Don’t let anyone spoil Sugar’s big twist for you

A good friend of mine needed three episodes of the Apple TV Plus show Sugar before texting me to say he thought he knew what big twist the series was hiding and that it was “so crazy” that he had “no choice but to respect it.” Intrigued, I dove in Sugar myself, and three episodes later, I came to the exact same conclusion – but I’m not going to share it with you here because you Real have to see it for yourself.

Sugar‘s twist has become a point by some rack leading up to the premiere, with a few critics who reviewed the entire season calling it “disastrous,” among other things. Me? I love a disaster. I also love seeing Colin Farrell driving around in a cool blue roadster and solving a mystery. And those two things are not incompatible.

To be clear, it’s not hard to guess what Sugar creator Mark Protosevich (I am a legend) has its sleeve. The hints start with really big breadcrumbs in episode 1, and they only get bigger until the show abandons all subtlety around the third episode, which has a sequence that basically challenges you to guess what it won’t reveal for several more weeks . It’s also something that’s easy to find online, as many week-to-week viewers have discovered it on Reddit and other platforms, and critics who’ve seen the entire season haven’t been shy about sharing the skinny.

Image: Apple TV Plus

What makes figuring this out even easier is the fact that Sugar is an otherwise mundane noir pastiche, about private detective John Sugar (Farrell), who searches for the missing granddaughter of a legendary Hollywood producer. In such a well-known genre, everything that is unusual – such as the frequent interpolations with scenes from classic cinema, or the flashy editing style, which presents scenes in an impressionistic, overlapping montage of conversations and movements – registers as extremely meaningful.

This was the biggest criticism of the show: it’s not an inventive noir, so the big swerve overwhelms the story. I don’t agree with that, but I also like the rhythms of a noir, of following a detective as he drives through the city looking for answers and only finds more questions, railing against the limits of his masculinity. Whether or not you agree with what Protosevich is glossing over, Sugar pulls off moody noir well – Farrell’s guttural narration accompanies dreamy cinematography for a hypnotic viewing experience, and the central mystery takes plenty of dark turns as Sugar works her way to an answer.

And yet, knowing there’s a twist, and guessing it in real time, was enormous fun, a game that I think everyone should play. You can always Google it yourself, of course, but experiencing a plot twist and reading a summary of it are two very different things, and few recent shows illustrate that better than Sugar.

Plus, once you guess it, you’ll want all your friends to do the same, and that’s where the real fun begins.

Sugar is streaming on Apple TV Plus, with new episodes on Fridays.