Sweet Tooth: What was Project Midnight Sun? Is it Real?

Netflix’s ‘Sweet Tooth’ begins with the outbreak of a terrible virus that has a hundred percent mortality rate. No one knows where the virus came from, and by the time anyone can even begin to figure out how to cure it, ninety-nine percent of the human population has been wiped away. It is in this world that Gus, a nine-year-old hybrid, decides to venture out of the safe haven he’d been living in with his father. With his father dead, he wants to find his mother, and when he gets a clue, he decides to follow it. As more details about his mother come to light, he discovers several things about the true nature of his birth, and this is where the mention of a secret project called the Midnight Sun comes into the picture. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Fictional Project Midnight Sun was Supposed to Find a Cure for Mortality

Humans have been fascinated with the idea of finding a cure for death, and their desire to find the mythical “fountain of youth” leads them to open a Pandora’s Box that ends up destroying their very existence. Project Midnight Sun is created by a scientist named Gillian Washington, who is obsessed with finding something that can cure all diseases and help humans live longer. Her desire to dig out that secret becomes stronger when she chances upon the story of her great-grandfather, James Thacker.

Image Credit: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix

In 1911, Thacker and his crew aboard HMS Simpson traveled to Alaska in search of something that could change the game for humanity. Simpson was afflicted with a neurodegenerative disease that had no cure. Refusing to go down without a fight, Thacker looked everywhere for a possible cure, which is when he found out about a remote village in Alaska where it was said that no one ever fell sick. Somehow, the people in the village managed to live long and healthy lives while the rest of the world fell to sickness and death. Believing that this place held the answer to all his questions, Thacker set sail there and, sure enough, found something.

Interestingly, Thacker was never able to share his findings with the world because neither he nor a single person from his crew returned. A hundred years later, his descendant, Gillian Washington, was fascinated by his story and decided to start her own research into the matter. She found funding for the project, which would have been easier considering that she was offering a disease-less world to her investors. She sent an expedition to the same village, and sure enough, the scientists found the same thing Thacker had found all those years ago, though in a very different form.

Under Project Midnight Sun, Washington hoped to study the mysterious microbes the scientists brought back from Alaska and create something like an anti-aging serum or a cure for seemingly incurable diseases. She was ready to do whatever it took to get to the bottom of it all, and it was also important for her to present results quickly before the funding dried up and the investors decided to back out.

Gillian Washington Fell Prey to Her Impatience and Greed

Image Credit: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix

It takes time for scientific projects to produce results. The team of scientists, led by Dr. Gertrude Miller at Fort Smith Labs, which served as the headquarters for Project Midnight Sun, knew that there were all sorts of risks involved while studying previously unknown microbes. They succeeded in creating two variations of the microbe but had yet to determine which one was good and which would turn out to be bad. They also knew that whatever they would swing in the extreme, it would either be the thing that cures the world of all diseases, or it would turn into an “all hell breaks loose” kind of situation.

The first variation led to the creation of Gus, but it was the second that became cause for alarm. In its early stages, the second variation seemed promising. When testing it on the chickens, it turned out to be the miracle cure they’d been looking for. But until they tested it on humans, they couldn’t be sure of anything. With time, Gillian Washington got impatient and tested the sample on herself, discovering, to her horror, that it was not the cure but the disease that would be the end of humanity. Thus, the Sick comes into existence, spreading throughout the world like wildfire and killing any human infected by it. At the same time, the hybrids, who shared their origin with the virus, grew in numbers, completely unharmed by the Sick. As Project Midnight Sun came to a terrible end, it marked the beginning of something entirely unexpected. As humans died, the hybrids flourished. Nature took its course, and the balance long lost by humans was restored by hybrids.

Read More: Sweet Tooth: Why Does Gus Burn the Tree? What Does the Tree Sapling Mean?