Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Simone's

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I've acquired a taste for the sweet moments that seem to be inevitably followed by the bitter ones.

This show is so quietly captivating and savory. It truly feels like we're becoming more cultured with every episode. 

On Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4, we get another 22-minute peek into Tess's quietly chaotic life. Simone and Jake seem to have a ying-yang situation going on, and the mystery shrouded around them is mesmerizing. 

Proximity: Jake and Tess  - Sweetbitter

During this episode, we find out a lot.

Jake and Simone's relationship gets illuminated a little bit, giving things an interesting edge.

Simone shares all the secrets, and the biggest one is that he had to move in with Simone when Jake's mother died at a young age. Simone says she has been looking out for him ever since.

With that information, it seems like Simone and Jake have a maternal sort of relationship, but Simone and Jake's chemistry says differently.

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It's easy to see that they have a long history together, but their interactions with one another don't seem anything close to platonic.

This new insight also gives Simone and Tess's relationship an interesting twist. Simone has always seemed to be mother or big-sister like. She's a constant fountain of confidence, poise, and wisdom. So, how deeply Tess seems to admire Simone is understandable.

Tess Sips Wine - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

But now that we know Tess and Jake didn't have mothers in their lives, Simone's ability to fall into that role so easily with them and manipulate them in that way appears to be almost predatory. 

Tess: I don’t have a mother.
Simone: I know.

Just like with every time Simone smiles, the whole time Tess and Simone had their conversation in the tub I could hear Will's words echoing in my head, "She's not your friend."

Simone has guy trouble: normal.

Simone ignores phone calls and hates the surprise flowers the guy sends: normal.

Tess at Simone's - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

The cold way Simone turned off all of her warmth toward Tess: not normal.

It was eerie how she was still as polite as ever, but something suddenly seemed to be missing in her demeanor. It was easy to hate Simone for making Tess cry, but why could you hate her?

She told Tess she could come back, she smiled at her, and she never told her she had to leave. However, everything Simone didn't say seemed louder than her actions.

Simone at Her Apartment - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

Tess had felt a deep connection with her at her apartment. When Simone opened herself up, you can tell Tess got more comfortable too. She began voicing her opinions without prompting and engaging someone in extended dialogue. 

It was exciting to see more of Tess's personality shine through, so it was even more devasting when she ran back home in tears.

Thank God for the restaurant crew that came to the rescue!

Sasha and Ari laugh together - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

Will didn't seem happy to see Tess, but he's allowed his space after he realized his feelings were unrequited.

I appreciate that he didn't make a thing out of Tess hanging with the group because the way the last episode ended with Tess alone at the bar seemed like it could be foreshadowing loneliness for her.

Related: Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Everyone Is Soigné

Some of my favorite parts of this show come from the times when the group all sit around a table or a booth and just talk.

Heather makes honest conversation, Ari quips with sarcasm, and Sasha adds a bit of dark humor. Scott's personality falls closer to dry humor than anything, and usually, his jokes get the most laughs out of me.

Sasha, Ari, Heather, Scott, and Becky talk - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

However, we had a new addition to the group tonight that we don't know much about, the hostess Becky. We've only seen her a few times up until now.

Tess hasn't had any long interactions with her, so it's hard to get a dial on her personality. All we know is she's always looking for a reason to talk to Howard. 

Heather: I had another sex dream about Howard last night.
Ari: Dreams are boring.
Sasha: You know, you are never going to fuck Howard, right?
Heather: Uh, why not? His wife died like 3 years ago. It’s time to move on, okay?
Scott: Jesus.

Who knows. Maybe she's new to the restaurant and Tess may find a certain camaraderie with her soon if Simone and Jake ever stop pulling her in opposite directions.

Related: Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Now Your Tongue Is Coded

Although Tess mostly seeks out her interactions with them, they always actively engage her and seek out her company later. 

I'm not going to lie -- I didn't expect Tess to tell Jake not to go to Cape Cod with Simone. Tess knows Simone has been begging Jake to go.

I think that home is the past. Who wants to visit the past?


Tess is interested in Jake but you can tell Jake's attachment to Simone gives her pause. And, because of this, she wants to see if Jake will ever choose to be with her over Simone.

A lot of her bold moves and that kiss -- oh my gosh, THAT KISS -- was such an exciting surprise. Jake makes her spontaneous, and she feels more connected to him now that she knows he didn't grow up with his mother either.

Jake and Tess Flirt - Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4

It would be insane to see what would happen if Tess and Jake did date. Simone seems almost territorial of him, and her warning to Tess seemed very ominous.

To add even more confusion to the situation, her bipolar behavior later makes it hard to interpret her intentions with her warning of Jake.

If we think her cold side is her true side and we heed Will's warning, then Simone's advice seems more manipulative and vindictive than anything.

However, if we think her warm side if her true side then maybe Jake will be the beautiful disaster that blows Tess's world to pieces, but isn't that the promise he's selling her anyway?

Some men like to pretend they're damaged and dangerous for the effect but some men actually are. And they won’t just be a cool story for later.

He's the bad boy without a care in the world, and that attracts Tess because usually, she goes for the grounded and polite ones.

A part of Tess likes Jake because of all the things Simone warns her against, and a part of Simone knows that. So, maybe that's why she grows cold toward Tess at the end of the episode. She knows Tess will be her adversary for Jake's affections.

I truly hope not. I absolutely hate when women battle over men like we can't both be powerful and loved for our own reasons. 

This episode was very interesting and full of so much scaffold-building information you can bet they're going to pile on the action and drama for the next episode. There's always quiet before the storm, and something tells me a huge storm will be heading Tess's way. 

Will it be in the form of Jake? Simone? Or maybe one of our favorite trio Sasha, Heather, and Ari? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

If you haven't watched the first three episodes yet, catch up on this captivating series by watching Sweetbitter online at TV Fanatic.

Simone's Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Candice Horde was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in July 2018.

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Sweetbitter Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Everything that’s born into this world comes into its very own climate, soil, and time of year, and the idea with wine is that you can taste the terroir.


I laid eyes on this tub 16 years ago and I immediately saw my life. [...] I had to live a life worthy of it.