Dissecting The Meaning Behind ‘The Bear’ Season 3’s Ending

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 27, 2024
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Sydney and Carmy in The Bear Season 3 Image as part of recap and ending explained for Episode 10
(L-R) Sydney and Carmy pondering to themselves in the kitchen in 'The Bear' Season 3 (Credit - FX)


The ending of The Bear Season 3 is more about meaning than plot twists. And while Episode 10, “Forever,” leaves us with a cliffhanger, there’s more to flesh out than meets the eye. Carmy is super quiet in this chapter before he explodes at a past acquaintance. Plenty of important discussions were also happening, especially as a tie-in for Season 4. And so, I’ve broken down the key details of the Season 3 finale to gain an understanding of what all this means.

Carmy and Chef David

Carmy in The Bear Season 3

Chef Carmy is furious when he sees an old mentor in ‘The Bear’ (Credit – FX)

Throughout most of Episode 10, Carmy sits silently, seething across the table as he looks at his old mentor, Chef David, at the “funeral.” It is not a funeral, but Chef Terry’s restaurant Ever is closing, so everyone she has influenced and worked with is joining her for one last night, allowing us to marvel at another brilliant performance from Olivia Colman.

So many conversations buzz around Carmy as high-profile chefs ponder over their careers as they find unison over giving togetherness and joy to people using the flavor of foods.

But why does this trigger Carmy? Why did he feel compelled to confront Chef David privately and angrily, calling him an asshole? Well, it’s because he could not relate to any of the experiences the chefs described. If you think about it, it’s difficult to recall any episode where Carmy was happy about the flavor of one of his meals or the happiness he gets when a customer is pleased. He only ever has fleeting moments of suppressed emotions.

Carmy believes, due to the horrors he suffered in Chef David’s kitchen, that his life stopped. He became numb by only looking for perfection. He gained the belief that he could have anyone in his life to become great, and that includes Claire. He felt David was far too harsh to the point where he implied abuse. Does Chef David care? No — he is far too busy wanting to go to the bathroom to relieve himself. He tells Carmy that because of his actions and advice to remove everything in his life, he made himself one of the great chefs.

The question becomes, is Chef David right? There is no answer due to the multitude of messages in this episode. Your journey is your journey to becoming great. Before all this, we are treated to a flashback, which shows another of Carmy’s mentors, who was kind and patient. He told Carmy that they cook to nurture people and gain a legacy. It’s possible that Carmy lost that value when he stripped his entire life to become a Michelin-starred chef and led his life with fear of failure and imperfection.

Chef Terry Offers Reflection To Carmy’s Pain

Olivia Colan provides a brilliant cameo again as Chef Terry in ‘The Bear’ Season 3 (Credit – FX)

If anyone will deliver a great speech from a humble and highly respected chef, it’s Olivia Colman, right? And she makes it short and sweet when her restaurant closes for good. She talks about her career, how she’s found warmth in seeing others develop, and the relationships she’s built with customers. Often, great leaders speak not of their successes, but the people they remember along the way, and Chef Terry hits the nail on the head.

Her moment of reflection continues privately with Carmy, whom she speaks to outside. She tells him how much she’s learned over the years and that she is only closing because she wants to do more outside of cooking after achieving everything she needs to with the right people. This is a twist in itself because, up until this moment, it’s easy to assume her restaurant was closing down due to finances.

But Chef Terry gives Carmy wisdom; she tells him he will never know what he’s doing but should act like he’s invincible. I get the sneaking suspicion that despite having mature shoulders around him, Carmy will take everything with a pinch of salt due to the ending of Season 3.

Sydney Is Caught In The Middle Of Her Own Decision

Sydney in The Bear Season 3, Episode 10 - ending

Sydney is unsure if she should partner with Carmy or move on to a new opportunity in ‘The Bear’ Season 3 (Credit – FX)

By the end of Season 3 of The Bear, Sydney suffers a panic attack when she leaves the afterparty. In Season 2, Sydney entered into a presumed partnership with Uncle Jimmy and Carmy for the restaurant, but she never actually signs the agreement, claiming she needs to review it legally. However, the real reason is that she doubts partnering with Carmy, who has proven to be a brutal leader to work with. Episode 10 hints that Carmy’s leadership is based on Chef David’s mentorship.

An acquaintance offers Sydney a new job. It’s a partnership with a salary and benefits. She’d be starting a new restaurant again but would have full authority over the menu.

Plenty of the Season 3 finale has been about the people you work with. Sydney loves the journey she’s had so far with her colleagues, but she’s struggled with the politics of the job. She wants to take the new job but hesitates to tell Carmy.

The panic attack was a result of her anxiety taking over. She’s received confusing messages from the funeral about legacy and the people she’s created a union with. Moving jobs will potentially offer her a legacy, but staying with Carmy and the restaurant will continue the journey she’s already made with the staff. Her decision-making paralyzes her.

This is a classic case: “Is the grass greener on the other side?” The issue is that there is no way of truly knowing.

A Mixed Review Is Not A Good Review

The Bear restaurant looks to have received a mixed review in the Season 3 ending (Credit – FX)

“To Be Continued” — I hate that sentence when it splashes up on the screen when a season ends, but that’s precisely what The Bear Season 3 does, confirming this to be more of a two-parter. Before this, Carmy sees that the review of his restaurant has finally been released. We all see snippets of positive and negative words, hinting that the review is mixed with praise and criticism.

However, a mixed review is not good enough if you want to be a Michelin-starred restaurant. You have to be perfect. Maybe Carmy did get his answer: completely removing everything in his life, including Claire, who is flagrantly his person, was not the route to greatness.

Carmy needs to return to the menu and revisit his life choices. There’s also the awkward implication that Uncle Jimmy is broke and the restaurant is not thriving financially. Season 4 is going to be heated.

What was your favorite moment from The Bear Season 3, Episode 10? What do you think the ending means for Season 4? Join in with your theories and comment below.

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