Friday, April 26, 2024

REVIEW: 'Sugar' - Sugar Reacts With Violence After Learning About Stallings' Role in Olivia's Disappearance in 'Boy in the Corner'

AppleTV+'s Sugar - Episode 1.05 "Boy in the Corner"

Melanie gets a surprise visit that unleashes Sugar's dark side. Ruby receives chilling guidance from a colleague. Davy makes a tragic decision.

"Boy in the Corner" was written by Mark Protosevich and directed by Fernando Meirelles

Sugar discovers what happened to Olivia. Yet the resolution to the central mystery feels lacking. That's a result of the show constantly teasing that more is happening within this universe. That applies both to the mysteries within the Siegel family and the organization that Ruby oversees. It's all a suggestion of so much more to come. However, those empty mysteries don't produce satisfying storytelling. It's meant to be compelling when Melanie struggles to define exactly what her relationship with Sugar is. She remarks how he is the only person who cares about finding Olivia as much as she does. She appreciates that. She also has her own self-worth wrapped up in this search. She is sober because Sugar treated her with kindness. He saves her yet again. This time though, he erupts with violence. It's absolutely brutal. Sugar can't even reckon with the trauma he has inflicted. Melanie sees him in a new light. Despite that though, she still trusts him completely and wants to hear his secret. Of course, he can't quite share that yet.

Davy told Stallings to handle Olivia. He felt his younger sister never liked him. And so, he chose not to like her either. It was all a matter of perception that was shaped when they were just kids. He was the child actor recognized around the world. He was the pinnacle of a powerful family lineage. As a result, he never learned how to live in the world as a normal person. He was treated with immense privilege. That produced a selfish man who sought to control everything. He was propped up with ideas of greatness. He was told repeatedly that his latest performance was Oscar worthy. He was destined to receive another nomination. That was the inevitable outcome. Instead, the film is shelved because the public learns he abuses women. He was monstrous when he was simply on set angry at people for distracting him. That was the problem in doing his job correctly. He couldn't focus. His family wanted him to see the greatness that was eventually produced. The actions he took getting there can't be justified though. He can't allow anyone to threaten his destiny.

Margit wants to coddle and protect her son. She perceives Sugar as a threat. He has destroyed this family in his search for Olivia. They all wish to write her off as running away after relapsing. That isn't the truth. They refuse to reckon with that idea. They instead have to focus their attention on scandal-plagued Davy. Everything he has worked for has just been destroyed. Nothing is guaranteed. Davy wants to blame his family for failing to teach him. He fails to see the error of his ways. He reveals that Stallings traffics women. Sugar knew that was a possibility. Ruby kept him from the truth for a little bit. It still eventually came out. She can't control him forever. As such, she gets the orders to ensure he doesn't threaten the operation happening elsewhere with Miller. This group may promise to just be observational in their roles. That still means they are doing nothing to stop the exploitation of young women. It's just a business venture for Stallings. He doesn't care about the humanity of those he rips from their families. He just has to deliver a product. Ruby doesn't like this new version of business. She has to accept it nevertheless. People have power. Yet the storytelling keeps suggesting that others are easily capable of robbing it for themselves.

Davy reacts by taking his own life. His parents are devastated. They refuse to give up hope. He's loaded up into the ambulance to potentially be revived. Anything is certainly possible. It just seems grim at the moment. Jonathan couldn't answer all the questions Sugar had because he's recovering from a heart attack. Davy chose to finally tell Sugar the truth. It provided no relief or satisfaction. Sugar reacted with condemnation. This isn't how a brother should act. He abused his sister just like all the other women in his life. Davy felt he had no other choice but to pull out the gun. No one can hide from that extreme act of violence either. Sugar insists he isn't a violent person. He is capable of acting violently when the situation calls for it. Once that monster is unleashed, it's hard to rein it back in. Melanie is in danger. He sees the threat. He doesn't abandon her. He intervenes. She appreciates that. Someone was coming to her rescue after all. And yet, she has no time to delve into the complexities of the reaction. Instead, the two are quickly back at his hotel feeling like they can confide almost anything with one another.

All of this happens while Sugar waits to confront Stallings about Olivia. He can't get in touch with Ruby either. He's essentially in a holding pattern in his investigation. Others know that he will uncover the truth eventually. They even know how he will react. They know he too won't understand the actions that were taken. Nothing could justify these horrors in his mind. He believes it's the city knocking him on his side. He can't stay in this place much longer. That's an easy out. It places the blame on some esoteric concept instead of addressing the root of the issue. Of course, the show deflects whenever it comes to offering a more detailed explanation. It enjoys the mystery. It's about the secret Sugar keeps that he cannot share. That is meant to provide the tension. Melanie is the only person he could reasonably confide in. That's only a result of the amount of time the two have spent together. It's not drawn out to elicit pure agony and anguish. Instead, it's a plot device meant to keep twists at bay until they can pad out more episodes for the season. It's frustrating without at least offering depth of the characters and their relationships leading up to those inevitable reveals.