Season 1 Episode 1
Out of the Deep Woods
Growing up in a remote forest cabin with his dad, Gus learns lessons about survival and the dangers that lurk beyond the fence to the outside world.
A global pandemic is wiping out people all over the world and a doctor finds himself powerless to deal with the increased number of sick people popping up. Things get more hectic when the increased cases lead to a stranger phenomenon of children being born with animal features. The beginning of the episode does a great job of introducing the conflicts that the characters will face and the parallel stories that will motivate their actions.
The children born during the plague are called Hybrids and these hybrid children are seen as a threat by many. Fearing what will happen to his son, a man moves into the deep woods with his infant Gus and proceeds to live off the grid raising him to avoid humanity and live off the land. Will Forte does an amazing job as Gus’ father throughout the episode. There is a darkness to him, but he is intensely devoted to protecting his son, even from the truth of the world.
As time goes by and Gus gets older, he and his father clash over the truth, the world and why they live the way they do. The secrets he is keeping from the boy even lead him to believe that a doe who lives in the area is his mother because Gus has antlers and deer ears. There are some intense and poignant moments between the two of them and that allows the audience to feel the fear they both feel when the outside world encroaches on their lives.
In the wake of a tragic sacrifice, Gus is alone and trying to piece together the truth about his existence. After finding certain clues, the boy creates a mythology about his mother and sets out to find her only to find himself face to face with the dark parts of the world that his father fought to protect him from. A mysterious man emerges and might be the boy’s salvation, but you get the feeling he has secrets of his own.
The first episode of Sweet Tooth does a brilliant job of creating and cultivating its world for the viewer. You become immersed in the story through the eyes of the characters, especially Gus, and there is an emotional connection to him that resonates and makes the episode engaging. I’m anxious to see what happens next for Gus as he ventures out into an unknown world.