“The Bear” season 1 and 2 earned it a lot of goodwill. For a show set in a tense kitchen, it became surprisingly popular and a breakout hit for all its talent. It offered us a string of characters that we can resonate with. After the anxiety-inducing season 1, season 2 offered a roller coaster ride of emotions. It offered us a peek into their history to understand the root of their fears, worries, and behavioral patterns.

Simultaneously, it showed its characters growing and learning to be their better selves. Still, they carried a lot of emotional baggage, which was bound to rear its head at some point in the future. While working on their collective dream of building a new restaurant, their unresolved traumas led to some unpredictable circumstances. It resulted in “The Bear” season 2’s taut finale that showed an infuriated Carmy bearing his heart out while being stuck in a walk-in fridge. Does he get out of that walk-in fridge? Well, the third season answers that and more.

Spoilers Ahead

The Bear (Season 3) Recap:

“The Bear” season 3 follows Carmy, Syd, and the entire team starting the business as usual in their newly opened The Bear restaurant. The second season’s finale left us with many burning questions. What happens to Carmy & Syd’s new restaurant? Does it get a Michelin star, as Syd wanted? What happens to Carmy & Claire’s relationship? And what happens to Carmy & Cousin’s partnership? The new season sheds some light.

Episode 1: Tomorrow

The traumatizing finale of the second season showed Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) stuck in a walk-in fridge, arguing with and berating Cousin Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) – and reflecting on his relationship with Claire (Molly Gordon) and his work – feeling that it led to his lack of focus & discipline. Now, the third season begins with a reflective episode, taking us through a fluid journey between the past and the present. It shows the day after the chaos and all the days that led to Carmy’s outbreak. There’s his time in New York working for unforgiving Chef David (Joel McHale) and returning tired and sweaty to Stevie’s (John Mulaney) apartment.

Then, there’s his time working at Chef Terry’s (Olivia Colman) restaurant with Chef Luca (Will Poulter), where Chef Terry taught him a lot without being cruel like David. That’s where Carmy learned that no work is less dignified. There’s also the time after the chaotic Christmas dinner when Natalie aka Sugar (Abby Elliot) gave him emotional support before leaving for New York. She offered him some cash, but he didn’t take it. At the time, he didn’t let Claire into his life and stayed busy trying to prove his worth to Michael (Jon Bernthal), who treated him like a child. Then, there’s his time being in a relationship with Claire when she saw a burn sign on his palm from his time working for David.

What happens the day after the fridge incident?

The day after the opening of The Bear, Carmy apologizes to Syd (Ayo Edebiri) for making her take all the burden of their duties and being unreliable. Syd tells him to not let it happen again. He says it won’t. Meanwhile, Marcus (Lionel Boyce) couldn’t be with his mother when she took her last breaths. So, Syd calls Marcus, feeling sorry for it. While Carmy calls Richie to apologize for his emotional outburst, Claire starts her new day at the hospital, trying not to think about what happened the night before and all the hurtful things that Carmy said about her.

Episode 2: Next

The Bear (Season 3) Review, Recap, & Ending Explained
A still from “The Bear” (Season 3)

After all the chaos, Carmy decides to set new standards for The Bear. He arrives early in the restaurant and prepares a bunch of new dishes for their menu. Not just that, going forward, he plans to have a new menu every single day. Syd, who had worked hard on the dishes, gets upset that Carmy changed them without asking her opinion. Regardless, Carmy tells Natalie to print out his list of non-negotiable standards for everyone to read and follow. Natalie, who’s going to have a baby in two months, is concerned about Carmy’s management approach.

Richie and Carmy refuse to speak with each other and use Syd as a vessel, which irritates her. So, the cousins start arguing, and Richie mentions Claire. Carmy refuses to speak about her. Then, Neil (Matty Matheson) & Theodore ‘Ted’ Fak (Ricky Staffieri) show up, followed by Tina (Liza Colón -Zayas) and Gary (Corey Hendrix). While discussing the prices on their menu, they inadvertently end up arguing. Once Marcus returns, everyone gets silent. Marcus insists he doesn’t want to talk about anything and just wants to move on with the routine. Once others leave, Marcus tells Carmy that he isn’t upset for not being with his mother during her last moments. He believes his mother would have wanted him to be with them.

Episode 3: Doors

The staff of The Bear restaurant joins Marcus for his late mother’s wake. Marcus speaks about the time he spent with his mother in her last few months. Later, the staff finally begins serving the customers at the restaurant. Richie notes down any allergies or dietary restrictions the customers have to make the necessary changes in the food. But Carmy makes everyone’s job harder by expecting utmost perfection as once was expected of him. Tired of Carmy’s tyrannical approach, Richie makes his own list of non-negotiables.

While Carmy is driven by his pursuit of culinary perfection, Richie wants to enhance the customer experience. Slogging through a month of service, they keep clashing with each other. Meanwhile, Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt) gets frustrated by Carmy’s needless overspending. So, he scolds Carmy for buying ridiculously expensive items and then wasting them. While trying to move forward with their duties, the staff starts falling back into their old patterns. Moreover, Carmy’s buried trauma interrupts his workflow and frustrates Syd.

Episode 4: Violet

Syd decides to move out of her father’s place to get her personal space. She decides to pay with her upgraded salary even though she hasn’t yet signed the partnership agreement. Her father, Emanuel (Robert Townsend), is skeptical about how the agreement benefits her. On her way to work, Syd bumps into Chef Adam Shapiro (Adam Shapiro). He reveals that he recently dropped by The Bear and loved their food. Syd feels strange taking credit for it since Carmy has been steering the ship. Later, he ignores her suggestions and works just according to his vision.

The Bear (Season 3) Review, Recap, & Ending Explained
A still from “The Bear” (Season 3)

Meanwhile, Richie’s daughter, Eva (Annabelle Toomey), talks about her mother’s new boyfriend & Richie’s old friend, Frank (Josh Hartnett). Eva wonders what she should call Frank. When Richie drops Eva off at Tiffany’s (Gillian Jacobs) place, he bumps into Frank. Frank feels guilty for not asking Richie before getting into a relationship with Tiffany. Richie gives him a green signal not to worry about it. Tina realizes the impact of climate change on the availability of fresh produce in the market. Neil prints out photos of food critics and posts them on his office wall. Carmy gets stressed just looking at it.

The Shifting Dynamic

At the restaurant, Syd points out Carmy’s neglect toward her in decision-making. Meanwhile, Richie & Natalie have a heart-to-heart about their present mental states. Nat does not want her child to bear the burden of her worries. Richie briefly reflects on his loneliness since Tiff thinks he is alone. Moments later, they receive a call about an upcoming photoshoot from the Chicago Tribune. That’s when the staff realizes that the food critic for the Tribune has already visited their restaurant for the review.

Episode 5: Children

Syd helps Marcus take care of his late mother’s belongings. Marcus apologizes to Syd for making their working relationship awkward. Meanwhile, Chef Terry suddenly decides to close her Ever Restaurant. Syd worries this news would make Carmy anxious about The Bear’s prospects. Carmy worries whether his micro-management will affect their business in its early stages. Richie starts working on a presentable atmosphere for the photographer from the Chicago Tribune. For this job, Neil and Theodore are joined by their brother, Sammy (John Cena). While they engage in a friendly banter, Marcus shares his plan for a new dish with Natalie.

Richie speaks with Jessica (Sarah Ramos), his colleague for a week at Ever. She is looking forward to their funeral service (the last service at the restaurant) but doesn’t want to overthink her future. Uncle Jimmy brings Nicholas Marshall, aka the Computer, to deal with their financial matters. He offers sane advice to marry feasibility with their creativity. Later, while taking the photos, the photographer asks for a duck dish that the reviewer wrote about. The problem is that they don’t have a duck at the last minute. Also, Carmy keeps changing recipes. So, they don’t know which particular version of duck they served the reviewer. Alas, they tell Sammy to bring a duck while Natalie defends Marcus’s job from getting axed with someone who’ll agree to work for less.

Episode 6: Napkins

‘Napkins’ follows Tina’s life before she started working at Michael’s The Beef restaurant. At the time, she suddenly got fired from a logistical job that she had worked on for over 15 years. Her landlord had suddenly hiked their rent by a lot. Tina’s husband, David’s (David Zayas) salary as a doorman wasn’t going to help them sustain their family’s livelihood. So, she started looking around for jobs. But for a 45-year-old woman with no college degree, it was nearly impossible, despite her decades of experience. She felt helpless and utterly ignored. After getting tired of this mistreatment, she dropped by The Beef, where Richie offered her a sandwich and a coffee for free.

A still from “The Bear” (Season 3)

Tina walked inside to have her meal. Behind her, Richie, Neil, and Michael kept arguing over some repair job. Amid their noise, Tina started crying. Michael got worried and decided to check up on her. He spoke about their eternally failing toilet to make her open up about her misery. She revealed her present situation. Mikey showed her a photo of one of Carmy’s recipes and shared details about how their family got started in this business. He talked about the good and the bad of working there. It allowed Tina to be honest with him about her financial woes. Hearing that, Mikey instantly offered her a job. Despite the lower pay, she decided to join their team. That’s how she became an integral part of the Beef Restaurant.

Episode 7: Legacy

Carmy tries to get over his memories of Claire while attending the support meetings. Freshly laid out of his job at the Ever Restaurant, Chef Adam offers Syd a job at his upcoming restaurant. He understands that it would be a difficult decision for Syd, considering her loyalty to her team. But he has decided to move fast. At The Bear, Carmy speaks about leaving behind an anxiety-free legacy with his restaurant. Ebraheim & Tina help out with the service at The Beef restaurant. Gary talks with Theodore about his interest in baseball and a probable career path he left behind after getting a job at the Beef.

Syd can’t muster the courage to tell Carmy about her new job offer. Richie and Natalie open up about how they are handling the new changes in their lives. They reflect upon their past and get emotional. Suddenly, the restaurant runs out of C-folds. So, Natalie decides to go and get them herself. Before leaving, she tells Syd to sign the agreement at the earliest. While Syd struggles to make up her mind, Carmy keeps overriding her decisions and lets her have hardly any say in the final recipes. Meanwhile, on her way back with a box of C-folds, Natalie goes into labor.

Episode 8: Ice Chips

On her drive to the hospital, Natalie keeps calling everyone she can think of to join her during the labor. Outside the hospital, she gets an unlikely companion in the form of her mother, Donna (Jamie Lee Curtis). While sitting by Nat’s side, Donna brings up stories from her past related to childbirth. Natalie shares her birth plan with the nurse. Some of its details make Donna burst into laughter. Nat asks for some music in the background after being tired of Donna’s rambling. Although a bit intense in her approach, Donna tries her best to prepare Nat for her childbirth. While providing emotional comfort, Donna shares the stories from when she & Carmy were born and reflects on Nat’s irresponsible father.

Donna holds Nat during the moments of her intense pain with trivial details that can offer some distraction. While they wait for the delivery, Donna decides to bring some ice chips. Nat opens up about her fear of loneliness and that Peter (Chris Witsake) might leave her. That’s why she usually doubles down on her selflessness, asking everyone if they are doing fine. Nat reveals why she didn’t tell Donna about her pregnancy before. While trying to bury their old wounds, they both get emotional. Then, Pete arrives, filled with enthusiasm, and Donna walks out of the room. Donna doesn’t want Nat to go through the same experiences as her and have a fear of abandonment.

Episode 9: Apologies

The Bear (Season 3) Review, Recap, & Ending Explained
A still from “The Bear” (Season 3)

The Fak brothers think Carmy should go speak with Claire and mend his relationship. Since Carmy shows no interest, the Faks meet Claire at her hospital and urge her to give Carmy another chance. Carmy pushes himself too much from the fear of getting his restaurant prematurely shut down. Reviews for his restaurant start flashing before his eyes – be it glorious or scathing. While Syd checks up on his mental health, he invites her to the last meal at the Ever Restaurant. Later, Uncle Jimmie tells Carmy that he will pull out his funding for The Bear if they receive a negative Tribune review.

Still, as a father figure in Carmy’s life, Jimmie wants Carmy not to let go of his obsession, even if it may seem inexplicable to the outside world. So, Carmy remains lost in the thoughts of putting everything he has learned into The Bear’s output. While working on his new dishes, Marcus helps Tina with a trick he learned during his time in Amsterdam. Syd goes to Nat & Pete to offer some food. Meanwhile, Richie meets Tiffany, overseeing Eva playing with other kids. He asks Tiff about what she said to Eva – whether she really thinks he is alone. Despite what he is going through, Richie doesn’t want his daughter to worry about him.

Episode 10: Forever

With the closing of the Ever Restaurant, Carmy grapples with the thought that ‘Nothing lasts forever.’ As a result, he becomes invested in leaving behind a legacy that he can be proud of and not the one he would rather want to forget. While going through the memories of his working experience, he shows up at the Ever Restaurant for their Funeral Dinner. Chef Luca meets him after years of distance. They have interactions with other chefs about their dishes and restaurants. Syd eventually arrives to join the others for dinner. All the renowned chefs from across the world gather to have a meal and share their intriguing and embarrassing experiences.

Across the table, Carmy notices Chef David sitting with other guests. Even though other chefs stay lost in listening to each other’s musings, Carmy remains lost in the traumatizing experience he had with and because of David. In the kitchen, Richie reunites with the Ever team: Jessica, Garrett (Andrew Lopez), and the GM (Rene Gube). Richie asks Jessica how she is always driven to do work, even on the last day of her job. She says she surrounds herself with people better than herself as her secret for always being motivated. Soon after, Chef Terry greets her guests and offers a speech. She notes that, more than food, she will remember the people she shared the food & experiences with.

The Bear (Season 3) Ending Explained:

At the Funeral Dinner, Carmy keeps looking at Chef David, who traumatized him for life. He tells Syd & Luca that David made him mentally ill. So, when David walks to the washroom, Carmy follows and confronts him. Carmy expects an apology for David’s years of inhumane management. But David feels no regret for his behavior. In fact, he prides himself on turning Carmy from being a mediocre chef into a great chef. Carmy points out how David is the reason behind his anxiety and panic attacks. But David doesn’t feel even a bit of remorse, which pains Carmy even further.

A still from “The Bear” (Season 3)

Carmy probably reenacted this scene multiple times in his head, expecting a sense of catharsis of closure. But David’s non-apologetic attitude shatters him. Meanwhile, Syd & Luca discuss their perspectives on the work environments in kitchens. He talks about his brother while she can’t think of anyone in particular she relies on besides her father. In the middle of their conversation, Adam takes her away to ask about her decision to join his team. She says she is still contemplating. Meanwhile, Terry joins Carmy, standing outside the restaurant by himself. He thanks her for her invaluable lessons. She shares her plans after closing The Ever and talks about seeking a sense of peace.

What is the fate of The Bear restaurant?

Carmy asks Chef Terry for her advice for someone at his stage – for someone who has started his first restaurant and is struggling to find meaning in it or thinking about its legacy. Terry tells him to embrace the uncertainty and use it to be invincible. Eventually, the staff of The Ever & The Bear return to Syd’s new apartment to have drinks and a party. Syd looks around at all the things and people she has gained working at The Beef. Suddenly, she walks out and has a panic attack from the fear of all that she is going to lose if she chooses Adam’s offer. As Chef Terry said, it isn’t just the restaurant or the food but the people she worked with.

Over time, The Bear staff became her family. So, now, it weighs heavy on her to depart from them or break them apart. While walking out, Carmy sees a series of notifications on his phone related to the Chicago Tribune review. He also sees a couple of missed calls from Uncle Jimmy & from The Computer. He reads through a bunch of phrases in that review and shouts ‘Motherfucker’. The terms he glances through indicate a mixed review with both praises and criticisms. So, it is unclear what lies in the fate of The Bear restaurant. However, considering the multiple calls from Uncle Cicero & The Computer, it is possible that the review is negative. But the episode ends on an abrupt note, making us wait for the next season to understand the fate of the restaurant.

The Bear (Season 3) Review:

The third season of “The Bear” is a low-key charmer. It highlights tender moments of discussions and contemplations rather than confrontations and heated arguments. It’s not like the second season, which took many experimental risks with its storytelling. Also, it doesn’t reflect the first season’s severe pressure-cooker set-up. But my question is – why should it? All its characters have grown up and evolved with their experiences together. They have learned their lessons and have started looking for a more comfortable, less conflicting life. Like most of us, they also want to seek peace, quiet, and stability.

Although there are occasional moments of tension and distress in the third season, it is more meditative and feels like a much-needed breather for its characters. There are no shouty, intense, or attention-grabbing scenes in a conventional sense. But the lack of overt dramatization doesn’t make it worse. In fact, it allows the show to present these characters evolving in the later stages of their lives. It shows them reflect on life beyond the restaurant, entwined with their life at the restaurant. The long conversations serve a purpose, even if their pace may not be for someone looking for an intense experience.

Read More: 6 Shows to Watch If You Like The Bear On Hulu


The Bear (Season 3) Links: IMDb, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes
The Bear (Season 3) Cast: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas, Abby Elliott, Matty Matheson
Where to watch The Bear (Season 3)

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