‘The Bear’ Recap: Everything You Need To Know Before Watching Season 2


The Bear, created by Christopher Storer, is the story of two brothers who dreamed of opening their own restaurant but with time things become complicated and that dream was forgotten amidst all the hardships and struggles of life. Food was their common ground, and they believed that one day, people would get to savor the flavors that they created. But the dreams were shattered when the elder brother took his life, and the younger felt as if he was stranded in a dark, dingy alley from where he didn’t know his way back. So, let’s find out what The Bear is all about and if our protagonist was ever able to resolve his external and internal conflicts.

Spoilers Alert

Carmy Takes Charge Of The Beef

Carmen Berzatto, aka Carmy, had left his job at a renowned hotel and come back to his roots, to work in his family restaurant called the Original Beef of Chicagoland. Carmen had worked in Michigan Star hotels all his life, and when he came back to the Beef, he realized that the entire place was a mess. There was no order; there wasn’t any hierarchy; people did as they felt like; and during the busy hours, the place was an absolute mess, but the thing that worked in their favor was that their food was cheap, they had a loyal base of customers, and somehow they maintained the quality of their main recipe, the family meal spaghetti. Carmy had no plans of coming back, but after the sudden death of Michael, he came to know that he had left the restaurant for him. Carmy was a bit surprised, as he always thought that Michael did not want him to get involved in it. Carmy felt a sense of responsibility, but he knew that it was not an easy task to elevate the standard and provide the kind of service that Beef hadn’t been known for providing. He knew the chefs working there had the talent, and they just needed to be guided in the right direction.

The problem was that nobody was accustomed to obeying orders, and when Carmy took charge of things, they underestimated his potential and started rebelling against whatever he said. Tina was probably the most experienced chef of the lot, and she loved Michael more than anybody knew. At her age, it was difficult to embrace the changes that Carmy was asking for. Though she resisted it at the beginning of The Bear, she eventually started giving in solely because Carmy was Michael’s brother and not because she found any merit in his practices. Marcus was a brilliant pâtissier, and he knew that he could use Carmy’s expertise to level up his game and make the best use of the resources he had. Carmy had high hopes for Sydney Adamu, as she was probably the only person apart from him who had gone to a professional hotel management institute and came to The Beef after working at popular restaurants and hotels. Richard Jerimovich, aka Richie, was Michael’s best friend, and before Carmy came back and took charge of things, he used to run the place with Michael. Richie was also shaken after his friend’s demise, and no day passed when he didn’t think about what he could have done differently to save him. Natalie Berzatto was Carmy’s and Michael’s sister, and on paper, she was the co-owner of The Beef, though she had made it very clear that she had nothing to do with the godforsaken place.

The Beef was started by Carmy’s parents, and after they retired, Michael took charge of things. Michael and Carmy always dreamed of opening their own food joint, but before it could become a reality, Michael shot himself and ended his life. The restaurant was incurring huge losses; they were not able to pay their taxes, and to make matters worse, COVID-19 came and wreaked havoc on the entire world. A lot of businesses shut down during that time, but the restaurant managed to stay afloat because Richie sold drugs on the side to keep revenue coming in. At the same time, Michael became addicted to painkillers. Richie knew about his condition, and that is why, to this day, he feels like if he had done something back then, things would have been different. After the multiple debacles, nobody believed that Carmy would be able to bring the business back on track, and he also knew that he would have to pull off a miracle to make it happen.

Was Carmy Able To Revamp The Beef?

The first thing that Carmy did was introduce a system of hierarchy in the restaurant called the French Brigade. In this system, there was a chain of command, and everybody was given their own specific sections to handle. If somebody was peeling vegetables, they had to keep to themselves without interfering in the work of other chefs. Carmy became the CDC, i.e., The Chef De Cuisine, and Sydney was his sous chef, i.e., the second in command. Tina, Marcus, Richie, and others had a lot of problems following this new system, but over a period of time, they realized it was making things easier for them, and like before, they were not all over the place. Carmy came to know that Michael had taken about $300,000 from Uncle Jimmy in order to revamp the place, but he had probably wasted all the money, and the onus to repay the loan now lay on Carmy. One day, things got out of hand when Sydney, by mistake, left the preorder option open. There was complete chaos and mayhem, and Carmy ended up losing his temper and saying some really mean things to everybody. Sydney and Marcus felt disrespected and hurt by the way they were talked to. In the middle of her shift, Sydney packed her bags and quit her job. Marcus also didn’t stay for long, and he made it very clear that he was not going to put up with such behavior.

After such a terrible day, where Carmy lost two of his best chefs, he thought that the worst had happened, but he was wrong. Carmy and his team were providing catering services at a party organized by Uncle Jimmy when a fight broke out, and Richie, in the heat of the moment, assaulted a guy who almost died. Luckily, the man survived, and Richie was only charged with aggravated assault. Carmy paid for his bail using the emergency money he had saved for the restaurant. Carmy was getting a sinking feeling, as no matter what he did, he was finding it extremely hard to keep his business running. He was going through a lot emotionally, and the state of the Beef was not helping his cause.

Was Carmy Able To Cope With His Loss?

Natalie, aka Sugar, Carmy’s sister, had a lot of unresolved issues with him. Since he had come back to his hometown, he had not asked her even once how she was doing, considering Michael was her brother too. Carmy was running away from his trauma because he was too scared to face it. But this escapist attitude was making him feel even more entangled, and he didn’t know how to come out of the abyss that he was in. Carmy used to attend meetings of an association named Al-Anon, meant for family and friends of alcoholics. He generally didn’t speak in those meetings, but at the end of The Bear, he decided that it was probably about time he got rid of his baggage and stopped running from his internal conflicts. Carmy was very close to his brother, and he was probably the only friend he had. As they grew older, Carmy started feeling like he knew nothing about his brother.

Michael stopped letting him into The Beef, and Carmy became rebellious. He wanted to show his brother that he could become the best cook in the world, and that is exactly what he did. Carmy got a lot of recognition and fame and won all kinds of awards, but nothing seemed to satisfy him. In reality, the little brother just wanted a pat on the shoulder from the person he looked up to, i.e., Michael. Carmy had no clue that his brother had started taking drugs, and then one day, he got the news that Michael had shot himself. The guy who kept everybody happy, who was lively and energetic, and who had such a magnetic personality, was dealing with a lot of issues that nobody knew about. Michael had left a note for his little brother, which Richie gave to him in the end. Carmy couldn’t control his tears when he saw what was written in the letter. Michael wrote that he loved him, and on the backside, he had jotted down the recipe for their flagship family spaghetti dish. It was a cathartic moment for Carmy, and he was motivated to be a better man than he was. He apologized to Sydney and Marcus, who eventually returned to The Beef, and it did seem like things would get back on track, though it was still a huge ask to repay all the debts.

Whose Money Did Carmy Find In Tomato Cans?

Carmy, at the end of The Bear, found bundles of cash inside the many tomato puree cans that were stacked on the shelves in the restaurant. He realized that Michael had saved all that money, as he knew that when Carmy took over the restaurant, he would need it to keep the business running. It was probably the same $300,000 that Michael had taken from Uncle Jimmy. Everybody had believed that he had mindlessly spent the money, but Michael had thought about the future. Carmy, for a moment, couldn’t fathom what was happening to him. This situation was too good to be true. Carmy knew that he had gotten the key to overcome all the challenges and upgrade to the next level. As an ode to the memory of his brother, he decided to finally shut down The Beef and open a new restaurant that he called ‘The Bear.’ Carmy and Michael saw that dream together, and he knew that it was about time he transformed it into reality. In The Bear season 2, we will find out if Carmy is able to realize his dreams and what kind of challenges he has to face in his journey ahead.

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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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