It’s really exciting to see that Apple TV+ is consistently catering to its audience with genres like thriller, suspense, drama, and sci-fi. What’s more interesting is that they are smart about successfully combining these elements to bring content that’s truly worth a binge. Their latest series, Sunny, which premiered episodes 1 & 2 today, stars Rashida Jones and Hidetoshi Nishijima and sets the stage with its noteworthy attempt at showing how difficult it is to let go of our core memories.

Set in Kyoto, Japan, “Sunny” follows Suzie as she struggles to uncover the fate of her husband and child after a mysterious plane crash leaves her uncertain if they are dead or alive. While Suzie is still in denial, the company her husband worked for gifts her a robot named Sunny, which is specially designed for her. The 10-part series quickly sets an investigative mood, making its audience eager to know the what, why, and how of the mystery. Despite her initial dislike for robots due to her past experiences, Suzie forms a deep connection with Sunny. Together, they set out to uncover what really happened to her husband and son.

In this article, I will dissect what really unfolds in the premier, explaining whether her husband and son are indeed dead, and dig into the possibility of where the story might lead. Please note, this article contains major spoilers, so reader discretion is advised.

Sunny Episode 1 “He’s in Refrigerators” Recap:

The first episode gives us a brief glimpse of how a robot kills a man, with a voice in the background mentioning that no one will find out about this. We are then introduced to a shocked and grief-stricken Suzie (Rashida Jones), who, along with her mother-in-law Noriko (Judy Ongg), answers an officer noting down the identification details of her husband and young son. Masa Sakamoto (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and their son had boarded a flight; however, the officials have yet to confirm their whereabouts following a plane crash. Noriko wants her daughter-in-law to list whatever she remembers about their appearance so that the officials can help them better.

Noriko then takes Suzie to a ‘tear-seeking’ ceremony where a strange man helps grieving people cry to get over their sorrows and bid farewell to the deceased after listening to their voicemail notes. Suzie, still in denial and uncertain about her family’s demise, walks out of the ceremony when she finds Masa’s phone still ringing. On her way out, Suzie encounters a man offering his condolence gift, but Noriko warns her to stay away from the Yakuza, who always want something in return from those who seek help. While the rescue operation for Flight 405, which Masa and their son boarded, is still ongoing, the news channel also runs a story about the funeral services of Councillor Ito, who died in his home after a fatal fall.

Suzie discovers the Sakamoto Incubator

Sunny Episodes 1 & 2.
A still from Sunny Episode 1.

Back at home, Suzie finds her husband’s colleague, Yuki Tanaka, bringing a gift from the company IMATECH he works for. It turns out the gift is a specially designed robot named Sunny, designed by Masa. Suzie wishes to return the gift right away; however, Yuki explains that Masa created Sunny to provide great comfort to Suzie.

Sunny (voice by Joanna Sotomura), who operates only with Suzie’s command, seems very friendly and eager to cater to its owner. She is well-versed in Suzie’s likes and dislikes and is even aware of her personality traits. Suzie is confused by Sunny’s presence in her life because she didn’t even know that Masa, who created refrigerators, was an important person at IMATECH. However, every time Sunny tries to get to know Suzie, she puts it to sleep by command because Suzie is engulfed in her despair and sorrow.

Overwhelmed by Sunny’s constant presence, Suzie heads to IMATECH to locate Yuki Tanaka. Instead of finding Yuki, she’s directed to a much younger man with a similar name, whose drunken state at the company party only frustrates her more. On her way out, Suzie enters a restricted area marked ‘Sakamoto Incubator.’ Beyond the gate, she discovers multiple rooms, one of which contains small puppies left alone. Curious, she enters to comfort them but is shocked to find blood stains on the floor. Disturbed by the sight, she leaves.

Connection of Bloodstain Between Ito’s House & Sakamoto Incubator

Later, at the usual bar where Suzie often went with Masa, she meets a friendly bartender named Mixxy, who nervously serves her a bad cocktail. To make up for her mistake, Mixxy offers Suzie a drink, and soon they strike up a conversation. Suzie fabricates a story about going through a breakup with an intimidating partner, prompting Mixxy to reveal that she relies solely on her homebot, which can also serve as a sexual companion. This surprises Suzie, but Mixxy explains that there are manuals available for hacking into these robots, which are capable of both good and malicious actions. Suzie realizes that robots can not be trusted and that Sunny might not be completely deactivated, so she hurries home.

On her way, a camera (likely through a robot) follows Suzie and an unnamed man (seen earlier in the episode) closely monitors her movements. He instructs his robot to send a file with a message stating, “We are onto her. She is alone.” Upon returning home, Suzie packs up Sunny, intending to dispose it off in a river, but its weight forces her to abandon it on a bridge over the river. Back home, she searches for ‘Masa Sakamoto,’ leading her to investigate further into ‘House of Councillor, Ito, robots, killed,’ uncovering an online photo of Ito’s house where he supposedly died from a fall. She discovers traces of blood similar to what she saw in the restricted room earlier at IMATECH.

The following day, Suzie wakes up to find Sunny back in the house, which terrifies her. In defense, she grabs a baseball bat and aims it at Sunny. However, the robot mimics Masa’s usual gesture, an expression of love that only Suzie could understand. Suzie stops but is left deeply confused. Sunny insists that it is programmed for her, demanding Suzie to repeatedly command the sign, thus ending the episode.

Episode 2 “Don’t Blame the Machine” Recap:

Episode 2 begins with an employee at IMATECH leaving his workplace frantically during a routine exercise drill. The episode then takes us back to Suzie’s memories when she first met Masa at a silent ramen cafe, where he helped her obtain an ordering token from a vending machine. We can see Suzie straining to recall the details of her initial encounter with Masa while simultaneously, the man from Episode 1 monitors Suzie’s movements through his robot.

Later, Suzie questions Sunny about whether Masa taught it the kiss gesture that was significant to the Sakamoto couple. Suzie and Sunny engage in an awkward banter: Suzie is impatient with the robot, and Sunny is constantly evolving in its curiosity about its owner. Confused and concerned, Suzie asks Sunny if he knows anything about Masa’s work at IMATECH and if he might have been involved in harming anyone. Sunny, programmed for Suzie and with memories only two days old since activation, tries to offer comfort by suggesting that if Masa, its creator, were a bad person, the robot itself would harbor malice.

Suzie curious to unravel Masa’s mysterious identity

This odd reaction prompts Suzie to take the robot to a local programming guy who scans Sunny for any kind of malfunction. However, the old man finds Sunny to be an advanced version of its creation, constantly evolving based on its ability to adapt to Suzie. Suzie mentions the guide manual that Mixxy mentioned earlier, but the old man doesn’t comply with Suzie’s requests and leaves. As Suzie takes Sunny from the place, the old man’s granddaughter follows her and discreetly hands her a book detailing the guide manual that allows robot owners to hack into their homebots. She also reveals a ‘ghetto’ sign tattooed on her body as a symbol, further confusing Suzie with new things that remind her of Masa’s increasingly mysterious identity.

To find answers, she then visits her mother-in-law, Noriko, who is having a gala time with her friends instead of grieving over her son and grandson’s disappearance. Suzie asks about a self-drawn photo of a wolf that Masa had hung up at the house as a gift for his mother. However, Noriko tells her that she threw it away as it meant little to her. Suzie presses Noriko for information about Masa and his work at IMATECH beyond making refrigerators, but Noriko deflects the questions, which frustrates Suzie. It seems she didn’t expect much help from Noriko anyway.

The episode revisits the memories where Suzie and Masa hang out after their ramen noodle meeting. We learn that Suzie considered moving to Kyoto, intrigued by the idea of ‘Hikikomori’ – a condition where a person prefers to isolate themselves for a period. Masa shares that he, too, secluded himself from the world for three years, which became very lonely for him. Speaking about loneliness, Masa felt distant when people looked at him; however, over time, he found people looking up to him, which made him feel good. Curious to know more about Masa, Suzie asks him about his sketchbook, but he reflexively moves it away, telling her that he works in refrigerators. Back in the present, Suzie finds it odd that Masa hid his life from her for all these years, making her even more agitated to find out more about him.

Sunny Episode 2 “Don’t Blame the Machine” Ending Explained:

What does Suzie find in IMATECH’s restricted compounds?

A still from Sunny Episode 2.
A still from Sunny Episode 2.

At home, she frantically searches through Masa’s things, hoping to find anything related to the wolf tattoo drawing. However, Sunny reminds her that she is being hysterical. Sunny offers its assistance and suggests that if Masa had been hiding things from her, they would probably be in his office. The two visit IMATECH again, but before entering the office premises, Sunny malfunctions and reboots. Suzie doesn’t waste any time and goes inside by herself. Somehow, she sneaks into the restricted area again and into the room where she found the puppies before. This time, the room seems meticulously cleaned to remove any bloodstain that could be potential evidence of a crime or mishap.

The episode then connects to the opening shot, where Suzie’s presence in the restricted area (Division 5) alerts the man, who runs in panic to catch the intruder. Suzie escapes and somehow ends up in the exercise drill room, where employees are exercising while wearing AR glasses. Just when Suzie feels trapped in a room full of people that could get her into trouble, she sees Sunny in the radio room. The robot directs Suzie out of the premises, and they both sigh in relief once outside.

Back at home, as Suzie tries to wind down from the hectic run-for-your-life marathon, the doorbell rings. Sunny offers to answer it and returns with her son’s shoes from the authorities. This deeply upsets Suzie, and she excuses herself to her room. Outside, we see the robot of the man spying on Suzie, reporting to its owner that Sunny believed it to be from the authorities and shared the narrative about the shoes.

Is Sunny responsible for a murder?

Episode 2 ends with Suzie requesting Sunny to sleep by her side for comfort. However, when Suzie is fast asleep, we see Sunny waking up from a nightmare involving the same room as Masa on the day of a murder (the opening shot of the series’ first episode). Masa tells the robot that everything will get better and that no one has to know anything about it while covering Sunny with a piece of cloth.

Did Masa murder someone using Sunny? Is Sunny part of a conspiracy and has no recollection of the event due to being rebooted using the ‘dark manual guide’? Is Sunny there to protect Suzie from something she is unknowingly part of? Is Masa in hiding and controlling Sunny remotely? Who is the guy following Suzie, and is he tracking her to get hold of Masa? Does Noriko know something that Suzie doesn’t? There are many questions that will probably be addressed as the show progresses, as it has already established the weblink of its plot.

Read More: Presumed Innocent Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: How Does Michael’s Testimony Shape Rusty’s Case?

Trailer:

Sunny Episodes 1 & 2 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Sunny Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Rashida Jones, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Joanna Sotomura, Judy Ongg, annie the clumsy, Jun Kunimura
Sunny Episodes 1 & 2 Genre: Mystery & Thriller/Sci-Fi/Comedy/Drama | Runtime: 10 Episodes (30-35 mins each)
Where to watch Sunny

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