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  • Writer's picturezandaleeindigo

The Bear and Love Grown From Admiration

We have to talk about the ships in the new season of The Bear.

I know, I know the conversation is unbearable right now (no pun intended) and I wasn't going to weigh in but I am chronically online and the Twitter discussion is not doing it for me. So here we are.

First things first, let it be known season two of The Bear is incredible. It takes everything we loved about season one and turns it up 10 more notches--more stress, more guest stars, more beautiful shots of food, more story for side characters to chew on--it's immaculate. However, there was one aspect of the show that didn't quite land for me (and a lot of others), and that was the addition of the character of Claire.

Claire, played by Molly Gordon (whom I love), is an old friend of the Berzatto family that Carmy runs into buying veal stock at a store early in the season. We learn that she is a nurse, is someone that Carmy has apparently been in love with his whole life, and most of all--is nice. That's pretty much her defining trait. Claire is a Nice Girl. Throughout the season we see Carmy and Claire connect in various ways, Claire gets him out of the restaurant (though maybe now of all times is when he Should be a workaholic) taking him on drives and to house parties. Her narrative significance is clear, allowing Carmy to learn to be a person outside of work is important, it's just a shame their relationship lacks chemistry and is about as interesting as a saltine.

Sydney and Carmy on the other hand, have incredible chemistry this season. The two are working as unofficial official partners in order to get The Bear (their restaurant) up and running as soon as possible. Pretty much any time Carmy isn't spending with Claire, he's with Sydney. The two collaborate on a new menu and have many heart to hearts that feel extremely intimate and charged. In episode two, they discuss is a gesture, the sign for sorry in ASL, that Carmy saw two of his chefs use whenever they fought in the kitchen. The rest of the season Syd and Carmy utilize it as a code, a message for the other when things get heated.There's even a scene where Carmy is having a panic attack and thinking about Sydney is the way he manages to calm himself down.

One of my favorite shots of the season and one of the most intimate moments between characters

The shipping conversation surrounding Sydney & Carmy vs. Sydney & Marcus (and now I guess Carmy & Claire?) has been divided since the first season came out a year ago. I remember after binging it I found myself in the Sydney & Carmy camp, but I could see the seeds being planted for Sydney & and Marcus and would've been satisfied if the writers chose to go in that direction.

This season feels different though. I mean, Marcus basically asks Sydney out in the finale and she curves him--which he doesn't take particularly well. Not to mention the fact that Marcus spends an episode in Copenhagen baking with Carmy's ex-colleague Luca (who he has much more chemistry with but I digress.) With addition of Claire, it feels even more apparent that Sydney & Carmy make more sense together. Because, while Claire opens his eyes to life outside of the kitchen, Sydney makes him feel alive inside of it.

We simply must have more Luca in season 3, I demand it!

Recognizing that none of these pairings are cannon, all of them are valid, and that platonic friendships exist (did I cover all my bases?) the draw for me personally to a ship like Sydney & Carmy or Marcus & Luca is exactly the reason many seem so sure there's nothing more there: their admiration for each other.

I remember after season one, so many people chalked any chemistry and tension between characters as them simply admiring each others skills and were unwavering in the belief that nothing crossed a professional line. And while that is a valid interpretation, I always had a hard time with it because I feel the exact opposite.

I haven't had the opportunity to have a romantic partner yet, but there is something so alluring about being able to share every aspect with someone, especially with a job as all encompassing as cooking (or in my case theatre). It's exciting to be with someone who speaks the same creative language as you and someone who is passionate about your craft and actively pushes you to be better. Not to mention how unbelievably attractive it is when someone is good at what they do, doubly so when you love what they do so much you can fully appreciate them.

And though it's clear the writers aren't going to make any of these pairings happen on the show (at least not anytime soon) as a hopeless romantic who has had a litany of crushes that often stem from "woah that person's really good," I just want to make sure we're not dismissing characters adoring each others' skills when it could possibly be the start of something electric.

Also Sydney is That Girl. Of course Carmy's in love with her.

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Jun 27, 2023

Wow! No, I haven’t seen this season, but at least I am SURE that it is MORE ”interesting as a saltine.” I am looking forward to seeing what happens and to drawing my own conclusions. 😬 Also, I feel that Syndney and Carmy are a “thing”—based in the last season’s writing—but if the plot takes us “elsewhere,” so be it. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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