“Beef” feels like a uniquely brilliant summation of the angst, frustrations, and desperations of modern life in the form of a comedy-drama series. The plot presents two individuals having a remarkably heated encounter when they find themselves against each other in a ludicrous incident of road rage, and then both refuse to let go of their anger. While the show often shifts gears from comedy to serious in a swift and successful manner, it also leaves viewers with a profound impact. Perhaps the best thing about “Beef” is that it lets itself flow into absurdly escalated situations, and while that does not work for all films or shows, it particularly makes “Beef” a great watch.
‘Beef’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Danny Cho is at a department store named Forsters trying to return a number of hibachi grills that he had earlier bought, and the store clerk gives him a hard time about it. Danny has not only bought and returned similar grills at the store multiple times before, making him look rather suspicious, but he has also forgotten his receipt in this instance. He is turned down by the clerk, and Danny frustratedly puts the items back into his car and intends to drive away. But another car rushes to the spot, with a crash between the two cars almost about to happen, and Danny shouts out in anger. The other driver does not instantly retaliate but instead sounds their horn to get Danny’s attention and then flips him off before speedily driving away. Danny takes only a moment’s pause to think about his next move and then recklessly chases behind someone he already considers his sworn enemy—a white SUV car. It is not like the man is very sure of what he might do when he eventually catches up to the car, but that does not stop Danny from giving chase.
Soon enough, both drivers are aware of what is going on, and they both create a mess by spilling waste and then wrecking the lawn of a house too. When Danny finally catches up, the white SUV first pretends to crash into him, only to give him a sort of warning, and then drives away. The driver of this white SUV, Amy Lau, is equally frustrated as Danny with this encounter, but she is also slightly pleased with how she managed to overpower some silly driver in road rage. What Amy is unaware of, though, is that Danny had seen her license plate number and had made a mental note of it to seek his revenge. What this simple, foolish road rage ultimately turns into is a series of horrible decisions leading to devastating consequences.
How Are Danny And Amy Similar To Each Other Despite Their Vast Differences?
Following the scenes of this road rage, “Beef” gradually opens up the lives of these two characters, who are going to be central to its narrative. Danny and Amy have quite the opposite lives at first glance, as they hail from very different financial circumstances. Danny is a man struggling to find any major direction in life, and he works as a handyman and mechanic of sorts only to keep himself and his younger brother Paul afloat. His parents used to run a motel in the United States, but they had been deported to South Korea after some illegal activities had taken place at the motel. This was largely the work of Danny’s cousin Isaac, a man who is always thinking of illegal means to make money, and Isaac had also been imprisoned because of this. In this situation, Danny dreams of making enough money soon enough to buy a property for his parents and build a house for them there so that the elderly couple can return to the United States. He is not too close with Paul either, as both brothers do not think too highly of each other, and Danny still keeps close with Isaac now that he has been released from prison. It is not like the man enjoys such an uncertain life, for Danny struggles to keep his mental stability intact, and he even attempts to kill himself multiple times using the hibachi grills. But every time, while waiting for the carbon monoxide poisoning to hit him, the man keeps changing his mind and then tries to return the grills at the store in order to get back the money he had already spent on them.
On the other side, Amy is the founder and owner of a high-lifestyle plant store named Koyohaus, which is estimated to be worth ten million dollars. Despite being very successful at her profession, Amy wants to sell off the store and stay away from work, intending to spend the next few years of her life with her young daughter June. Along with herself being quite wealthy, Amy is also part of the rich and elite through her marriage, for her husband George is the son of a renowned Japanese artist. In order to sell Koyohaus, the woman meets with Jordan, who is also the owner and CEO of the department store chain Forsters. Although Jordan does seem interested in the plant store business, she makes it clear that she is more interested in acquiring the design of a special chair made by George’s late father, known as the “Tamago chair.” While Amy knows that letting Jordan have the design of this chair will ascertain her plan for the future, George and his mother, Fumi, are very much against the idea of selling their late father’s or husband’s work, stressing the distinction between true art and money. On the other side, Amy has not come from a background of wealth and abundance that is required to believe in such an elitist distinction. This, among many other things, including her failing and aimless marriage, makes Amy distraught with the situation in her own life, too, always contemplating what would bring her some happiness.
Therefore, in the sense of unhappiness and frustration at their situations, Danny and Amy are very much alike, even though they are very different from the perspective of society. In fact, the two are even alike in their anger and vengeful natures toward each other, as becomes central in the plot of “Beef.” Both the characters are not typical white American road rage participants, and so the idea of suing each other is not something that intrinsically comes to their minds. Instead, the two take the matter into their own hands, leading to far more severe consequences. Danny tracks Amy’s house down and then urinates all over her fancy bathroom, following which Amy review-bombs Danny’s business as a handyman on Yelp. She then tracks Danny’s car and paints profanities all over it while also trying to catfish him with a fake Instagram profile. Instead, she winds up attracting Danny’s younger brother Paul, who was using their professional account, and the two even form a genuine bond, which leads to Amy cheating on George with him. Neither Amy nor Danny is intrinsically bad or evil, but they just keep making terrible decisions in order to get back at each other. When Danny later finds out that Amy had gotten Paul romantically involved with her, he believes it was only her way of getting back at him, which was not the case. It is only rarely that they stop in their tracks, only when they immediately realize how wrong their action will be, like when Danny is about to set fire to Amy’s SUV but stops when he sees young June inside it.
How Did The Two Stumble Upon Success And Wealth In Their Situations?
The major breakthroughs that both Danny and Amy receive in their respective lives and that take them to a stage of wealth and stability are both largely because of other people. In the case of Danny, the man decides to start a construction business with Paul and names it “Chosen Bros.” based on their surname of Cho. While looking for work as part of this business, Danny decides to reconnect with his romantic interest from the past, Veronica. At present, Veronica and her husband, Edwin, are members of a church, and despite not being interested in wanting to attend church services regularly, Danny offers to fix up some parts of the church. It is then that he gets a clever but unlawful idea—to get money from the church, saying that it was for a major renovation of the building. Danny is allowed to run this renovation job, especially since he says that he is only taking money for the construction materials and is not taking anything for his service. The man then uses this money to buy the property he had wanted to build a house for his parents and makes a plan with Isaac to steal some construction materials for the renovation work. At this time, Danny also learns that Isaac had been storing up large sums of illegal cash in rice cookers and that he had not told anyone else about this.
Within some time, Amy contacts Danny, informing him that there is a high chance that their public road rage will have stern repercussions. While videos of the incident had become popular on the internet by now, the identities of the two drivers were not known to anybody. However, a close associate of Amy had started to suspect that she was involved, and this woman was preparing to reveal this to a man who was thinking of suing the two drivers. This man was the owner of the yard which had been destroyed by Amy and Danny’s reckless actions, and so he was looking for their identities. Knowing that her involvement in such an incident would harm her reputation and, more importantly, cancel the deal with Forsters, Amy now offers to pay Danny $25,000 to publicly admit that it was he who had caused the whole mess. Although Danny agrees to this offer, he is again called up by Amy, who says that she is no longer offering such a deal. Still in desperate need of cash, Danny then leaves an anonymous tip, saying that it was actually his cousin Isaac who had caused the road rage and property damage. This is easy to prove since the red car of Danny is now registered under the business in Isaac’s name, and so the cousin gets locked away in prison. With Isaac out of the way, Danny now uses up all the money from the church renovation work as well as the illegal stash of Isaac to build his dream home for his parents.
The reason why Amy suddenly rescinds her offer to Danny is also because of the actions of another individual. Amy was initially fearful that the woman threatening her, Naomi, would find out more about her suspicious activities from her mother-in-law, Fumi. Amy and Fumi were not too fond of each other, and Fumi had even recently caught Amy taking private photographs, which she sent to Paul Cho. However, it is Fumi who takes a very unusual turn and tells Naomi that it was she who had caused the road rage and not Amy and that Amy was only lying to protect her reputation. Naomi had been trying to incriminate Amy because of the increasing proximity between Amy and Jordan, and now that Amy’s name is cleared, Naomi stops looking into the matter, and Isaac is sent to jail. The reasons why Fumi changes her stance are mainly two—first, she recognizes the love her son George has for Amy and the support she provides to George, despite the fact that the two were temporarily cheating on each other. The second reason is that Fumi herself is in financial distress, and she makes use of this vulnerable situation to convince George to sell the design of the Tamago chair, which fetches Fumi money. In turn, it also seals the deal between Amy’s Koyohaus store and Forsters. Unlike she had planned before, Amy now decides to continue being a part of the business and enjoys the luxurious lifestyle and fame that she earns.
Who Had Burned Down Danny’s House?
“Beef” picks up eight months after the previous events, when Amy is busy running her company along with Jordan, and Danny, too, is the owner of his stable construction business. Danny has almost taken over the church that Veronica and Edwin once ran, in the figurative sense, as it is now Danny who is the most popular face at the place. His relationship with Paul is also in a better place, but it is soon revealed that Danny had not told his brother about how he suddenly got all this money. In fact, Danny told the world that he had worked hard to establish his own business and earn enough money to build a house for his parents. On the other hand, Amy still does not find satisfaction in life despite having achieved her dreams and is internally distraught about it even, when the two sides meet once more. It is during this meeting that Danny suddenly realizes that the girl with whom Paul once had a relationship and for whom the younger brother is still quite emotional is Amy herself. Believing that the woman is still seeking revenge for the road rage incident, Danny tells all of this to Paul and even convinces him that she was feigning their relationship only to hurt Danny. Paul, in turn, seeks out his own revenge by telling George about their affair, which makes George leave his wife along with little June. Amy, in turn, now seems very vengeful, and at the very same time, the house that Danny had built for his parents mysteriously burns down.
The investigators at the scene inform Danny that it might have been a case of arson, and the man starts to think up who it could be. Amy seems like the obvious suspect since the wronged cousin Isaac was still in jail, but the truth that is ultimately revealed is quite different. Danny had set up the entire electric wiring in the house, confident in his skill in such a work, but he had made some major mistakes in this. The fire that destroyed the house had not been set by anyone else but the faulty electric wires, meaning that Danny was responsible for it. Despite being told about this, Danny decides to try and pin the blame on Amy, as he is still vengeful against her, and he tries to plant false evidence at the woman’s house. By now, Amy had confessed everything to George, and the husband knew of Danny’s real identity (who had earlier befriended him under a false identity). George tries to threaten Danny, and an altercation follows in which George is severely injured, and Danny quickly flees the scene, unaware that June is hiding in his car. This, and the fact that Isaac is also released from jail after Amy informs the police, leads to a flawed kidnapping plan, which only creates more mess for the characters. Ultimately, while June is rescued, most of the other characters, except for Amy, Danny and Paul, are killed in a police shootout.
‘Beef’ Ending Explained: What Finally Happens To Danny And Amy?
The final episode of “Beef” showcases an epic confrontation between Danny and Amy, as the two first drive each other off a cliff and then face off with makeshift weapons. All their attempts to kill each other fail and as they manage to survive, the harsh reality of their situation hits both of them. The two are, after all, deserted in a forested area outside LA and therefore have to help each other out. It is Amy who yields a gun and orders Danny to gather some wild berries, which both of them consume. Both are immediately poisoned and have severe hallucinations, making for an extremely rare scene in any series where profundity and humor are greatly balanced. It is during these perspective-meddling conversations that Danny and Amy realize how similar they are to each other and, more importantly for Amy, how Danny is the only person who understands her struggles even with a financially successful life. It is also this hallucinogenic episode that changes their relationship, turning animosity into a great friendship. The two then manage to limp their way back to the city of Los Angeles, but right when they are about to enter the city and return to their lives, George rushes into the scene. When George spots them, Amy struggles with her injured ankle, and Danny tries to help her up, but George interprets this as Danny trying to hurt his estranged wife. In retaliation, George shoots Danny with the gun that he always kept in a locker in his house.
The last scene of the series takes place in a hospital ward, where Danny lies in critical condition after being shot by George. Amy visits him and then makes a spot beside him on the bed to lie down beside Danny. As lights from the outside change, suggesting the passage of some time, Danny raises his hand to put it around Amy in a sort of embrace, making it clear that the man is alive. As “Beef” ends right after this scene, it puts to rest the tumultuous journey of the relationship between Amy and Danny, which had fared through innumerable absurd extremities, only to find the best of friends in each other. This final union of Danny and Amy does not necessarily have to be romantic either, as it is quite possible that Amy would still choose to stay with her family, but it surely makes Danny the most relatable and closest friend, even a companion, that Amy would ever have.