned and eventually lost his family. For the Big Man, Gus was hope reincarnated, and for Gus, Jepp was the shield that guarded him from the merciless world. Which is why Gus’ acceptance of Big Man’s inevitable fate was so important in the context of the story. Jepp, too, realizes the truth in Aditya’s words – that Gus is ready to take on the world – and he lets go in peace. Bear, Wendy, and Aimee’s hybrid children are the surviving members of his family, with whom Gus settled in Yellowstone. Despite the fact that almost all the humans close to Gus eventually perished away, just as Pubba remarked, their lives, memories, and ideas will continue to live with him, as will the new generation of hybrids whom Gus will lead to a brighter future. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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