It’s all about the kitchen these days, with a little bit of Scottish folklore, between The Bear, Julia and Annika. Let’s bring it around to the first one of that and dip back into The Bear season 1. Rolling into my recap of The Bear S1:E05 Sheridan after the break!
We open with Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) in bed with cooking and denied credit applications dancing through her head and keeping her from sleep, lotta fish there. Lotta fish.
She gives up and gets out of what must be her childhood bed (unless she’s still into single beds with a rainbow theme) and heads to the washroom to take one type of a pill of many, many bottles. Oh. Oh. Boxes in her room are labelled as Sheridan Road Catering, did she try to start her own business but was denied?
She waits alone at the subway then arrives at work where sandwich shop owner Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) is already hard at work, chopping parsley very, very quickly.
Sydney has come up with a comprehensive business plan for The Original Beef of Chicagoland, part of that involves a new dinner menu so they work on that while pounding the shite out of defenseless fish fillets.
Patissiere Marcus (Lionel Boyce) wanders out of another area carrying Carmy’s book (Carmy is a culinary genius) to be provided guidance on his tape cutting skills, or lack thereof, when a noise draws all three to the washroom.
There’s something wrong with the pipes…knocking proceeds until the toilet blows up all over Carmy.
Being a small business owner is GLAMOROUS!
It’s all hands on deck getting the mess cleaned up, ‘Fak Attack’ arrives in the form of Neil Fak (Matty Matheson) to save the day right after Richard ‘Richie” Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) does. Fak’s there to help with the toilet and …apply for one of the extra cook jobs Carmy says he may need with a better dinner menu?
Angel (Jose Cervantes Jr.) and Manny (Richard Esteras) work with Gary ‘Sweeps’ Woods (Corey Hendrix) while chef de parti Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson) watches Carmy prepare what looks like a breaded fish with picatta sauce. It may have been chicken.
Garde manger Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) approves.
Marcus is off working on lacto-ovo fermentation with the help of his roommate Chester (Carmen Christopher). I really like quirky Chester, even as he demonstrates he is a psychopath by celebrating the fact he and Marcus religiously watch The Bachelorette.
Sweeps watches and gives stats on a baseball player in a segue that makes no sense to me at all.
One of the recipes Tina is working on is one of Carmy’s dead brother Michael; he used to make it for their mom.
Nobody knows why Michael did anything.
Richie had appointed himself the HR department (while simulating screwing Fak), so he does Fak’s interview too and it’s like I’m back in Oil & Gas, just like that! Fak has a slightly thin resume of being a fantastic keyboard player (debatable and possibly irrelevant for a job as a line cook), he’s a hard worker, a nice guy and has a great vibe!
Richie declines to cosign on Fak’s vibe.
*Can I point out now that Fak is played by renowned famous Canadian chef Matty Matheson?
Richie swears he will hump anything he wants to hump, Fak disagrees.
Richie chases Fak out into the restaurant and takes him down with a series of nipple twists and hair pulling trying to get him to say ‘matae’ for submission..
I SWEAR THIS IS 100% OIL AND GAS.
Carmy breaks it up by throwing water on both of them, Fak sputtering to his feet that Richie is selling coke in the alley.
Carmy’s eyes are so blue here.
Richie doesn’t even deny it, demanding to know if Fak is happy now that he told Mom?? Ya *&^%ing stroke.
*What’s a stroke? Looking up. Oh. Like a suckup.
Richie says his coke dealing was Michael’s idea, how does Carmy think they got through COVID? What about rewarding this kind of stick-to-itofness?
Marcus makes a cake in a hurry in the freaking messiest way possible – you can’t turn up a mixer to make things faster THEN add in highly fluffy stuff like flour and cocoa!
The mixer is broken and keeps getting faster and faster as Carmy gets screamier and screamier until the fuse blows and the power goes out.
Carmy calls in a lifeline; his sister Sugar (Abby Elliot)’s husband Pete (Chris Witsake) is more than happy to let them store a bunch of food in his freezer.
Sugar, however. Sugar is pissed that her little brother isn’t calling her back and dealing with the death of their sibling and only calls when he needs something and and. He is trying to deal, he started going to Al-Anon, that information is enough to put a smile on her face and a hug on her brother. Maybe he’ll call her back tomorrow so they can fight?
The kitchen has power but it doesn’t have gas so….Sydney comes up with a plan. She sets up in the alley with a grill and it’s an outside lunch today: cash only! She flashes back to crayfish on the grill.
When Carmy gets back, he finds a well-oiled machine creating sandwiches outside even if Tina thinks the grill is ‘flamey”. He goes for a smoke and finds a dejected Marcus practically laying on the ground, he messed up. Marcus was leaning hard into his new role with desserts, his first job was at McDonald’s, he wasn’t allowed any creativity. He got behind on his work and that’s why he pushed. Carmy isn’t mad, he isn’t going to fire anyone, it’s just that day in this crazy business.
He tells the story of how he almost burned down a restaurant the day after Food & Wine named him best new chef of the year. There was a moment when he was staring into the fire, realising if the whole restaurant burned down, it would take his anxiety with it. But then he put the fire out.
Marcus is done being a baby, he’s ready to party!
Unfortunately, Carmy’s gonna need $5500 cash right now to get the fridge condenser fixed. If only there was an unconventionally (and super illegal) revenue stream immediately handy.
Richie is gonna think about whether he will get back into the coke dealing in the alley business.
Note: he only ‘quit’ an hour ago.
Also note: they were collecting money in cash from lunch in the alley, couldn’t they use that instead?
Richie won’t help until Fak says matae (which is like tapping out in Judo?), but Fak protests: Richie didn’t even win.
Even Carmy pushes Fak, so he says it, he says it three times. Carmy pushes: this is the last time, right?: They agree and magically the lights come back on.
It’s calm again, Sydney works on a recipe with crayfish and talks to Carmy about the failure of her catering business. Too big, too fast but not big enough so it destroyed her credit and its loss haunts her daily.
We see later that it’s now dreams about food for The Beef that’s waking her up. Progress? And we’re out.
This show captures perfectly how chaotic and mind-numbing working in a kitchen can be, things can get out of hand in a second and it can feel like literally nothing is happening for hours. The Bear is perfect at this. Like how a lifeguard saves a life, changes clothes and goes right back to patrolling.
Until next time! Cheers.