Netflix’s adaptation of the acclaimed DC/Vertigo comic series “Sweet Tooth” presented a post-apocalyptic scenario where a viral outbreak has almost wiped out humanity, and animal-human hybrids are replacing them. It is said the worst of times can give rise to strong leaders, but it can also prove to be a field of opportunity for the absolute worst ones too, who seek to exploit crises in their favor. The red-spec-wearing, long-bearded self-appointed leader of the militia faction “The Last Men,” General Douglas Abbot, fulfills both the aforementioned criteria of being a strong leader and, at the same time, being the worst specimen humanity has to offer. General Abbot serves as the primary antagonist in both seasons of “Sweet Tooth” and works as a mediator, who connects all the chief characters. We will take a brief look at his motivations and actions in both seasons and how they continued to influence the journey of Gus and his family in the long run.
Who Is General Abbot?
After the Big Crumble, which is what the viral outbreak in the world of “Sweet Tooth” is known as, the military and other authoritative forces of the United States dissolved and melted into one militia sector, known as ‘The Last Men.’ Doug Abbot, who was already an ex-military and had a significant position and power at his behest, used the chaotic, clueless situation of a post-pandemic world to rise in power and emerge as the leader of ‘The Last Men’ in no time. Even though Abbot set saving humanity as the solitary goal of the faction, it was a mere ruse to cover atrocities and horrible actions taken against the hybrid kind under Abbot’s command, even terrorizing the remaining human populace by keeping them under his thumb.
With an appearance that makes him look like he’s jumping straight out of pulp comics, Abbot is every bit as comical in his mannerisms as he is in his ruthless demeanor. A cunning tactician, he uses his oratorical prowess to mislead and manipulate people to do his bidding, and he likes to assert his dominance in the interactions he partakes in. For him, no act is too small as long as it serves his purpose, even if that means jeopardizing the lives of the very people he claims to protect. Abbot is a sadistic, pathetic individual who considers hybrids to be abominations that should be eradicated. His unhinged cruelty is perceivable from the way he takes great pleasure in hunting hybrid kids and later severing Gus’ antler, which is no less than a physical violation of the little boy.
The Ballad Of Doug And Johnny
One of Abbot’s weak links is his sensitive, generous brother Johnny, or so it seemed initially. Unlike his overbearing, near-maniacal brother, Johnny is a soft-spoken, kind individual who is unwillingly forced into the ranks of The Last Men, thanks to Doug. A significant bit of Doug’s perspective and motivations can be assessed through his relationship with Johnny. It is revealed that during their younger days, Johnny was continually abused by their father until Doug killed him to save his brother. Doug and Johnny used to have a loving brotherly relationship, and the duo even considered joining a band back in those days, with Doug’s admiration for Johnny’s voice being a testament to his respect for his brother.
As the years passed, the relationship became increasingly strained as Doug became busy in his power-hungry megalomaniacal quest of ‘saving humanity.’ Doug considers that he is looking out for his brother, but as Aimee later says to Gus, the grown-ups often get it the other way around; it is Johnny who is looking out for his brother. For both brothers, family is of utmost importance, and both tolerate each other to a certain extent: Johnny bears with his brother’s sadistic, cruel tendencies, and Doug tolerates the insubordination of his brother, who is not cut out for the ruthlessness it takes to be enlisted in the militia. Johnny even helps Gus and the Singh family escape, which Doug chooses to overlook. Hell breaks loose when Doug decides to invade Gus’ home in Yellowstone National Park to get his revenge on Aimee Eden by taking back the hybrid kids, and finally, Johnny resists by pointing a gun at him. However, as he pulls the trigger, Johnny finds the gun to be empty because Doug thinks Johnny is incapable of firing a gun and had given him an unloaded one for his own safety. Doug’s sadistic nature once again gets the better of him as he shoots his brother dead at the end, a heartbreaking conclusion to the ballad of Doug and Johnny.
Did Doug Abbot Survive At The End Of The Second Season?
The first season showcased how, in search of a cure, General Abbot first seeks out Dr. Bell and kills her after knowing her unwillingness to continue the experiments on hybrid kids to synthesize a cure. Abbot came to know that Dr. Bell’s research was handed over to Dr. Aditya Singh, and after knowing that Aditya’s wife Rani, too, is afflicted by ‘the sick,” it became all too easy for Abbot to control him. Abbot’s plans were to synthesize a cure that would allow him to strike a bargain with ‘The Three,” the chief warlords who hold absolute power. As Dr.Singh later managed to use Birdie’s research combining the stem cells of the hybrid kids to synthesize a perfect cure (which later proved to be ineffectual), Abbot got what he wanted as he managed to secure the resources it’ll take to create his human sanctuary from Helen Zhang, the topmost authority of ‘The Three,” who eliminated her other competitors.
However, Aimee Eden managed to retrieve her adopted hybrid kids along with Gus, all of whom General Abbot held captive earlier, and their escape hurt Abbot’s massive ego. After the Animal Army tries to hit The Last Men at their weakest point, Abbot seizes control and ruthlessly dispatches the entire group. From the Animal Army, Abbot gets to know the location of Gus and his family and launches a full-scale invasion in Yellowstone National Park. Not even Johnny, his own brother, is spared when he gets in the way as Abbot murders him in cold blood and proceeds to take his revenge. However, a fatally injured Tiger managed to inform Gus and his team about the inbound attack from Abbot and his crew, which gave them a headstart as they clinically demolished the entirety of Abbot’s crew. Abbot comes face-to-face with Jepperd, another man he had wronged in his sick quest, and Jepperd proceeds to beat the ever-living light out of him. Somehow Abbot manages to deliver a low blow to Jepperd and engages in a scuffle with Aimee, who injects him with the H5G9 virus. Still desperate to live, Abbot makes one last attempt to flee by taking a vial of temporary cure and subduing Gus at gunpoint. Gus uses the ‘call of nature’ for the first time, which leads to a befitting end to the tyrannical autocrat Doug Abbot as a herd of bison brutally runs him over. Abbot is an example of ever-exploitative humanity and its refusal to accept the sovereignty of nature, which makes his end all the more satisfying. Even in his last moments, Doug chooses to die an evil death as he wounds Gus with a crossbow bolt. At the end of season two, the saga of the Last Men ends with the death of Doug Abbot.
General Abbot turned out to be a complex individual, and despite his villainous, megalomaniac tendencies, he had a softer side to him, expressed only in his relationship with his brother. In many aspects, Abbot can be somewhat compared to the Colonel, the leader of the Alpha-Omega human militia in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” as both characters’ hatred for the opposite species superseded their love for humanity, and at the end, they paid the price.