The Bear season 3 episode 4 recap: "Violet" is a much-needed change of pace

The Bear season 3 slows down a bit with episode 4 as we get a glimpse of the staff's personal lives.
“THE BEAR” — “Violet” — Season 3, Episode 4 (Airs Thursday, June 27th) — Pictured: (l-r) Abby Elliott as Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard “Richie” Jerimovich. CR: FX.
“THE BEAR” — “Violet” — Season 3, Episode 4 (Airs Thursday, June 27th) — Pictured: (l-r) Abby Elliott as Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richard “Richie” Jerimovich. CR: FX. /

The third season of The Bear is here, and fans are no doubt enjoying their binge of the 10 new episodes. The premiere kicks off shortly after the events of the season 2 finale, seeing Carmy grapple with the fact that he left Sydney alone during friends and family opening night and might've completely ruined his relationship with Claire. In season 3, they successfully open up the restaurant to the public, but of course, things aren't perfect. With costs adding up and heated arguments happening every night, how long can The Bear operate?

Season 3 episode 4 is titled "Violet," directed and written by the show's creator Christopher Storer. It's a much-needed change of pace after the last two episodes, shedding a light on the staff's personal lives more than what's going wrong in the kitchen. Think you missed any key moments? We break it all down here!

WARNING: Major spoilers for The Bear season 3 episode 4 below.

"Violet" opens up with Carmy remembering a memory while lying in bed, thinking back to a time with Claire. In this memory, Claire grabs his hand and asks how he got his scar, to which he tells her he grabbed a really hot pot. She doesn't seem to believe it, but she asks him, "Did it hurt so much that it didn't hurt at all?" He says yes. This seems to represent so much of the pain Carmy goes through in his life. At this point, he's numb to it all.

Carmy thinks about pain

In the same memory, Claire tells Carmy about a time at the hospital on the Fourth of July when a 17-year-old girl came in with cuts all over her body. She had fallen onto a glass table and had to have surgery. Because they were so slammed, Claire misread the girl's chart, not realizing she was allergic to penicillin, causing her to go into anaphylaxis. When the girl eventually woke up from her surgery, she couldn't stop laughing. Carmy is confused by this, and Claire explains: "I don't think it hurt yet."

Lionel Boyce as Marcus in The Bear season 3 episode 4
“THE BEAR” — “Violet” — Season 3, Episode 4 (Airs Thursday, June 27th) — Pictured: Lionel Boyce as Marcus . CR: FX. / Lionel Boyce as Marcus

We then get a short scene of Marcus, who pulls over while driving to take a look at something. He sees a flower blooming on a fence and takes a photo of it, likely inspired by its out-of-place beauty. Meanwhile, Sydney seems overwhelmed with the partnership agreement and goes to see an apartment with her dad. While he's no doubt supportive of his daughter, her dad says the place is small, expensive, and farther from work than his house. He reminds her she can stay with him to save money, but Sydney doesn't want to. He tells her she's moving too fast, but it's too late. She's already signed the lease.

In episode 4, we see really sweet moments between Richie and his daughter Eva. He talks to her about her mom Tiff's fiancé Frank, who's supposed to be taking her to a museum that day. Eva says she doesn't know what she should call Frank since he's not related to her, to which Richie says she can call him whatever she wants. Eva is not used to her new dynamic with divorced parents and a new man in the picture, but she feels better when her dad agrees to give her 100 candles for her next birthday. Eva mentions seeing her "Aunt D.D." at the grocery store, who we assume is Donna.

As Richie gets ready for the day, he finally removes his wedding band, and we then see Natalie and Pete getting ready. They have two weeks until the baby comes, and Nat mentions wanting to see her mom before giving birth, but she hasn't. Tina finds inspiration at the farmer's market when a man tells her, "Whatever grows together, goes together."

Abby Elliott as Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto, Chris Witaske as Pete in The Bear season 3 episode 4
“THE BEAR” — “Violet” — Season 3, Episode 4 (Airs Thursday, June 27th) — Pictured: (l-r) Abby Elliott as Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto, Chris Witaske as Pete. CR: FX. /

At the restaurant, the Faks try to be helpful by putting up photos of every local food critic on the wall, but when they show Carmy, he tells them he "hate[s] this feeling." He can't describe what it is, but he thinks back to the criticism he's received throughout his career. Snapping out of it, he tells the Faks it was a smart idea, and they feel proud of themselves.

Josh Hartnett makes a surprise appearance

Ebra continues working the sandwich line but is unorganized and messy, something he's going to have to figure out sooner or later. Richie then walks Eva to Frank's house to drop her off, who turns out to be played by Josh Hartnett. This show has the best guest stars, doesn't it? Eva calls Frank "Waldo," to which Richie explains he told her to call him whatever she wanted. Frank understands.

Frank wants to speak to Richie in private and gets very nervous before telling him that he feels bad about not giving him a heads-up before proposing to Tiff. Richie says he doesn't need to give his approval, but Frank says he should've "been a gentleman." Frank asks if Richie is coming to the wedding since he hadn't RSVP'd, to which Richie downplays it all, saying he's just been busy with the restaurant. Frank expresses wanting to eat at The Bear, and they have a couple of awkward exchanges before Richie leaves. Frank seems like a genuine person, but that doesn't make the situation any less difficult for Richie.

Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in The Bear season 3 episode 4
“THE BEAR” — “Violet” — Season 3, Episode 4 (Airs Thursday, June 27th) — Pictured: Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu. CR: FX. /

Outside of the train, Sydney gets stopped by Adam Shapiro, the CDC at the restaurant Ever. He tells her he came to The Bear a few weeks back and, after noting the shouting he heard from the kitchen, says the food was "excellent." They make some awkward small talk about restaurants, and he tells her she should come eat at Ever before they part ways.

Back at The Bear, Sydney and Carmy argue in the kitchen over a change Carmy makes to the menu for the night. He congratulates her on getting an apartment and after noticing him chewing nicotine gum, she asks if he's still not smoking. He tells her it's been three weeks, which she seems pleasantly surprised to hear.

A big review awaits

Natalie and Richie have a sweet moment in the office and Nat opens up about her fears of being a mother. She tells him she wishes she could stop what's going on in her head from getting to her baby, and Richie surprises her by saying he thinks about that all the time. But no, he doesn't have any tips. He asks for advice with Eva, asking if he should just back off now that Tiff is getting married. But Nat assures him it would be weird if he wasn't around. Before their conversation gets too deep, Richie changes the subject, but they're interrupted when Nat gets a phone call.

Nat and Richie come into the kitchen and ask why The Tribune is coming in to take photos. This alerts Carmy and Sydney, who realize they're doing a review. And no, they're not coming tonight to check out the restaurant; this means they've already been there. Their minds turn to the worst possible scenario as the episode cuts to black.

Given The Bear has been receiving great reviews and the food is no doubt great, I'd assume The Tribune would write a positive piece on the restaurant... but maybe I'm just too hopeful. We'll find out soon enough what the verdict is. All 10 episodes of The Bear are now streaming on Hulu.

Read the rest of our episodic recaps for The Bear season 3:

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