The Bear season 3 episode 5 recap: another Fak and a forgotten duck

Oliver Platt in The Bear season 3 episode 5
Oliver Platt in The Bear (Image credit: FX Networks)

Earlier on in The Bear season 3, you may remember Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) trying to remember exactly how many siblings there are in the Fak family. (For the record, there are eight, no, nine Faks — he always forgets about Avery.) And in The Bear season 3 episode 5, entitled "Children," we get to meet yet another member of that lovably chaotic clan, who still manage to be less dysfunctional than those broody Berzattos. 

But before we get to the Faks' much-welcome comic relief (and that major celebrity cameo), let's check in with our Berzatto siblings. This time around, it's Natalie (Abby Elliott) who is up at dawn with worries, haunted by the impending arrival of her baby (as well as the operatic boom from "Dream Little One, Dream," the main title from The Night of the Hunter.) Given how Carmy-focused so much of The Bear is, it can be easy to forget that Natalie grew up with the same troubles as her brother, from the death of Mikey (Jon Bernthal) to the hurricane of Donna (Jamie Lee Curtis). 

She's soothed, a little bit at least — she's still dealing with the physical phenomenon she calls "lightning crotch," after all — by Marcus (Lionel Boyce) and his talk of the white violet he picked last episode in remembrance of his late mother. The pastry chef is going through his own maternal woes, as he packs up and sells his mom's house with the help of Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), a self-proclaimed fellow member of the "Dead Moms Club." It's sweet to see the two bond in both grief and humor — "We meet in the dankest church background and dues are bimonthly," Syd jokes about the club's "meetings" — especially after the romantic awkwardness of last season. 

Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), meanwhile, is navigating a loss of his own: Chef Terry (Olivia Colman) has decided to close Ever, the Chicago fine-dining restaurant that prompted transformative experiences for both Carmy and Richie. Unable to concentrate, he's busy fiddling around with a foamy Béarnaise ("It's like 2014 or something," Syd gently quips) and worrying that he's "f***ing this up," this being... the sauce? The restaurant? Life itself? 

Things don't last forever, his sister reminds him, and if The Bear is going to last even a week longer, Carmy is going to have to change his ways. With good timing, Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt) brings in The Computer himself — played by Billions showrunner Brian Koppelman — to run numbers on the restaurant. 

Those expensive microgreens? Out! They'll have to hire a regular produce vendor instead of Tina's farmers' market runs. The phone service? Cut it! They take reservations online, anyway. And ixnay those confusing table chargers: "It's a plate that nobody eats off of and you still have to wash it anyway?" our human robot surmises. Thankfully, Natalie manages to make him walk back the idea of firing the pastry chef. ("If you f*** with Marcus, I will murder you.")

John Cena in The Bear season 3 episode 5

Ricky Staffieri and John Cena in The Bear (Image credit: FX Networks)

And while all of that is happening in the kitchen, Richie and the front-of-house folks are making improvements out in the dining room — restocking wine bottles, relocating floral arrangements — in preparation for the arrival of The Chicago Tribune photographer, who's coming by to snap photos to accompany that dreaded
yet still mysterious restaurant review. To get The Bear's floors gleaming, Neil (Matty Matheson) and Ted (Ricky Staffieri) call in buffing reinforcements from the Fak family tree: their brother Sammy, who is played by none other than wrestling icon and movie star John Cena. 

Cena's mostly there to raise Richie's blood pressure by smoking in the dining room and tormenting Ted about something involving SD cards. (Those Faks talk so fast, it's hard to keep up.) But he actually comes in handy when Carmy, Sydney and the rest of the kitchen team realize they don't have the ingredients needed to recreate the duck dish for the Tribune photoshoot and need someone to run out and source the protein. ("Freshwater? I saw one at the park!" is Sammy's insane duck contribution.) 

In fact, they don't actually know which duck dish it is, because Carmy's daily changing menu means they've whipped up, like, half a dozen duck variations in the last few weeks. As he goes to look through his old notebooks for said duck recipe, Uncle Jimmy has a sweet moment with Sydney, both reminding her to sign that damn partner agreement and to also do some fatherly worrying over Carmy and Natalie. He wishes he did more to help them when they were young. "You're here," Sydney assures him. That's more than enough. 

While searching for the recipe, Carmy comes across a box labeled "DD," aka Donna, which is full of family photos of the Berzatto kids and their mom. The chef pauses on a picture of a young Donna holding an infant, presumably him — does this mean, following our Cena cameo, we'll be getting a Curtis appearance soon? 

Well, it looks like we won't find out for at least one more episode of The Bear, as the season's sixth installment — directed by Ayo Edebiri — will be a standalone edition spotlighting Liza Colón-Zayas' Tina. 

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.