Goodbyes are never easy, especially not when they’re to something as delicious as Netflix’s Sweet Tooth. Based on comic books by Jeff Lemire, the adventure series unveiled its third season in June 2024, catching us up on Gus’ (Christian Convery) latest adventures with friends like Big Man (Nonsa Anozie), Wendy (Naledi Murray) and Becky (Stefania LaVie Owens). Since making a 2021 debut, the fantasy drama has brightened the lives of millions of viewers, though the latest episodes aren’t easy to watch.

Like in past seasons, some beloved characters make their final departure in season 3, but not before making profound realizations and fighting for what they love most. Now that you’ve had some time to digest the Netflix Original’s third installment, allow us to remind you of anything important you might’ve missed in our Sweet Tooth ending explained below.

Who Dies in ‘Sweet Tooth’ Season 3?

'Sweet Tooth' Ending Explained pictured: Nonso Anozie
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)


In earlier seasons of Sweet Tooth, the origin story of the Sick isn’t clearly revealed as characters are in the middle of battling the illness that’s been killing mankind. Gus is eager to learn more about his role in the Sick’s arrival on Earth so he, Wendy, Becky and Big Man set off for Alaska. On the way they run into Dr. Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar), who claims to have the information they’re after while facing attacks from Helen Zhang, who wants to clear the planet of other human-animal hybrids like Gus.

Season three contains flashbacks to where the Sick came from, making it clear that Gus isn’t the first of his kind. Rather, a member of the late Captain James Thacker’s crew fathered a half-caribou half-boy child named Munaq. Birdie and her son run into the subhuman creature as he saves them from the predatory wolf children of Zhang’s daughter, Rosie. Munaq winds up seriously injured during his heroic act but has enough energy to share that the Sick was never meant to have a cure. Rather, hybrids like him and Gus were meant to be a cure for humanity. Before his death, Munaq refuses to give Gus the location of the cave they’re seeking, but a walrus tusk luckily allows them to locate it thanks to carvings previously made by Munaq’s mother.


Sweet Tooth fans were grateful that Gus made it out of the final episode alive, but our young protagonist faced his share of loss while exploring Alaska. His mother, Birdie, was killed by Singh in a stabbing taking place during the infamous cave scene. Though the doctor was just on the protagonist’s side, he’s since switched teams in support of Zhang, believing mysterious visions that it’s his destiny to kill Gus. The moment is filled with emotion, and while most children Gus’ age would suffer a nervous breakdown, he uses the pain and support from others like Big Man to rise above and find a way out.

Dr. Aditya Singh

In season two, Dr. Singh says a painful goodbye to his wife, and it’s her death that ultimately causes him to return to the good side at the end of Sweet Tooth. As Akhtar’s character raises is knife to kill us, he hesitates upon hearing Zhang mention his late partner. Singh’s moral compass does a 180 and he suddenly urges Gus to run, pushing the young boy to save him from falling debris. “Dr. Singh’s journey was probably one of the most complex that we got to watch evolve because we were able to see the birth of this villainous character, but yet you totally understood where he was coming from,” executive producer Susan Downey tells People.

Before his death, the doctor tells Gus, “You’re free, I am too,” grabbing his broken antler. Later, we see a leaf grow from it, representing the inevitable cycle of death and rebirth. Showrunner Jim Mickle explains the character’s transition as one from “a man of science” to “a man of faith,” who he had a lot of fun adapting from the comics. “In the comic book, he’s a bit more a straight-up whack-job and a bit evil, and the beauty of Adeel [Akhtar] is he’s just so wonderfully human and lovable, and so that was a fun part about writing him and I think giving him that sendoff where it felt fitting to who he was and how he played that character,” he shared.

Big Man

One of the show’s favorite characters has always been Big Man, and at the end of the day, it’s up to each individual viewer to determine what his fate is. While protecting Gus in the cave, Anozie’s character is stabbed by Dr. Singh, but we later see him departing Alaska with his friends. He may be alive, but Big Man is clearly struggling with his injury, asking Gus to tell him a story through staggered breaths while they walk. In a bittersweet ending, the deer boy recites a tale we last heard in the debut episode of Sweet Tooth, but this time around he points out that the story is about “a big man who taught the boy about the best of humanity.”

“What about the Big Man? Did he make it back with him?” the actor asks, tears in his eyes, after listening to his pal recount his journey back to Yellowstone. As we flash forward, Gus sits at an empty chair outside his cabin, suggesting death has separated them. However, audiences breathed a sigh of relief when Big Man joined his co-star with a smile and bottle of syrup in hand. Mickle notes that this moment is open to interpretation; some might see it as confirmation of Big Man’s survival, while others view it as a more profound suggestion that the two will always be together energetically, no matter what happens in the physical.

“For us, it was always about these journeys for both of them and the interesting notion [that] Jepp learned as much from Gus as Gus learned from Jepp. That was really important to us is that they really are complementary. We couldn’t have imagined that they’d find each other and impact each other’s lives so deeply. It’s a love story in a lot of ways,” executive producer Amanda Burrell noted. “We knew that we wanted it to feel like that Jepp was finding an end at the end of this episode but we also wanted to say, a little bit ET-inspired, ‘He’s always with him. He’ll be right here. If the audience wants to engage and believe that he sat there with him on the porch, then they can. But at least for me, I think it was an ending.”

How Does the Sick Start in ‘Sweet Tooth’?

Captain Thacker is to blame for the Sick’s spread across America (at least in part, anyway). His initial plan was to travel to Alaska in hopes of uncovering a cure for all illnesses, but he certainly didn’t expect to uncover a tree with the blood of the Earth along the way. The adventurer wanted to take this and keep it for himself, but this selfishness caused the Sick to spread across him and his crew, creating the first human-animal hybrid – the late Munaq.

In Lemire’s comic books, the origin story is slightly different, but Mickle did his part to “honor” the original by recruiting consultants from Alaska to educate him on the “mythology and history” of Inuit tribes. “A lot of the mythology and all that was a trickier thing because we had already told a slightly different version of [the story in season 1],” he told People.

What Are the Purple Flowers in ‘Sweet Tooth’ and What Do They Do?

Since Sweet Tooth began, purple flowers have been a recurring theme throughout the show, but initially, it was unclear what part they played in the Netflix cinematic universe. It seemed as though the plants were responsible for causing the viral pandemic, leading people to avoid them. As The Direct points out, season two debunked this theory, as Dr. Singh didn’t become infected after entering a room full of them. While not necessarily harmful, we do know that the purple flowers have hallucinogenic effects, as seen with Gus’ visions.

In season three, a flashback shows Captain Thacker striking a tree (said to be the origin of the Sick) with his axe before a purple flower suddenly grows from his chest. This tells us that the plants don’t cause illness, but rather, mark the human life lost as one becomes infected with the Sick. The regrowth reminds us what our world would look like without human life, and how natural beauty and Mother Earth continue to thrive as the circle of life plays out year after year.

When Will the Next Season Come Out?

Sweet Tooth’s third and final season arrived on Netflix in June 2024. In an interview with the streamer’s Tudum outlet, Mickle explained the decision to wrap up the story now. “At the beginning, I think you set out to tell these landmark pieces of Gus’ story and the big pieces of the comic book, but the beauty of long-form storytelling and Gus’ journey over 24 episodes is the characters themselves tell you what they want to be. The crew and cast bring so much depth and point of view to who the characters are and where they’ve come from and where they’re going.”

It’s sad to hear, but on the bright side, Mickle hinted at a possible spin-off while chatting with Screen Rant. According to him, it’s dependent on audience demand and Netflix’s interest, though it’s worth noting that any future projects would only exist in the same fantastical world but bring in very different storylines. “I’m kind of always in a position of like, ‘Yes, there’s something there if we want to go forward, but it’s also in a really beautiful place where we landed it.’ So, I’m happy either way,” he explained.