Apple TV+’s Sugar: So, What Is That Big Twist?

Sugar episode 6 finally reveals the big twist behind the Colin Farrell detective thriller. But does it come too late in the game?

Colin Farrell as John Sugar in Apple TV+'s Sugar.
Photo: Apple TV+

This article contains major spoilers for Sugar episode 6.

Virtually every “spoiler-free” Sugar review that ran in advance of the Colin Farrell-starring detective series’ premiere on Apple TV+ mentioned that the project featured a big twist. While one might consider it poor taste to “spoil” that a story even contains an enormous twist, it’s hard to blame the reviewers on this one.

The twist at the center of Sugar is so wild, so out-of-left-field, and so paradigm-shifting, that it’s almost impossible not to acknowledge. It would be like trying to write about Clifford the Big Red Dog while avoiding the fact that it contains a big red dog. The problem with letting the audience know that a big twist was coming, however, is that it took forever for the show to reveal it. Four whole weeks after the two-part April 5 premiere, in fact!

Even without the benefit of the revealing reviews, Sugar‘s audience surely knew that there was something up with Detective John Sugar (Farrell) early on. Episode one teases that Sugar isn’t your average sleuth. He’s a hardboiled detective film junkie who has an uncommon level of philanthropic interest in his fellow man, can’t get drunk, and suffers from intense headaches. There’s more to John Sugar than meets the eye. And yet, viewers don’t get to discover exactly what that is until episode 6 “Go Home,” which just dropped on Apple TV+ on May 3.

Ad – content continues below

So now, without further ado, here is the twist at the center of Apple TV+’s Sugar. The twist is …


As many viewers already correctly predicted, John Sugar is indeed an alien from outer space. We find this out at the very end of “Go Home” when Sugar injects himself with a crystal-like syringe, removing the technological trick that makes him appear human and revealing his appearance to be that of a blue creature that looks like a cross between Drax and Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Using our deductive reasoning, it’s safe to assume that Ruby (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and the rest of Sugar’s peers at the Société Polyglotte Cosmopolitaine are also aliens. A group of multi-lingual aristocrats serves as a good cover for the alien species’ real mission: to observe. We’ve seen how Sugar and company are required to write down their observations from their various jobs in notebooks and pass it along to their superiors.

While every alien in the Société Polyglotte Cosmopolitaine is technically a spy, studying humanity to better understand our ways, they occupy many different roles and positions in society. Sugar, bless him, appears to have gotten the best job of all as a private investigator. At some point Sugar must have developed a real taste for detective movies (perhaps on the spaceship ride to Earth) and his handlers have let him play out his film noir fantasies as part of his research obligations. Unfortunately though, episode 6 reveals that Sugar’s detective cosplay has gone too far.

“They need you to stop looking,” Ruby tells him. “We have to trust that this is for the greater good. Everything is for the mission.”

Ad – content continues below

Now that the twist has finally been revealed on Sugar, it’s time to ask the natural followup question: is it a good one? Ehhhh, kind of.

An alien detective investigating a crime in seedy Hollywood certainly sounds good on paper. The best human detectives already have a little bit of alien in them. We love Peter Falk as Columbo not because he knows everything but because he doesn’t. Like any good alien dropped into a strange land, he merely asks the right questions. Knowing that Sugar is a literal alien makes his curiosity of and empathy for the human race all the more charming in hindsight.

Where Sugar runs into problems, however, is the “hindsight” bit. The show, as created and developed by Mark Protosevich, takes way too long to get to the real point. There are only two episodes to go after this earth-shattering reveal. A version of Sugar that presents the alien moment at the end of the pilot is almost certainly better than the version of Sugar that we actually got.

New episodes of Sugar premiere Fridays on Apple TV+ with the finale premiering May 17.