The following story contains spoilers for Sweet Tooth Season 1 on Netflix.
You know a TV show is planning for the future when a finale moves its chess pieces around the board. And that’s exactly what happened at the end of Season 1 of Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, the new post-apocalyptic action/adventure/fantasy series based on a series of beloved DC/Vertigo comics. Characters are in new settings; characters are doing new things; characters are meeting new people. If you’ve seen enough of this sort of genre—Game of Thrones always knew how to set up events to come in its season finale—then you know can recognize seeds being planted; it means this is a future with plenty more story to tell. And that’s exactly what Sweet Tooth‘s ending is doing.
Based on the 40-issue comic run of the same name by Jeff Lemire (who has written a number of great comic stories, including Black Hammer, Descender, and one of the most recent runs of Moon Knight), Sweet Tooth has plenty of source material story to mine from. But the show has also already made plenty of changes from the comic series, so it’s hard to tell where, exactly, things are going (Lemire is also heavily involved in the Netflix series, so presumably he’s OK with the changes). But based on the way things have played out, we are starting to get an idea of where things are headed.
So, for the time being, let’s take a look at what actually happened at the end of the show’s Season 1.
So what really happened at the end of Sweet Tooth Season 1?
So, as alluded to above, the pieces are moved around the board at the end of Season 1 of Sweet Tooth. The primary cliffhanger is that Birdie—The “mother” of Gus, whom he had been chasing after all season—is alive, working and presumably living at a site in Alaska. A flashback episode showed us how Birdie and Richard—Gus’ “father”—first met, and we were meant to presume that, like Richard, she eventually succumbed to the sickness/virus that has slowly and surely been taking out the human race. But at the very end of the episode, Becky, now staying in Birdie’s old house with her old friend, Judy, connects with Birdie, working in Alaska. In the comic, Alaska plays a huge role in the origin of the virus and the hybrids, but it seems like the show has already changed that (the Hybrids are a breed of mythological god in the comic, while the show has shown them to be a biological creation, starting with Gus). Surely Birdie will be thrilled to know that Gus is still around, and much of that will fuel Season 2.
We also see a recovering Jepperd (who had some sort of heart attack in the middle of the field when Abbot and company arrived and took Gus) now paired with Aimee. The two are planning to get their kids back, as Jepperd has lost Gus, and Aimee was forced to orchestrate an escape of Wendy, Bobby, and the rest of the hybrids as she distracted Abbot and his men from outside The Preserve/Essex County Zoo. Jepperd had really bonded with Gus, and having lost his wife and newborn hybrid child (who are definitely still out there, so don’t forget about them in future seasons), didn’t want to lose Gus. The chemistry between these two was really great in Season 1; Nonso Anozie and Christian Convery did great work on their own version of a Mandalorian/Baby Yoda type of dynamic.
Speaking of Wendy, a fun twist added just for the show is that she’s actually a long lost sister of Becky’s. Becky, in the show, is shown as a Lord of the Flies-type leader (when in the comic she was basically just a runaway). Surely this is a reunion we’ll see in future seasons.
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of the finale is Dr. Singh finally giving in, and beginning to experiment on hybrids in an attempt to find the cure (and giving in to General Abbot’s demands). This is where readers first meet the character in the comics—willing to go to any lengths to find a cure, and believing its his purpose in life. The show did a wonderful job in making Dr. Singh more than that; he clearly cares, and is chiefly motivated in wanting to save his wife, Rani. But in the back half of the finale episode, he’s clearly moved when he learns Gus can talk. Perhaps this motivates him down a darker path, even past saving Rani?
What happens next in the Sweet Tooth comics?
To give you an idea of where the story is at, Jeff Lemire’s DC/Vertigo comic series Sweet Tooth runs 40 issues in total. When the ending of Sweet Tooth Season 1 happens in the comic—when Gus meets Wendy and Bobby—it’s somewhere around issue 13. And while the show has changed quite a bit of the story and the characters, it is still helpful to know that the source material is there as a roadmap to let us know what is on the way.
And the next big thing, as hinted in some of the closing moments of the season, is two corresponding events. Gus, Wendy, and Bobby escaping from the compound (which in the comics is actually “the preserve,” which had actually been this militia all along), while Jeppard—who had given Gus to Abbot in order to get his deceased wife’s corpse back—tries to storm back to free Gus and the hybrids from Abbot.
We also are introduced to Dr. Singh in this point of the comic, and he’s a far more morally ambiguous character than the Dr. Singh we met in the show. While Singh got there by the end of the series—willing to hurt hybrids in order to find a cure—the show gave him a more tragic backstory, showing him as a kind, caring, man, primarily motivated to find a cure to save his wife. The Singh of the comics basically just sees himself as the chosen one to find a cure for this horrible virus, and he basically will go to any length to reach those means.
The character of Johnny, who works with Abbot, is also expanded upon in the next section of the comic. He was only briefly in Season 1, but becomes a more significant character as the story progresses.
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