WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the second season of The Bear
The second season of The Bear, released in August on Disney+, it succeeded in the complex and decidedly not obvious mission of equaling, if not even, in the opinion of many, surpassing the spectacular first season, which was a real bolt from the blue. The FX series continued its trajectory, staging the complex and difficult preparations for the opening of the new restaurant, using, as usual, the kitchen as a great existential metaphor. Every episode of The Bear has its own impressive density and among the most interesting and impactful episodes of this second season there is, certainly, the seventhentitled “Forks”, dedicated to Richie and his internship at the starred restaurant where Carmy had worked.
The “cousin” is sent there to gain valuable work experience, although, as usual, Richie initially takes the new adventure badly, seeing it as a punishment inflicted on him by Carmy rather than as an opportunity for growth. Soon, however, he realizes how much that experience can help him and takes on the role of the protagonist of The Bear refines his skills, experiencing a real catharsis professional and personal. At the end of that internship, and of the enlightening conversation with the chef of the restaurant (played by an always splendid Olivia Colman), Richie feels richer and more serene, ready to change his life and to make, we would finally add, a turning point in his work . All thanks to the introjection of one of the most repeated maxims in The Bear: “Every Second Counts”which in episode 2×07 is enriched with its defined meaning.
“Every Second Counts”: the true meaning of The Bear’s maxim
The second season of The Bear took the liberty of delving into some secondary characters by giving them entire episodes and 2×07 is completely focused on Richie and his internship at the starred restaurant. At the center of the episode, however, there is precisely this maxim, “Every Second Counts”, which we have heard on several occasions since Carmy made it her own from previous work experience and which we find posted there in the restaurant. At first glance, every second counts essentially refers to work in Kitchen, where speed and timing are everything and every little detail can make the difference between a great failure and a perfect success. Clearly, in style The Bear, There is much more behind the first impression.
Thanks to this episode we really understand, through Richie’s eyes, the intrinsic and decisive meaning of “Every Second Counts”. The meaning of the sentence is structured around one double value: that of the kitchen, of the chef’s point of view, which is the first meaning, but then there is the personal level, not to mention existential, of which cooking is a mere metaphor and which represents the culminating substratum of the maxim. Every second counts, in the kitchen as in real life, in short, and not just in contingency. Under this meaning, the phrase indicates that it does not matter how much time is wasted, because it is always possible to achieve one’s fulfillment, in life as in work, since every second, even all those who will comeaccount.
It does not matter, therefore, how many seconds of our life we have lost, because there are still all the seconds available to live and each of these has its own weight immense, enough to make one forget what has been burned. Richie realizes it in that kitchen, where there isn’t even a second to waste, and we, together with him, are overwhelmed by the emotional wave of this awareness. As usual with him, between screams and syncopated passages, The Bear offers us, in a flash, one of those profound ones teachings existential ones truly capable of offering a new perspective on life. Richie in 2×07 of the series on Disney+ is the means by which we all experience this awareness.
The evolution of Richie
Within this conceptual framework, therefore, the character of Richie falls, one of the most complex of the entire series, particularly characterized in the second season. In his life, the character played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach has lost many seconds, too many, and he himself knows it, even if he doesn’t want to admit it to himself. The impasse he experiences, however, is, ultimately, precisely the daughter of this awareness, of the inevitable sensation of having wasted too much time and many opportunities, both at work and in private life, and consequently of that annoying certainty that is now famous train is gone and that the great opportunities in life will never come again.
Everything changes, however, when Richie realizes that yes he was wrong, that that train and those opportunities can still arrive. Richie makes his maxim “Every Second Counts” and interprets it in its true essence, realizing that those seconds are all that will come not only in the kitchen, but also in his life, and then, illuminatedunderstands that his existence still has meaning and above all objectives and from here his working, but also personal, approach changes completely.
Richie’s evolution is one of the most exciting and surprising of the entire second season of The Beara series that absolutely shines for writing, giving immense peaks. This extraordinary change, which can then be seen in how Richie manages the room and the orders when the restaurant opens, starts precisely from this extraordinary awareness of the seventh episode, one of the most beautiful, in the writer’s opinion, of the entire series.
The Bear between philosophy and cuisine
This episode 2×07, enlightening as many others have been, confirms this splendid trend of The Bear to hide things philosophical maxims behind the sketch of life in the kitchen. An enormous advantage of the series lies precisely in the ways in which these maxims are presented: in a manner lightning fast, coherently with the tone of the story and without slowing down its frenetic pace. It is not easy to convey, in a few moments, the power of certain concepts and the reception of these maxims is a real one masterpiece of writing The Bear.
As has happened practically since the very first episode, in 2×07 cooking is done, once again, metaphor of life and affects not only Richie, but all viewers. The evolution of the character is not an end in itself, it is not mere narration, but it is pedagogy. All of us who saw the episode projected ourselves into Richie when he, together with us, understood the true essence of “Every Second Counts”. We too found ourselves thinking about lost time, but we found comfort in thinking about everything that is available instead. The advice that the series gives to Richie, therefore, not to waste his time, is the same that comes to all of us: let’s take advantage of every single, damned and beautiful second that life gives us.
The extraordinary power of The Bear lies in its ability to enter so deeply into the minds and hearts of viewers. On the other hand, the series itself, like the maxims it disseminates, has a double value: at the center of the story there is cooking, obviously, but upon closer inspection, if we sharpen our gaze, we see that the true theme of The Bear, after all, it is nothing more than the simple and pure vita.