‘Sweet Tooth’ Recap Before Final Season 3: Story So Far

As far as post-apocalyptic dystopian narratives go, Jeff Lemire’s comic series Sweet Tooth might be the most depressing yet optimistic of them all. The prospect of nature hitting back at humanity’s egocentric advances and reclaiming its rightful place by exterminating humankind and creating human-animal hybrids is justified and optimistic, to say the least. But at the same time, the subjugation and oppression enacted on the hybrids by humanity once again work as a reminder of real-world treatment and exploitation of the animals and marginalized sections of society. Analyzing such heavy themes with serious philosophical undertones—that too in the mold of a coming-of-age storyline—is what made Sweet Tooth really unique, and that stands true for Netflix’s TV series adaptation of the comic series as well. 


After two successful, captivating seasons filled with equal parts mystery, wonder, and thrilling adventures, Netflix’s Sweet Tooth will finally end its course with a third and final chapter, which will answer all questions regarding the final fate of humans and hybrids. Let us dive into a detailed discussion about the events that transpired in the first two seasons, which will help viewers catch up to the third season’s storyline in no time.

Spoilers Ahead


The Outbreak, Gus, and the Hybrids

The world of Sweet Tooth is ravaged by an outbreak known as ‘The Sick’, which is caused by an extremely deadly H5G9 virus that wiped out 98% of the total human population of the world within a decade. Another global phenomenon coincided with the viral outbreak, which was the rise of naturally born human-animal hybrid kids. While a section of the populace saw it as nature’s retribution and accepted the hybrids, a major portion saw them as abominations who they considered to be responsible for the outbreak. This led to mass culling and torture of the hybrids, which increased exponentially after it was discovered that the brain stem cells of the hybrids could temporarily cure H5G9 afflictions. The series introduces the lead protagonist, Gus, the young, meek, naive deer-human hybrid, raised by his adoptive father Pubba in the wilderness, away from the treacherous gaze of humanity. However, after Pubba passes away after contracting the Sick, the young Gus ventures on a cross-country journey to search for his mother, Birdie. 

As revealed in the course of the second season, the hybrids and viral outbreaks are indeed interconnected, but not in the way humanity has speculated so far. During the early 20th century, explorer James Thacker visited a secluded indigenous tribe in Alaska in search of the mythical fountain of youth to cure his hereditary illness. Thacker didn’t find success and perished alongside his crew in the freezing arctic Alaska. A century later, his great-granddaughter Gillian Washington sent an exploration team led by scientist Gertrude Miller, aka Birdie, to the location where Thacker and his crew met their end. The team discovered a unique microbe from permafrost that had the ability to greatly enhance human immunity. The efforts to create viable cultures for human testing resulted in the creation of Gus in a fertilized chicken egg embryo and the H5G9 virus in an embryo as well. As Gillian showed haste by administering the H5G9 to herself, she unwittingly became patient zero of the outbreak itself. To keep an infant Gus out of danger, Birdie had entrusted him to Pubba and left to complete Thacker’s unfinished research in Alaska. Birdie is trying to find a cure to protect the rest of humanity, and Gus is the key to doing that. 


Gus and Big Man’s Journey

Gus begins his journey towards Colorado, where he thinks that his mother, Birdie, resides, and comes across a former hybrid catcher, Thomas Jepperd, whom Gus affectionately calls Big Man. Thomas has a sordid past, which is revealed through the course of the two seasons, which chronicles how he lost his wife and their newborn hybrid child due to his prejudice, joined the ‘Last Men’ (a militant group that seeks to exterminate the hybrids and reinstate humanity to its past glory) in order to find them, and finally quit his role as hybrid catcher after learning that his wife and child had lost their lives long ago. Big Man takes it upon himself to protect Gus from the evils of the outside world, as he feels a sense of guilt and responsibility towards him, possibly due to the fact that he has failed his own family, and is hoping to somewhat redeem himself by helping Gus reach his mother, Birdie. 

On their way, Gus and Big Man come across the Animal Army, a group of rebellious teenagers who champion hybrids and detest the existing humanity, and the founder and leader of the group, Bear, decides to join Big Man and Gus on their adventure after a series of initial conflicts. Upon finally reaching Colorado, Gus learns about his true origin, which leaves him heartbroken and feeling out of purpose for a while—until he decides to communicate with other hybrid kids like him by communicating with the hybrid safe haven known as the Preserve.


The Last Men and the Preserve

Parallel to Gus’ journey, the story of Dr. Aditya Singh and his beloved wife, Rani, unfolds, which sets the stage for the Last Men being presented as the chief antagonist of the first two seasons. Taking the help of fellow scientist Dr. Bell, who was able to create a temporary antidote of the H5G9 virus using the brain stem cells of hybrids, Aditya tries to save Rani’s life, who has been afflicted with the Sick. Despite the unethical, immoral nature of the experimentation, Aditya convinces himself to continue for the sake of his family, and this eventually results in him covering up a death in his household vicinity. Eventually, as the repercussions of his actions seem unavoidable, the Last Men, led by a despotic leader named General Douglas Abbot, save the couple and provide Aditya with a chance to formulate a cure by keeping them captive. 

On the other hand, Aimee Eden, a benevolent, kind counselor and caretaker of the abandoned Essex Zoo, had rescued an abandoned human-pig hybrid girl, whom she named Wendy, and along with her, she provided a number of other hybrid kids with a safe refuge in her establishment known as the Preserve. By the end of the first season, Abbot and his Last Men were able to capture the Preserve, take all the hybrid kids captive, and abduct Gus as well. Jepp was injured by one of the Last Men, and eventually Aimee rescued him as the duo joined hands in the effort to rescue their kids. 


General Abbot And Aimee’s Death

In the second season, Aimee and Jepp work together to rescue their kids, while a separated Bear decides to join the Last Men in an effort to reach out to Gus. Bear also obtained an audio recording sent by Birdie, which was intended for Gus. In both seasons, a mysterious purple flower, which accompanies the sick and is therefore considered as detrimental to humankind, was seen inducing a hallucinogenic vision in Gus’ mind, which Dr. Aditya Singh (Abbot’s captive) uses to learn about Gus’ past. It is revealed that Gus was the first hybrid, and he might be the key to providing humanity with a final chance of survival. 

Aimee initially detests Jepp after learning about his past, but eventually takes his help to orchestrate an elaborate rescue plan involving her allies, the Air Lords. Aditya continues going down an obsessive, dark, and immoral path to find the cure, much to Gus’ shock and dismay. He kills two hybrid kids, Peter and Roy, to synthesize the cure. Abbot brings in the Three—a trio of warlords who agree to assist him in exchange for a place in the Evergreen, a sanctuary for humans envisioned by Abbot. Among the Three, Helen Zheng shows her diabolical side by eliminating her competitors and remaining the only warlord to assert control. 


Bear reunites with her old teammate Tiger during her very first mission with the Last Men, and the duo join hands after the military faction is attacked by the Air Lords. Aimee and Jepp manage to rescue their kids, and before leaving, Aimee destroys Aditya’s research to avenge the death of Roy. Gus and his new friends reach Yellowstone National Park at the household where he used to live with Pubba. Listening to Birdie’s audio, Gus learns much about his past. Meanwhile, realizing that Aditya has become too obsessive with his pursuit of a cure, Rani leaves him, and now, with his research and purpose gone, Aditya reaches rock bottom. However, a severed antler of Gus, which Abbot had cut from the kid to traumatize him, gave Aditya hope about Gus being the key to all this. It is eventually revealed that Bear is Wendy’s elder sister, who was separated from her after the deaths of their parents, and it is to honor her memory that Bear founded the Animal Army. 

A furious Abbot tries to hunt down the hybrid kids and annihilates the entire Animal Army. In her near-death condition, Tiger arrives at the hybrid settlement in Yellowstone and warns them of Abbot’s arrival. Aimee and Jepp manage to stop the Last Men, while Gus’ newfound summoning call causes a herd of bison to come to his rescue and trample Abbot to death. Aimee, who had contracted the H5G9 previously, meets her end among her hybrid children. Later, Gus and his friends decide to venture to Alaska to rescue Birdie, after Gus sees a dream-like vision of Birdie. Aditya decides to follow Gus as well, as he is willing to synthesize a cure and seek answers from Birdie. On the other hand, Zheng is teased to be the big bad of the final season as she prepares to pursue the hybrids to obtain the cure.


What Can Be Expected From the Final Season?

The final season will focus on Gus, Jepp, and the rest of the team’s journey to Alaska, as truths about his visions and his role in the human-hybrid relationship will possibly be answered by Birdie and her research. It will be intriguing if Birdie and Aditya partner up to synthesize a cure, although the prospect of whether humanity deserves a second chance or not remains a question. Lastly, Zheng will try every trick at her disposal to terrorize the hybrids, and it will take a lot more than teamwork to take down the nefarious warlord in the final season of Sweet Tooth.

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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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