The Bear – Season 3 Episode 1 Recap & Review


Season 3 of The Bear kicks off with an unusual episode. Instead of following a sequence of events, Episode 1 gives us a thirty-minute collage of memories and events, a combination of scenes from the past and the direct aftermath of what happened in the Season 2 finale — where Carmy got trapped inside the walk-in fridge, looked at unfamiliar ingredients and boxes labelled with ripped pieces of tape and realised he had lost focus on his restaurant.  

The flashbacks are primarily from Carmy’s past and offer some explanation for the way his anxieties led to an outburst in the previous season’s finale. We see Carmy leaving for New York while Natalie bids him a worried goodbye. The show then takes us through several different kitchens that Carmy worked in and all his various mentors, from the ruthless David to the more gentle Terry.

There are scenes where Carmy is pushed to his limit and others where he finds joy is what he’s made. Often, he doles out the same behaviour to his juniors that his superiors gave him. Once, he sends a picture to Michael.

Along with these, there are scenes with Claire as well as those with his family, showing clips from Season 2’s episode “Fishes” as well as new scenes of Carmy chatting with Michael. In another shot, Richie is seen trying to coax Michael out of his locked bedroom.

While Carmy is in David’s kitchen, we see him get that devastating phone call from Natalie that changed everything. Michael’s funeral also takes place and unlike what Richie said, Carmy was actually there. He was just sitting in his car outside and never went inside the church.

The flashbacks are offered in bits and snippets, crisscrossing over each other and interspersed with current events — where Carmy muses over a lot of these things while staring at the broken fridge door behind which he was trapped for most of the Season 2 finale.

He comes early to The Bear and cleans up the place, cuts neat strips of tape to replace shoddy ones, and scribbles a list of things in his notebook that include things like ‘vibrant collaboration’, ‘no excuses’ and ‘focus’, the last of which is heavily underlined. He then seems to rework the menu, creating a whole new set of dishes.  

Carmy apologises to Sydney for leaving her alone and promises to not let it happen again. She advises he call Richie and make amends, which Carmy tries to do by leaving a voicemail for him. Meanwhile, Marcus is in the hospital dealing with his recently deceased mother, who passed away while he was working at The Bear. Sydney leaves a voicemail for Marcus offering apologies and support for whatever he’s going through.

At the very end of The Bear Season 3 Episode 1, we see Carmy prepare a dish while working for David in New York. The exquisitely made dish goes out to a customer, who is none other than Sydney.

The Episode Review

The Bear has always played with format in order to best tell its story and Episode 1 of Season 3 is a testament to the fact that it works. At first glance, the episode is simply a collage of moments — Carmy’s training in different kitchens from various mentors, snippets from his relationship with Michael and how he found out about his death, and the present where everybody is reeling from the aftermath of the Season 2 finale. While the music is slow and steady and the snippets crisscross over one another, it may seem like not much is happening.

But this is Season 3’s way of giving us a glimpse into Carmy’s head. The previous season’s finale had all of Carmy’s insecurities blow up and he seems to have given in to them completely — this episode explains why.

It stacks up tough memories and hard experiences like the building blocks of Carmy and his current resolution to completely focus on The Bear, down to the neatly cut strips of tape to label food times. Is this a newfound passion or just Carmy’s trauma response? Will this resolution make or break Carmy? The following episodes will show us but my money’s on the latter.

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Read our Season 3 Review of The Bear here!

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1 thought on “The Bear – Season 3 Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. I loved this first episode once I saw what they were doing—all the things that led Carmy to where he is. I thought the music was slightly annoying, but only because I found it distracting. Great editing job here though.

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