‘Sweetbitter’ 1×02 Review: “Now Your Tongue Is Coded”

Sweet. Sour. Salty. Bitter.

Everything in life can be described that way, I guess. It’s not only about your tongue. It’s not only about the taste of things. It’s all so easy and all so complicated, but I guess that’s what makes it Sweetbitter.

New York is a lonely place, but it can also be the place that makes you feel more alive than any place in the world. It’s a strange feeling. A strange place. But no one is learning that more than Tess. Coming to New York is a scary thing. Especially when you come alone and there is nothing to fall back on, but everything to loose.

But maybe that is the beauty of the city and the beauty that we’re finding in Sweetbitter.


Tess is having a night. You think working at a restaurant would be easy, but it never is. There is so much going on around you, the world tugging at your feet, everyone wanting something from you. And when you’re working there, you have no choice but to keep up. She’s having a rough night, but Tess is doing everything that she can to keep up. She’s doing everything that she can to be everything that everyone wants.

It’s the end of the night and there is one table – that one last table that never wants to leave. The world is going on around her and she just wants to be part of it. As she’s polishing off something, Jake is behind the bar and lets all be honest – we’re all drooling over Jake (Tom Sturridge). He’s suave and he’s sexy and he’s that bad boy that you would drop your panties for in a heart beat. Hell, he’s the guy that you’d cheat on whomever you are with for. Cause you just want that boy to put his hands on you in some way – some dirty, filthy, way. Ok, ok… I will shut up now.

Sorry, the pain pill is kicking in, which means I am about to get really damn sassy.

So Will (the guy you marry, not the guy you casually f*ck), tells her that she can go home as soon as she buses her dishes. She’s happy, she’s ready to go home. But she’s also very hungry. So, excuse me as I gagged a little as she’s about to take a bite of food from the trash (but I can not judge – she’s hungry and right now I sound like an asshole so – I am sorry). She gets caught by Howard.

Now, I like Howard. He’s the boss that is quietly intimidating but the boss that you want to impress. He says something when he has something to say. He tells her that she’s not to eat out of the trash and he introduces her to some good food. But before she can take a second bite – the kitchen closes up shop and she heads out.

But that’s not before walking in on Simone and Jake fighting.

Thoughts that go through my head at this moment – if Simone is fucking Jake – he’s dead to me. Why? Because hot guys with bad taste are well… just guys that I can’t find any sort of attractiveness in.

Like a lot of New Yorkers – street meat is the food of choice and she stops to grab some. Only she realizes that she has forgotten her wallet so she heads back to the restaurant and walks in on everyone drinking at the bar.


Tess thinks it’s someones birthday, but she quickly learns that they do this every nights. It’s staff drinks. It’s where they all unwind for a second after spending a long night making others feel better about themselves. She doesn’t know what to order, but leave it to Simone to show up and tell her what she should.


I mean I am not a wine person – but to each their own. They are talking and quite frankly I tuned it out – because listening to Simone speak is like listening to someone take a really loud shit – it’s all stuff you don’t want to see or smell. So when she leaves to walk home with Howard, I am a little bit happy. I don’t have to hear her anymore.

Tess is trying so hard to be friends with her, but like – choose a better one.

Everyone’s left and she’s at the bar when Sasha comes running in, telling her that he needs her. Again – she’s distracted from getting her wallet – which I am annoyed by – cause like – GIRL KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SHIT. But she’s off to Home Bar with them and all she knows is she needs to say four words to some girl.

Turns out Sasha had married someone for a green card and his wife has disappeared. Sophia knows where she is and all she needs to tell her is “Uncle Mark says hi.”

Well, Tess says that she’ll do it – because well, she wants to fit in. A few shots in – she’s found the courage to do it. Four simple words.

Me personally – I am no ones mouth piece. I am speaking for no one. Especially people who aren’t my friends. Yup, nope. Now I like Sasha and I think that he could be a good guy. But right now, he’s a dick. He’s like the worlds biggest asshole. He’s bitter and angry, and though I try not to judge – some Wellbutrin would do him well.


So as Tess is walking over to Sophia – to speak four words that she shouldn’t – Jake spots her. He asks her what shes doing there and all sorts of inappropriate responses come to my mind.

  • I’m here to let you get in my pants.
  • I’m here to get in your pants.
  • I’m here to have you touch me in any way you want.
  • I’m here to put my mouth to work.

You get the point. I make no excuses. Look guys – I am all for being appropriate, but sometimes you just have to go after what you want. There should be no man that intimidates you that much. There should be no man that you can’t have the courage to go after. And frankly – there should always be a hot bad boy in your life.

When Jake grabs her hand to take her to the bar, there was no part of me that wasn’t screaming in excitement. Even she felt that electricity. I felt that electricity. But Tess, poor timid Tess doesn’t know how to open her mouth. She doesn’t know how to just say what she needs to say.

Girl – I hate to break it to you, but he ain’t ever gonna press you up against a wall if you don’t make a move or you know – let down a wall so that someone can get to know you.

I actually feel bad for Tess, because she doesn’t know what to do. But before she can say anything of importance (well – I take that back – we find out Jake and Simone aren’t dating, they grew up together), Sasha comes up and sends her over to Sophia.

Sasha is such a cockblocker.

Here’s the thing that always shocks me about Ella Purnell – I forget how flawless of a performance that she tends to give. She’s strength and vulnerability mixed into one with a side of somehow making you want all of her characters to succeed. You want them to have everything because the way that she portrays herself on the screen is this perfect mix of knowing it’s a character, but getting lost in the storyline.

And you do that when you find out that “Uncle Mark” was Sophia’s old pimp and you scream out for her when Sophia slaps her in the face.

Turns out Sasha was using her as a distraction.


The one thing that you can count on – okay well one of the things – in New York is that there will always be a bridge to cross. It may be a literal bridge, it may be a figurative one – but it’s going to be there.

Tess is livid that she got slapped and Ari comes to save her and rush her into the bathroom. It’s there she kisses Tess and Tess tells her she didn’t like it. Ari talks about bringing the bartender home and how she’s “the one.” Lord, what is it with people and everyone being “the one.” Nope, gonna take more than physical attraction for me.

Tess is on the way out, pissed off that she was lied too and wanting to head home, when William stops her. He gets her ice for her lip and sits down with her. It’s not long before everyone else joins.

William is the kinda guy that you take home to meet the parents and that’s not a bad thing. We all need one of those. But, here’s the thing. I think he likes Tess, but for her – I want her to choose the bad boy. Don’t give a fuck if he’s romancing everyone and anyone.

Shit happens.

I’m not saying that she needs to stay with Jake forever, but I am stuck on the one night – she needs at least one night.

She’s talking to everyone and we see a little insight to who she is and I am thankful that she let her guard down for a second. That’s always a start to making friends. She needs them.

When leaving she see’s Jake making out with the bartender in a hallway and she can’t look away. We all know that she wishes that was her. But girl – DO NOT STARE. Go home and have your fantasies. That shit is not made for public consumption.

Here’s the thing that happened in this episode – Tess built bridges. She started letting people into her life, which is essential. New York is a sweet, salty, sour, and bitter place.

You can’t do it alone.


  • Tess puking on the bridge made me gag.
  • I can’t believe Tess went back to the food truck. Sorry, in a state of shock – cause no one goes back to be like sorry can’t find my wallet.
  • Lord, what the fuck is Simone’s agenda. That bitch is up to no good.
  • I want to learn more about Tess’s backstory. I have a feeling that may be super important. Hell it is to everyone.
  • I am starting to like William and want to see more of him.

Sweetbitter airs Sunday on Starz.



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