‘Sugar’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: What Does John Find Out About David Siegel?


Episode 4 of AppleTV+’s new detective thriller show Sugar has been released this week, with the show picking up pace as some serious details are revealed. The protagonist, private investigator John Sugar, has been in search of young Olivia Siegel, who has been missing for many days. Having discovered that Olivia had recently killed a dangerous man with charges of rape and assault right before her disappearance, Sugar is personally worried about her well-being too. Episode 4 finally has Sugar make an official breakthrough, while things become more difficult on the other side as his employer, Jonathan Siegel, falls sick.

Spoiler Alert

What does John Sugar find out about David Siegel?

In Sugar episode 4, the protagonist, John Sugar, meets up with Melanie Mackintosh once again, as the latter has almost become like his partner in solving this case. In the previous episode, Melanie had finally revealed that she had taken Olivia under her wing, having her work at the same shelter as her, which categorically worked on helping women come out of abusive relationships. It was through this work that Olivia befriended Carmen Vazquez, as she wanted help to escape her toxic boyfriend, Clifford Carter. But this friendship ultimately led to Olivia shooting Clifford dead after discovering that he had killed Carmen. At least, this is what Melanie reported to Sugar, and she apparently helped her stepdaughter pack Clifford’s corpse into a body bag and put it into the trunk of Olivia’s car. While Melanie had stated that she did not know what had happened to the young woman after that, she now tells Sugar that she had remembered a critical detail.

Melanie now reveals that around six weeks earlier, she and Olivia had made plans to go to lunch at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but the latter had canceled the plan at the very last minute. She stated that she was feeling unwell, and Melanie did not mind this sudden change either. Later that day, Melanie spotted Olivia on the streets, having lunch at a café. She was with another woman of her very age, and the two were evidently arguing over something, with the friend quite agitated and disturbed. The detective and Melanie head to the place, looking for any clues or leads regarding the matter, and ask people at the café and the nearby shops whether they remembered Olivia. None of it works until they come across a shop where the owners recognize the woman from the photograph.

Although the owners initially refuse to tell Sugar anything, they are immediately excited at recognizing rockstar Melanie Mackintosh and agree to lead them in the right direction. The pair get to know about the woman who was accompanying Olivia that afternoon and soon reach her doorstep. The young woman is a struggling actor named Taylor, who had been a friend of Olivia’s for some time. The two had become friends on Instagram in a very twisted manner, as it all began with Taylor calling out the other’s hypocrisy with regard to her online content. It is Taylor who reveals a grave secret about David Siegel, which naturally becomes instrumental in Sugar’s investigation case. 

Wanting to make it big as an actor, Taylor had always been in the search for chances, and when she got to know of a new project in the works by Bernie Siegel, she decided to make use of her contacts. Taylor had known David for a few years, as they had some mutual friends. She naturally approached him for guidance regarding the project, and David did not mind helping his old acquaintance. Initially, he supported and helped Taylor train for the audition, but then his motives changed gradually. After some time, David started telling Taylor that he could help her train better, especially as there were some internal changes made to his father’s production project if she would go over to his house alone. Taylor obviously understood what David was suggesting, and since she had no intention of getting intimate with the man, she eventually declined the request firmly. But instead of backing off, David Siegel showed his vile nature at this time, starting to blackmail the young actor. The two had gotten physically intimate a few years back at David’s house, and the man had secretly made a recording of it, which he threatened to upload to the internet now if Taylor did not keep his request. 

Taylor was obviously infuriated with the blackmail, and she also made an official complaint to the police, but to no avail. The authorities did not take any action, only because of the family stature and reputation of the blackmailer. Therefore, when Taylor saw David’s stepsister, Olivia, post about women’s rights on Instagram, she found an outlet to vent her anger. Taylor first sent messages to Olivia, calling out her hypocrisy, and then eventually told her about all that was happening to her. Incidentally, Olivia stated that she knew Taylor was not the only victim of David’s blackmail, and the two women got close to each other over the matter. However, Taylor also did not know what happened to Olivia afterwards and currently has no clue about the fact that she has been missing.

What happens at the screening party?

After learning of these horrific actions by David, Sugar calls up Jonathan Siegel to discuss the matter. Since Jonathan is the one who hired the detective, and as he is also the only one seemingly concerned about Olivia’s disappearance, the protagonist decides to inform him of his findings. Jonathan tells him to meet at a special screening event planned at a theater, where everyone from the family and also from the industry will be present. Jonathan’s idea is to speak with the detective in private after the screening is over, but this plan takes a very different turn. Firstly, after arriving at the party, Sugar makes acquaintance with Margit, who is the biological mother of David Siegel. Based on the tone of her conversation with the protagonist and the numerous previous scenes in which she is seen making plans for David, it is evident that Margit wholeheartedly supports whatever her son does and also wants him to be relaunched into the film industry. 

Sugar then spots something quite suspicious, and he sees Melanie walk into the party. He had not told her about the party, which meant that Melanie had been invited by someone from the family, and it soon became clear who she still had connections with. Sugar understands that Bernie and Melanie exchange a few text messages before going up to the private area to have a chat. He manages to reach the room where all the security camera footage is being screened and keeps an eye on the pair. Bernie and Melanie clearly have a serious argument, as it seems like he has done something without her knowledge or without telling her about it. Melanie and Bernie seemed to be working together in the earlier episodes, too, and it is still not clear what they are up to. It seems most likely that Melanie knew all about David’s nefarious acts but had kept them a secret from Sugar till now. It is possible that she did not know or think that this matter could be connected to Olivia’s disappearance, figuring it out only now. 

Sugar does not show himself to Melanie, though, and instead sits down for the film screening, which is being held in honor of Jonathan Siegel, and one of the most iconic films produced by him is being shown. After the film is over, the veteran producer is called up on the stage to share a few words, and it is then that people start getting news alerts on their phones. The story of David being a repeated sex offender and blackmailer somehow leaks out in the media, and it instantly becomes hot news. Everyone at the theater, including Sugar, receives notification of the breaking news, and so does Jonathan on the stage. This revelation has a devastating effect on the elderly man, as he tries walking off the stage but falls immensely sick, seemingly suffering a heart attack. He is immediately rushed to the hospital, and it is later revealed that he is out of any medical danger.

Along with all of this, Sugar also figures out something different because of this film screening party, as his mind is stimulated by cinema like always. While initially missing the matter, he realizes that the actress in the film had been wearing the very same dress that Rachel Kaye was wearing in the intimate photos of her. However, the photos were taken almost thirty years after the film was made. The end of the episode leaves Sugar wondering about this connection and why Rachel was wearing the same dress from the film. Whether Jonathan Siegel himself had something to do with this entire matter and whether his public illness was just a means to avoid media questions remains to be seen in the next episodes.

Does Byron Stallings have anything to do with Olivia’s disappearance?

While Sugar and Melanie went about their search for Olivia, David and his bodyguard, Kenny, headed to Arizona to meet with Sugar’s mother. They meet with the woman and believe that they have gathered some important information against the detective, without any idea that the woman was actually planted by Sugar and was not his real mother. David is obviously too brash to suspect he made any mistake, and he is also egged on by his mother, Margit. However, on his way back to Los Angeles, David also learns that news of his offenses has come out in public, and he is immediately scared of the consequences. There is also a different matter tied to David’s actions, it seems, as he soon receives a threatening call from Byron Stallings, the goon who had attacked Teresa Vazquez in the previous episode.

Stallings now warns David that his name should not come out in any investigation that the young man would be part of, suggesting that there was some shady business between the two as well. At the very end of the episode, Stallings is seen readying his men and heading out of their shelter as if preparing to go to war against some enemy, possibly the police. He tells an associate woman to protect a certain wardrobe with all her might, and this clearly contains something that would incriminate the goon. While it might as well be a secret room inside which Olivia is being kept hostage, the next scene proves that he definitely has something to do with the woman’s disappearance. A necklace regularly worn by Olivia Siegel in her Instagram videos is seen inside Stallings’ shelter. As of now, it still seems that David and Bernie Siegel had paid Stallings to kidnap Olivia, as she was investigating too deeply into her family, and now that they are in imminent danger, the goon does not want anything to do with the police case.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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