‘Sugar’s absolutely wild twist, explained


A man in a suit drives in an open top car at night.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Sugar is your run-of-the-mill type crime show, because up until the end of episode 6 that’s exactly what it is.

John Sugar (Colin Farrell) has spent the season so far on the trail of missing influencer Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler), the granddaughter of powerful Hollywood producer Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell). There’s mystery, there’s red herrings, and there’s the LA criminal underbelly. There’s Farrell’s gravelly-voiced narration. All pretty standard ingredients for a neo-noir missing person thriller.

But then, right at the end of episode 6, things appear to go completely off the rails. So what exactly happened, and what does it all mean? Let’s dive in.

What’s Sugar about?

The eponymous Sugar is a kind of James Bond-type character, a private investigator who specialises in tracking down the missing. Driven by memories of his own sister, Sugar has been hell-bent this season on finding Olivia, whose brother David (Nate Corddry) is caught up in some shady business with human traffickers.

Sugar is assigned jobs by his boss/friend Ruby (Kirby), who seems particularly reluctant for him to take on this particular case. And the more digging he does, the messier things get.

What happens at the end of episode 6?

After a violent confrontation with highly unpleasant human trafficker Stallings (Eric Lange), Sugar goes to his friend Melanie (Amy Ryan) for help. He then gets patched up by his colleague Henry (Jason Butler Harner), and after waking goes to confront Ruby about tipping Stallings off.

Finally heading back to stay with Melanie again after a long day, Sugar is looking the worse for wear.

“Maybe tonight, maybe it’s OK to take a little break,” murmurs Sugar’s overhead narration as he goes into the bathroom, shuts the door, and pushes a syringe into his own neck. “Just a tiny little break. Just for tonight. Go home. Go home.”

Then, without warning, he turns blue. Yes, blue. His hair slowly disappears, strange markings appear on his head, and he basically turns into a less-pointy-eared Na’vi from Avatar before our very eyes. The end credits roll.

What in the sweet hell did we just watch?

Is Sugar an alien?

Unless the ending of episode 6 is some kind of weird dream or hallucination, it certainly seems that way, doesn’t it?

And actually, when you think about it, maybe the clues have been there all along: the fact that Sugar is seemingly never afraid for his own safety; the fact he appears to block a bullet in episode 6 with his bare hands; the way he calms down those two angry Dobermans so easily; the weird private club that he’s a part of at Ruby’s house.

If we go back earlier in the episode, there’s another big clue. When Sugar is injured and being treated by Henry, there’s a shot of a bag of “blood” Henry takes from his case. But is that stuff really human blood? A second viewing shows what appear to be dots of light floating through the substance, and the bag itself has a symbol on it that looks alien in origin.

We’ll have to wait until next week to find out what the heck is going on, but all signs are pointing to the sudden — and very jarring — arrival of extra-terrestrials in our previously quite standard crime show.

How to watch: Sugar is streaming now on Apple TV+, with new episodes streaming every week.

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