Sugar: Farewell
May 17, 2024 8:58 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A shocking realization points Sugar toward a discovery that changes everything.

"Grace and sensitivity, to the end."

Vertigo and relapse averted. Miller gets pulled over. Car 33 calls in a 1-54. Interplanetary removal boxes. Writing until the end. Torture porncast episode #44. Unhelpful condolences. Chinatown family dynamics. Wiley eats his body weight in pork chops. Sugar shares his perspective. Henry Thorpe goes rogue. Watch out for sharks. Farewells in a boneyard.
posted by Molesome (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This was missing the clip of Jules Winnfield's line from Pulp Fiction about walking the Earth like Caine in Kung Fu.

I too am now diappointed to find out that there was no there there.
posted by Molesome at 9:03 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]

I liked it. I now need to find a list of all the old movies referenced and watch them before season 2 starts.
posted by night_train at 11:51 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]

Yes, it grew on me. I would watch more.
posted by kingless at 12:03 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]

I was a little bit disappointed by the serial killer in the basement thing of the previous episode and I thought this finale redeemed that by the reveal that Henry was involved. It raised some interesting points about the whole idea of the neutral observer. After a point, I think if you are observing an atrocity and not intervening, you are complicit*. That’s not necessarily a very controversial opinion at this point; though. Pretty sure there was no research ethics board that approved the aliens’ project on Earth.

I liked the choice not to show what Sugar allows Melanie to see. We just see that she sees something and it’s very moving. Also, “We’re not allowed to show humans”—but he showed the dog, right?

*And obviously Henry was not just a disinterested observer, but actually started to enjoy the torture he witnessed.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:07 PM on May 17 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I could really go for a second season of that. Especially if he teams up with Melanie again and keeps in contact with home via the quantum-entangled typewriters.

Because then it won’t be a laugh-trackless ‘Dream On’ as I mentioned a couple episodes ago. It’ll be a laugh-trackless ‘Mork and Mindy’.
posted by MarchHare at 4:15 AM on May 18 [4 favorites]

I really enjoyed this. The pacing, the cinematography, the noir voiceovers. I really, really loved how gentle and caring Sugar was...until he wasn't. I hope a second season is coming.
posted by cooker girl at 8:29 AM on May 18 [4 favorites]

i guess in the end the alien thing kind of works. there's really only one other possible explanation for the existence of such a creature as sugar, not just his ability to block bullets but his kind of buddha nature, perfect level of tact, and unthinking love of humanity, and that's if he was an angel. i dunno if that would've been worse. in the end though i think it would've been improved if it was left ambiguous until the end whether he was in fact an alien or some kind of warrior monk, or maybe a time traveller, or just a dream.
posted by dis_integration at 7:35 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]

I agree that holding the reveal until this episode, or perhaps leaving it ambiguous, would’ve been better but I’m generally happy with how it ended.

If it were to continue, I’m not sure if I’d want Ruby or Melanie back to help his hunt. I think it’d be more interesting for Sugar to have to tackle that without his trusted support people. That said, I don't think I’d be happy for it to track towards Dr Who with a new companion each season.
posted by d-no at 5:39 AM on May 19

Another reason not to drive a Tesla...
posted by Naberius at 7:55 AM on May 19

I dunno, I'm conflicted about this show. I feel like it never quite managed to hit the tone it was going for, but partly I'm confused about what tone it thought it was going for. Sugar's reference points are all noirs and neo-noirs, but his dog-lovin', homeless-money-givin' character is much too angelic to ever credibly appear in one of those. Meanwhile the present-day case he's solving really has more in common with late 90's serial killer flicks and straight-to-video human trafficking exploitation movies, despite all of its callbacks to Chinatown and The Big Sleep.

I also didn't feel like they developed the character of Henry enough to feel much of a shock when he took his heel turn at the end. He shows up at the party and they seem pretty tight, and I guess he stitches Sugar up that one time, but besides that they're barely on screen together, and because the show is playing it so coy with the alien thing, they can't really have Sugar and Henry talk about their shared bond as people isolated in a strange place, their different perspectives on humankind, etc.
posted by whir at 7:36 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]

It ended up feeling like a prequel or origin story of a holmes/moriarty or good alien/bad alien kind of thing. Like okay, we've established Surf Dracula and now we can settle down into the real case-of-the-week kind of show; that was the vibe of it.

The dialogue is pretty bad. In earlier episodes it was covered by mystery but with those gone it's just awkward, especially in the Ruby scenes. The writing isn't up to the task.
posted by fleacircus at 11:01 PM on May 20

I had a good time with it and looked forward to each episode. The big twist didn't bother me as much as it has others, I think doing something weird with a show arc is rarely greenlit, so I'm for it. I thought Colin Farrell in particular made the show. He struck such an interesting tone. "All grace and sensitivity, to the end." indeed.

I did not understand what the point of offing Miller was. Maybe to setup that he's going to be "hunted" in the next season? That part made no sense to me.

Love the actress that played Ruby (she was great in late seasons of The Good Place), but really did not enjoy her character. She was only ambiguously on Sugar's side, but then they didn't explain her backstory in a way that made you understand her motivations. At least not to my satisfaction.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:36 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this, albeit I didn't enjoy the serial killer turn and that Henry (who didn't get much development) turns out to be one and probably kidnapped/killed Djen. (Why the silent D? It annoys me.) John and Melanie continue to be adorable, I hope they continue to be some kind of pair.

They really did need to do more with the whole alien concept, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:46 PM on May 23

and that's if he was an angel. thank god he wasn't an angel, I was worrying that because the only really successful angels in modern movies are in "Himmel über Berlin" and maybe "Constantine." Otherwise they turn into mawkish do-gooders, instead of melancholic supra-moral beings watching the humans running around being human. Which I guess is kinda what Sugar is. And I can work with that, as long as he doesn't get too ... "cool alien"

Season 2 could really as easily suck as it could be a success, that is, maintaining the ambiguity and nebulousness of the first couple episodes. And if Sugar could be less overtly "I like humans!"
posted by From Bklyn at 6:33 AM on May 26

Yeah, I'm sort of conflicted about it. On the one hand, I'd have grumbled that it was bullshit if they didn't answer how he managed to get stabbed with a 10" knife and lived (that fucker had to have been tickling his spine, y'know?), on the other hand a society of aliens living among us and observing us is a great set up! Which they mostly seem to have thrown away by having that society depart.

But, would I watch additional seasons of the John Sugar tracks down aberrant aliens abusing humanity show? Sure, although I'm not sure it would have the same kick without the mysterious backing organization that can get him information and set up his backstories and whatever.

And was it just me or did the politician's son's eyes light up a little Alien Blue during his monologues?
posted by Kyol at 7:54 AM on May 31

Having plowed through all the episodes pretty quickly, I now feel kind of like all of season 1 was mostly long-form exposition to set the stage for season 2. OK, so there are aliens observing us, and two of them have gone native. One was already evil and is getting tips on being more evil from the worst of humanity. One was already good and feels a need to save humanity from the evil one to compensate for his guilt at not saving his sister.

They could have squeezed that into, oh, 2 hours of programming. I enjoyed the ride but it does feel a bit hollow in hindsight. That sets up season 2 for a few standard plot lines: cat-and-mouse, conflict between Sugar and the folks back home, introduction of a new third threat.

I liked the film noir clips, but kept expecting them to foreshadow something in the plot. Like "Oh, that's Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity. Does that mean Sugar is going to be manipulated into murdering someone for a femme fatale?" I don't think those clips ever really foreshadowed anything.
posted by adamrice at 8:32 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]

And was it just me or did the politician's son's eyes light up a little Alien Blue during his monologues?

I thought so, too!
posted by cooker girl at 8:19 AM on June 1

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