Season 1, Episode 8 Synopsis: Braciole

The bear

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season 1

Episode 8

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

Photo: Photo: Matt Dinerstein/Copyright 2022, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Guys, Jeremy Allen White is a good actor. He’s been lighting up every episode of The bear Like Carme, a genius chef tormented with all sorts of trouble, but in “Braciole,” season one, he comes up so hot with Al-Anon’s monologue that I’ll be shocked (shocked, I say!) I didn’t see him on every awards reel presented to every TV voter next year.

When “Braciole” opens, Carmen has another of his weird, family-driven food dreams. He hosts a weird cooking show but does it his way, with swearing, lots of family info, and a mop of greasy hair. Everything goes wrong around him too, bouncing in and out of previous dream sequences, like opening the premiere with a bear in a cage. It’s all set to a laughing soundtrack, and it’s clear that while Carmen’s face and demeanor may seem calm, on the inside, it’s a bowl of raucous emotions.

I love that The bear He does not throw him from the depths of himself and addict himself. Instead, Carmen wakes up and heads to Al-Anon, where he muster up his courage to finally speak in front of the group. During White’s long and surprisingly impressive monologue, we learned that he always considered his brother his best friend and felt closest to him when they were both cooking. He says Mickey can make you feel confident in yourself, and he’s always telling Carmen to “let it blow.” The catch is that everyone thought Mickey was their best friend and that Carmen didn’t even know he was being used. Now, he’s guessing their entire relationship, apparently, and wondering if he really knows him at all. And if he does not know his brother, does he know anything?

As the eulogy continues, we learn that Mickey shut Carmen out of the restaurant sometime two years ago. Carmen says he retaliated, using his act to tell his brother, “Fuck you, watch this.” He’s worked in all the best restaurants in the world, doing so much work that “his skin was both oily and dry at the same time” (a great description!) and eventually found an independent way for himself. Unfortunately, he never succeeded in communicating with Mickey because the two were far from each other. In the end, Carmen lost track of each other, and suddenly his brother passed away. He was shot in the head in the middle of the State Street Bridge, which is where we saw that bear in the first episode. Now, Carmen says, he’s trying to fix the restaurant to try and fix his relationship with his brother and his entire family, but he’s no longer sure if The Original Beef means anything to Mikey.

Back at the restaurant, Richie complains about the way Sydney nearly stabbed her idiot, while Carmen tells the staff that the restaurant will be closing for dinner due to a special event. This event, as it turns out, is a bachelorette party for one of Cicero’s friends, a show of absolute nonsense. There is a barrel. There are lights. There are strippers. There is coke. And in the end, there is a huge and massive fight that Richie and Carmen are trying to break up, and suddenly a man falls, hits his head on the table, the diagnosis is unknown. Ritchie ends up in prison, regretful and emotional, and uses his one phone call to apologize to his ex-wife, Tiffany, for things he said about her father. When Richie comes out – hooray, he has just been accused of severe assault! – Tell Carmen it’s all Richie owns. It’s a big statement for a closed person like Richie, and it could mean starting a new connection between the two in the future.

Speaking of connection, Marcus has been hanging out in Sydney’s apartment, which she shares with her father. She cooks him the sea bass she adored, and he asks her questions about her time at the CIA. When she was in culinary school, she says, she only knew half of the famous chefs her teachers and fellow students talked about, so when she came out, she bought a one-way ticket to New York and used every other cent she owned to eat at all the famous places. One meal above all, that of course is what Carmen prepared.

While Marcus admits it may have been his bit of a mistake that led him to leave the restaurant, we don’t quite get that from Syd. She still insists that Carmen is a “little bitch”, and while she could be said to be, that doesn’t mean she’s at least not a bit responsible for what happened. She shouldn’t be proud of what she said to Ritchie, for example, and I hope they can break that down one day. On the other hand, Marcus seems to realize that his “head has just been badly damaged” by the buns and has a nice laissez-faire attitude. I don’t know if The bear He tries to get us to root for something romantic between Sidney and Marcus or just a supportive friendship in “game recognition” style, but I’m down for anything.

At the restaurant, Carmen tries to figure out how Mickey spent over $300,000 on something he wrote called “KBL Electric”. It’s not real business, as far as he can tell, and Mickey has been throwing big bucks his way almost every month. Tina tells him a story about how the restaurant didn’t have napkins for a month because Mickey said they couldn’t afford them. “It looks like it,” Carmen says, and Tina replies that she didn’t, which is why she should have known something was wrong. She loved Mickey so much, and it’s really nice to see her.

A few other things happen in fairly quick succession, like the premiere that echoes the wrong meat order and Carmen’s discovery of Sid’s Notebook, including her short ribs recipe. He starts spinning a little and tries to light a cigarette on the gas stove. (Why would he smoke inside when he never did, and who knows?) A fire broke out, and as Carmen had talked in the past about his job in New York, he became a little dumbfounded. He seems to wonder what would happen if he let him burn and walk away from The Beef forever. This is not in the cards of course; Everyone puts it outside, but this is a good reminder that Carmen carries a lot of weight on his shoulders.

After Richie saw Carmen’s space outside, he went to retrieve the envelope he had found behind the lockers. He gives it to Karmi, who reacts with almost astonishment and anger. At last he heads outside to read it, but not before texting Syed to tell her, in his blunt, devious way, that (a) her dish needed acid and (b) what he said to her and did in her presence was not. Good. He might be a little bitch, but at least he’d like to own it over time.

When Carmen opened the envelope, he found a notebook card that just read, “I love you dude. Let it slash.” In the back is a pasta recipe for family dinners, which Mickey says should be made using smaller cans of tomatoes because it “tastes better.” After a good cry, Carmen headed inside and decided for a family dinner, taking two cans to mix up some sauce. When he breaks one off and pours it into the pan, he is surprised to find a large wad of money wrapped in plastic wrap. The cans, as we can see, have KBL on the lid, and we watch the staff gleefully opening each one, tossing tomatoes all over the kitchen. It’s the Christmas kitchen, and they’re unpacking tens of thousands of dollars one morning. Sid gets into the bustle and gets invited to join in the fun by Richie, which is nice. She and Carmen have a brief discussion about what they want the restaurant to be – family-style, two-deck and short, Danish design with a window for sandwiches – and we learn The Beef is closing. Soon it will become The Bear, which I suppose is inspired by the name and design Carmy once dreamed of with Mikey, who now prepares him with a nice nest egg to start things off. We’ve finished that family meal of spaghetti, and everyone (including Sugar and Pete) is celebrating not only what’s to come but what Mikey has done to get them to this point.

About that, though: While what Mikey did for Carmen was incredibly nice, it also came at a great price. First, you have to assume he did it because he didn’t see any other way. He didn’t think he could call Carmen and say, “Hey, I’m sorry, let’s make this restaurant,” and he didn’t seem to think he could be a part of it, which is very sad. He’s also taken out loans from Cicero so the restaurant can still tie the knot, which can still come back to bite Mickey in the ass. Sure, it looks like they could use that money to unlock The Bear, but Cicero wouldn’t go, “Hey, where did all that money come from?” Let’s just hope they can all tastefully lie to him and claim that some angel investor provided it so that Cicero wouldn’t come back asking too many questions.

These are questions for season two that I hope we get through. While I can walk away from this season complacent about where it all ends, I’d like to see where things go in success and when they’re not under eight balls all the time. Watch The bear It was one of the most rewarding TV experiences I’ve had lately, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to chase that feeling a bit more. Now everyone go out and tell your family and friends to join, maybe we can Ted Lasso This shit.

• I’m ashamed to say I’ve never eaten at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, so I’d like to know if it, in fact, has the best bacon on earth. If anyone can confirm, please let me know in the comments.

• It was an honor and a privilege to write this The bear Summaries for Vulture this season, and I hope you liked them all. I also hope the show comes back for a second season because it’s excellent, and the world feels like a better place because it’s there.

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