‘Sweetbitter’ 2×04: Figuring Out What You Like Is A Bitch

New York.

I think in a place that is always on the go and our need for a break from the chaos sometimes, we become overwhelmed by New York. But you have to take a moment and find the way to breathe. However you find that, whatever you find it in, there is nothing wrong with that. Well – unless it is illegal – but we all know that.

I once heard that New York is the place where people live to work. That it’s a city of dreamers who are ready to work their asses off to achieve whatever it is that they need to, because they refuse to fail. I think to a certain point, I find the truth in that. I find the strength in that.

I believe in that. But I also believe that it’s a world that we all find strength in, because in those moments. You only pray that when you come to New York, you don’t loose the optimism that New York can bring.

And maybe that’s why I love Tess on Sweetbitter so much. Because in her heart that optimism; that vulnerability – it’s all still there.

Every week on Sweetbitter is a ride. To some it may be a boring one, because they don’t understand New York in a way. I don’t know, maybe I am overthinking and at the same moment I may not be thinking enough.


We’ve all – well most of us – have been in that position that we have to fake an “O”. It’s life. Not every time is gonna have you screaming YES, YES, YES! Most of the time you’re gonna be like UGH. It’s unfair that a woman doesn’t get off every time. (Don’t at me). Sometimes faking pleasure is fucking important.

But guys – well they take that shit as somewhat of an insult. It’s not about you dude.

Tess is having to fake the big “O” with Omar and she’s not too good at it. Girl, not every single time is gonna make the back arch, or your toes curl. And I’m sure that a lot of dudes know when we’re faking.

The awkward sex makes Tess humiliated. Omar doesn’t want to see her again.

You’re better off Tess. BETTER OFF.


Sasha is really – well, overall he’s kind of a dick. If we’re all being honest here – he’s a dick. Sure, it’s just part of his personality. Actually I would call it a defense mechanism. He’s in a strange place, far away from home, with the reality that he can never go back to Russia.

So whatever happens there, will happen. When the good happens, he can’t be there. When the bad happens, he can’t be there. And he’s got someone that he loves back in Russia who is in a coma, and he can’t be there.

I don’t know about all of you, but when I am hurting, I shut the fuck down. I don’t allow people to get to know just how vulnerable, hurt, weak, and strong I can be. I deal with shit by making jokes, by secluding myself from the world. I deal with shit by myself. So I get Sasha not showing up to work.

I get him being in the dark and sleeping.

I get him hurting on his own.

But I also admire people like Tess, who REFUSE to not be there for their friend. And I love it. I admire the fact that she hasn’t lost that vulnerable, kind, and loving side of her.


I don’t like Jake, but yet I do. I don’t like the fact he’s so aloof and so like cruel, but I also don’t know enough about him. I feel like we’re all – in our lives – attracted to the bad guy and the bad guy in life isn’t always bad. He’s just misunderstood.

But Jake and Simone’s relationship scares the fuck out of me. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown. Maybe it’s the craziness of it. But Jake seems to be controlled by Simone and I think that he is as wishy washy pain in the ass as he is, because of Simone.

But I digress.

I don’t know if Jake is like aware of what a douche he is at sometimes. But you can see it in his eyes that he really does like Tess. He wants to be there for Tess. But he can’t be.

Part of me thinks that he doesn’t know how to let her in and that he’s fucking everything known to mankind because well – that’s the only way he knows how to love. He’s searching for something. We know that his Mom drowned (and we find out in this episode that she did it on purpose) so one can only assume the hurt and pain that he always feels.

After Jake was such a dick to Tess, he owed her an apology. And he admitted it the last episode. You can literally see the pain in his eyes and that breaks my heart for both of them and that look carries over into my mind for this episode.

But just when I have given up on Jake, you see that he wants to do better. So when Tess says that she’s going to check on Sasha and he says he’s gonna come with? Well my heart explodes, because there is something redeemable about him.

And the way he handles Sasha, and helps him through it – for a moment my heart moves past hating him. I feel for him. I want to protect him.

I think Jake just needs someone to love him, but not judge him. And he’s gotta see that he’s worthy of that.


So Heather is serving a table and they tell her that she’s exquisite. He asks if she’s mixed with Italian and she just agrees.

Tess, when they are back in the kitchen, remarks that she didn’t know she was mixed and Heather tells her she’s not. That people think that because she’s beautiful, that she has to be mixed with something to be beautiful. It’s offensive.

Heather is an African-American woman. She is beautiful. Heather tells Tess that she is not mixed with anything. She is black and black is not equated with beauty so people assume. Tess asks if that makes her mad. Of course it does, but Heather doesn’t really see any other way, as she’s making money and surviving.

And I cry for her. I can’t even begin to understand what that is like.

When Simon calls for their food to be picked up, Tess says she should spit in it. Howard overhears and through a conversation she tells him that they said something offensive to Heather.

Now, I think that Howard is a dick. I do. But I even started to like him for a second when he asked Heather if she wanted him to kick out the table. Sure, Heather went off on Tess, but I think even she knows Tess didn’t have any bad intentions.


So we all remember Becky? The girl Howard is cheating on his wife with? The waitress that went nuts and had to be “transferred” by Howard?

The one he claims to not be fucking, but still is.

Tess runs into her and Becky talks about the shit she knows that is still going on at the restaurant. When Tess is at the restaurant, she mentions to Heather that she didn’t know that her and Becky still talked. Heather says they don’t and it doesn’t take long before Tess puts two and two together.

She tells Simone that she thinks that Howard is still sleeping with Becky.

There is a war of whose dick is bigger between Howard and Simone, so of course she uses this opportunity. It leads to Howard confronting Becky to not tell anyone and she finally tells him off.

Howard looks strung out – like he’s looking for another vagina fix and can’t get it. He’s straight up CRAZY.


So in an effort to play the war of whose dick is bigger, Howard tells Simone that he’s thinking of adding her ex-husband’s champagne to the menu. That’s right people – SIMONE WAS MARRIED. 

She doesn’t want to talk about it. Maybe that’s what fucked her up and made her insane.

The champagne was her idea, she cultivated it. But you know, divorce – you loose some shit in it.

A vulnerable moment from Simone – I don’t know how to feel about it. But I’ll take it.


  • Will and Tess belong together. Not forever, but for right now.
  • Simone is still creepy AF.
  • Howard is a gross gross man.
  • I want more time with the kitchen staff. They could bring something to this whole thing.

Sweetbitter airs Sunday’s on Starz.

1 Comment

  1. Binging the series now and went looking for someone else’s take on this explosive episode. I’m not so nearly as harsh in my take on acts/motivations in the episode as you are, but your sensibilities are spot on! Wish I were commenting contemporaneously to the first broadcast; I have a lot to add. Old news now …

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