Sweet Tooth Season 3 Review — The Sci-Fi Comic Adaptation Finally Balances Hope with Tragedy

Sweet Tooth Season 3
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One of Netflix’s secret keys to success has been letting shows embrace their darkest elements. The overly managed shows that feel studio-noted to death always seem to fall flat. Yet Sweet Tooth has never really faced that problem. Very few shows can get away with the tone this comic-book adaptation cultivated in Season 1 or Season 2. Placing its story in the apocalypse and having an adult man protect a younger protagonist with special capabilities has rightfully drawn comparisons to The Last of Us. However, there’s something so endearing about Sweet Tooth that by the end of the final season, it has earned a place in Netflix’s Pantheon of great shows.

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Sweet Tooth Season 3 Review

Sweet Tooth Season 3 Plot

After dispatching the evil General Abbot, Gus (Christian Convery) realizes he must journey north. His mother – a scientist named Birdie (Amy Seimetz) – lives in Alaska. To help Gus finish his journey, Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), Wendy (Naledi Murray), and Bear/Becky (Stefania LaVie Owen) accompany the young hybrid. However, some of his foes (Rosalind Chao and Kelly Marie Tran) seek power over Birdie and Gus. Perhaps the biggest wildcard of all, Singh (Adeel Akhtar), tracks Gus so they can reach a mysterious cave together.

Sweet Tooth Season 3

The Critique

While the previous two seasons of Sweet Tooth built off each other like fine wine, Sweet Tooth Season 3 instantly feels different. This largely stems from a total reset of its characters. While Gus, Bear, Wendy, and Jeppard all return, many of the supporting characters with multi-season arcs are gone. Sweet Tooth builds gripping drama around its character this season regardless, but it’s impossible for the show to feel the same with the change in cast and venue. Even more of a road trip season than the previous two, Sweet Tooth puts its characters in a constant state of vigilance and forces them to showcase new levels of resourcefulness.

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However, the new cast provides more ethical and moral dilemmas. The storyline around Akhtar this season is the best material for him yet. Fully broken by the torture and actions, Singh has found a new purpose. Akhtar once again shines, bursting with emotion as he falls deeper and deeper into despair. His monomania has fully consumed him by the time Season 3 begins, and its difficult to know whether we count on the Singh from Season 1 or the Singh from Season 2 to arrive. Akhtar keeps both possibilities a step away at any given moment. Once again, he proves himself the best performer in the cast.

Sweet Tooth

That does not take away from Anozie, who also takes a huge step forward. More physically hampered than in the previous two seasons, Anozie turns “Big Man” into a more introspective character. He knows he’s become a new father for Gus, and his path to realizing how far he’ll go to save him does not take long to unfold. Yet Anozie holds these emotional breakthroughs better than most. You can read the emotion in his eyes, and he crafts another stunning performance this time around.

While Sweet Tooth often campaigns in Children and Teen show categories when available, it’s hard to imagine a darker show in 2024. There are bodies dumped into the ocean, suicide, and immediate trauma from The Sick returning in a more dangerous wave. Tran joins the cast and might have the darkest Point A to Point B storyline the show has ever executed. The appeal, especially with the Amblin-esque designs, remains undeniable. However, the subject matter has few equals in horror.

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The first two seasons were produced and filmed in the aftermath of 2020, but COVID’s influence on Sweet Tooth feels just as relevant today. The way that man fights to assert his dominance over resources, creatures, and especially other humans only further drives home the message. It’s not new to say that humanity’s greatest threat in the apocalypse will be itself. Still, it’s startling to see just how realistic and staggering the actions of a few feel in the context of the series.

Sweet Tooth

Conclusion

While Sweet Tooth changes its cast and its setting, the series lands the plane on the beloved tale. There are many ways in which comic book adaptations can lose their way, but the three-season arc for Sweet Tooth will go down as one of Netflix’s very best shows. With stunning performances, beautiful creations, and tons of practical effects, this is one that we should celebrate today and revisit for years to come.

8/10

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Sweet Tooth returns on June 6, 2024. Fandomwire received all eight episodes of Sweet Tooth Season 3 for review.

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Written by Alan French

Articles Published: 42

Alan French began writing about film and television by covering the awards and Oscar beat in 2016. Since then, he has written hundreds of reviews on film and television. He attends film festivals regularly. He is a Rotten Tomato-approved critic and is on the committee for the Critics Association of Central Florida.