Jeremy Allen White Explains Stunning First Episode 5

[This story contains spoilers from The Bear season three, episode one, “Tomorrow.”]

When last we saw him, Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) was locked inside a refrigerator during the grand opening of his brand new (technically old) restaurant. Friends and Family Night did not go as planned, as he spent the vast majority of the evening raging inside cold storage, inadvertently breaking up with his girlfriend Claire (Molly Gordon) and railing against his cousin and colleague Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach).

Where would he go from here?

The tight-lipped cast and crew of The Bear, which dropped all 10 of its season three episodes on June 26, were mum on the show and its troubled lead’s next steps heading into the new year of the series. The door is wide open now, with Bear bingers everywhere ready and willing to dive into each and every episode of the FX “comedy.”

But good luck getting past the season premiere in one piece, because The Bear begins its third year with an episode utterly unlike any other in the series, all-but demanding viewers take a breath and slow down alongside Carmy.

Called “Tomorrow” and written by creator Christopher Storer, who directed the episode, along with co-star/culinary producer Matty Matheson (who plays Fak), The Bear’s return kicks off with a meditative exploration of Carm’s past, present and his future. The episode summons various figures from his history, allowing the viewer to witness the titular Bear’s rising-star status in the cooking world. Joel McHale, Will Poulter and Olivia Colman all reprise their guest roles from the previous seasons as chefs who Carm either worked under or worked alongside, friends and foes and family alike.

Recurring scenes thread through the episode, featuring flashbacks from Carm’s horrid Christmas dinner featured in season two’s “Fishes,” to nights spent with girlfriend Claire, to scenes we have never seen on the show before at all — like Carm working at restaurants like the world famous Noma, filmed on site with real-life chef and owner Rene Redzepi featured in the scenes. It’s like an Anthony Bourdain documentary in some ways, an ethereal exploration of food and fury in a floating dream, all set to the same Nine Inch Nails score moaning underneath. 

It’s an episode that defies expectations heading into season three, interrupting the intense momentum of the season two finale with an installment that could very much serve as a series finale in another universe.

Jeremy Allen White as Carmy in The Bear‘s season three opener, “Tomorrow.”


For the actors involved, it was certainly a revelation.

“It felt like walking around in somebody’s mind,” White told The Hollywood Reporter about getting to see so much of Carmen’s backstory, threaded in such a singular way. “It felt very fresh and new. It felt very exciting in its structure and style. It felt different, while also being very much at the heart of the same tone as the show.”

Abby Elliott, who plays Carm’s sister Sugar, added, “It felt like a puzzle piece. It felt like it was here the whole time. This was the Bear, and his story was always right here.”

As much as its structure mystifies, the episode also clarifies several relationships, including the one between Carm and Sugar. The two surviving Berzatto siblings share a scene at an airport before Carm heads out of Chicago to start his next chapter in New York City, and Sugar’s fear about him leaving is on full display.

“Sugar is so desperate for Carmy to stay and not abandon her,” she explained to THR of the scene’s revelations. “That level of abandonment, which I knew was always there … she missed her brother so much, starting in episode one — but there’s this level of: He’s really leaving me here with these people. She loves Mikey (Jon Bernthal), but she’s seeing his spiral [which leads to his death by suicide]. It’s very apparent she’s just going to call him and call him and he might not pick up — and she knows that, and that’s so scary for her. The fear is a new thing for Natalie.”

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie with Abby Elliott as Natalie “Sugar” in season three.


On the other end of that conversation, White said that Carmy is “so often inside of his own experience” that he’s not registering Natalie’s fears in that way.

“He has a hard time communicating,” he said. “He has a hard time understanding other people’s experiences. I don’t think at all times, or at any time really, he’s meaning to be hurtful in the way he exists. But I do think in this season, there is this realization, specifically with Sugar and Carm, that they did have this shared experience. They grew up in the same place. Carmy ran, and Sugar stayed. Carmy is starting to make room for others’ experiences and really see and listen to other people for the first time.”

He continued, “My approach with Carmy has always been so protective: ‘He’s doing this, this makes sense, this is the drive.’ But some other things became clear in shooting this season.”

Which other things? Luckily, the ensuing nine episodes are immediately available for folks to check out as soon as they pick their jaws up off the floor after watching the premiere.

Jackie Strause contributed to this story.

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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