The Bear season 3 episode 3 recap: the month that never ends

Jeremy Allen White and Oliver Platt in The Bear
Jeremy Allen White and Oliver Platt in The Bear (Image credit: FX)

Look alive, bearitos! The Bear season 3 episode 3 is a pressure-cooking half hour of television, chronicling the chaotic first month of real-deal restaurant service at The Bear, which is a cacophony of kitchen arguments, shattered plateware, sound cooking and, oddly, Super Soakers. 

But first, we open on a somber note: a stained-glass window signals we're again at a church, this time for Marcus' mother's funeral. The whole team has shown up in their mourning dress in support. (Though Jeremy Allen White's Carmy and Ebon Moss-Bachrach's couldn't be sitting further from each other.) The pastry chef (Lionel Boyce) performs the eulogy, detailing how his mom let him watch R-rated movies when he was a kid ("Robocop," Marcus remembers with a smile) and that she was creative in the kitchen, no doubt a genetic trait. When she was sick and couldn't speak, he shares, "we really had to pay attention to each other and look really closely at each other."

We initially get to see a modicum of that level of personal care back at the restaurant, with Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) thoughtfully widening the margins of the tickets because Carmy likes to write in them. But once those doors open and the drama of service — set to a fittingly frantic operatic score — officially kicks off, we don't have much time for individual considerations. The raviolo must be finished with parm mousse, the wine bottles must be expertly uncorked, the crazy-expensive butter mush be ordered ("It's Orwellian," Carmy tries to explain to Uncle Jimmy, who responds with the excellently exasperated: "It's dystopian butter?!") and the wrath of Carmy must be endured. 

When a Wagyu steak isn't cooked to his liking, it gets chucked straight into the trash, no matter that a four-top has been waiting for that pricy beef for over a half hour. That dissonance between Carmy's kitchen and Richie's front-of-house thrums uncomfortably throughout the whole episode, so much so that the latter ends up making a few "Non-Negotiables" of his own, from the logical ("A courtesy window for any menu changes: eight hours is oaky, 10 hours is ideal;") to the, well, less so (wanting to create "an environment that embraces and encourages razzle-dazzle and the dream weave"). An example of this so-called "dream weave"? Neil Fak (Matty Matheson) rolling a stuffed piñata into the dining room per Richie's request, much to Carmy's vehement chagrin. ("No, I hate this.")

Matty Matheson in The Bear

Matty Matheson in The Bear (Image credit: FX)

As the messiness of the month rolls out, we see knife nicks, scalded hands, broken glass, crammed sinks, missing teaspoons and the unrelenting toil of night after night of dinner service. "Do we have to do this every night?" complains Tina (Liza Colon-Zayas), during the soapy slog of a post-service kitchen clean-up. The sandwich orders at the Italian Beef window — yes, it's back open, with Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson) manning the griddle — pile up, as do Sydney's expo tickets. That is, until an argument between, you guessed it, Carmy and Richie gets physical, leading to the men horrifically knocking over Syd's carefully organized station and sending the kitchen into chaos. 

It's enough to make anyone break down, and we see Carmy begin to mentally unravel at the pass, with flashes of Claire (Molly Gordon) popping in his mind as he twitches and yells out table orders. But Syd quiets the noise and all but orders him to calm down. It's not the soft consideration that we saw from her at the episode's beginning ("I'm not your f***ing babysitter," she reminds him), but it is a necessary refocusing. 

And focus is going to be vital for The Bear staff, as during one service Richie seemingly spots that fateful fork laid under the table, a signifier that a discerning Michelin reviewer is dining at the restaurant. Will Carmy be able to get out of his own way enough for the kitchen to get one of those coveted sparklers? Or will the doors slam on that dream? Stay tuned!

All 10 episodes of The Bear season 3 are now available to stream on Hulu in the US and Disney Plus in the UK. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York. 

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.