The Bear season 1 ending explained how the restaurant has a chance of surviving while teasing a new future for The Original Beef under Carmy’s leadership. Developed for FX and Hulu by Christopher Storer, The Bear FX show debuted on the Disney-owned streaming service in June 2022. It earned great reviews for its realistic portrayal of the chaos that comes from working in the food industry, as well as its depiction of someone dealing with anxiety and grief. The ensemble cast for The Bear season 1 is led by Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a talented young chef who leaves his position at the world’s best restaurant to take over his family’s sandwich shop in Chicago after the death of his brother, Mikey (Jon Bernthal).
Much of The Bear season 1’s story follows Carmy’s attempt to make The Original Beef better than a dirty yet familiar establishment in the Chicago neighborhood. While Carmy’s “cousin” Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) attempts to keep The Original Beef the same as it has always been, Carmy’s ambitions are aided by new hire Sydney (Ayo Edebiri). The unlikely trio rarely see eye-to-eye-to-eye, as they argue about changes to the menu and work styles. Meanwhile, Carmy also stresses about the financial hardships Mikey’s decisions put The Original Beef in, leading them to experiment with to-go orders — which goes horribly. This all builds to The Bear FX show season 1 ending and sets the stage for The Bear season 2.
What Mikey’s Letter To Carmy Says
One of the mysteries lingering over The Bear FX show season 1 is what is in Mikey’s letter to Carmy. Early on in the season, Richie finds a letter addressed to Carmy on the floor behind the lockers. While he initially wants to give Carmy the letter, his anger gets the best of him as he puts Mikey’s letter back. The Bear season 1 finale finally has Richie bring the letter to Carmy’s attention when the young chef is at a low point. Carmy is understandably shocked and takes a moment alone before deciding to open it, eventually leading to an unexpected twist in The Bear‘s story involving money.
Mikey’s presence in The Bear is only seen in flashbacks which makes it powerful when Carmy reads his words now that he is gone. The front of the letter said, “I love you, dude. Let it rip.” These short two sentences were enough to make Carmy cry, as he looked up to his brother but grew resentful of him because Mikey never let him work at The Original Beef. The letter reminded Carmy that Mikey did love him, while the inclusion of his catchphrase “Let it rip” let him know that he believed in him to take over. The back of Mikey’s letter included the mysterious Family Meal Spaghetti recipe that Carmy failed to crack before.
The Bear’s Money In Tomato Cans Explained
After reading Mikey’s letter in The Bear‘s final episode and getting the family recipe, Carmy decides that spaghetti is on the menu for family dinner. He follows Mikey’s recipe exactly, even using the 28-ounce cans of tomato paste that he claimed tasted better. The truth is that these smaller cans of sauce included a special surprise for Carmy. He finds a wad of cash buried inside the sauce and understandably is shocked to find it. He immediately calls Richie into the kitchen and gets everyone at The Original Beef to help open cans to find even more money.
The money in tomato cans in The Bear season 1 finale pays off one of the biggest questions Carmy had since taking over the restaurant. He found records of Mikey making large payments to a KBL Electric, but no one knew who this company was. The amount of money matched what Mikey borrowed from Cicero/Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt). While it was thought that the character squandered all of this money, it seems he was saving it all along. A quick shot in The Bear season 1 ending shows “KBL” is on the bottom of the tomato cans, meaning Mikey was putting the money in them for safekeeping.
Why Carmy Finally Closes The Original Beef
The very end of The Bear season 1 includes a major decision from Carmy, as he finally decides it is time to close The Original Beef, as well as a Sopranos-like twist. Carmy’s character arc throughout the first season sees him struggle with being in this environment and trying to fix the mistakes made by Mikey. With the bank and IRS potentially coming for his sister’s house since she is a co-signee for The Original Beef, she pushes him hard to close The Original Beef.
After reading Mikey’s letter and finding the money that will get the Chicago mob off his back, Carmy finally feels like it is the right time to close the restaurant. This decision is aided by the knowledge that he has the support of his other chefs and plenty of ideas to make a new restaurant all their own — even if it means closing another recognizable piece of the city of Chicago.
Why Sydney Returns In The Bear Season 1 Finale
The Bear episode 8 also deals heavily with what Sydney’s future is going to look like after she quit The Original Beef when Carmy yelled at her for how terrible the to-go orders were going. There was a possibility that the ambitious young chef who lacks patience could take a job somewhere else, while the closing of the bar near The Original Beef and the great review Sydney’s original recipe received even opened the door for her to potentially start a rival restaurant.
Instead of this, however, The Bear season 1 ends with Sydney returning to the restaurant and reigniting the theories of shippers, which the stars of The Bear have addressed. Despite the bad blood that seemingly existed between them, Carmy’s apology over text and receptiveness to Sydney’s ideas when she comes back to get her last check might ensure that she does not leave again.
How The Bear Season 1 Finale Sets Up Season 2
The Bear season 1 ending explained there would be a new direction for the restaurant with Carmy closing The Original Beef and starting a new venture with a restaurant called “The Bear.” Luckily, he has the support of Sydney and her outstanding recipes, which will set the new endeavor apart. Obviously, Carmy will face plenty of intriguing challenges along the way, as opening a new restaurant is no easy feat. Audiences can rejoice as The Bear will return for a new season in Summer 2023. The Bear’s stellar cast will return and there will likely be a lot of answers to the lingering questions about season 1’s ending.
How The Bear Creator Christopher Storer Explains The Finale
With so much going on, it is helpful to have The Bear season 1 ending explained by the show’s creator himself. Christopher Storer discussed (via: Indiewire) various aspects of the final episode, how it completed Carmy’s journey in the first season, and how it leaves the door open for more to be explored. Storer explained that the money did indeed come from the loan from Uncle Jimmy and was intended to be used by Mikey to open a restaurant with Carmy once he beat his addiction. It makes the discovery all the more heartbreaking, but Storer notes that “There’s something beautiful in the idea that Carmy could have found this right off the bat if he would have made the spaghetti in the pilot, but then maybe he would have burnt out similarly to the way Michael did.”