syd and carmy sitting together in the kitchen on the bear

‘The Bear’ Season 3 Is a Time-Warping, Stressful, Gorgeous Feat

Each new season of The Bear is stressful. There is typically one episode that makes everyone online panic and talk about how stressed we all were. Now think about that and apply that to nearly every single episode in season 3 of the hit FX series.

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Slight spoilers ahead!

The season focuses a lot on Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) post-freezer breakdown. The restaurant is open, and while Natalie (Abby Elliott) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) are trying to run things smoothly, it isn’t going well for Carmy in the kitchen. He’s still hot headed, but the stress of running his own thing is weighing on him and clearly clouding how he reacts to the people he loves around him. Stop yelling at Tina!

Syd (Ayo Edebiri) went into this endeavor thinking she was going to be a partner, but the more things go on, the more it seems like Carmy wants to do what Carmy wants to do and isn’t willing to listen. That back and forth bleeds through nearly every episode of the season. We have two departures, one in the Tina-centric (Liza Colón-Zayas) episode that is directed by Edebiri and an episode centered around Natalie and the Berzatto matriarch, Donna, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis.

But for all its tense moments and screaming matches, The Bear’s third season still has that heart that fans have loved about the show from the start. Hidden deep in Carmy’s flipouts is a desire to do right by everyone who is counting on him. Syd recognizes this and can only take so much of Carmy and Richie fighting with each other, but they’re all there to see The Bear succeed because they want each other to succeed.

Personal issues get fried up in the kitchen

Carmy sits on a table and runs a hand through his hair

Despite all the love that the characters of The Bear have for each other, they also have an anger towards each other that runs incredibly deep. Carmy’s flipout in the freezer leaves many with a bad taste in their mouth, and even though he apologizes, his relationship with Richie is as strained as ever throughout the season. It leads to Richie throwing insults about Claire (Molly Gordon) at him, and Syd is more a referee than a partner.

There are moments of peace throughout this season, but those are few and far between. Everyone is on edge, and it leaves you on edge, as well.

But this season has some of The Bear’s more creative episodes. The pilot is a nearly silent look at Carmy’s history intercut with how he is doing after the freezer, Tina’s backstory is beautifully told with the lead up to how she ended up working at the Original Beef of Chicago Land, and it still ends with a cliffhanger that will have fans screaming “What!?” at their television screens.

This is truly the best show on television (in my opinion), and while many were worried about whether or not season 3 could step up to the task, I think it brought something new and exciting to the series while still being The Bear we know and love.

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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.