Sweetbitter episode four recap: ‘Simone’s’


It started with a kiss and ended with an even better one on Sweetbitter.

On this week’s Sweetbitter, Tess experiences her first day off since starting her job at the restaurant. But the problem is, she has no idea what to do with herself.

She begins her day off with a sexy dream about Jake. All cleaned up from the daily grime of the restaurant, Jake takes her to dinner at the restaurant and Simone is their server. As if they’re the only two in the room, he takes her in his arms and kisses her passionately. And just after she unzips his pants, she wakes up.

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I knew it was a dream, but it doesn’t change the fact that Ella Purnell and Tom Sturridge have chemistry that jumps of the scream and into your lap.

This episode poses the question, “What does one do on a day off they don’t get too often?”

Instead of doing her laundry, Tess opts to go to the Met. She runs into an old friend from home and her mom. Tess moving to New York by herself stuns them.

Their puzzled looks explain a lot of where Tess grew up. People don’t get up and leave without a plan and especially by themselves. This is yet another reason confirmed that Tess made the right decision to leave.

When they ask her to join them at the Met, she lies and says she’s meeting a friend for lunch.

At lunch, she attempts to dine alone, even pulling out a New Yorker to read. But as she looks around the room at other parties having a good time, Tess never felt more alone. The moment is relatable to anyone who has ever eaten by themselves. “Is anyone starting at me?” “People probably think I’m so weird.” “What do I do with my hands?” It’s nerve-racking and awkward.

After trying the restaurant’s finest California Merlot (ew!), she remembers Simone offered her wine books. So, she sets off to Simone’s!

Simone opens the door to her apartment, and for the first time, we see Simone as a somewhat normal person. Her apartment, on the other hand, is wonderfully eclectic.

For starters, there’s a bathtub in the middle of the living space. She has a wall of books and records. There are wistful trinkets and beautifully decorated boxes that I assume she collected at various flea markets over the years.

At first, Tess’ arrival shocks Simone, but she seems to enjoy her company genuinely. They make grilled cheese and drink champagne. And before long, Simone’s pretentious, refined exterior falls away, and we are left with Tess’ first real connection with another human in New York.

Simone receives a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from a mystery man (to Tess), and when Tess feels her uncomfortableness, she begins destroying the flowers, to Simone’s enjoyment.

When Tess climbs in the bathtub, the two girls talk about Jake. We find out Jake’s mother died when he was eight. Then, he moved in with Simone’s family. She always looked out for Jake. She knows Tess likes him.  Simone says there is a difference between people who act like they’re damaged and people who actually are damaged.

Tess says, “I don’t have a mother.” To which Simone replies, “I know.”

It’s telling just how perceptive Simone is in Sweetbitter. She knows Tess desperately wants to belong and I think takes a liking to Tess. I don’t think she’s trying to impress her, by trying to look out for her like she has always done with Jake.

I also think I misjudged her pretension for nurturing. After Tess falls asleep in the bathtub, as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders, she gets Simone’s wine books and leaves. Instead of staying in, she meets with her comrades from the restaurant for dinner. Jake is there.

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And while this episode started with a Tess/Jake kiss, it ended with one, too. Only this time, the kiss was real. I think Jake likes Tess and doesn’t know why. They both have baggage. It could make or break them.

Hopefully, it won’t be the end of their story. Read last week’s recap of Sweetbitter.