The Bear's motley crew are back on our screens in season 3, which has drawn in mixed reviews.

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Following on from the dramatic season 2 finale, the new instalment opens with Carmy reflecting on the experiences that shaped his career.

The rest of the season sees the gang trying to elevate their new fine-dining restaurant to the highest level, whilst also struggling to keep the business afloat and battling their own personal demons.

By the finale, The Bear is in a lot of trouble and Sydney’s future at the establishment is on the line.

So, what happened to Carmy and co. and what does it mean for The Bear season 4? Read on for everything you need to know about the ending of the new chapter.

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*Warning - Contains full spoilers for The Bear season 3.*

The Bear season 3 ending explained: Bad omens abound in bittersweet finale

There is an argument to be made that The Bear's season 2 finale ended on a pretty downbeat note. After all, Carmy's mental state had deteriorated after he got stuck in a walk-in refrigerator during his restaurant's friends and family night, he'd had a fight with Richie, and he'd destroyed his relationship with Claire.

However, you could also argue that, in a broader sense, things were looking up. Despite bumps in the road, the friends and family night had been a success, and the team were ready to move forward and make their new fine-dining establishment, The Bear, a success.

In the third season's finale, the tables were flipped. It proved to be an inverse of that moment, with a party atmosphere prevailing for most of our favourite characters, while in actuality, bad omens were everywhere.

The finale took place almost entirely at Ever, the restaurant ran by Olivia Colman's Chef Terry, which we had learned earlier in the season, was shutting its doors for good.

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in The Bear, sat in the kitchen with his hand running through his hair
Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto in The Bear. Chuck Hodes/FX

News of the closure of Ever, one of the best restaurants in Chicago where Carmy, Will Poulter's Luca and Richie had all trained, had sent Carmy spiralling – however, it was nothing compared to what closing night would mean for him.

With The Bear closed for the night, Carmy, Luca and Sydney all attended a commemorative party at Ever, and as they were served some of the restaurant's to-die-for food, they reminisced about their past restaurant experiences, and talked about what the business means to them.

Meanwhile, Richie stayed in the back with the wait staff he had bonded with in season 2's stand-out episode, Forks, and tried to get his mojo back once more. While that experience had brought him alive and shown him the passion he could bring to his job, working at The Bear, with Carmy's frantic working style, had sucked some of the joy out of it for him.

As Luca, Sydney and the other diners ate and chatted, Carmy spied his old New York boss amongst the other diners, Joel McHale's ruthless, bullying Chef Field.

While Chef Field's belittling words have haunted Carmy's thoughts since the beginning of the series, this is the first time we'd seen them come face to face in the present day, and Carmy was stunned, almost to the point of breakdown.

After a long time staring at him throughout the night, Carmy got up and confronted him in private, confessing how Fields had affected him, how he damaged his mental health so thoroughly, and how he still thinks about him too much.

Fields refused to apologise, saying he turned him from a mediocre chef to a great one, and saying he never thinks about him at all, leaving Carmy distraught.

Back in the kitchen, Richie asked Sarah Ramos's Jessica how she maintains her passion for the job, and she said she surrounds himself with good people outside of work. We know that Richie has been lonely since the breakdown of his marriage to Gillian Jacobs's Tiffany, and a glint in his eye suggested that perhaps a future relationship with Jessica could be on the cards.

Jeremy Allen White as Carmy and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney in The Bear season 3. He is sat on a restaurant countertop and she is leaning against it.
Jeremy Allen White as Carmy and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney in The Bear season 3. FX/Disney Plus

Meanwhile, Sydney was approached by Chef Shapiro to run his new venture, a restaurant he was setting up from scratch. She had been offered a partnership agreement for The Bear by Carmy, which she had been reticent to sign.

Here, we finally learned that she had accepted the job with Shapiro, but that she hadn't told Carmy yet. Shapiro stressed to her the need to tell him soon, so he could get things moving.

Carmy had one final heart-to-heart with Chef Terry, and while Carmy stayed out, Terry, Sydney, Richie and Luca went off to party with some of the other guests and the team from The Bear, including Tina, Marcus and the Faks.

While the music blared and the team partied, Sydney became overwhelmed, went outside and broke down, seemingly having a panic attack.

Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) in The Bear
Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear. Courtesy of FX

At the same time, Carmy got a notification telling him that the review for The Bear from the Chicago Tribune was live. This is the review he'd been waiting on all season, after he and the team had only become aware a critic had been in after the fact.

While we couldn't read the whole review, it certainly seemed to be mixed, with words such as confusing, excellent, culinary, innovative, sloppy, inconsistent, simple, complex and stale jumping out.

Carmy also had multiple missed calls from Cicero and Computer. Having got guidance from Computer, Cicero had previously told Carmy that just one bad review would be enough for him to pull the plug on his funding for The Bear and shut it down. We had also seen him chatting with Computer, who told him that the financial situation was far worse than he was letting on.

And there we have it. As Carmy took in the review, he let out a simply "motherf***er" and a title card came up, telling us that the story would be continued.

What does The Bear season 3 mean for the future?

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear
Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear. Chuck Hodes/FX

While fans will no doubt be assured to learn that The Bear's story will be continued, it certainly doesn't seem like good things are on the horizon for the team.

Unlike season 2's finale, where things were looking up barring personal struggles, here most of the team were blissful, partying together and enjoying each other's company, unaware of the dark storm clouds which are gathering around them.

From Sydney's apparently imminent departure, and her own feelings of guilt surrounding that, to Carmy's inability to restore his relationship with Claire, or, most critically, the seemingly desperate situation of The Bear itself, all seems lost as we head towards season 4.

Having learned of Tina's previous financial hardship, the sense of purpose the job has given Richie and the distraction it has given Marcus following his mother's passing, the restaurant's fate doesn't just affect Carmy, the diners or Cicero, but it is crucial to all those connected to it.

If season 3 was all about deepening our connections to these characters, the finale succeeded and left such an ominous sense of foreboding by showing us how it could all come crashing down.

Carmy's toxic management style, something he has clearly unwittingly learned from Chef Fields, and his obsessive non-negotiables around a constantly changing menu, are driving The Bear into the ground.

Going into season 4, if The Bear even lasts past episode 1, it would seem that it really is time for Carmy to dig deep within himself, attempt to move on from his trauma and learn to listen to and work with his team. Then they could perhaps truly, in the words of Mikey, let 'er rip.

The Bear season 3 is available to stream in the UK on Disney Plussign up to Disney Plus for £4.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.

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