On this award-winning series from FX Networks, the first episode of season 2 of The Bear sees Chefs Carmen and Sydney working on a menu for their forthcoming new-old restaurant The Bear, while dealing with the high cost of renovations and permits. To help them with the soaring finances, they decide to pitch a partnership with their Uncle Cicero with a very high-risk, high-payoff arrangement.
We open season two with Marcus, visiting his mother at the hospital. It looks like she’s in a coma or at least unresponsive to any of his ministrations.
If you’ll recall, Marcus is The Beef’s bread baker turned pastry chef. He leaves and heads into the sprawl of Chicago.
Outside the location of the restaurant, Carmy and Sydney are watching the original sign of The Beef get taken down along with, inside, the signed pictures of the celebs who’ve dined there.
The Bear season 2, episode 1 – The Berf
Big changes are coming for the rebranding and facelift of the resto, in anticipation of The Bear. After an argument about expenses, Carmy goes down to the basement to talk to his cousin Richie about a drywall estimate from his friend.
Carmy and Richie have a bonding convo about purpose and specifically how Richie has none. He doesn’t have much in the way of skills or experience to contribute to the new resto either.
He’s also wearing a shirt with The Beef logo on it, but his says The BERF. He claims it was a printing error and therefore also very limited-edition merch.
That’s Richie’s personality and skills in a nutshell, unique but ultimately decorative. Carmy assures him that he won’t drop Richie anytime soon.
It doesn’t sound reassuring. Plenty of other stuff come to fore as obstacles in the re-opening of the new-old restaurant, including Sydney leaning on a wall and her arm going through it.
The Bear season 2, episode 1 – Partners?
Later, the siblings Carmy and Sugar, along with Sydney, pitch their investment plan to their uncle Jimmy Cicero. Despite already being a major investor in the old restaurant, they want his support in the new one since they need a ton of money just to get the place ship shape and clear of the usual certifications.
The fact that Carmy and his crew also found Uncle Cicero’s money is a plus. Apparently, Cicero gave it to Mikey for safekeeping, but he never put it in a bank.
Despite all their fumbles and arguing, Carmy eventually makes the big risk pitch. He offers his uncle the whole property and the franchise valued around two million, in exchange for an investment of 500,000 (along with the 300,000 Carmine already gave the deceased Mikey, which really makes it overall an 800K investment), with an active partnership.
Cicero says yes. His investment is payable within 18 months of profitability after opening.
The Bear season 2, episode 1 – Be my sous chef
Sugar, Carmy’s sister, estimates it’ll take about 6 months at least before they can even do a soft opening. They also need to get a crew trained and ready ASAP, while the renovations are proceeding.
As Tina is leaving, Sydney has a lightbulb moment and chases her outside. Sydney asks Tina if she’d like to undergo training to become a sous chef and the old woman is overjoyed.
The next day, Carmy, Sugar, and Sydney are in agreement that they all need to double time everything and open ASAP. They draw up a timetable that cuts their prep time to three months instead of 6.
They’re excited but also afraid of the high risk of failure. Because of her renewed commitment, Sugar is now new project manager for the opening.
They’re off to a good, neurotic start it looks like.
A great, very kinetic episode to catch us up from the events of the previous season, while getting us pumped for the ones to come. It’s no wonder season 2 got 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics and 91% from fan ratings.
This new season was very much anticipated by fans. Even the trailer got plenty of hits.
I’d have estimated it to get 95% from fans to be honest but splitting percentages doesn’t get us anywhere in pop culture where there’s no pleasing some folks. That makes it one of the most-praised releases of the year and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the season.
You can stream season 2 of The Bear on Hulu.