‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (2024)

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As The Bear Season 2 Episode 2 (“Pasta”) begins, we’re reminded that there are 12 weeks to open, and EVERY SECOND COUNTS. Carmy and Sydney mind-meld about menu choices and watch helplessly as the demolition of Original Beef continues. Natalie–now on full-time as project manager–tries to keep track of all the mounting problems and issues she’s taken on, especially now that the timeline for open went from six months to ASAP. Richie and Fak argue over moving old lockers before they paint, a moment for Richie to firmly establish himself as an alpha up until project manager Nat interjects and tells him no, move the lockers and be quiet, you ape.

Meanwhile, Sydney tells Tina and Ebraheim that they will be headed to culinary school to better utilize their already short staff. Important sub-plot, but kinda boring to recap, so we’ll leave it at that.

Back to the locker fiasco, Richie and Fak stumble over each other and make it work, but it does not. After the lockers are finally put down, Carmy comes out to supervise but finds that his dead brother’s locker is still unopened. The room hushes because they know, as we all do, that it must be opened, so someone needs to fetch the boltcutters stat. ($300,000 was crammed into tomato cans–who knows what Mikey hid in his workman’s locker?)

Carmy does the honors with a circular saw, and inside the locker, we find…a baseball hat. Carmy, Richie, and Natalie lapse into sentimentality for a few seconds but not longer because EVERY SECOND COUNTS, as you remember.

Sydney enters and asks Marcus if it was Mike’s locker, and he fills her in. She can’t hide being underwhelmed. “So, there was just a hat in it?” Marcus calls her an asshole, but she’s not because we all thought it.

Later on, Syd and Carmy begin to plot their “chaos menu” for The Bear. It is at this time that we find how driven Sydney is when it comes to stars. “Do you really want one of these bullsh*t stars?” Carmy asks. She does. “You’re gonna have to care about everything more than anything,” he tells her.

That’s nonsense to non-chefs like you and me, but Sydney understands it completely, and, yes, she will care about Michelin stars more than anything. Everyone needs a purpose.

Later in the conversation, Carmy reveals that two of his old bosses used to sign “I’m sorry” during hectic nights when they’d eviscerate each other on the line. “It was their version of ‘let’s talk about this later,’” he says. Sydney loves it, and mimics it.

‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (2)

Calling it now: there’s a massive uncomfortable scream-off between these two on opening night.

A couple more big moments before we get to the big, huge moment: there is mold in the restaurant!

(Also: Sister Nat is pregnant.)


‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (3)

Before we get to the big-big thing: Sydney has dinner with her father, played by Robert Townsend, to celebrate the birthday of her deceased mother. There are candles in a cupcake plus a very gentle, but demeaning dad-talk about what on earth she is doing messing around in a start-up restaurant given that she has a relative who works for Boeing and can set her up with a steady, soulless job, flagging airplanes down a runway. She declines and is insulted by her father’s suggestion. (Runway ramp agents aren’t required to care about everything more than anything.)

Alright, so now the big moment: Carmy is at his local grocery mart in the freezer aisle when a familiar voice calls out to him.



It’s Claire!

(Who’s Claire?)

see also

Who Plays Claire on ‘The Bear’ Season 2? Why Molly Gordon Looks Familiar

It turns out she’s a family friend from the way, way back. Carmy’s shaken by her presence caught between moony-eyed and shell-shocked. They’ve known each other since they were little kids, but they’ve lost touch. She’s now a surgeon in residency, he asks dumb questions about it. There’s a familiarity and comfort in their conversation even though Carmy halts before every sentence because he knows the last thing he needs right now is l-o-v-e. Tough luck for him because R.E.M’s “Strange Currencies” is what the musical director picked for this moment, which means he’s screwed.

Claire looks at him longingly. ”So, how’s your life been, Berzatto?” she asks. Carmy has no answer for her. This is gonna get complicated.


  • QUESTIONS I HAVE ABOUT EASTER EGGS > INCREDIBLE MIDDLE-AGED DAD NEEDLE DROP: “Baby, I’m a Big Star Now” by Counting Crows. The Bear Season 1 saw excellent use of CC’s “Have You Seen Me Lately?” from their second (and best) album, Recovering the Satellites. But this is a deep B-side to their 2000 single “Hangin’ Around.” And–wait a minute. Eagle-eyed middle-aged dads like me who noticed the Rounders poster in the first episode will have had their minds collectively blown because this song was ALSO used during the closing credits of —you guessed it — Rounders. Who designed this easter egg hunt? Bill Simmons?
‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (5)
  • CARMY ARM p*rnOGRAPHY: Can you believe they put the man in long sleeves the entire episode?
‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (6)

Can’t get enough of The Bear Season 2? For more insight, analysis, GIFs, and close-ups of Carmy’s arms, check out all of Decider’s episodic recaps:

  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 1 Recap: “Beef”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: “Sundae”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: “Honeydew”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “Pop”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “Fishes”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Forks”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Bolognese”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “Omelette”
  • The Bear Season 2 Episode 10 Recap: “The Bear”

A.J. Daulerio is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. He is also the founder of the recovery newsletter The Small Bow.


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‘The Bear’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: “Pasta” (2024)


What was KBL Electric in The Bear? ›

KBL Electric Was A Ruse

These smaller cans of sauce included a special surprise for Carmy. He shockingly finds a wad of cash buried inside the sauce. He immediately calls Richie into the kitchen and gets everyone at The Original Beef to help open cans to find even more money.

What does KBL stand for in The Bear? ›

Presumably Jimmy didn't extend the loan via a suitcase full of cash, so the KBL—Jimmy Kalinowski, Berzatto, and Lee Layne—ledger that Carmy finds in the Original Beef office with small amounts adding up to just over $300,000 might be withdrawals from a bank account associated with the restaurant.

Who is the girl in season 2 episode 2 of The Bear? ›

Claire, played by 27-year-old actress Molly Gordon, is The Bear's secret weapon. She's introduced in Episode Two as a lost love from Carmy's past—making her one of the few individuals who truly know him.

What did Carmy put in the mailbox? ›

Carmy tells Sugar that he'll mail the beer-and-liquor permit application into the city, which he turns into a nice driving date to a mailbox in Winnetka with newfound paramour Claire.

Why did Mikey hide money in tomato sauce? ›

Mikey hadn't been squandering the money, he'd been sealing it inside cans for safekeeping, away from the taxman. Most professional kitchens have an electric can-seamer. It seemed Mikey had told the truth to Cicero. He'd wanted funds to franchise the restaurant with Carmy.

Why does Tina call Carmy Jeff? ›

As die-hard viewers will recall, Tina referred to Carmy as "Jeffrey" or "Jeff" because this was her snarky way of calling him chef. On Reddit, one fan explained about the nickname, "She's messing with Carmy when he was trying to bring more professionalism to the kitchen.

How much money was in the spaghetti cans in The Bear? ›

The KBL mystery is solved in the season finale, when, thanks to a hint from Mikey's suicide note, Carmy discovers $300,000 in cash hidden inside the cans of tomato sauce that have been sitting unopened in the kitchen since he 86'd the spaghetti from the menu.

How is Jimmy related to Carmy? ›

Cicero, also known as "Uncle Jimmy", is a family friend of Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto, his sister Natalie "Sugar" Berzatto, and their late brother Michael "Mikey" Berzatto. He's introduced as someone to whom Michael owed a significant debt of $300,000.

Where did all the money come from The Bear? ›

Where Did The Money Come From In The Bear Season Finale? In an Indiewire interview, Storer explained that the money that Carmy finds is in fact the $300,000 loan from Uncle Jimmy.

Why does Carmy lie about his phone number? ›

More to the point, Claire's manic pixie quality serves a narrative purpose. Carmy doesn't really want to get to know her—that's why he gave her a fake number at the start of their re-acquaintance.

How is fak related to carmy? ›

The Faks Are Incredibly Close to the Berzattos

We know there are lots of other Faks out there, especially Francie Fak, whom Natalie refers to with a certain contempt. Of the two, Neil is the recurring character, who used to be another of Mikey's best friends growing up and also a good friend of Carmy's.

How is Uncle Lee related to Carmy? ›

Uncle Lee is not a blood relative of the Berzatto family but has a close relationship with them, potentially as a friend or business partner to Carmy's father.

What disorder does Carmy have? ›

And true to form, Carmy is trapped in a kind of repetition neurosis with his obsessional chef career, pushing himself constantly to screaming levels of stress and perfection but unable to quit the lifestyle he sees as familiar and perversely comfortable.

Are Richie and Carmy really cousins? ›

Carmy and Richie in The Bear are not actually cousins, but have a close bond like family. The use of "cousin" between Carmy and Richie in Chicago is a term of endearment, highlighting their deep connection.

Why was Sydney puking in The Bear? ›

On one level, Sydney throwing up is just a physical response to the demands of opening night. Metaphorically, however, the moment also symbolizes Sydney purging herself of the toxicity and self-doubt that has sometimes held her back.

Where did Mikey get the money? ›

He was very close to his brother, loved him very much kept him away from the Beef because of all the issues. Left him the money he took from Uncle Jimmy.

Where did the money come from on The Bear? ›

Uncle Jimmy. It's the money he borrowed from him.

What did they give Uncle Jimmy in The Bear? ›

With the chocolate banana The Bear showed just how deep and complex a show it truly is. In The Bear season 2 finale, Richie sends Jimmy a fancy chocolate banana made especially for him at the grand opening of Carmen's new restaurant.

What was in the envelope in The Bear? ›

Later on, Richie fishes an envelope addressed from Mikey to Carmy out from behind the staff lockers. “I love you dude,” the note reads. “Let it rip.” On the backside is, inexplicably, a recipe for spaghetti that calls for San Marzano Tomatoes.


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