The Bear – Season 2 Episode 3 “Sundae” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of ‘The Bear’ begins with Carmy expressing his feelings about his family in a meeting. His intense recapitulation of how his family inadvertently “ruined his childhood” is one of the many things he says out loud. He talks about his enthusiasm to start making a new restaurant from a positive place. The exhaustion from everything he has been through in the past year showed on his face. There is pain and suffering inside him, which is visible when Carmy confesses that he forgets to “live” in the present.

The Bear has 11 weeks to open. Sydney gets an anxiety attack when she sees that a lot of restaurants in Chicago have closed in the recent past. The restaurant biz is tough. Not many businesses make it out alive. And COVID just made that worse. She shuts her laptop and continues to work with Carmy on preparing a menu. This seems to be a recurring motif in her character arc in season 2 – the journey towards creating the perfect menu. Another dish she makes for Carmy has too much salt. It has been a story of “too little” or “too much” until now.

Carmy suggests they reset and instead of trying to force something original, they try food from other places. He asks to meet Sydney at Kasama but has a change of plans. Claire calls him and reprimands Carmey for giving her a fake number. Carmy appears sincere in his pleas that he didn’t and Claire seems charmed. It is clear she is interested in getting back with him. Carmy says yes to Claire’s request for helping her move large boxes around her house and ditches Sydney.

Meanwhile, Ebra leaves the culinary school and does not return, and Richie learns from her daughter Eva that his ex-wife has got a promotion with a better package.

Sydney keeps waiting for Carmy’s response. When it becomes clear he won’t be able to make it, she sets out on a day of revelation. She goes to several places and has a twin objective: get inspired for her new menu and hire more people for The Bear. The following montage in the episodes shows how keenly Sydney pays attention to the food and little details around different restaurants. She also meets up with old friends Donnie and Nyia for a catchup. Although they aren’t able to help with new personnel, both Donnie and Nyia have advice for Sydney. The former says that the new restaurant should have the best customer service and hospitality. The food doesn’t matter as much as customer service.

Nyia, meanwhile, suggests that Sydney listen to her gut and only dive into the new restaurant as a partner with no profits if she trusts Carmy. This is a reminder of the fact that the money situation isn’t clear yet. Will this spur Sydney to demand a cut in profits? Earlier in the episode, Sydney also suggested they send Marcus on a trip to Copenhagen. Since he is the pastry chef, he must get exposure to different types of desserts as well. Having digested all the food, Sydney has an idea for a dish. When she goes back to The Bear at night, she finds everyone there.

All the walls in the restaurant have to be taken down. The mould problem, as expected, has wreaked havoc. Sydney expresses her displeasure over Carmy’s inability to inform her of this development. At first, he isn’t impressed with her complaining but realizes she is right. The episode ends with Sydney trying out that dish in her mind but once again, it turns out to be a nightmare.

The Episode Review

The world from Sydney’s eyes seems so different. Episode 3 of The Bear’s new season experiments with storytelling with a fresh twist. Since the restaurant is itself closed, the creators need to find tangible tension from another source. Right now, the quest for a new menu isn’t going according to plan. Sydney and Carmy haven’t crystallized even part of the menu, the most important thing for a restaurant.

We saw Sydney’s eager eyes look for the smallest of details so as to get things right. But the ironic ending proved that even when you do everything right, the final outcome isn’t always what you want.

The opening bit with Carmy’s closeup was as intimate as things get. It was a hard-hitting realization of how broken Carmy is from the inside and keeps going just for the sake of it.

Given the show’s history, there is a possibility The Bear might not be able to open successfully. The task is taking its toll on our ordinary chefs who are showing extraordinary strength and will to make it work.

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You can read our full season review of The Bear here
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