How ‘The Bear’ Season 3 Tests Carmy and Richie After Fridge Fight 5

[This story contains spoilers from episode two of season three of The Bear, “Next.”]

For many The Bear viewers, it’s still hard to shake what Carmy said to Richie while he was stuck in the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator at the end of season two. And the same goes for the FX hit “comedy’s” sparring “cousins” when season three begins.

Following a meditative exploration into Carmy’s backstory with the premiere, The Bear truly picks up from where the series left off with the second episode of season three — of which all 10 episodes are now streaming on Hulu. Jeremy Allen White‘s Carmy has, as the actor had promised, escaped the walk-in fridge. And in “Next,” Carmy walks back into his kitchen with a list of nonnegotiables for his partners — sister Sugar (Abby Elliott) and chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) — and his team of chefs — including Marcus (Lionel Boyce) and Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas). He is laying out his goal of the revamped, fine-dining restaurant’s pursuit of a coveted Michelin Star.

Going into the season, White says he was most curious to see how Carmy would face everyone, given how much he felt he failed them all when the show left off.

“There must have been so much shame and guilt around letting everybody down,” White tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The way he treated Richie, the way he treated Claire [his now ex-girlfriend, played by Molly Gordon] — even if it was unknowingly. I didn’t know how he was going to face it or own it, or if he was going to own it.”

He continues, “It reminded me a lot of episode eight in the first season, after the review when he loses it on everybody and how he has to show up again. He has to have a plan. He has to look like he’s in charge, at least. He has to try and be a leader, even though he’s behaved like otherwise.”

But if viewers were expecting Carmy to have left his baggage with Ebon Moss-Bachrach‘s Richie behind in that fridge, they were mistaken. The cousins nearly boil over at the start of season three, as they remind each other, viewers and the rest of the staff about the words they flung with a door between them — cutting insults impossible to take back.

“There are a lot of relationships in peoples’ lives, a lot of brothers and sisters, who aren’t talking based on one stupid little argument, and then nobody wants to face up and do the hard work,” Moss-Bachrach tells THR of why the cousins’ storyline resonates so deeply. “You can have one little thing and they can diverge these ships, and then months and years go by and you find yourself on your death bed with regrets. So I think it is a real fork in the road for these two men to see if they can reconcile this really unfortunate moment between them.”

Like Carmy, Moss-Bachrach says Richie came into season three put to a similar test: Can Richie make changes after his personal and professional growth in season two?

“Richie had sort of this revelatory kind of awakening in season two. It’s true, we have those in life,” he says, “but then I’m interested in how we put those into effect. Your whole life doesn’t necessarily change from one revelation. You can have an awareness, but what do you do to put that into practice and actually change your life? I was interested to see how and if that does manifest for Richie.”

Carmy and Richie’s explosive relationship will simmer as the season goes. When reflecting on the fridge fight at the time, Moss-Bachrach had said he could imagine the cousins having an irreparable fight, something they could never come back from. Now, after the events of season three, he hasn’t changed his opinion.

“These are not the most genius communicators,” he says, with a laugh. “They don’t have the language. They’re not evolved in that way. So I think that’s a definite possibility. I don’t want to say any more than that.”

The Christopher Storer-created series finished shooting its third season only three weeks ago and will jump back into filming soon on the already renewed fourth season. “I think the structure will look like it has in the past,” says White. His onscreen sister, Abby Elliot, who plays Sugar, adds, “Because we shoot in Chicago, because we’re with our family, we just get right back into the groove and our rhythm. We kind of just leave the outside world behind.”

Read THR’s review of The Bear season three and follow along with our season coverage. All episodes are now streaming on Hulu.

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