Rotten Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: ‘A Sweet Deal’

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 4, 2019 (Last updated: November 21, 2023)
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Netflix Series Rotten Season 2 Episode 4, - A Sweet Deal


Rotten Season 2 Episode 4, “A Sweet Deal” asks questions to Big Sugar companies, and how they exploit workers and play a hand in political power.

This recap of Netflix Series Rotten Season 2 Episode 4, “A Sweet Deal” contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

The running theme of Rotten Season 2 is that food and drink companies are grossly killing the social climate. Episode 4, “A Sweet Deal” looks into the high revenue business of sugar. Big Sugar business is much more controversial than you may have realised, and it may be me feel more thoughtful as I ripped open a sugar sachet for my next coffee.

We love sugar; it helps our cereals taste good, and desserts taste sweet and fluffy, but to ensure the world enjoys it, there are large ecosystems at play here. Episode 4, “A Sweet Deal” exposes the history of exploited workers, past and present. More noticeably, it delves into the monopolisation of sugar in Florida, and the exploited workers arriving from Jamaica classed as H-2. Their pay was atrocious, and conditions went against any health and safety measure available. Slavery never really ends; it’s ironically, like sugar, refined.

Episode 4 explores how activists have strived to look after works by facing the Big Sugar companies and reveal who they indeed are. The issue with sugar canes is that they are tough and sharp to take down, meaning the chances of injury are high. Workers wear metal shin pads and protective clothing to ensure they do not chop their limbs off due to the aggression that they have to apply when using their blades to cut down the cane.

“A Sweet Deal” surprises politically, how sugar business is used for lobbying and influences political power plays. I felt sorry for one lawyer that fought for workers for 15 years, and well… the outcome was not so great.

Rotten Season 2 Episode 4, “A Sweet Deal” is a useful, insightful chapter in the Netflix series, but I could not help but notice that little progress is made in this area. It made me wonder — is this really 2019?

You can read the recap of the fifth episode by clicking these words.

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