‘Sweet Tooth’ Final Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-8) Explained: What’s In The Cave?

The journey of Gus and Big Man finally comes to an end as Netflix’s Sweet Tooth releases its third and final season. The mystery revolving around the origin of hybrids, the connection between them and the sick, and the future of the human-hybrid correlation—all vital questions are finally brought to a satisfactory conclusion with the third season of Sweet Tooth. With new and old enemies joining hands to stop Gus from fulfilling his destined role as the mediator of both the worlds, the little kid experiences life in its simplest form, with both its beauty and terror. 


Spoilers Ahead

Episode 1: Setting the Stage

The first episode of the third season follows Gus, Bear, Jepperd, and Wendy as they continue their cross-country journey to reach Alaska to help Gus reunite with his adoptive human mother, Birdie. Gus believes that Birdie will be able to end the sickness for good, and his assistance will help her to do so. In a flashback sequence, explorer James Thacker’s role in bringing the sick to humanity during the early 20th century is revealed, and the cave from which Thacker brought the disease is supposedly Gus’ ultimate destination as well. 


Gus and Co. come across an abandoned casino where they meet the Bingo Bandits, a bunch of socialites who have settled inside the casino since the Great Crumble and are fiercely protective of their possessions. Later, the team faces an avalanche while moving on foot, which further proves how difficult their journey is going to be. On the other hand, Birdie gets attacked by one of Warlord Helen Zhang’s men in the polar terrain of Alaska and, after getting momentarily incapacitated, gets rescued by an unknown, large hybrid creature. Meanwhile, Zhang prepares to hunt down Gus for her own nefarious purposes and commands her daughter, Rosie, to use her hybrid sons, wolf-boys, to capture them. During the final moments of the episode, the team comes across Dr. Aditya Singh.

Episode 2: Family Legacy

Aditya Singh turns out to be repentant for his past actions and seems adamant to follow Gus out of a sense of responsibility to end the Sick and a long-shot belief in destiny. Aside from Gus, the rest of the team vehemently lashes out at Aditya for his sketchy history with the Last Men, but as Gus finds common ground after learning that Aditya had visions about the cave as well, he insists on him joining the team, and the group begrudgingly accepts his decision. The group comes across a family in the wilderness, whom they ask for help with transportation but find rejected as the family patriarch, Ven, seems to be skeptical of them. However, with Ven’s wife going into labor, Aditya offers his help in exchange for transportation, and as Bear, Jepp, and Aditya help Ven’s wife, Gus and Wendy meet Ven’s elder child, a young boy named Theo. Gus and Wendy are shocked to learn that Ven has forced his prejudice regarding hybrids (due to the way society treats them) on Theo, who himself is revealed to be a hybrid as well. Gus and Wendy teach him to accept his hybrid heritage. On the other hand, Ven tries to forcibly change the appearance of his newborn hybrid son and faces opposition from Aditya, Jepp, and Bear. Upon realizing that Ven has sold them out, the team hurriedly rushes outside, and Theo helps by letting them escape in the family van. 


A flashback scene showcases Helen Zhang’s deplorable treatment of her grandchildren, the Wolfboys, much to Rosie’s dismay. Meanwhile, Birdie’s missing status concerns her close friend in the Alaskan outpost, Siona, and her hybrid Arctic fox daughter, Nuka. 

Episode 3: Sacrifices

Rosie Zhang’s past is revealed as her mother’s influence had turned her into a cold-blooded killer—a testament to which is seen when she lets her Wolf-boys loose on Ven—in exchange for information. On the other hand, Gus and his team head for Nag’s Reef, adhering to Theo’s advice, as the last ship to Alaska, ‘Whale Song,’ is about to set sail from there. However, the group reaches there a little too late; by then, the ship has already left. However, with the help of a local surfer girl named Coral, they manage to put together a makeshift boat to reach the ship, but the bitterness and distrust among Jepp and Bear regarding Aditya reach a boiling point. However, as Aditya insists on accompanying Gus, the issue of overcrowding the small boat appears to be a new problem.


Unfortunately, Rosie and his sons close in, prompting Gus, Jepp, and Aditya to flee in the boat while Bear and Wendy have no option but to stay. Bear gets attacked by one of the Wolf boys and fatally stabs him, and as she gets captured by Rosie, Wendy decides to hide to later help her sister. Gus, Jepp, and Aditya finally find Whale Song and prepare to board the ship to reach Alaska. 

Episode 4: Growing Up

After boarding the Whale Song, Gus and his team soon realize that the entire ship has been infested with the purple flower, which brings sickness, and all of the crew members and passengers have passed away. With the ship remaining stationary in the middle of the sea, someone needs to access the command deck, and Gus takes the responsibility as, being a hybrid, he is immune to the Sick. However, as he leaves, Jepp and Aditya lock horns once again, and the good doctor reminds Jepp about a forgotten past: when, ten years ago, Aditya met him by chance and tried to convince him to return to his wife and newborn child, whom he had thought of abandoning. Meanwhile, in Zhang’s captivity, Bear meets Jordan, his old teammate, from when she had infiltrated the Last Men, who cunningly wrings out information about Gus’ destination in Alaska. Zhang reveals her reason for capturing Gus is to extract his brain stem cell, considering him to be the first hybrid who can set the world order back to its ‘normal’ condition, i.e., human birth and hybrid annihilation.


Upon reaching the command deck, Gus gets the assistance of ship’s first mate, Darwin, who communicates with him over talkie-toe to avoid contamination. As Darwin seems adamant about upholding the last wish of the captain to keep the ship away from the mainland to contain the infection, Gus is compelled to do an unthinkable task: get rid of the purple flowers, pay due respects to the departed, and send the infected corpses to their watery grave. Eventually, as the ship is freed of infection, Darwin reveals himself. Gus rushes back to bring Jepp and Aditya to command deck; Darwin discovers that he had contracted the Sick after all; and he promptly sacrifices his life by jumping into the ocean. But to help Gus reach his destination and fulfill his goal, he had set the course of the ship to Alaska. A heartbroken Gus manages to communicate with the shore as Siona from the outpost intercepts his message, recognizing him as the hybrid kid Birdie talked so much about.

Episode 5: A Familiar Shape

After reaching Alaska, Gus, Jepp, and Aditya are brought to the outpost by Siona and Nuka, which is observed by one of Zhang’s operatives. Siona informs the team about Birdie’s missing status, while Gus seems to have unlocked his precognitive senses as he manages to ascertain Birdie’s probable location. Aditya finds Thacker’s diary and gets obsessed with his age-old entries about the cave and probable events that brought the sick from it. However, before the team can venture together to find Birdie, Zhang and her operatives invade and take control of the outpost, prompting Nuka and Gus to flee through pipeways to avoid capture for the time being. Big Man tries to distract Zhang, but Aditya decides to betray him by joining forces with Zhang, as he has become too obsessed with his destiny to end the Sick. Siona manages to cause a distraction, which allows the majority of the outposters, including Jepp, to flee from Zhang’s captivity. Wendy, who had arrived in Alaska by stowing away in Zhang’s cargo, rescues her captive elder sister Bear. Outside, Nuka directs Gus to a direct pathway, and as Gus progresses, he is chased by Rosie’s Wolfboys. After getting cornered, Gus is rescued by the same grown-up hybrid, locally known as the Caribou Man, who had previously rescued Birdie as well.


Episode 6: The First Hybrid

The altercation with the Wolfboys has left Caribou Man severely injured, and Gus helps him reach his home—an ancient church—through the blizzard. Inside the church, Gus finally meets his adoptive mother, Birdie, and an emotionally charged moment follows. The Caribou Man, whose real name is Munaqsriri, reveals his sordid life tale as being subjected to human persecution for life, ever since being separated from his mother back in the early 20th century. Birdie is shocked to learn that Burke, one of Thacker’s crew members, fathered Munaqsriri with one of the indigenous tribe members, and that Munaq is the first naturally born hybrid. Sustaining fatal injuries at the hands of the Wolf boys, Munaq meets his end—but not before asking Gus not to go to the cave, as he believes the sick to be a natural remedy for the true disease that is humanity. He further mentions that returning to the cave might trigger something far more heinous than what has already been spread—something that Birdie takes to heart.

Aditya, who has misinterpreted Thacker’s journal entries as some cosmic-karmic command to kill Gus inside the cave to undo the Sick, requests that Zhang allow him a chance to do so as his way of seeking redemption. On the other hand, Siona, Nuka, Jepp, and the rest of the outposters reunite in Birdie’s former settlement, and as the outposters blame Siona for bringing trouble, Jepp manages to convince them to continue the good fight by inspiring them through Gus’ example. Siona and outposters prepare to take back their outpost by ambushing Zhang’s men and finding Gus’ possible location through the Wolfboys’ trails. Zhang prepares for a final showdown. 


Episode 7: Loss of Faith

Jepp finds out about Birdie and Gus in the old church, while Bear and Wendy join the outposters to assist them in their upcoming struggle against Zhang’s crew. Using Munaqsriri’s map and other clues, Gus manages to pinpoint a location for the cave, and along with Jepp and Birdie, he finally reaches the location. On the other hand, the outposters engage in a fierce battle and almost manage to drive out Zhang’s men, but eventually, Jordan takes a drilling rig vehicle, which Zhang intends to use on the cave, to extract whatever is inside of it in the hopes of exploiting it. Elsewhere, upon reaching the cave, Gus and co. find a primordial tree of life with its antler-like structure, which Thacker had damaged quite a bit by trying to gain its sap, which resulted in the Sick getting released in the first place. Gus contemplates letting the tree heal by removing Thacker’s axe, but Birdie prohibits him, fearing consequences. She now believes in Munaq’s ideology as well—that humans deserve to perish away. 

Proving her perspective to be true, Aditya and Zhang arrive inside the cave and prepare to sacrifice Gus to fulfill Aditya’s misguided notion of destiny. Birdie eventually sacrifices herself to save Gus, and the episode comes to a harrowing end.


Episode 8: The World for Meek and Mild

Witnessing his mother’s death, Gus undergoes a radical change of perspective and states that, just like Munaq and Birdie believed, humanity is indeed irredeemable. Zhang goads that she seeks to undo the worst mistake of humanity by restarting normal human birth and using the sap of the tree to create a virus that will exterminate the hybrids. On the other hand, Siona, Bear, and Wendy, along with other outposters, manage to hold off Zhang’s convoy and topple the drilling rig, which results in Jordan’s death.

Inside the cave, Aditya once again prepares to continue with the sacrifice, but undergoes a change of heart all of a sudden after Zhang triggers his guilt by mentioning his wife’s name. Aditya allows Gus to escape, sending Zhang into a fit of rage as she removes the axe from the tree, which immediately accelerates the Sick to such an extent that all the humans inside the cave and even in the outside vicinity (outposters) nearly succumb to death. Gus desperately tries to stop the affliction to no avail and eventually sees a vision from Pubba, which allows him to reinstate his faith in humanity. Gus decides to let nature take its course and burns down the tree, which removes the existence of the sick at once, curing the people in the process. Zhang faces rejection from her own people, who turn their backs on her and disobey her commands to capture Gus and Jepp. The cave starts collapsing, and Aditya sacrifices himself to save Gus.


Outside, Zhang’s younger daughter, Ginger, gives birth to a hybrid child, much to Zhang’s dismay, and as the outposters, Gus, Wendy, Bear, Jepp, and the rest of Zhang’s men leave the vicinity, the jaded, confused warlord remains alone in her misery. Her family no longer aligns with her regressive, deranged ideals – and moves on with their lives in peace. Rosie, finally free from her mother’s oppressive command, has the life she always wanted along with her sons. The rest of Zhang’s crew help the outposters to rebuild the establishment, perhaps as a form of making amends for their past actions. 

Humanity gets spared by nature for their transgressions, but as initially assumed, hybrids indeed turn out to be the better alternative selected by nature as this generation of humanity turns out to be the last. A broken half of Gus’ antler remains with the late Aditya, from where a sapling has started to emerge – implying that one day the tree of life will once again find its original form.


Coming to the Big Man, It remains unclear whether an injured Jepp makes it back to Yellowstone alongside Gus, Wendy, and Bear, but it is implied that he has succumbed to his injuries on his way back. But as Pubba had told Gus, death is never the end. In a glimpse to a far future, it is shown that Gus’ home at Yellowstone has become a sanctuary for the hybrids, an elderly Gus and Wendy have raised a family, and their grandson asks Gus about Big Man. Gus shares that the Big Man indeed lives through the memories and stories which he shares with his future generation of his people, the hybrids. This is signified from the final scene of the series, where we see Gus and Big Man enjoying maple syrup together after returning to Yellowstone. It is a happy fantasy, as even though Jepp might not have survived, for Gus there is a part of him by his side, all the time, forever.

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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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