After debuting in June 2022, FX show The Bear was universally lauded by fans and critics alike.


The series stars Jeremy Allen White as young chef Carmen 'Carmy' Berzatto, who comes home to Chicago to run his family’s failing Italian sandwich shop after the suicide of his estranged older brother, and was hailed for its exploration of the dark side of working in the food industry.

Now, the FX comedy-drama has returned for its second season, with White returning as Carmy, and Ayo Edebiri and Ebon Moss-Bachrach back as Sydney and Richie, respectively.

The new instalment follows the crew at The Original Beef of Chicagoland as they endeavour to transform their grimy sandwich joint into a next-level spot, The Bear.

But for those who need a recap of season 1 before they get stuck into the second instalment, read on for everything you need to know about The Bear season 1's eventful ending…

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The Bear ending explained

Was Carmy in the midst of a breakdown?

We last saw Carmy mentally deteriorating during that nerve-shredding, single-take penultimate episode. He took out his spiralling stress on sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) and pastry chef Marcus (Lionel Boyce), before hurling the order ticket machine across the kitchen in fury.

As we rejoined our fragile hero, Carmy spoke at an AA meeting for the families of addicts, laying bare his relationship with late brother Michael (Jon Bernthal, seen in a flashback). In a devastating seven-minute monologue, Carmy recalled how they’d bonded by cooking together, but as Mikey lapsed into drug addiction and the restaurant began to struggle, he wouldn’t let Carmy work at The Original Beef of Chicagoland and cut off contact.

Carmy became a fine-dining chef to prove himself to his beloved brother. However, his success only put further distance between them. When Mikey took his own life, he left The Beef to Carmy as "a final f**k you". Carmy realised his all-consuming mission to repair the broken business was his way of trying to heal his grief. But first, could he fix the damage to his staff relationships?

Why did Richie nearly kill a guest?

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard 'Richie' Jerimovich in The Bear.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard 'Richie' Jerimovich in The Bear. Frank Ockenfels/FX

The Beef hosted a bachelor party for "white collar criminals" as a favour to Uncle Jimmy Cicero (Oliver Platt), a local mobster who’d invested $300,000 in Mikey’s business. It went about as well as the last bash they’d catered for him, when they accidentally put a houseful of unruly children to sleep with Xanax.

When a fight broke out, front-of-house manager Richie Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) intervened a tad too aggressively and was arrested after hospitalising a guest. Fortunately, the victim regained consciousness, and Richie was charged with aggravated assault rather than manslaughter. It was a wake-up call for the combustible "cousin".

Resistant to change, he’d been locking horns with Carm and Syd all series. He now acknowledged that Carmy, who’d spent his last funds bailing him out, was "all he has". Ritchie called a truce with his 'cuz' before returning to The Beef to remove the lap dancers’ discarded lingerie from their workstations and commence the clean-up.

When Carmy accidentally started a stove fire, he stared at it blankly at it while the other chefs put out the blaze. He needed to snap out of his funk, so the newly enlightened Richie finally gave Carmy the letter from Mikey that he’d found in the locker room. What would the message from beyond the grave say?

Why did Mikey leave money in the tomato tins?

Carmen standing in the kitchen while his staff are cooking and working in the behind him
Jeremy Allen White as Carmen Berzatto in The Bear. Frank Ockenfels / FX

The suicide note simply said: "I love you, dude. Let it rip." The latter was Mikey’s motivational mantra to his little brother. It also included his secret recipe for family spaghetti, recommending smaller cans of tomatoe purée because they taste better. Remember how one of Carmy’s first decisions upon taking over had been to buy more cost-effective larger cans instead?

Now he opened a can to make the staff meal and was shocked to find a roll of $100 bills hidden inside. Realising that Mikey had sent him a message, Carmy instructed the chefs to open all the cans. Lo and behold, wads were stashed in them all. As the team got splattered with tomato juice (symbolising blood money?), the cash piled up to the sum that Cicero had loaned Mikey.

Carmy had found records of Mikey making monthly payments to KBL Electric but nobody had heard of this mysterious company. We now glimpsed KBL on the tomato tin lids. Mikey hadn’t been squandering the money, he’d been sealing it inside cans for safekeeping, away from the taxman. Most professional kitchens have an electric can-seamer. It seemed Mikey had told the truth to Cicero. He’d wanted funds to franchise the restaurant with Carmy.

It had taken eight episodes for stubborn Carmy to attempt the recipe. Now, he had a team around him and was ready to face the future. As they tucked into the spaghetti, all smiles, Carmy had a vision of Mikey grinning back at him.

Were Carmy’s team back on board?

Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear.
Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear. Frank Ockenfels/FX

Just about. Sydney and Marcus met to discuss their futures over Chilean seabass and tomato confit, as you do. Both had quit amid the kitchen chaos and Carmy’s outbursts. Gentle baker Marcus admitted that he’d blossomed under Carmy’s tutelage and Sydney’s encouragement. He returned to work, Carmy apologised and Marcus was soon lovingly producing cakes again.

Ambitious, impatient Sydney was more reluctant but after Carmy apologised via text - while pointing out that her near-perfect risotto dish needed more acid - she came back. Carmy had found Sydney’s notebook of ideas for the revamped restaurant and approved of her vision ("family style, two tops, booths, Danish design, tasting menu at the bar, window at the side for sandwiches"), sealing their reconciliation.

Now he had a nest egg to start afresh, Carmy hung up a sign announcing the closure of The Beef and that a new restaurant called The Bear would be opening soon. Roll credits on a superlative series.

The Bear seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream in the UK now on Disney Plussign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.

If you're looking for something else to watch, visit our TV Guide or take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage.


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