Recap: ‘Sweet Tooth’ Season 3 Episode 4 Is One Of The Show’s Best Ever Installments

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 6, 2024
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Sweet Tooth Season 3 Episode 4 Recap - A Bleak, Beautiful Outing
Sweet Tooth. (L to R) George Ferrier as Jordan, Rosalind Chao as Zhang in episode 304 of Sweet Tooth. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024




“Beyond the Sea” is not a jolly time, but it’s one of Sweet Tooth’s best ever episodes.

Ever since it began, Sweet Tooth has been a coming-of-age story for Gus, an idealistic child forced to grow up much quicker than he probably would have liked thanks to the ravages of a post-apocalyptic world and his rather obvious differences. Episode 4 of Sweet Tooth Season 3, “Beyond the Sea”, is the moment Gus reaches a turning point in his personal development, and it’s one of the best episodes in the show’s history.

Ghost Ship

Picking up where Episode 3 left off, “Beyond the Sea” finds Gus, Jepp, and Singh getting aboard The Whale Song, but it’s a very different vessel from the one we see in the episode’s cold open. What was a celebratory final voyage for the people who had managed to board is now a ghost ship by the time our gang arrives; the place is deserted, the engines are off, and the ship is idling menacingly in the middle of the open ocean.

Needless to say, the ship has been ravaged by the Sick, which Jepp determines after a cursory inspection that may or may not have infected him. Given the risks, Jepp and Singh can’t explore, so Gus locks them in a room together while he goes to explore. His mission is to get the engines restarted, but that means grappling with the horrors he finds aboard.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Elsewhere, Becky is being held captive by Zhang and Rosie, though the latter is largely distracted by trying to keep her son, Bruno, alive. Predictably, Zhang wants to know where Gus is heading, and she tries to manipulate and threaten Bear into giving up the information.

But Bear isn’t having any of this, and justifies her position by explaining the real meaning of the popularly misused idiom “Blood is thicker than water.” Most people interpret that to mean that family ties are deeper and more significant than non-family relationships, but it actually means the opposite: The blood of the covenant, in other words relationships you form yourself, are more meaningful than relationships forged in the waters of the womb, in which you have no complicity.

This is true, by the way. And it’s a solid point. Bear’s desire for a family don’t outweigh her responsibility to her friends. The former leader of the Animal Army won’t crack under pressure.

Jepp and Singh Find Common Ground

Back on The Whale Song, Singh and Jepp bicker a little, but the conversation takes a turn when Singh reveals that he and Jepp met before, years ago, on the day that Jepp lost his wife and son. Singh was the doctor he chanced upon in the elevator who tried to convince him to return to his family.

This ties into Singh’s idea of fate. He believes that he is destined to be on this quest and, eventually, in that cave with Gus. It’s destiny. And this is almost certainly nonsense, but it just shows where Singh’s headspace is at after everything he has been through. Even in this moment when he’s getting closer to Jepp, he’s proving that he can’t be trusted.

Gus Grows Up

While Gus is exploring the ship, he starts to communicate over a radio with one of the ship’s crew, a young man named Darwin. This guy, who remained safe in his cabin after passing out drunk, guides Gus around the vessel, eventually taking him to the captain’s quarters to read through his log in the hopes of understanding what befell the passengers and crew.

The log details how more and more of the passengers contracted the Sick and the Captain’s efforts to contain the spread by throwing them overboard. It was useless, though, and eventually, everyone was dead – except Darwin, anyway. The captain’s log closes with a warm note to Darwin himself, the Captain having been something of a father figure to him.

Since the Captain’s final wish is to keep the Sick contained, Darwin is reluctant to restart the engines. So, Gus offers to throw the remaining passengers overboard, sending the infection with them. As he does so, he quietly eulogizes each of the corpses, collecting all the items of theirs he can find and forming shrines for each. Through telling their stories, he can keep them alive in people’s memories.

This is a beautiful sequence – oddly reminiscent of Hacksaw Ridge, of all things – that really showcases Gus’s personal growth, coming so close to death and having to process it in real time, while coming up with his own, very on-brand way of dealing with the grief.

With the ship cleansed, Darwin finally emerges. He restarts the engines and sets a course for Alaska, but when Gus goes to let Jepp and Singh out, we see that Darwin has the Sick. He leaves Gus a nice note and flings himself overboard, honoring the Captain’s wishes.

Bear Is Tricked

While Gus’s adventures aboard the boat are clearly the focal point of Sweet Tooth Season 3 Episode 4, what’s going on with Bear is also very significant, since she’s conned into revealing Gus’s destination by her old mate and jilted wannabe suitor, Jordan.

Jordan pretends to be aiding Bear’s escape, but as soon as she reveals where Gus is going, he reveals it was all a ruse. Zhang is keen to head off to Alaska, but not with Bruno – Zhang tells Rosie to leave him behind so he doesn’t slow them down, so she’s forced to shoot him and put him out of his misery.

Yeah… this isn’t exactly a cheerful episode.

Anyway, all roads must converge on Alaska in the back half of Season 3. It’s really starting to feel like the end is nigh now.


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