Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ Season 2 Is In The Running For The Best Episode Of The Year

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The Bear season 2 is out, and despite feeling like a series that may not have been able to make strike lightning twice after an excellent first season, it’s done exactly that. With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and a 92% from fans, it’s one of the most-praised releases of the year.

But past overall love for the season, everyone is focused on a specific episode, “Fishes,” episode 6 of the season, and a surprising hour long. But you’ll understand why once you play it. Spoilers follow.

It’s a flashback episode showing a Berzatto family Christmas, one of the worst, final ones before the tragic events that preceded season one with the death of Carmy’s brother. But this episode lays the groundwork for that, and explains a lot about why these characters are the way they are.

Fishes is an absolute goldmine of guest stars, recognizable, talented actors who all signed on for just this singular episode. In addition to Carmy, Ritchie and Nat, we have:

  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Carmy and Nat’s mom, Donna
  • Jon Bernthal returning as Carmy and Nat’s brother, Michael
  • Gillian Jacobs as Ritche’s pregnant wife, Tiff
  • Bob Odenkirk as Uncle Lee
  • Sarah Paulson as cousin Michelle
  • John Mulaney as Michelle’s boyfriend Stevie

It’s an absolutely wild episode, which has echoes of the chaotic 20 minute one-take from season 1 that everyone was talking about, and despite not being one-take, this is the one everyone will be talking about all the same. It shows Donna’s fragility and alcoholism, and her shattered relationship with Nat in particular. It shows the seeds of why Ritchie and Tiff would eventually split up, even if he started out trying to be a good husband and father.

Perhaps most importantly, it showed Michael starting to crack, seemingly on drugs, sparring with Uncle Lee who calls him “nothing,” “a loser” and all manner of insults, and lambasts the family for indulging him. This culminates in the now historic “fork throwing” scene that will likely be remembered as an all-time TV moment this year, the best part of an incredible episode.

There is of course an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a drama series. Too often these are given out to people who appear for mere minutes in many productions, but here? You could probably give it to three or four different people, but I imagine the winner would be Jamie Lee Curtis’ unhinged, amazing portrayal of Donna, coming fresh off her Best Supporting Actress Oscar win in 2023 for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Mark my words, that Emmy is coming.

Obviously I do not recommend you just watch this single episode out of context, absolutely watch all of season 2 (and season 1 if you haven’t). But you’ll see. You’ll see.

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