“The Bear ”season 2 ending explained: What's next for Carmy and Sydney?

Need a refresher before season 3? Yes, chef!

<p>Chuck Hodes/FX</p>

Chuck Hodes/FX

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Bear, season 2, episode 10, “The Bear.”

After taking home 10 Primetime Emmys, The Bear returns to FX on Hulu on June 27 for a third helping of fine dining and back-of-house drama. The season 2 finale of Christopher Storer’s Chicago-set restaurant dramedy stuffed a pantry’s worth of ingredients into its 40-minute runtime, and Entertainment Weekly is here to answer any questions that have lingered like a strawberry seed stuck in your teeth.

When we last saw them, Carmy Barzetto (Jeremy Allen White) and Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) were soft-launching their new eatery after scrambling to retool an Italian beef sandwich spot in just six months.

While the food at the family-and-friends preview of The Bear is exquisite, what happens behind the swinging doors is a bit less appetizing.

The restaurant runs out of forks, the toilet backs up, Carmy’s unstable mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) paces outside but refuses to come in, Marcus (Lionel Boyce) fires a chef for smoking crack, Syd’s nerves have her tossing her cookies in the alley, and, oh yeah, Carmy gets stuck in the walk-in fridge, destroying his fledgling relationship with Claire (Molly Gordon) and causing a vein-popping, spit-flying, I may regret screaming all these things at you later fight with Cousin Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) in the process.

Here’s what else you need to know before you gobble up the 10 fresh episodes of high-pressure haute cuisine in season 3.

Now that Carmy and Syd successfully launched their new fine-dining restaurant in The Bear’s season 2 finale, will the chaos in the kitchen finally calm down?

No, chef! Between the pressures of a new restaurant and the relationship shake-ups in the finale, things will likely be as ulcer-inducing as ever. In fact, the season 3 premiere is called “Tomorrow,” and if the title refers to the day after the events of the finale, there’s no way things are tranquil for Carmy and his employees.

<p>Chuck Hodes/FX</p>

Chuck Hodes/FX

Furthermore, the season 3 trailer previews several new stressors for the staff, including daily menu changes, Carmy’s list of “non-negotiables” accompanying his quest to earn a Michelin star, and constant vigilance for the food critics who could help get them there.

In short, as Matty Matheson’s Fak says in the trailer, “The vibe’s weird.”

Related: The Bear review: Season 2 cracks the characters wide open, with remarkable results

What changes can we expect to see in the new season?

Season 2 launched several characters on journeys of self-improvement, mostly notably Moss-Bachrach’s Richie. Training at one of Chicago’s best restaurants in the episode “Forks” not only taught hot-headed Richie the art of fine dining service, but also the patience for mundane work, the pride of mastering a task, and the importance of collaborating with a team that’s as dedicated to excellence as you are. The finale hinted at a more focused, professional Richie, but season 3 could test his commitment to this new approach.

Other members of The Bear’s staff leveled up their skills in season 2 as well. Boyce’s Marcus studied the art of pastries in Copenhagen under a man (Will Poulter) who believes culinary greatness comes from the life you lead outside of the kitchen, and Tina’s (Liza Colón-Zayas) stint in culinary school boosted her confidence in cooking (and at karaoke). Their new mindsets could have ripple effects from the dining room and beyond at The Bear.

“It's about stepping out of our comfort zone,” Colón-Zayas recently told EW. “It's not about how well we do it but the courage to do it. It's part of the genius of [Storer and Calo], that they believe in us in ways that we don't see in ourselves, and I think that's essential to the show, that belief and creating tribes of people that will support you.”

<p>Chuck Hodes/FX</p>

Chuck Hodes/FX

Another change previewed in the season 3 trailer is Carmy’s decision to offer Syd a partnership in the restaurant. The two chefs often struggled to collaborate in season 2, with Syd feeling overlooked by Carmy, who was slowly fraying under the stress of leading his staff in a new direction. Formalizing that relationship could help streamline things in the kitchen and beyond — or it could create new pains between the pair.

Behind the scenes, Edebiri stepped behind the camera for her directorial debut with “Napkins,”  the sixth episode of season 3. “I love the crew, I love our cast, but getting to work with them on that level and in that way was like really moving,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

What other personal or professional crises could be on the horizon for The Bear staff?

Carmy’s self-loathing breakdown while trapped in the walk-in fridge wasn’t intended for his girlfriend Claire’s ears, and only after she tearfully exited the kitchen did Carmy take the time to listen to her voicemail from earlier that day, full of love and pride for him and his accomplishments.

The season 3 trailer teases Carmy’s attempt to win Claire back, but he’ll have an uphill battle after she heard him blame his lack of focus at work on the happiness he’d found with her. It also raises the question of how — and maybe even if — Carmy can find a healthy balance between his professional and private life.

<p>Chuck Hodes/FX</p>

Chuck Hodes/FX

Another source of tension in the kitchen could come from Syd and Marcus. Although they eventually called a truce and made it through the soft launch, Marcus was clearly still smarting from Syd’s rejection when he asked her out. Even worse for the soft-spoken pastry chef could be the missed messages from the nurse who cares for his terminally ill mother. That many calls in a row generally don’t mean anything good.

If all that’s not enough, the trailer suggests money troubles that Sugar (Abby Elliott) has to explain to their investor, Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt), who either gets his $800,000 loan repaid within 18 months or he walks away with the restaurant building and the lot it sits on. No pressure, though!

Related: Best of 2023 (Behind the Scenes): How The Bear cooked up that impressive cast for 'Fishes'

The Bear has become famous for its high-profile guest stars, including pretty much everybody in “Fishes” (Bob Odenkirk! Sarah Paulson! John Mulaney! Gillian Jacobs!). What big names might pop up in season 3?

Details about season 3 have mostly been kept under wraps, and the show typically doesn’t advertise its big-name guest stars in advance. Mulaney recently tap-danced around the question of whether he’s returning for season 3 in an interview with Variety, and leaked video from a Disney shareholder meeting identifying Adam Brody as a potential guest star was quickly pulled down.

We do know that the season 3 trailer includes a scene with Bernthal as Mikey, the oldest Berzatto sibling whose suicide prompts Carmy’s return to Chicago in the pilot. Bernthal has appeared in flashbacks in seasons 1 and 2, so a third return wouldn’t be a surprise.

One storyline that the season 2 finale left open involves Carmy and Sugar’s mother, Donna (Curtis), a volatile alcoholic who refuses to come inside for a meal during friends and family night and is shocked when her son-in-law, Pete (Chris Witaske), lets it slip that Sugar is pregnant with her first grandchild. The episode “Fishes” gave an almost uncomfortable amount of context to the issues that the adult Berzatto children grapple with, and a return from Curtis could continue to build on that.

Chuck Hodes/FX
Chuck Hodes/FX

In other ongoing family conflicts, Richie appears to have some unresolved issues with Tiffany (Jacobs), the mother of his Taylor Swift-loving daughter. If season 3 provides room for further growth for Moss-Bachrach’s character, his ex could be part of this story.

Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess what recognizable names and faces we might see walk through The Bear’s front door. But wherever the new season takes the characters, co-casting director Jeanie Bacharach told EW that recruiting well-known actors is a tricky balance.

“We didn't want it to suddenly become Friends or whatever, where it's like every famous person in the world is appearing on the show,” she said in December 2023.

Will The Bear’s walk-in fridge ever get fixed?

We can only hope! The restaurant may not survive it if Carmy gets trapped for a second time.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.