SweetBitter: Season 2, Episode 8 “Bodega Cat” [Season Finale] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - SweetBitter Season 2, Episode 8 Bodega Cat [Season Finale]
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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.


Network
Starz
Director(s) Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s) Azie Dungey, Luke Sand
Air Date 8/18/2019

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Will, Layla, Howard, Sasha, Heather, Tess | Preparing For The Next Episode

With the possibility of Heather quitting to return to law school comes Tess being approached about becoming a server, and her recommending Sasha. An idea Howard isn’t against and even has the company’s legal team look into how he can get citizenship. Which leaves the question of, who would fill Sasha’s spot?

Well, good timing for Layla, the woman Will met in the last episode. However, with that maybe not being about finding Will cute, but exchanging sex for a better possibility of getting the job, that bums Will out a bit. Since, to be frank, his job is his life so having to deal with meeting cute girls and neither taking advantage of them or letting them take advantage of him, seems too difficult.

Yet, Howard reminds Will he had sex with Tess and then got her a job – begged even. So it isn’t like what he is struggling with is new and wouldn’t be something he’d have to face sooner or later.

Commentary

Layla excited about the opportunity to work at the Pink Chair.

Sometimes I wonder if Will’s relationship with Howard mirrors how Howard once was with Maddie. Someone who aspired to work in entertainment, with Howard being into acting and I believe Will into directing, yet then the restaurant took over. It went from something to pay the bills, be social, to their life and completely changed them, arguably for the worse, in the process. All the while, they’re good at it, so there is this fear of leaving what they know and possibly failing. Which, as you get older, is scarier and scarier since you can’t bounce back as easily. Thus leaving you trapped and, as we see with Howard, having to make stirs when you can to make yourself still feel alive and like you haven’t given your soul to something which doesn’t fulfill you.

That aside, I wonder if Layla really did sleep with Will just for the sake of a job? Is that a normal thing in the industry, at least at that time? Also, considering Howard knew about Tess and Will hooking up, how would he handle the Layla situation? Especially Will putting her at the top of the pile?

Simone, Tess, Jake | The Mermaid, The Boy, And Tess

Things are going really well with Jake, so of course, Tess gets comfortable and curious. She starts asking about his mom, his things for mermaids, and then about Simone’s short story which happens to be about a boy and a mermaid. Jake says he doesn’t remember, so Tess decides to find the story and read it. This leads to her first confronting her take about it with him, and asking him if he and Simone had sex. For it seemed the mermaid was more than a maternal or sister figure. He doesn’t say yes or no, so she pauses for a moment.

Commentary

Tess reading Simone's short story.

So Rosalyn is just not going to be addressed at all, huh? It wasn’t more than, let’s say a month, since she was up in Jake’s bed and was someone he was messing around with. Leading to the question of why Simone being a former thing is an issue? Not to downplay how close Simone and Jake seem, but considering how Jake is a known ho in the restaurant, shouldn’t that cause insecurities more than Simone?

Tess, Simone, Howard, Jake, Scott | You Know This Means War?

Tess can’t let go this mermaid story, so she goes to Simone who is wildly offended by Tess’ take. Especially when she goes so far as to say Simone is trying to keep Jake on the hook for whatever reason. Thus leading to Simone airing out Tess and saying Jake will get tired of her in a week and also she is disappointed in her. Not just because she saw something in her but thought of her as a friend.

Mind you, this conversation is between the two of them, in the basement, where no one can hear. So it isn’t like Tess is being messy. But, with Tess seeing this side to Simone, and Jake breaking up his deal with Scott, after Simone takes what Tess says to heart and lets Jake be free, Jake gets distant. Thus Tess finds herself prepping for the worst and hopes for the best.

How? Well, since Howard supports her idea of promoting Sasha, she pushes her luck. She goes to Howard’s home, gets a drink, and speaks about Howard’s recent changes. Tess makes them seem minor, almost cosmetic, and the change he really needs is to fire Simone – and then the show ends.

Commentary

Tess trying to get Simone fired.

Tess can’t be serious right? Note: Simone and Howard have butted heads throughout the season, and Simone is getting messy. However, Tess just showed up. So the audacity to not only show up at boss’ house, which is already a red flag, but to drink with him and ask something like that? She must be out of her mind. Never mind she asked about Becky like that was appropriate. As if that wasn’t something she didn’t know was a touchy subject.

So, if this show gets a 3rd season, the follow up to Tess’ idea is going to be something to see. Since her planting that seed was a declaration of war and shows she is in her feelings and is ready to lash out like she has never done before. Maybe even see if she can take advantage of Howard and maybe inherit Simone’s position. A thought which did pop up previously, but seems likely more now than ever.

Sweetbitter

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Stephanie Danler

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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 Date 8/18/2019
  • 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 Date 8/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Layla Erica 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 Date 8/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Etienne William Abadie
Eddie Eric 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 Date 8/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
Manny Gabriel Gutierrez
Martin Allen 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 Date 7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Rosalyn Sadie 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 Date 7/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Maddie Sandra Bernhard
Omar Karim Saleh
Gabe Paul Anthony Stewart
Giselle Tiffan 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 Date 7/28/2019
  • 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 Date 5/6/2018
Noted Actors
Tess Ella Purnell
Howard Paul Sparks
Simone Caitlin FitzGerald
Will Evan Jonigkeit
Sasha Daniyar
Jake Tom 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 Date 5/13/2018
Actors Introduced
Ari Eden Epstein
Sophia Meaghan Bloom Fluitt
Nicky Todd Gearhart
Heather Jasmine Mathews
Santos Rafa 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 Date 5/20/2018
Actors Introduced
Serena Wrenn 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 Date 5/27/2018
Newly Noted Characters
Scott Jimmie 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 Date 6/3/2018
  • 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 Date 6/10/2018
  • 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 Date 7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Becky Katerina 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

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