Tiny Beautiful Things – Season 1 Episode 2 “Yours, Sugar” Recap & Review

Yours, Sugar

The Past

Episode 2 of Tiny Beautiful Things in the past, as we see Clare getting anxious about their estranged father coming to their mother’s funeral. On the day of the funeral, Clare and Lucas bring the clothes and significant things from their mother’s life to be placed in the casket. Joel, who is coordinating, says they cannot do it without underwear.

Joel is a childhood friend and Amy gets angry for him invoking State regulations no one cares about. Joel explains his mother’s doing the dressing and she is particular about it. Lucas asks Clare to hand hers over, but she isn’t wearing any.

As a result, they go out to buy new underwear. Lucas goes in but finds the cheapest pair. Amy is riled up about it so Joel comforts her. In her vulnerable state, Clare proceeds to have sex with him. Jess, Clare’s husband comes to the chapel. Joel is shocked – and so are we.

The trio drive back and Lucas is upset their father didn’t show up. Clare’s mind wanders back to the time she spent with Frances in Roscoe’s Pharmacy just after she officially got to know about the cancer diagnosis.

The Present

Clare has a nightmare of her mother telling her to “do better.” She realises she is in Bev’s room again. Beverly is awake and says “her wife” was like Clare’s mother also. Clare goes to Amy and confesses her incident with the cabbie. It was like the universe telling Clare not to go ahead with having sex with the cabbie when he couldn’t “get it in.” Clare has no idea why she came to Amy and Amy is bemused as well. Just then, their mutual writers’ group walks in and Amy makes an excuse to leave.

Clare and Beverly discuss how they should sleep commando at night, given it’s good for their health. She suddenly says she wants to go home and Clare calms her down.

Clare says she will talk to Krystal about it but in the morning, Clare discovers that Krystal is accusing her of assaulting Beverly. She has video proof of the same. Clare is disturbed and goes back to her house, where she finds Rae having a threesome with her school friends. Clare explodes on Rae and reprimands her. She talks back and the two have a fight.

The police are involved and Clare is suspended pending an investigation. Danny picks her up and is upset with her behaviour. Clare gets defensive and blames Danny for distancing her from Rae. She explains how she has been sleeping in Beverly’s room. Clare asks to come back home and Danny agrees. She also tells Danny about the threesome.

Clare is put in the basement, where she writes back to Sam and agrees to be Sugar. Clare also goes through some of the stuff in the box Lucas sent her. Clare is convinced she can still be a writer and be her mother’s daughter.

The Episode Review

Episode 2 confirms the conventional yet cumbersome narrative choice Tiny Beautiful Things has made. The past and the present often go hand in glove to give the viewer context. While episode 2 did not make full use of that trope, it might be the case going forward. The good thing for Clare is that she is back in the house. Danny seems to have cooled down and after the incident with the cabbie, she needs some sort of stability.

Hahn has shown incredible vulnerability and strength in the two episodes till now. Her soulful performance and energy are matched by Pidgeon, who plays the younger version of Clare. The issue with Beverly seems like a non-event in the story and it will likely be resolved without any hiccups.

It will be interesting to see how the makers dig into Clare and Frances’ history given that the subject of the letters now addressed to Clare as Sugar will be varying. The preachy tone is a reminder of how voiceover narrations can be so effective for seamless storytelling and the merging of different ideas. It was done well in episode 2.

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You can read our full season review for Tiny Beautiful Things here!


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