‘The Bear’ is a dark comedy series that follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a fine-dining chef forced to return home and take over his family’s restaurant after the tragic demise of his brother. As Carmy grapples with his brother’s death, he must find a way to turn things around at the restaurant and in life.
In the process, he learns about the hardships of running a small business but is sustained by the relationships he builds with his rough-around-the-edges staff. However, Carmy’s biggest challenge is remaining sane while keeping the business afloat. If you are curious to learn whether Carmy conquers the challenges or succumbs to them, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Bear.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Bear Recap
‘The Bear’ sees Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto returning to his home in Chicago after his brother Michael “Mikey” Berzatto dies by suicide. Devastated by Michael’s death, Carmy hides his emotions and focuses on running their family restaurant, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, which their father started. However, Carmy struggles to find the finances to keep the place operating as the business is hanging on by a thread. Carmy finds it challenging to organize the restaurant as per his lofty standards and fails to win the confidence of his staff at first. He recruits Sidney, a bright and talented sous chef who quickly proves that she brings a lot of value to the restaurant.
Carmy’s cousin, Richie, who works at the restaurant, opposes Carmy’s new ideas and insists on sticking to their original methods. On the other hand, Carmy strives for consistency. The struggling restaurant hits a new low after the health inspector assigns the outlet a C score. However, Carmy is determined to turn things around. Soon, Carmy’s dedication to his skill and the restaurant rubs off on the other cooks. Marcus begins to explore his passion for baking and tries new desserts. Sidney is hired full-time and takes on some major responsibilities in the kitchen. Tina, Ibra, and Gary fully commit to their jobs.
Carmy also tries to reconnect with his estranged family members, such as his Uncle Jimmy, who had loaned Mikey $300,000, and his sister, Sugar, who is concerned about Carmy’s mental health. On Sugar’s insistence, Carmy attends Al-Anon meetings to recover from his past traumas. Nonetheless, Carmy continues to struggle with anxiety. Things finally start to look bright for the restaurant, and Carmy’s organization and changes benefit the business. However, after one bad day in the kitchen, Carmy realizes the restaurant is still hanging by a thread. Thus, Carmy is forced to confront the possibility of closing down the restaurant.
The Bear Ending: Does Carmy Close Down the Restaurant?
In the season finale, Carmy deals with his complex emotions about Michael’s passing. Carmy admits that he laments not being able to bid farewell to his brother. At the restaurant, the rest of the staff deals with the absence of Sidney and Marcus, who leave after an altercation with Carmy. Carmy tries to figure out what the KBL is and why Michael was sending it a large sum of money every month.
After Carmy almost ends up burning the kitchen during one of his panic attacks, Richie hands him a letter left behind by Michael. In the letter, Micheal expresses his love for Carmy with their family spaghetti recipe written on the backside. Thus, Carmy reinstates spaghetti on the menu and retrieves the tomato puree cans from the refrigerator. However, Carmy is surprised to learn that the can contains cash neatly stashed inside it.
Soon, the staff opens all the cans and retrieves the money Michael had stashed away for Carmy. Marcus and Sidney also return to the restaurant and resume their duties. With his dedicated staff behind him and the money left by Michael, Carmy has a bold idea. He closes down The Original Beef of Chicagoland, his family’s restaurant that he and his brother fought so hard to keep afloat. However, Carmy’s final message to restaurant patrons marks the impending arrival of “The Bear.”
The ending implies that Michael had stashed away the money borrowed from Jimmy through KBL to reconstruct the place. As Carmy notes, the brothers often spoke about their desire to start their own restaurant. It is also hinted that the original restaurant created a toxic family environment for the siblings and drove their parents to addiction. Thus, it symbolizes the prevailing traumas of the siblings.
Michael likely left the money so that Carmy could create something special at the place and fulfill their dream. In the end, Carmy does exactly that by closing the restaurant so that it can make way for bigger and better things without anyone associated with The Original Beef of Chicagoland forgetting about their roots.
What Is the Significance of the Spaghetti?
Spaghetti is one of the most popular dishes on The Original Beef of Chicagoland’s menu. However, after Carmy takes over the restaurant, he removes the dish from the menu, citing that it does not fit well with the menu and takes a long time to prep. Richie tries to explain the sentiment behind the dish, but a busy Carmy pays no attention to his words. However, after finding the recipe is among Michael’s final words to him, Carmy reinstates the dish on the menu, thereby making peace with his brother’s death and moving on in life.
In the final scene, the restaurant staff has their traditional “family time” meal, likely for the last time inside The Original Beef of Chicagoland. The kitchen’s chaos, toxicity, and abrasiveness are tossed aside as the staff shares a meal in a joyous and relaxing atmosphere. The group feasts on the spaghetti while Carmy imagines Michael looking on proudly from a distance. Carmy finally realizes that the spaghetti signifies the simple joy of feeding people, the pleasure of sharing a meal, and raising each other’s spirits. Thus, Carmy’s journey comes full circle as he finally begins understanding the deeper and more emotional meaning behind running a restaurant.