It’s Tess’ big night at the restaurant, but can she pass her test and trails after the wild night she’s recovering from? Here’s our recap of “It’s Mine”!
“It’s Mine” opens with Tess lying in the hospital bed with Sasha. Heather and Ari bust in and you can tell they’ve been crying, but are also a mess from the night before.
“What did you do?”
“I needed more attention.”
With Ari and Heather there, Tess leaves the hospital and tells them she has to study for her test. She has her written test and her trails that day, and she’s way behind on studying.
Once she’s back at her apartment, she takes a cold shower to sober up then looks over all her material. Tess has so much to remember and get right. It’s overwhelming.
She arrives at the restaurant and begins to take the written portion. As she moves through the test, she starts to see the people who would ask her that question across the table from her, but like most things, her thoughts turn back to Jake and Simone.
“Why do you think about me all the time?”
“Why do you think about me all the time?”
Pretty soon, Will comes by to pick up her test, but she’s still not done. He’s pretty bristly from how she treated him the night before, but tells her that tonight, she’s the back waiter and he’ll only be watching.
Tess sees that Jake has returned and he’s talking with Simone. He hasn’t spoken to her about how he skipped out on their date or even hi, but I didn’t expect him to. Simone sees Tess looking at them, and when Tess goes out to the floor, Simone approaches her.
Simone tells her good luck for that night, and even gives her some lavender that she and Jake brought back from the Cape for her. It’s like Simone knows that Tess likes Jake and tosses his name in there to show Tess that she has more of a connection with him than she does.
It’s shady, and this episode has proven that I’ll never trust Simone.
Over the course of the night, Tess is doing really well. She even recommends a special wine to Heather to offer her guests. Tess is helping restock the bar and Will makes a snarky comment about leaving her against his better judgment. Tess asks the bartender what he does to stay out of the drama of the restaurant, and he tells her that he has a family at home, and that’s the only drama he concerns himself with.
That’s when Jake shows up and still doesn’t acknowledge the fact that he stood her up and went to the Cape. I’m super proud of Tess in this moment because she calls him out on his bullshit and leaves.
“This game is boring.”
She’s not going to allow him to string her alone…or so it seems.
When he stops her and asks where she’s from, she wants to know why he’s asking. He tells her that he doesn’t even know where she’s from.
Next time we see Tess, she’s in the coat check, retrieving someone’s jacket who’s leaving. She stops Ari on her way out with the coat and asks what the deal with Simone and Jake is. Ari tells her to leave it alone, or if she can’t, sleep with one or both of them to get it out of her system.
When Tess makes it back to the bar, Fred (Serena’s husband) is there and he’s demanding that Jake tell him where Simone is. Jake won’t tell him anything, and Tess tries to intervene and get Fred out of there, but he and Jake get into a big blowup with Jake hurling f-bombs all over the place.
Howard successfully gets Fred to go home, and he gives Jake a look before he walks Fred out.
Once the situation is diffused, Jake stomps off and Tess follows after him. That’s when Jake tells Tess something really shocking.
Simone is sleeping with Fred.
“Does everyone know?”
“Why are you telling me?”
“I don’t know.”
Jake leaves her, and Tess sees Simone looking at them. She knows that Jake told Tess her secret.
The night continues on, and Will tells Tess to go and grab the bottle of wine for Heather. Tess tells him that she suggested it, but Will doesn’t really believe. Deciding not to waste her breath on Will, Tess goes to get it.
While she’s down in the cellar, she overhears Jake and Simone arguing. Simone is very mad at Jake for telling Tess, and even threatens to be done with him. This whole exchange solidifies Simone as this horrible, emotionally manipulative person.
“I’ve been carrying you since I was eight. What? Are you trying to punish me? No one will ever know you like I know you.”
“I forgive you.”
She’s the absolute worst, and you can tell by Jake’s body language that he buys every bit of it.
Tess is shaken, but gets the bottle of wine and drops it off with Heather. A few minutes later, she’s straightening up a table of the second floor and catches Howard’s eye. He’s at Heather’s table, holding the bottle of wine. He approaches Tess and asks her about the bottle she retrieved.
It turns out she didn’t get the 2006, she grabbed the 1986. It’s a $1200 bottle of wine, and Howard is done. Tess looses her mind over the accident, and starts to have a small panic attack which ends with her accidentally falling down the stairs as she’s trying to get back to the kitchen.
Ari, Heather, and Will help her up, and she’s taken back to Howard’s office.
Howard tells her to fill out a workman’s comp form even if she doesn’t think she’s hurt. Tess apologizes for embarrassing him, and he says he’s not embarrassed. Then he asks if Will or Simone is embarrassed as they stand around his office. They tell him they’re not either.
Tess leaves to finish her shift, and Howard asks Will what he thinks about Tess. Will doesn’t let their relationship get in the way at all. He says that she’s not good in the kitchen, but she’s good on the floor. She connects with customers, and that’s something Howard appreciates in his staff. Tess is also very empathetic. Will believes that if she was trained another week by Ari, she’d be ready.
Simone busts into the conversation and asks if she passed her trails.
So, Tess didn’t pass the written part of her test or the trails. Will is dismissed, and Simone sits down in front of Howard. She’s ready to get rid of Tess, and it’s very obvious. She tells Howard that Tess and Will are sleeping together to discredit everything he just said, even though he was being very fair.
The next scene featuring Howard and Simone are so very odd to me. Howard is the boss, but Simone seems to believe she runs things because she tells Howard that he’s not firing Jake. Howard tells her in this meeting that he’s been discreet with his relationships, Becca’s scene excluded, and that she needs to think about being discreet when it comes to Fred.
Then Howard makes the shady remark that she and Serena were always competitive. This is a “shots fired” moment for Simone who lets it slip why she was really upset about Fred being with Serena. Serena was only the hostess.
Meanwhile, Tess is watching for the second floor as everyone moves on about their work. She really wants this job, but she doesn’t think she’s getting it. Will goes to her and tells her that he did enjoy her fall, but he thinks she should be there with them. This restaurant is a place for Tess.
Tess apologizes for how she treated Will, and it seems like things end on a positive note for them.
After her shift is over, Tess goes to her locker and finds a back waiter dress shirt hanging up. She’s beyond happy to know that she made it, and Simone comes up and tells her to try the shirt on.
“I’ve never wanted something so much before.”
“Now it’s time to allow yourself to want things.”
Then because she’s Simone, she has to be backhanded about everything. She tells Tess she got the job because Howard likes how she’s good with people…or because he thinks she’s pretty. The last one makes it feel like Tess didn’t get the job because she can do it.
Before she leaves, Simone tells Tess that she hopes she’ll be careful since she’s staying with them awhile. Tess asks what she’s talking about, and Simone deflects to the stairs that she fell down.
This seems like a pretty clear case of Simone threatening Tess. If she gets too good or tries to take Jake, she’ll fight her.
“It’s Mine” ends with Tess in the kitchen picking up an order, a three plate hold solid, and all the voices in her head drowning out everything else.
She closes her eyes and Jake’s voice asks:
“Is this what you wanted?”
Tess’ mind goes silent and a determined look settles her features. She’s ready for this next step.
I really enjoyed this season of Sweetbitter, and I hope that it receives a second season from STARZ! I’d love to know what kind of shenanigans go down now that Tess is officially a back waiter, and if she can make any progress with Jake while Simone is pulling his strings.
I’d also love to see more of Tess growing into her true self. She’s so easy to relate to, and I’m rooting for her as she forges her own path.
Tell us what you loved about this season of Sweetbitter!