The Bear – Season 2 Episode 8 “Bolognese” Recap & Review


Episode 8 of The Bear establishes its bottom line in the very first scene where Carmen explains to Claire what a NICET level 2 test is. This is the last chance for The Bear to get its fire-suppression test right. They have only two weeks to go and if they fail this one, they will have to wait another three before it can be rescheduled. But Fak hasn’t been able to solve the problem yet. Even worse, he can’t identify it. If the balloon starts filling up this time – which basically signals that the gas is leaking – it is game over.

Ebra shows up at the restaurant. He apologizes to a heartbroken Tina, explaining that he was scared of the new changes. They make up, though, and Ebra rejoins their ranks.

Sydney is taking cues from Coach K’s book and incorporating them into her management style. Richie makes a smashing comeback, dressed in an all-black suit. He apologizes to Carmen and says that “he gets it now” – i.e. he gets why this is so important to Carmen and how he finds his purpose in serving others.

Meanwhile, Fak and Gary are determined to solve the suppression conundrum and Sydney breaks the handle of the walk-in refrigerator. Marcus has dropped back with bomb desserts that both Sydney and Carmen like. There is also a growing trend of Carmen bringing up “Claire’s ideas” and putting them into effect at The Bear. He suggests to Marcus that he have a cannoli dessert as well. The only reason he hated them was because they reminded him of his family as they used to have it after dinner.

Tina integrates the new hires in, Ebra sets up shop, and Richie apologizes to Sugar. The latter segment is the most profound of the three. Richie is a changed man and realizes that he took out all his misdirected anger on others, including Sugar, as he couldn’t figure out “his place” (purpose) in the equation. Sydney and Carmen have an argument over the latter bringing up one of Claire’s suggestions. She feels Carmen is distracted because of his “new girlfriend,” which isn’t something Carmy would call Claire.

Jimmy calls Sugar in his car and drills the reality of the new interest rates on their loan. The longer they keep the place closed, the harder the whip of the deteriorating macroeconomic situation in America.

While looking at one of the pictures Ebra has just put up, Neil gets a eureka moment. He realizes that Michael did try to burn down the place for the insurance money, as confirmed by his behaviour on the Christmas night in episode 6.

Neil goes to fix the issue but they do not have time to test the suppression system again as the fire suppression guy is there to perform the test. Everyone keenly waits as he begins the countdown after attaching the balloon to the line and turning on the gas. All their lives and everything they have endured till now hinges on the next ten seconds. When the guy says 1 and ends the countdown, the guy says “You’ve passed the test.”

Everyone jumps up and down in elation. But a harder task awaits them. The gas is turned back on and The Bear finally has life. Richie asks Carmy to help him with adjusting the lighting in the restaurant but he turns him down. He has to call Claire first!

The Episode Review

This Claire-Carmy thing is going in full swing as the most central issue in Carmy’s arc as we head into the business end of season 2. It was quite visible that this would become a problem for him as it divided his attention. Carmy has been a workaholic robot with no joy until now. But having love, warmth, and feelings in life disassociates him from work, which requires his undivided attention at all times. Even though everything doesn’t hinge on him, it flows through him.

There was an air of inevitability when they passed the test. Of course, they would! Neil finding the fault was quite convenient and that aspect could have been written better. I thought the dynamics of this episode were a little bit off due to it being centred around the test. Anyway, the path to the final two episodes is now clear and the opening of The Bear seems like a real possibility.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You can read our full season review of The Bear here
  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment