Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie in The Bear
(FX on Hulu)

‘The Bear’ Season 3’s Newest Swiftie Helps Bring Richie’s Story Full Circle

The Bear season 3’s celebrity cameos and guest stars did not disappoint, especially when Josh Hartnett entered the scene with the perfect intro song and an interesting connection to Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach).

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Spoilers ahead!

Hartnett has been enjoying a Hollywood comeback following his Oppenheimer and Black Mirror roles. He is next slated to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller Trap. Before returning to the big screen, though, he appeared in The Bear season 3, episode 4, “Violet.” In order to understand the significance of his character, Frank, viewers may need a refresher on Richie’s history. Season 1 of The Bear reveals that Richie is divorced and shares a daughter, Eva (Annabelle Toomey), with his ex-wife, Tiffany (Gillian Jacobs). Since the pair were divorced before the show’s events, it’s not entirely clear what happened between them.

However, the flashback episode “Fishes” suggests that animosity arose over Richie’s struggles to find employment, especially after he lost a job offer from Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt). While things are tense between Tiffany and Richie, they are both dedicated to raising Eva and ensuring she grows up with two loving parents. Viewers were curious if their dynamic might change after Tiffany revealed in season 2 that she was engaged to her boyfriend, Frank.

Frank makes his debut in The Bear season 3

Frank finally appears in The Bear season 3 for the first time, although he was mentioned in season 2. Before the engagement announcement, he is mentioned briefly in season 2, episode 5, when Richie appears to be trying to get information about him. Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) brings Claire (Molly Gordon) into the restaurant one night, and Richie uses the opportunity to ask about Frank. Claire confirms that she met Frank and gushes to him about what a great guy he is. Richie appears disappointed by the news, suggesting he has lingering feelings for Tiffany.

Now, the mysterious Frank has arrived physically on the show, and it turns out Richie’s competition is Hartnett. Meanwhile, he has arguably one of the best entrances in the show, as he arrives to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Long Live.” He meets Richie when the latter stops at Tiffany’s house to drop off Eva. As soon as Frank opens the door, viewers can hear the Swift song playing in the background. It feels like the perfect choice, given that Tiffany, Richie, and Eva are known to be huge Swifties, with Richie even taking Eva to a Swift concert in season 2 and having a powerful moment singing “Love Story.” Hence, the song stirs a lot of emotion as viewers learn Frank is already interested in Tiffany and Eva’s favorite artist and because of what Swift means to Richie.

As the song plays in the background, Richie and Frank have an important, if awkward, heart-to-heart. Frank proves that he is a pretty decent guy as he expresses regret for not asking Richie ahead of time about the proposal. Additionally, he double-checks whether Richie truly is alright with the engagement and him becoming a stepfather figure for Eva. It can’t be denied that Richie has his faults and can be quite volatile sometimes. However, he once again proves that he always has his daughter’s best interests in mind by responding graciously to Frank and confirming that he has no problem with it. He even invites Frank and Tiffany down to The Bear, raising hope the pair might make a future appearance on the show.

Ultimately, Hartnett embodies the role of Eva’s kind, Swiftie stepfather quite well, and his guest appearance in The Bear helps demonstrate how much progress Richie has made in prioritizing his daughter and accepting that Tiffany has moved on.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.