‘The Bear’ S3, E7 Has Me Worried About Sydney

The Bear might not work without Ayo Edebiri’s Sydney. If you have a capital-M-and-C Main Character like Carmy Berzatto—a man who, while very often well-meaning, has a knack for screaming until you see the veins in Jeremy Allen White's forehead—you need a foil. Whereas Carmy is vengeful, intensely driven, and stubborn, Sydney is curious, ambitious, and generally collaborative. Sure, she’s had her unsavory moments, but ever since her Coach K-ification, she’s been season 3’s adult in the room.

In the new batch of episodes, she’s typically the only one who can calm Mr. Non-negotiable down during a fit of rage and/or a panic attack. She’s clearly the only even-keeled, indestructible cog in The Bear’s kitchen, making service happen each and every night. Heck, The Bear even seems to hint that her culinary powers are growing—think of a couple episodes ago, when she meekly shaded one of Carmy’s new creations, saying it’d feel cutting-edge in 2014.

So it’s no surprise that episode 7, “Legacy,” implies that Sydney's post-Carmy future will be upon us sooner than we think. You probably saw this coming: Adam Shapiro (whose place on The Bear is a hair complicated, but we tried to explain it in episode 4) is done with Ever—and he wants to run his own restaurant. On Shapiro’s shortlist for his chef de cuisine is, of course, Sydney. Even aside from her continued allergy to signing the partnership agreement, she seems thrilled enough by the opportunity (she doesn’t say yes or no to Shapiro) that it feels likely that she’ll leave The Bear by season’s end. At this point, The Bear is setting itself up for a very Breaking Bad–esque ending: The antihero (Walter White/Carmy) spins out of control, while his sidekick-protégé(e) (Jesse Pinkman/Sydney) rides to greatness. As Ted Fak would say, I’d put a couple parlays on it!

While Sydney is mulling over her future, Carmy is pondering his legacy. (And repentance—call Claire, man!) Early in episode 7, he has a pretty telling conversation with Marcus (Lionel Boyce). They discuss the industry’s circle of life, with chefs bringing up chefs who graduate to acclaim elsewhere. What’s their legacy? Marcus wants people to remember him as hardworking and kind—an emergency-contact kind of dude. Carmy, well, his Catholic guilt is speaking here: “To make it good, I’d have to filter out the bad.” A reflection on his trauma, self-awareness of his treatment of The Bear’s crew, or both? Maybe we’ll have our answer by the end of the season. Meanwhile, Sydney—who stands in earshot of the conversation—stays silent.

the bear
Fuck mayo!FX

Elsewhere in the episode—in what just might be our most beautifully uncomplicated subplot this season—Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson) finally gets some help at the mini-Beef outpost. Even though mayonnaise gets an uncalled-for dig, it’s nice to see that someone is truly thriving in Carmy's orbit. The Fak brothers are still operating at maximum Fakkery, Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) continues his Taylor Swift-less emotional descent (the man is in his sad-boy folklore era, okay?), and the oft-overlooked Sweeps (Corey Hendrix) has a nice moment in the spotlight. Finally, we learn why his baseball career flamed out in AAA ball: ’roids! Sweeps, if Barry Bonds can have a second act in the Westminster dog show, you can be a world-class sommelier at The Bear.

Oh! And this season’s Chekhov’s gun finally blows: Sugar (Abby Elliott) is about to go into labor...while she’s alone in the parking lot of not–Home Depot. Gee, I bet everyone can’t wait to welcome this newborn into generations of family trauma! Cheers to the new Berzatto!

Want to keep reading, chef? Here's our recap of season 3, episode 8.

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