‘Sweet Tooth’ Project Midnight Sun, Explained: Did Gillian Washington Spread The H5G9 Virus?


In “Sweet Tooth” season 2, it was revealed what exactly transpired in the Fort Smith lab that led to the spread of the deadly H5G9 virus. Gus realized that his mother had an important role to play in the scheme of things and that she was still pretty much alive. At the beginning of season 2, nobody knew where she was or why she wasn’t coming to find Gus. Dr. Adtiya also made a lot of discoveries, but he was still miles away from finding a cure for the virus. Aditya was searching for that missing link that could solve all his problems and save his wife, but time was passing, and he didn’t know in which direction to look. So, let’s find out how the hybrids came into being and, contrary to common beliefs, who was actually responsible for the spread of the H5G9 virus.

Spoilers Ahead

Project Midnight Sun Explained: How Were The Hybrids Made?

We came to know in “Sweet Tooth” Season 2 that the aim of the experiments being conducted at Fort Smith was never to create hybrids, and what happened there was sheer coincidence. Gillian Washington, the head of the hospital, was always fascinated by the concept of longevity, and for the same purpose, she started Project Midnight Sun. Though Gillian genuinely wanted to gain more knowledge and divulge the secrets of nature, there was another hidden motive behind undertaking such an ambitious project. Gillian’s great-grandfather, Dr. James Thacker, was a brilliant scientist from the United Kingdom, and he had come to know about a community living in Alaska who were supposedly disease-free. He himself suffered from a degenerative muscular disorder, and he desperately wanted to know if he and his bloodline could be cured of it, as the disorder could be genetically inherited.

Dr. Gertrude Miller, a.k.a. Birdie, was the lead scientist of the project, and she was vested with the responsibility to find out how those villagers were able to live for so long and what that secret sauce was that they weren’t sharing with the rest of the world. Gertrude Miller and her team had taken animal samples from the Alaskan region and also collected water and plants to see if anything unusual was happening there. What caught their attention was the living matter they found when they excavated the ice cores. The team of scientists from Fort Smith noticed that the microbes that were present had a huge amount of potential to completely change how the human immune system functioned.

Dr. Miller had reasons to believe that if the microbes were modified and structured in the right manner, they could make the immune system strong enough to fight each and every disease the planet was plagued with and make the body disease-free. There were animal trials conducted by Fort Smith, and those modified microbes were introduced to chickens that later came to be known as Miller Chickens. The results of the animal trials were quite positive, and Dr. Gertrude Miller, together with Gillian Washington, decided that it was about time to conduct human trials and see what effects the modified microbes have on the human immune system. The problem that the Fort Smith team was having was that they were not able to culture those modified microbes in the laboratory. Gillian knew that if they didn’t come up with something, their funding would be stopped, and they would have a hard time doing what they wanted. Just then, Dr. Miller found an ordinary chicken egg with a beating heart inside it. That unfertilized egg was kept under observation, and what happened next was beyond the imagination of any scientist present there. The first hybrid was created by accident, and Dr. Miller named it Gus (Genetic Series Unit 1). Over a period of time, Dr. Miller developed a kind of emotional attachment with that hybrid, and unlike others, she didn’t treat him as a mere subject of experimentation. 

Did Gillian Washington’s Pride Led To H5G9 Outbreak?

Since time immemorial, we have always been scared by things and concepts that we don’t clearly understand. There was a time when humans were scared of the sun and the moon, and there was also a time when they didn’t sail in the ocean because they thought that the earth was flat. The initial impulse of any person who is not a disciple of science is to get scared and kill the very concept that is beyond his understanding. That is what happened when the microbes got out of the lab, and people started referring to them as “the sick.” Due to genetic modifications, people started giving birth to hybrids, and their populations increased. Around the same time, General Abbot created his army, and they made it their mission to wipe out each and every hybrid from the face of the earth as they considered them to be the cause of the spread of the virus.

Birdie also didn’t have any clue how the H5G9 virus had spread or what she could do to stop it until she met her boss, Gillian Washington, in “Sweet Tooth” Season 2. It was the pride and recklessness of Gillian Washington that led to such utter chaos and widespread destruction. Gillian was patient zero, i.e., she was the first person to carry the virus. She had self-injected because she knew that human trials wouldn’t be allowed by the authorities because everybody knew that Fort Smith wasn’t ready for them. Gillian knew that Gus was the key to the solution, and that is why she asked Birdie to tell her where she had sent him with Richard. That was the first time in “Sweet Tooth” that Gillian revealed the fact that James Thacker was her great-grandfather, and Birdie realized that she would have to go to Alaska in order to find answers.

Towards the end of “Sweet Tooth” Season 2, Gus, Becky, Big Man, and Wendy decide to go to Alaska and find out where Birdie is. Dr. Adtiya also stumbled upon the pages of the journal from Fort Smith, and he, too, realized that the key to finding a cure for the deadly H5G9 virus lay in Alaska. In the third season (if there is one), we would see Birdie and Aditya unraveling the mysteries of nature and finding out what Gillian Washington’s great-grandfather found out in his expedition.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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