Sweetbitter Episode 4 Review: Not enough of Simone
It is Tess's day off and it isn't the best thing for a lonely girl. She tries to make the most of it and with all her emotional journey throughout the day manages a kiss from Jake
Episode four of Starz's 'Sweetbitter' was just more of what we already know- the intense sexual tension between Tess and Jake. The episode is a close look at Tess's mysterious mentor Simone and her complicated suspenseful life.
The episode is titled 'Simone's'.
The episode starts with the young protagonist Tess, played by Ella Purnell, dreaming about her bad boy crush Jake, played by Tom Sturridge, taking her out on a hot date at the restaurant they both work at, and while their colleagues serve them, the couple burst into a flaming make-out session in the public.
With all the moans and wet kisses, Tess wakes up on her bed, of course, smitten by the dream.
The good thing about the morning is that she does not have to dress to go to work. It is her day off. But is it a good thing to have a day off when you're alone and lonely in New York City?
Tess shakes off her fantasy and her dream and dons her jeans jacket and decides to go to Metropolitan Museum Of Art but on her way, bumps into an old school friend and her mother from her hometown, who kill her mood instead by just emphasizing how Tess could move to New York all by herself.
At this point, we learn that Tess was raised by her father and her mother had passed away a long time ago.
So off she heads to a French restaurant downtown to pour herself a good glass of wine, a Merlot, and tries to lift her sodden mood.
Sweetbitter is all about exploring the varieties of wine and an enlightening insight into the culinary work experience. The love plot revolves around it, so don't be surprised if there's more than just one glass of wine in the episode, because number four has more: a champagne!
On her day off, Tess just randomly decides to go to Simone's house with an excuse to borrow some wine books. Simone, played by Caitlin FitzGerald, is Tess's senior who knows all the intricate details about wines, so Tess looks up to her and adores her. When Simone opens the door and sees Tess, she's surprised a bit confused, but so are we.
After an internal deliberation, Simone invites Tess inside her apartment, which isn't as luxurious as one may have thought after knowing Simone, but is a room full of finer things in life, including a bathtub right at the center.
The bathtub is fully functional and there stands a book on Virginia Woolf. We need to talk more about the tub, because many agree that it was such a cool thing to have in a kitchen and something you would and wouldn't expect from someone as sophisticated as Simone.
Simone tells Tess that the tub was her inspiration all through her life and she hasn't let her landlord renovate the bathtub because in her words; ”I had to live a life worthy of the bathtub.”
Tess is fascinated by Simone even more and both relish a sandwich made by Simone because Tess isn't a pro in the kitchen, even when it comes to cutting tomatoes.
But Simone may have warmed up towards Tess and decides to open a bottle of Champagne from the French region of Champagne.
Two of them exchange stories but there's more information pouring from Simone's side and we learn that Simone lived in France, which explains a part of her vast knowledge on wines and the other half is explained by the vintage collection of books she has lying around her studio apartment.
In this leisurely afternoon, we sense Simone beaming a lot of maternal warmth towards Tess but at the same time, she refrains from telling too much, after all she's Simone.
Tess asks if she can sit in the waterless tub because she's fascinated and she learns that Jake helped Simone fix the shower head. Tess longingly looks up to the shower head.
Simone, gently warns Tess that Jake isn't good for her. “New York is never a mistake. Jake, however, is,” she says, as if Tess's mind is an open book for her.
“Some men like to pretend that they’re damaged and dangerous for the effect. But some men actually are, and they won’t just be a cool story for later,” she adds.
Jake's mysterious story is also revealed to an extent as Simone packs for a quick getaway to Cape Cod to clear out her family home and put it up for sale. Simone shares that Jake was her neighbor but he moved in with her family when he was 8 years old after his mother passed away. Tess asks if that made Simone more like his second mother, and she agrees that she is. Tess is heartbroken to learn that he lost his mother and she keeps repeating it. Note that this is the same episode where we learnt Tess had lost her mother too.
However, it still isn't very clear if Simone and Jake have any sexual relationship because that was indicated in the earlier episodes. There clearly is some kind of possessiveness coming from Simone and it is highly likely that there is a love triangle.
Another added mystery to mysterious Simone comes in a pretty bouquet of flowers. Simone doesn't read the envelope and isn't too impressed. When Tess asks who is it from, she nonchalantly replies that it is “from a man who thinks he can have everything he wants.”
To lighten up the mood, a rather tipsy Tess straight up rips off the peonies and hydrangeas and sprinkles the petals as confetti.
Simone joins in and laughs a bit but is instantly hit by a thought and she gets back to being her uptight self.
Tess goes back to the waterless luxury tub and falls asleep in an instant. When she wakes up, she sees Simone all dressed up in a black dress for the night. It is already 6 pm and time for Tess to leave her fancy time in Simone's apartment. There isn't any more warmth in the air and Tess puts on her denim jacket and heads home. She cannot sleep on her bed and her loneliness is magnified to the sound of chatters from her neighborhood. So she sets out again, now to a place where people know her, her workplace.
She meets her colleagues and pretends that she was just passing by the neighborhood and agrees to go for some late-night Szechuan food. In an awkward encounter, Will, who Tess hooked up with before, decides to back out from the plan after Tess is invited. Jake shows up and sits beside Tess. And in a sly move, places a pack of cigarettes on her lap and loudly asks her if he can bum a cigarette from her.
Tess plays along and goes outside for a smoke with him where she drags a puff or two. Then within moments, Jake turns to passionately kiss Tess and as we know, her dream has come true.
He lifts her against the wall and kisses her so hard that she keeps touching her lips even after the kiss is over. He fixes a date with her the next night after he comes back from a Cape Cod trip with Simone.
Not sure if he's being a f**kboy and that someone as innocent as Tess is meant to fall in love with him but we still don't know why there were images of sand and beach and sex when Tess and Jake had their first physical contact.
The show has some serious explaining to do.