Richard Jeremovich aka Richie from The Bear season 2 delivers the most satisfying sub plot the show has ever seen!
In The Bear season 1 we barely saw Richie (Ebon Moss- Bachrach) speaking in a normal decibel, it was always screaming, shouting, vein popping and extremely stress inducing scenarios that he was a part of. You knew when you saw him in the frame, chaos was about to strike as he was very easily triggered by the smallest of things happening in the kitchen. He was happy to see Carmy back but also it was tough for him to adjust to Carmy’s vision of running the restaurant. The two Italian-American cousins have been at loggerheads with each other for numerous things all throughout the first season but Michael’s dream was what kept their love for each other and the restaurant alive.
Richie was also a divorced man who was pretty heartbroken to lose the love of his life solely due to not getting his life together when he was supposed to and neither does he get to see his daughter that often. But even after his short tempered nature, and pain that he suppresses, he does have a child-like playful side to himself which also rarely came out in season 1. But the second chapter of the show brings that out in him beautifully. He goes from being a grumpy man child to an absolute gentleman. In season 2 each character from The Bear crew got an episode to themselves to shine but the one that stood out the most was Richie’s episode ‘Forks’. The episode before it ‘Fishes’ was a flashback episode about the chaotic family’s past which includes substance abuse and mental illness. That episode was not at all easy to process and very stressful to watch as an audience but it was an important part of the series to justify why Richie, Carmy and Sugar are the way that they are.
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After an emotionally draining episode, ‘Forks’ which centres Richie, brought in so much calmness. Richie is sent to work at a Michelin star restaurant in Chicago, where he learns and gains experience about the kind of restaurant service Carmy expects him to have. He starts the episode by washing forks (hence, the name of the episode) and eventually makes his way to waiting tables. The way they show him learning how to read a room, pass notes about customers to fellow waiters, and give anyone who walks into the restaurant the best meal experience of a lifetime is when you realise his growth as a character.
When he overhears one of the customers talking about how she never got the chance to eat Chicago deep dish pizza in the span of her stay, he runs to the nearest deep dish restaurant, gets a pizza and the chef cuts it into smaller pieces and adds some micro basil sauce on top and he goes out back and surprises her. The priceless look on her face was a win for him. That was one of the pivotal moments when he realizes why everyone here gives their 200% everyday. He went from cursing Carmy for sending him here to coming out of that restaurant as a brand new person. He became a man who enjoys his work, the camaraderie and being in sync with his team, a problem solver and most importantly the new Richie smiles often.
The last thing I expected to see on my 2023 bingo card was Richie jamming wholeheartedly to Taylor Swift’s Love story. His daughter is a Swiftie but he eventually starts listening to the songs as well because what better way to vent than singing loudly to a Taylor Swift song, right? His ex-wife was about to marry someone else and this was the healthiest way he has ever dealt with his problems. Richie’s days at the Chicago restaurant were numbered. He was leaving behind one of the most professional crews in the world to go back to his messy crew back home. But he was ready to put his newly learned skills to use in his own restaurant.
He went from never understanding a thing about the culinary world to being able to name every single ingredient used in a dish just by the taste of a single spoon. The last scene in his episode between him and Olivia Coleman (one of the chefs at the restaurant he works at) where she is peeling the mushrooms even though the dish really does not need her to do so but she does anyway so that the person eating it would know that someone made an extra effort to perfect the dish is the kind of hard hitting lessons Richie fully absorbs there. She tells him how Carmy was always aware of his good social skills and he wanted to sharpen that and bring that out by sending him here.
Not only does his character arc skyrocket and make your heart fully melt for him, he also comes back home with a panache like never before. In season 1 there's a scene where it gets so haywire at the restaurant that Sydney is on the verge of quitting and Richie really pushes her buttons at the wrong time. The series of events ends with Sydney accidentally stabbing him with a knife in his butt and the duo has gone from that chaos to having such a special moment between them in season 2 where Richie comes out looking all dapper in a suit and Sydney is astonished to see him clean up like that. He clearly states to everyone he wears suits now and it feels like armour to him. And isn't running a restaurant business similar to fighting a battle everyday? In the last episode, on their opening night, when Carmy gets stuck inside the meat freezer, it was Richie who took over the staff and managed the smooth functioning of the night. While Carmy was going through breakdown inside, it also showed us as a viewer that his crew's got his back, no matter what. And do we want to see more of that in the upcoming seasons? Yes, chef!
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