Carmy looking straight ahead on the bear

‘The Bear’ Made a Long-Awaited Reunion as Upsetting as Possible

On The Bear, Carmy rarely speaks about his issues. He struggles with anxiety and his mental health, but it isn’t something he’s open about with people around him. They’re clued in and know when he needs to breathe, but for the most part, he keeps it close to his chest.

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Spoilers for The Bear season 3 finale ahead!

But one thing we know, as the audience, is that he previously worked under a chef who made his life a living hell. Played by Joel McHale, the character is simply known as the New York City chef that Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) worked for. He was rude, aggressive, and made everything that Carmy did worse. This season, we learned that a dish that Syd (Ayo Edebiri) loved from the restaurant that Carmy worked at was created out of Carmy’s own anger with the head chef.

A lot of the issues that Carmy has now in his own restaurant come from what that chef did to him. So, when McHale came back for the season 3 finale and his chef was at the “funeral dinner” for the restaurant Ever, I was waiting for the confrontation I have been itching for. Carmy won’t stop staring at him—just shooting daggers across the room. When Syd and Luca (Will Poulter) are finally clued into what is going on, Carmy begins to get up to go talk to the chef while he has the chance.

In turn, we are gifted with the most uncomfortable of conversations. Who among us hasn’t thought of finally pushing back against someone and confronting them? Well, Carmy does it, and it goes so horribly wrong that I don’t see how he can recover from it.

For everything that Carmy put on this chef, the guy just doesn’t care about it. Carmy is “better off” for it, in his eyes.

He just doesn’t care

Joel McHale as an NYC chef looking down on carmy

There are lots of people who I want to confront in my life, tell them right to their face about how they hurt me, but my biggest fear is that they won’t care. We all have that baggage, wanting to tell someone else how they hurt tus, but if the other person has no compassion, you’re left feeling even more broken than before.

For Carmy, it took all the courage he had to go up to this guy and tell him what he did to him, but instead of the chef even recognizing how he tormented Carmy as a young chef, he only thought about how he believes he helped him. That’s messed up.

To Carmy’s credit, he laughs at the end of their conversation, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t painful to watch. I always wanted to confront those who changed who I am and how I think about myself. I wanted them to know what they did to me and how I found my own success outside of them. But if they turned around and said I found it because of what they did to me? I’d break. And that’s essentially what happened to Carmy in this instance.

Pouring one out for you, Carmy. That is the worst possible way that confrontation could have gone. At least he remembered you?

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.