The Bear: A Surprise Hit of the Summer of 2022
The Bear became an unanticipated hit during the Summer of 2022. After completing the ten-year run of Shameless, Jeremy Allen White returned to Chicago, which helped fuel some of the initial excitement. On the other hand, in contrast to Shameless, which was shot primarily in Los Angeles, The Bear takes place entirely in Chicago.
The episode’s protagonist is Carmy Berzatto, a chef who has won multiple awards. Carmy’s passion for food extends beyond his Italian lineage, as evidenced by his family owning and operating a greasy spoon Italian beef place for years. However, Carmy’s brother Michael (John Bernthal) does not permit him to work there even though he has an overpowering desire to do so. This fundamental rejection largely drives Carmy’s ambition in the kitchen. The fact that he learns to cook under the tutelage of an abusive executive chef (Joel McHale) contributes to the conflation of love and anguish he feels for the kitchen.
When his brother takes his own life and then, for some reason, gives him the business, everything in his life begins to fall apart. Carmy leaves his career in upscale dining in New York and returns to Chicago to preserve The Original Beef of Chicagoland, more commonly referred to as “The Beef.” It is charitable to refer to the restaurant as a functional business. Duct tape and sheer determination are the only things keeping the contraption together. The ragtag crew of employees needs to be more organized in terms of their personalities and processes, yet, they are tasked with making it simple for Carny to adjust to the new working environment.
The first season of The Bear crammed a lot of action and emotional resonance into its very short episodes, even though the season itself was short. Carmy Berzatto has recently been awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef title, and he has returned to Chicago to run The Beef in the wake of his brother’s untimely death. He observes that the restaurant is deplorable, filthy, badly stocked, and inefficient. Michael’s best friend, Richie, played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, now handles the day-to-day activities. However, he needs to get in better shape to complete the mission. Carmy has equal parts fear and frustration as a result of the disorganized state of the kitchen. His early efforts to change the menu and corral his new troops fail, as do his early efforts to change the menu.
Carmy employs Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a native of Chicago, to work as his sous chef because he is desperate to find some connection between this run-down restaurant and the world of fine dining that he has just left. Carmy and Sydney are only accepted in a limited capacity by the other members of the crew. As The Beef members learn to cooperate in whatever capacity they can, an uneasy cease-fire eventually occurs. Carmy’s younger sister, Natalie, played by Abby Elliott, appears during a tough moment, and the two have difficulty connecting. It is evident that the brothers have never been particularly close, and the loss of Michael shocked both of them. It has hurt her feelings that Carmy has focused all of his attention on the restaurant instead of spending more time supporting his family during this difficult period. She has also received an inheritance as a share in the restaurant. Because she has gotten threatening letters from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning unpaid taxes, she tries to persuade Carmy to sell it.
The first response that comes to Carmy’s mind is to decline. To pay respect to his sibling, he intends to keep the restaurant operating. They go into the restaurant’s little office to look for the payroll tax form she has specifically requested, referenced in the IRS letters. They discovered an absolute catastrophe area, and it could be readily compared to the bottom of a middle schooler’s locker at the school year’s conclusion. Neither one of them can locate the misplaced document. The situation at The Beef deteriorates quite quickly. When a health inspector arrives, multiple infractions of health department regulations are found. Carmy learns that his brother took out a loan for $300,000 from their loan shark uncle, Jimmy Cicero (Oliver Platt), a family member. Cicero offers to buy the restaurant from Carmy so that he may sell it and remove it from their hands, but Carmy declines the offer. This prevents Carmy from returning to New York and maintaining his prestige.
Carmy’s attempts to repress his emotions and focus all of his attention on The Beef are having a negative impact on his mental health, which is why it is sliding downward. To work through his feelings and better understand his brother’s struggles with addiction and suicide, he starts attending Al-Anon meetings behind his brother’s back. Because Carmy is preoccupied, Sydney is left to suffer rejection and hazing at the hands of the staff. Even though Richie receives all the praise, she is still responsible for dealing with daily challenges.
A Ray of Hope
Carmy has the brilliant idea of altering the workflow at The Beef to more closely resemble his approach to fine dining. He departs Sydney without enough preparation and with a lack of respect to carry it out. Sydney is being ignored and taken advantage of. She ultimately finds her footing and gradually earns the respect of her fellow employees at the workplace. On the other hand, Marcus (Lionel Boyce) needs help adapting to his new role as a chocolatier while the other cast members struggle.
The bathroom at The Beef was flooded when the toilet at the restaurant overflowed just before it opened. The restaurant can’t catch a break. Carmy calls on Fak, a boyhood buddy played by Matty Matheson, to help fix the problem. While there, Fak tries to interview Richie for a position at the Beef. As a result of Richie’s opposition to him working there, the two individuals come to blows. Carmy is quick to intervene and calm things down. To maintain his standing with Carmy, Fak divulges the information that Richie has been peddling cocaine in the alley behind the restaurant. Carmy is losing her cool. Richie claims that the money made from the sale of narcotics was the only thing that allowed the restaurant to remain operating throughout the COVID.
The Final Challenges
While all is going on, Marcus has difficulty preparing enough batter to bake cakes in time for the lunch rush. He raises the volume of the mixer to get things along more quickly. The electricity goes out because the burden is too great for the struggling eatery. Fak has determined that the restaurant needs a new condenser, but replacing the component would cost more than $5,000. Carmy is at a loss for what else to do, so he begs Richie to complete one more transaction to settle the expenses.
The connection between Carmy and Sydney is repaired when Carmy enlists Sydney’s assistance in developing a new supper menu to increase revenues. During all the chaos, Sydney does her best to prove herself worthy of the challenge. She never stops trying to win Carmy’s favor, but he needs to be less scattered and more at ease for him to give it. Even after he has tasted her food, he is uncommunicative, telling her that it is “not ready” but not providing any further information. Sydney prepares a risotto dish that she is exceptionally pleased with. She experiences a sense of betrayal when Carmy does not even bother to try the food. Because she wants her food to be well-spent, she gives it to one of her customers for free. The following day, Ebraheim, one of The Beef’s line cooks, played by Edwin Lee Gibson, is seen reading the newspaper as the staff begins preparations. In his review of The Beef, the culinary critic mentioned the outstanding risotto dish he was served. Carmy’s reaction to Sydney’s surprise achievement is irritation and pride. It was also the day when they launched their online ordering system. Marcus needs to prepare bread and cakes for the day since he becomes sidetracked while trying to perfect a novel pastry throughout the preparation process. While Carmy activates the ordering machine, she discovers that Sydney had inadvertently left the pre-order option activated while she was setting it up earlier. As hundreds of tickets are handed out, a frenzy of activity spreads…