How Did Pubba Die in Sweet Tooth?

Based on Jeff Lemire's namesake comic book series, Netflix's ‘Sweet Tooth' explores the narrative of a world where a devastating pandemic known as the Sick has killed out 98% of the human population.

The Great Crumble was a cataclysmic catastrophe that occurred around the same time as the emergence of human-animal hybrid children, leaving many to wonder if these children caused it or the outcome of it.

Gus (Christian Convery), a human-deer hybrid youngster, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his mother following the death of his father, whom he calls Pubba. We've got you covered if you're wondering what happened to the man.

Who was Gus' Pubba?

Pubba, played by Will Forte, is a pivotal character in the first season of the show. His real name is Richard Fox. Gus calls him “Pubba” because he believes Richard is his biological father. Before the pandemic and the near-destruction of humanity, Richard worked as a janitor at Fort Smith Labs in Goss Grove, Colorado.

Gertrude Miller, also known as Birdie, worked as a geneticist there. One evening, the coworkers run into each other at a pub and instantly become friends over drinks and pool games. As the evening turned to night, Richard accompanied Gertrude to her home, where they kissed.

Before things could get much worse, Gertrude received a phone call informing her of an impending military raid on Fork Smith. Gertrude, who was deeply concerned, wanted to rush to the facility but didn't have the keys. But Richard, the janitor, did, and he accompanied her to Fort Smith.

How Did Pubba Die?

Richard was introduced to the first human-animal hybrid, Genetic Unit System 1, or Gus. Season 2 reveals that the scientists at Fort Smith's major goal was to find a way for humanity to age without sickness.

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Both the sick and the hybrids appear to be byproducts of that study. Gertrude didn't want Gus to end up in the wrong hands, so she gave him to Richard before heading in to get her research. She was well aware that the study may be used to murder millions of people.

When the series begins, Richard comes to Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park with his baby son Gus and discovers a derelict cottage in the middle of the forest. He gradually transforms it into a home for himself and Gus. His initial concerns about his unexpected fatherhood fade as the years pass. They stay for ten years until a tragedy occurs and Richard dies.

How Did Pubba Die?

For the most part, Richard succeeds in shielding Gus from a world that swiftly collapses into death, destruction, and chaos. Richard commemorates each of Gus' birthdays by giving him toys and books to read. This contains a toy dog made from his socks.

Despite living in the middle of nowhere, Richard is aware of what is going on in the outside world. He is aware that the traditional government has fallen and that numerous groups and individuals have stepped in to take its place. 

One such group is The Last Men, a human paramilitary force under General Douglas Abbot. Richard fortifies their compound to keep the First Men out. He also warned Gus not to go beyond the fences. Richard offers Gus a mantra to live by anytime he encounters something unfamiliar. “I'll duck if I hear a growl.” I'll flee if I hear a voice. I'll hide if I encounter a person.”

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Gus eventually breaks through the fences, driven by curiosity, and the First Men appear in the jungle. Despite his success in dealing with the intruders, Richard contracts the Sick and dies. Gus stays in his boyhood house for a year until he discovers a box containing Gertrude's stuff. He then resolves to go in search of the woman he believes to be his mother.

‘Sweet Tooth' is a coming-of-age story as well as a fantasy and post-apocalyptic series. In an interview with, executive producer Beth Schwartz confirmed this, adding that the audience can anticipate witnessing the “protagonist grow and go through different stages of their life.”

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