‘The Bear ‘Season 2’s Star-Studded Christmas Episode “Fishes” Is the Early Standout


On a whole, season 2 of The Bear—which just released all episodes to Hulu today—is a softer show than season 1. There’s less yelling and more self- discovery as the characters work together toward opening their new restaurant that was teased in last year’s finale.

Still, in the middle of the binge you’re hit with a wallop of the kind of chaos that first made the FX series a standout. Episode 6, titled “Fishes,” throws the audience back in time and invites you to a traumatic Christmas Eve dinner at the childhood home of our favorite brooding chef Carmy Berzatto—Jeremy Allen White, magnetic as ever—with his now-dead brother Mikey (Jon Bernthal).

“Fishes” is a relentless episode full of long takes and frenetic camera work that feels designed to be the kind of standout that lands on end-of-the-year lists and has people screaming, “Emmy,” much like season 1’s instant fan-favorite, one-take episode “Review.”

For one, “Fishes” is almost twice the length of an average Bear installment, clocking in at one hour and six minutes. It’s also packed to the brim with A-list guest stars—it’s a veritable parade of movie stars, character actors, and comedians, all cameoing as. various Berzatto family members and family friends. (As is often the case with The Bear, it’s difficult when watching to tell who is actually related and who is just calling each other “cousin” or “uncle.” Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Richie, as previously established, calls Carmy “cousin,” but they are not actually related by blood.)

There’s Bob Odenkirk as Uncle Lee, Sarah Paulson as Cousin Michelle, John Mulaney as Cousin Michelle’s partner Stevie, Gillian Jacobs as Richie’s then-wife Tiffany, and, in the coup de grace, Jamie Lee Curtis as Donna Berzatto, Mikey and Carmy’s alcoholic mother. Plus, the dinner is also attended by already established characters including Carmy’s sister Natalie Berzatto (Abby Elliott), Uncle Jimmy (Oliver Platt), and Neil (Matty Matheson).

The host of amazing guest stars has the potential to be distracting (and, admittedly, it is at first), but they all manage to slip so fully into their roles and meld with the mayhem that director (and creator) Christopher Storer orchestrates that it works.

As one might expect given everything The Bear has told us about the Berzattos, this is not a warm gathering. From the first moments of the episode, Natalie is worried about Donna, who is making a mess of the kitchen attempting to cook a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, despite the fact that everyone is just going to eat the gravy anyway. Donna, with butter in her long red fingernails, constantly clutches a dirty glass of red wine, and bristles when Natalie (or anyone really) asks her if she’s “okay.” Curtis brilliantly plays her as a woman who just thinks she is having fun, but who is liable to be set off by what she perceives as the tiniest slight. Her livewire emotions are represented by a cooking timer ringing like a siren. It’s a performance very in line with Bernthal’s as Mikey, who we know eventually commits suicide, and is similarly a good time guy until the pain takes over.

Continue Original Post here:
‘The Bear ‘Season 2’s Star-Studded Christmas Episode “Fishes” Is the Early Standout

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *