TV Series

Sweetbitter: Season 2, Episode 4 “Sec of Demi-Sec” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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As Sasha has a mental breakdown, Tess finds herself a pawn in Howard and Simone’s passive-aggressive chess game.


Network
Starz
Director(s)Marta Cunningham
Writer(s)Charise Castro Smith
Air Date7/28/2019

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Recap

I Don’t Need A White Savior: Heather, Tess, Howard

While we’re in the age before social media took off, I mean for God sakes Tess is texting on a flip phone, we’re reminded things like “White Saviors” aren’t new. Case in point, Tess and Heather are sharing duty waiting a table, and a man asked if Heather is mixed. She shrugs it off, though is a little peeved, but then Tess blows it up. Even catches Howard’s ear who is more than willing to kick out someone paying a check that could mean a nice tip.

Leading to Heather having to check Tess. Remind her that she is smart, what she saw was nothing new, and that she doesn’t want her messing up her gig. A statement understood that has Tess redirect her attention to Sasha.

What’s Left Behind In Old Country: Sasha, Tess, Jake

Jake giving Sasha a pep talk.

Why? Well, because he missed his shift and even with Sasha as messy as he can be, he apparently has never been that messy. So, Tess decides to go to Queens, and of all people, Jake tags along. Not due to worrying about her safety, and maybe gaining a conscious, or necessarily giving a damn about Sasha. In his own words, it’s his “Karmic Duty” to pass on the idea of Sasha either speaking his pain or allowing it to kill him.

This gives way to him saying someone from back home was hurt, likely due to him being queer, and Sasha is struggling with not being able to see his friend for that means he won’t be able to return to the US. So he is stuck, alone, and that loneliness is killing him. A feeling Jake seems to get, which may explain why he joins Tess in spending the night.

While You Talk Too Much, Keep Going: Tess, Howard, Becky, Simone

Which causes Tess to ask about Jake’s mom when speaking to Simone. A person who has grown fond of her chats with Tess since they are so revealing. Like her learning Becky and Howard are still together from Tess. Something that gives us a nice way to jab him in the side after he purchases wine from her ex-husband’s vineyard. Though her jab may have been harder than she thought since it blows up Howard’s relationship.

Howard having a meltdown.

But, getting back to Tess and Simone as they drink her husband’s wine Simone reveals Jake’s mom did commit suicide, but she stepped in to make sure he never felt lonely. She also helps Tess decide that one of her next goals, is to learn what she wants and likes, in the bedroom. For after a rather odd sexual encounter with Omar, who seems to be eager to please more so than pleasure, Tess was left in a weird space. One that, luckily, Simone may have broken her out of.

Making it so their complex relationship of frenemy Simone and doe-eyed Tess continues.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Once you know what you like, then you can ask for it.
— Simone

Review

Highlights

Omar’s Words To Tess

There is this constant reminder of people being stuck at the restaurant. Becky calls out Howard for it, Omar notes Simone is stuck, Heather makes it seem like the best she can do at the moment, and even with what happened to Scott, he’s back as well. Yet, Omar says to Tess that she has something even Simone doesn’t. What exactly, that is a multiple-choice answer. However, it is a wonderful thing to fathom what could be next, and what could trigger Tess seeking out ending this chapter and beginning the next?

Howard Coming Undone

It’s always curious to see Howard not present himself as in control of the situation, and a bit erratic. Which seemingly is happening more and more. Pushing the thought, when he does blow up, will that be what end’s Tess’ time at the restaurant? After all, Simone seems to be gunning for Howard’s job, and I can imagine either to save Tess, or due to playing the long game, her getting rid of Tess once the dust settles. So seeing Howard lose his cool could very well be the beginning of the end for multiple people.

Simone’s Strategic Relationship with Tess

Simone and Tess laughing together.

Speaking of Simone and Tess, I truly love that both are aware that the other has their number, yet they still enjoy each other’s company. It’s weird, I’ll admit, yet strangely it maintains this vibe of Simone being the wise older sister or even a maternal figure. Maybe like how she was to Jake but recognizing Tess is someone who eventually can be independent and perhaps can return the favor and lessons taught?

Yet, lest we forget, remains a threat. No longer because she is the young new thing but because she is adaptable, empathetic, and well-liked. Also, she’s like a sponge. She has so many characteristics Simone doesn’t have, can’t imitate, and perhaps doesn’t want to. So even if she can’t surpass Simone in the restaurant, she may in life. Which is scary but maybe, just maybe, Simone’s investment deals with wanting to live vicariously when the time comes? So that she can say to Tess, she is who she is, because Simone molded her.

Now, whether that is said with some ego behind it is anyone’s guess but, either way, there surely will come a point when Simone’s work will be done, and Tess will outgrow her.

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Sweetbitter

Creator

Stephanie Danler

Character Guide

Not Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status

Active

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Season Reviews

First Season

Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 8 “Bodega Cat” [Season Finale]How one wields their power and influence is focused on as Tess reads Simone’s short story and Will fears what may come if he continues to be a manager.
Director(s)Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s)Azie Dungey, Luke Sand
Air Date8/18/2019
  • Will, Layla, Howard, Sasha, Heather, Tess | Preparing For The Next Episode
  • Simone, Tess, Jake | The Mermaid, The Boy, And Tess
  • Tess, Simone, Howard, Jake, Scott | You Know This Means War?
Season 2, Episode 7 “Peach Treats”In the penultimate episode of the season, Tess’ fantasy becomes a reality and many start contemplating life after the Pink Chair.
Director(s)Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s)Lucy Thurber
Air Date8/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
LaylaErica Pappas
  • Ari, Tess, Heather, Simone | You’re All Going To Leave Me
  • Layla, Simone, Tess, Will, Jake | One Dream Dies & The Next Becomes Reality
  • Jake, Simone, Tess | Can’t Have One Without The Other
Season 2, Episode 6 “Truffles and Champagne”Simone’s ex-husband, Etienne, shows up, giving her fresh optimism, as Tess gives will a look over after he treats her to truffles.
Director(s)Geeta V. Patel
Writer(s)Christopher Oscar Pena
Air Date8/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
EtienneWilliam Abadie
EddieEric D. Hill
  • The Boy I Should Like vs. The One Who Riles Me Up: Tess, Will, Jake
  • The Man I Left Behind & Look Back On Fondly:Simone, Etienne, Tess, Jake
Season 2, Episode 5 “Entropy”As the restaurant is thrown into disorder, the chaos coerces conversations between people who haven’t necessarily been on the best of terms lately.
Director(s)Geeta V. Patel
Writer(s)Sharr White
Air Date8/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
MannyGabriel Gutierrez
MartinAllen McCullough
  • Starting From The Bottom Shouldn’t Mean Life Will Be Hard: Howard, Santos
  • The Rebellion Begins: Sasha, Jake, Ari, Tess, Manny, Simone, Howard, Santos, Scott, Will
  • Peace Talks: Santos, Howard, Jake, Tess, Simone, Martin, Will
Season 2, Episode 2 “Equifax & Experian”Tess opens up about her mother, which concurrently happens as many let out their secrets.
Director(s)Augustine Frizzell
Writer(s)Stuart Zicherman
Air Date7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
RosalynSadie Scott
  • Being A Family Is Exhausting: Rosalyn, Tess, Jake, Howard, Ari
  • While We Are Different, Alas, We Are Also The Same: Sasha, Santos, Tess
  • We Are One Of Many: Tess, Simone
Season 2, Episode 3 “Last of the Season”

As the owner of the restaurant appears, we’re reminded all who envy Tess’ brand new eyes to things still are capable of experiencing something new.

Director(s)Marta Cunningham
Writer(s)Kenneth Lin
Air Date7/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
MaddieSandra Bernhard
OmarKarim Saleh
GabePaul Anthony Stewart
GiselleTiffan Borelli
  • Some People Are Meant To Change Your Life Just In Minor Ways: Tess, Simone, Omar
  • You Gotta Keep Stimulated: Maddie, Tess, Scott, Howard, Simone
  • Not All Growth Needs To Be Public: Tess, Will, Giselle, Gabe
Season 2, Episode 4 “Sec of Demi-Sec”As Sasha has a mental breakdown, Tess finds herself a pawn in Howard and Simone’s passive-aggressive chess game.
Director(s)Marta Cunningham
Writer(s)Charise Castro Smith
Air Date7/28/2019
  • I Don’t Need A White Savior: Heather, Tess, Howard
  • What’s Left Behind In Old Country: Sasha, Tess, Jake
  • While You Talk Too Much, Keep Going: Tess, Howard, Becky, Simone
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Salt” [Series Premiere]There is a bit of a change in the usual girl from nowhere comes to the big apple, and with Ella Purnell at the helm, this could very well get interesting.
Director(s)Richard Shepard
Writer(s)Stephanie Danler
Air Date5/6/2018
Noted Actors
TessElla Purnell
HowardPaul Sparks
SimoneCaitlin FitzGerald
WillEvan Jonigkeit
SashaDaniyar
JakeTom Sturridge
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Now Your Tongue Is Coded”With Tess being alone in New York City, naturally she is seeking friendship. However, finding something, or someone, normal is becoming quite difficult.
Director(s)Cherien Dabis
Writer(s)Stuart Zicherman
Air Date5/13/2018
Actors Introduced
AriEden Epstein
SophiaMeaghan Bloom Fluitt
NickyTodd Gearhart
HeatherJasmine Mathews
SantosRafa Beato
  • A Lonely Girl In The Big City: Tess, Jake, Simone, Howard
  • A Past (W/L)ife: Sasha, Tess
  • Though Things Might Be Bleak, The Future Looks Bright: Tess, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Everyone is Soigné”How one defines settling is pushed to the forefront as Tess starts something with Will and someone from Simone’s past comes to the restaurant.
Director(s)Adam Bernstein
Writer(s)Kenneth Lin
Air Date5/20/2018
Actors Introduced
SerenaWrenn Schmidt
  • Settling For Will: Tess, Will, Ari, Heather, Simone, Jake
  • Settling vs. Stagnant: Simone, Tess, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 4 “Simone’s”Tess spends most of this episode with Simone and in doing so, some layers to this rather mysterious character are stripped away. But not so much you think you fully understand her.
Director(s)Shira Piven
Writer(s)Liz Tuccillo
Air Date5/27/2018
Newly Noted Characters
ScottJimmie Saito
  • Welcome to Simone’s: Simone, Tess
  • One of the Group: Tess, Ari, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Weird Night”Baby Monster spends some time with uncle Sasha to help her get through a bad day and make him feel less alone in the world.
Director(s)Ry Russo-Young
Writer(s)Stephanie Danler, Deborah Schoeneman
Air Date6/3/2018
  • No Good Deed Left Unpunished: Santos, Howard, Becky, Tess, Will
  • Live Life With All The Regrets: Sasha, Tess, Will, Ari
  • I Don’t Want To Live Forever: Tess, Sasha
Season 1/ Episode 6 “It’s Mine” [Season Finale]As we learn why Simone was said to not be trusted, Tess takes her trials and learns her fate.
Director(s)Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s)Jaquén Castellanos, Azie Dungey
Air Date6/10/2018
  • What Am I Getting Myself Into?: Tess, Jake, Simone, Will, Ari, Heather
  • Decision Time:  Tess, Howard, Will, Simone
  • The Peeling of the Mask: Tess, Simone
Season 2, Episode 1 "The Pork Special" [Season Premiere]Sweetbitter returns, picking up from where the finale left off, and Tess continues to push to be seen beyond everyone’s perceptions of her.
Director(s)Augustine Frizzell
Writer(s)Stephanie Danler
Air Date7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
BeckyKaterina Tannenbaum
  • Some Pig: Simone, Will, Tess, Howard
  • The Return Of Sasha Fierce: Sasha, Tess, Jake, Sasha, Ari, Heather
  • We All Have Our Secrets: Becky, Howard
Simone’s Strategic Relationship with Tess - 90%
Howard Coming Undone - 85%
Omar’s Words To Tess - 84%

86%

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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