Sugar Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Friends You Keep


Thank God for the John Sugars and Harry Vanderspiegels who visit our world.

They make up for the rest of the observers whose observation is worse than action.

Just like Harry on Resident Alien, Sugar’s emerging humanity is one of the best things about him.

Violence isn’t the answer, and he knows it. But now he knows what even peaceful nations have long known — to maintain peace, you must make threats, and if peace is disturbed, you must carry through on them.

For a full Sugar Season 1 Episode 7 recap, click that link. It dives into the details, as usual.

As much as John doesn’t want to lose his essence, he has discovered beauty in humanity, realizing that embracing some of what makes them worth observing isn’t such a bad thing.

His connection to Melanie drives that line of thinking. In all his time on earth, he’s never felt the need to share his secret, but with Melanie, it almost hurts to keep it.

With Miller hunting him down, it’s not hard to imagine that John will come to a crossroads with his own people that pits him against them to protect her.

Discovering that those he trusts most in the universe have been protecting a monster who commits vile acts against humans is a tough pill to swallow.

Losing his sister sparked something in Sugar that made his time on earth the antithesis of the others on the same journey. He has been forced to act and to think how far away his friends have looked while Olivia was held hostage will gut him.

John Sugar is a sponge, soaking up the human experience and using it alongside everything he’s gone through in his own life. It’s a remarkable display of compassion and empathy.

Olivia’s own family couldn’t manage that. They were so invested in Davy that until she failed to appear at her brother’s funeral, they couldn’t believe that she was in any real danger.

The irony is that they knew how Davy put women into similar situations but couldn’t connect the dots to his sister. They were wearing blinders that have now come off.

Whether they’ll be able to put all the pieces together if John is successful in saving Olivia remains to be seen.

John’s in a pretty precarious position with the senator’s son dead and his crew ready to jump ship and get the hell out of dodge.

You have to wonder how much his pals knew about what this guy was doing and how long they let it continue.

The Siegel family is as powerful as a senator, maybe more so given their time in the spotlight.

Did Sugar’s gang choose the lesser of two evils to keep the senator’s secret hidden at the expense of the Siegels? That was a pretty wicked setup in the basement. How much have they observed down there?

It makes your skin crawl to think about it.

I hope they let Olivia rot only because her family was so eager to do the same.

The most disgusting thing about this particular story is how two families protected sons who abused women.

I belong to a Facebook group that recently discussed the “man or the bear” meme that has been going around.

It’s a simple question with a simple answer that has been quite divisive. Would you rather be alone in the woods with a man or a bear? Most women (seven out of eight, to be exact) prefer the bear. Many men agree with them.

That has sent men (and some women) into a tailspin.

Why would women prefer to be with a bear? In my opinion, which matches those seven out of eight, it’s because you know what to expect from the bear.

With a man, you never know what’s lurking underneath. He could seem sweet and then pop you in the face. He could be charming and then sexually assault you. Sure, he could be sweet and charming and a very good man, too. But why take the chance?

A bear is a bear is a bear. There aren’t any games to be played.

“The Friends You Keep” proves that, as does much of the entertainment on TV and repeated stories in the news of real women who find themselves trapped by monsters.

In a response to his first post, TikTokker callmebkbk went so far as to say if you’re alone in the woods, seeing a man is ten times scarier than seeing a bear.

Is that harsh? Not when what you see reflects that belief time and again.

That we repeatedly find these same stories in real life and fiction proves he’s right. In this fictional take, an entire group of aliens is more fearful of what a man can do if they’re discovered than what they can do if they’re allowed to protect themselves and the women men are harming. Unbelievable.

Yeah, that was a bit of a tangent, but it’s worth pointing out when the world and our pleasure collide like that. Maybe it will start a discussion.

We’ve got one episode left. Who can be trusted? Is Olivia alive?

Will John tell Melanie his secret?

Ladies, would you rather find yourself alone in the woods with a man or a bear?

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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