The Bear recap: Everything that has happened so far before season three airs next week

Begin the count down until when Jeremy Allen-White blesses our screens again

The third season of the hugely successful Hulu show, The Bear, is due to return to our screens next week with all 10 episodes becoming available to watch on Disney+ from Thursday 27th June. Boasting 16 awards, including four Golden Globes and 10 Emmys, The Bear hit our screens back in 2022 taking us on a culinary rollercoaster of family feuds, dirty money and many, many familiar faces appearing in the show.

With a whole year passing since the last season, fans may need a bit of a refresher of everything that has happened since Carmy inherited the Chicago-based sandwich joint. So, here is a complete rundown and recap of everything you need to know before you begin watching the new season of The Bear.

The Bear season one recap

After his older brother, Mikey (Jon Bernthal), took his own life, Carmy Berzatto (Jeremy Allen-White) was forced to take over The Beef, a small restaurant in the River North neighbourhood of Chicago that Mikey left to Carmy in his will. Carmy had a seasoned career working in Michelin star restaurants all over the world, so joining The Beef was a massive shock to his system as he tried to raise the standards.

At the beginning of the season, The Beef is a calamity. Mikey’s best friend Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) had attempted to take over running the restaurant, but his short-temper and unreliability had already created tension between the staff, which meant he got off on the wrong foot with Carmy.

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In an attempt to improve the quality of The Beef, Carmy hired newly graduated Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) as his sous chef, but the rest of the staff – including Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson), Tina Marrero (Liza Colon-Zayas), Marcus (Lionel Boyce), Sweeps (Corey Hendrix), Manny (Richard Esteras) and Angel (Jose M. Cervantes) – were reluctant to accept any change, and were hostile towards the newbie, Sydney.

Carmy and Mikey’s sister, Natalie (Abby Elliott), who also inherited a share of The Beef, but, riddled with grief, asked Carmy to sell her share. After failing to find the relevant documentation in Mikey’s poorly organised office, the Berzattos uncover $300,000 worth of debt that The Beef owed to their Uncle Jimmy Cicero (Oliver Platt), a prominent but dirty loan shark and former mobster. Uncle Jimmy offered to buy the restaurant but Carmy refused the offer as he stuck to his promise of improving The Beef.

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A health inspector identified several violations, including a pack of cigarettes left atop the stove, and gave them a grade C, which Carmy said stands for chaos. But things go from bad to worse, as the toilets flood and Carmy is forced to recruit old friend Fak (Matty Matheson) for some plumbing. Fak explained that they needed a new condenser which would have set them back $5,000.

During Fak’s time at the restaurant he revealed to Carmy that Richie and Michael used to deal cocaine behind the back of The Beef. Carmy, although initially furious, eventually agreed to let Richie do one final deal to pay for the condenser. We also learn of Carmy’s own attempts to tackle his mental health struggles during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which sees a guest cameo from The Breakfast Club star Molly Ringwald.

As the pressure continued to rise, Sydney began to build strong relationships with the rest of staff, but she still couldn’t impress Carmy. The two worked together to create a new menu but Carmy was harsh to each of the dishes he tasted and refused to touch her risotto dish entirely. Sydney took the risotto and offered it to a customer for free.

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Luckily for Sydney, that random customer happened to be a food critic and Ebraheim showed the rest of the staff the review he noticed in the local paper which claimed the risotto was the best thing he had ever tasted.

Before Carmy could even react, hundreds of orders pour in through The Beef’s new ordering system, after Sydney forgot to turn off the pre-order option. Carmy and the staff couldn’t cope and the whole restaurant was thrown into turmoil, the tension quite literally cut by a knife as Sydney accidentally stabbed Richie. Overwhelmed, Sydney and Marcus then quit.

Later on, Carmy has to reluctantly host a bachelor party at The Beef which, as you’d expect, goes horribly wrong. Richie gets in a fight, and Carmy gets too stressed out and tries to light a cigarette in the kitchen, which causes an accidental fire.

Out of nowhere, Richie handed Carmy a letter he had found from Mikey, which contained a recipe for spaghetti. Carmy noticed that the recipe made specific instruction to use the small tins of tomatoes in the restaurant because they taste better.

Carmy, confused, began opening the tins to find stashes of money inside. He enlisted the help of the rest of his staff to help open the cans and even texted an apology to Sydney who came back to the restaurant and helped with the cans as well.

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The final shot of the season showed Carmy hanging a sign on the door to say that The Beef is officially closed, but The Bear will be opening soon.

The Bear season two recap

Despite finding Mikey’s secret tomato stash of money at the end of season one, the team still struggle to manage their budget and they are forced to turn to Uncle Jimmy in hopes of helping them open up The Bear. Carmy and Natalie offered Uncle Jimmy a partnership with the restaurant, but Jimmy was sceptical because of his previous dealings with Mikey and the fact Carmy never paid off the debt. So, to get him on board, they agreed to Jimmy’s three month deadline to open, reduced from their projected six months, and promised him positive projections once they had opened.

In order to get the rest of the staff prepared for fine dining, Carmy sent them all to pick up new skills. He sent Marcus to Copenhagen to work with Luca (Will Poulter), a British chef who gave Marcus plenty of useful advice. Tina and Ebraheim are sent to culinary school, where Tina accepted her need to improve and took it in her stride, but Ebraheim became overwhelmed and quit, although he does eventually return to The Bear.

The Bear recap

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Chaos is on the menu for Carmy and Sydney as they begin to design a new menu that is a mix of cuisines and styles with no distinct theme around them, coined as a “chaos menu” by the pair. They appeared to be getting on much better than in season one but personal issues drive a wedge between them again.

Sydney started doubting the logistics of the restaurant after seeking a loan from her father, who poses financial questions she simply doesn’t have the answer to. Meanwhile, Carmy bumped into his childhood sweetheart in the supermarket and began spending time away from the restaurant to be with her instead, after all she was a calming influence on Carmy and that was something he desperately needed. However, constantly being away from The Bear when decisions needed to be made caused Sydney to begin to lose her trust in Carmy.

Season two was certainly a season for character development as while all that was going on Richie had an existential crisis, afraid that it was too late in his life to make anything of himself and worried that he had let down his daughter, Eva (Annabelle Toomey), and his ex-wife, Tiff (Gillian Jacobs).

The Bear recap

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Carmy, therefore, sent Richie to work at Eleven Madison Park in New York with Chef Terry (Olivia Colman) who is known as one of the best chefs in the world. While staging (interning for chefs) at Chef Terry’s restaurant, Richie is initially tasked with shining and polishing forks, which he finds to be menial and a waste of time. Yet after settling into the group, understanding what it takes at a fine dining restaurant and being told by Terry that he was good with people he began to find his worth. This episode (episode seven) also gave us the iconic scene of Richie driving with Love Story by Taylor Swift blaring.

Perhaps the most memorable and important episode of the show so far is season two episode six in which we get a flashback of a family Christmas meal. With the whole family together, including Donna Berzatto (Jamie Lee Curtis), Uncle Lee (Bob Odenkirk), Natali’s husband Pete (Chris Witaske), Cousin Michelle (Sarah Paulson) and her boyfriend Steven (John Mulaney), Fak’s brother Theodore (Ricky Staffieri), Richie’s wife-at-the-time Tiff, and Mikey.

During the episode Donna is cooking the traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal, The Feast of the Seven Fishes, where she struggled to cope on her own but refused any help from the family. Instead, the family constantly quibble, tensions boil, Mikey throws a fork at Uncle Lee and Donna finishes the episode with a bang as she drives the car through the living room.

The Bear recap

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The last few episodes show the tight and meticulous schedule that the team have to meet to get the restaurant ready for friends and family night. Richie brings the mantra “every second counts” from Chef Terry’s restaurant to echo in The Bear’s kitchen and add a little motivation. Sydney attempted to hire new kitchen staff and made an impressive omelette to try and convince Natalie to become full time staff. However, in order to open, The Bear relied on passing a fire suppression test, though Fak had to make last minute repairs after he uncovered an issue with the gas.

The Bear recap

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Friends and family night got off to a smooth start, but hit a bump in the road as Carmy got stuck in the walk-in refrigerator. Despite Carmy’s panic, Richie and Sydney stepped up, making sure everyone else remained calm as they ran the show, and the evening turned out to be a raging success, with Richie taking control. Natalie’s husband Pete noticed Donna outside and tried to convince her to come in, but she refused as she felt that her presence would ruin such an incredible night for her children.

The season ends in true The Bear fashion, with highs and lows. Carmy had upset his now-girlfriend, Claire, who had just confessed her love to him via a voicemail – though he does get free from the walk-in fridge – Sydney threw up at the end of the night due to stress, but her dad then admitted that he was proud of her.

The Bear recap

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There’s no telling how successful the restaurant has been since its opening until we get to see season three, which shall no doubt take us through the stresses and turmoil once again as the team try and keep the restaurant up to the high standards that Carmy has set for them.

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Featured images via Hulu.