Do the Purple Flowers in 'Sweet Tooth' Represent the Cure or the Cause of The Sick? (SPOILERS)

Purple flowers bloom in areas with the H5G9 virus, sprouting more abundantly with severe cases.


Jun. 6 2024, Published 3:01 a.m. ET

Dr. Singh covering his face while holding a purple flower.
Source: Netflix

Spoiler alert! This article contains spoilers for Sweet Tooth.

The Netflix original series Sweet Tooth asks: what if a virus decimated the world's population and resulted in half-human, half-animal kids? The show's three seasons are based on comics by Jeff Lemire (Moon Knight, Justice League Dark, Green Arrow) and have received critical acclaim.

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Fans of the show have picked up on the recurring theme of purple flowers, especially in connection to the H5G9 virus that nearly wiped out the entire human race. What are the purple flowers? Could they be the cure for the virus? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

What do the purple flowers do in 'Sweet Tooth'?

Dr. Singh sitting in a room full of purple flowers.
Source: Netflix

Initially, some fans needed clarification about the presence of the purple flowers in the show, as they did not appear in Jeff's comic. During Season 1, the purple flowers appeared when the H5G9 virus started and in places where the outbreak was worse. Humans became suspicious of the plants and decided they could be the cause of the virus, leading them to avoid the flowers at all costs.

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Also, during Season 1, Gus (Christian Convery) has a vision of his dead Pubba (Will Forte) surrounded by flowers. Dr. Singh (Adeel Akhtar) also uses the flowers to make Gus see visions from his infancy. During Season 2, the flowers become significant in the last episode, where an upset Dr. Singh enters a room filled with purple flowers to infect himself and essentially commit suicide.

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To the surprise of Dr. Singh and audience members, he survives his encounter with the purple flowers, leading some fans to suspect the flowers represent the cure for the virus, not the cause. During Season 2, viewers also learn that a mutation of the microbe that caused the H5G9 virus caused the animal-human hybrid babies, and purple flowers were left behind in places the microbe was also present.

By Season 3, we learn that the purple flowers can't cure The Sick and that the original flower bloomed from the chest of Dr. James Thacker, who cut into a tree containing the blood of the Earth, symbolizing physical harm to Mother Nature. From this spilled "blood," The Sick and the hybrids emerged.

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While the initial wave of the disease died with Thacker, his men, and a few others in the early 1900s, it reemerged after Fort Smith Labs experimented with samples from Alaska. Their goal was to find a cure for all illnesses, but instead, they caused an outbreak that eventually wipes out humankind.

What is the "secret sauce" in 'Sweet Tooth'?

Two Last Men carring Gus in a cage.
Source: Netflix

The "secret sauce" refers to an antiviral treatment created using certain ingredients, the main and most important one being secretions from a live hybrid's pineal gland. What's interesting is that the pineal gland is often referred to as the "third eye," but is responsible for managing your body's internal clock by producing melatonin at the right times.

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A single injection of the secret sauce would alleviate symptoms of The Sick, including halting the twitching pinky. While Dr. Singh was successful at keeping his wife, Rani, alive with the secret sauce after she contracted The Sick, he ultimately becomes responsible for creating it, leading him to commit acts that force him to step outside his moral boundaries.

While Abbott attempted to pass off the secret sauce as a cure for The Sick, his secret eventually was exposed and no more was made after he and his army were defeated.

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