Sweetbitter finale recap: ‘It’s Mine’


Tess takes her final test and trials at the restaurant – does she pass in Sweetbitter?

The season finale of Sweetbitter aired last night on Starz. Does Tess pass her trials? I won’t bury the lead here – she passes!

Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how she gets there.

Episode Six begins where Five ended – Tess lying in a hospital bed with Sasha. After Sasha tells her she should leave New York to go back home, Becky and Heather interrupt. It’s trials day, and Tess needs to go back home to get ready.

She showers and studies for her final test, never fitting in any sleep.

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After sitting for her written test, Will snatches it before she finishes. He is upset with Tess for initiating sex in the bathroom at the club the night before. I think Tess thinks she has another level to pass with Will no longer in her corner.

Simone and Jake are back from the Cape, and Simone has a present for Tess – some lavender to help her relax during her trials. Tess is thankful, and I think this adds a bit of pep in her step.

Things are going well at the beginning of her shift. She seems poised, confident, and floats about the restaurant gracefully, offering wine suggestions and nailing the three-plate. She even informs Jake she’s sick of the game they’re playing. You go, girl!

When Sirena’s husband (you remember Sirena, the former employee who married a VIP patron) and Jake get into an expletive-laced argument at the bar in front of the entire restaurant, Howard defuses the situation (with cake). Shocked, Tess wants to know what the fight was all about. She demands that Jake tells her.

He finally spills a secret. Simone and Sirena’s husband are having an affair. Suddenly, Tess’ perfect image of Simone disappears. She will worship her a little less. Simone knows it.

Tess runs down to the wine cellar to grab a bottle of wine for Heather, the one Tess suggested. Simone and Jake suddenly appear. Simone screams at Jake for telling Tess about her affair. She’s deliberately emotionally manipulative to Jake. This is when things begin to unravel for Tess.

Tess grabs the wrong wine bottle for Heather and finds out from Howard himself. It’s a $12,000 mistake. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s so shaken by her error that she falls down the steps in front of the entire restaurant.

Back in Howard’s office, he tells her not to be embarrassed. Will and Simone are also in the office. After Tess leaves to go back to her shift, Howard asks them what they think of Tess.

This is a rare scene where Tess isn’t in it.

Although Will is mad at her, he is honest with his review. She deserves the job because she works hard and is a fast learner. Simone, on the other hand, thinks Howard should let her go. It’s surprising. Was Simone pretending to like Tess this whole time? Or is it because Tess now knows Simone’s secret?

Howard, instead, wants to let Jake go because of his encounter with Sirena’s husband. But Simone knows a secret of Howard’s and attempts to blackmail him.

Tess, feeling defeated, looks around the restaurant. She didn’t know how badly she wanted the job until she thinks she won’t get it. She apologizes to Will for treating him so badly, and they seem to make amends.

In the locker room, as Tess opens her locker, she finds a pink and white striped shirt. She passed her trials! Simone appears to congratulate her but offers her a “be careful” warning. Even though Simone clarifies that she means be careful of the stairs, Tess knows she means be cautious of Jake and of keeping her secret.

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All-in-all, I like Sweetbitter. It’s a solid first season and is more than just a fish-out-of-water story. I think it has a great base to work with and I hope that next season if it gets picked up, films more than just six episodes.

Read my other recaps of Sweetbitter, starting with episode one.