In a year where Barry and Succession have wrapped up, another show has come out of the gate with one of the most powerful episodes of the year. The Bear was a surprise hit in 2022. The series became a sensation and was a series contender for the top awards such as the Critics Choice and Golden Globes. The series had hype going into the second season, but no one understood just how amazing it would be.
In a bold choice, instead of focusing all the action in the kitchen, creator Christopher Stoner opted to put the spotlight on the personal lives of the core cast. This, in turn, brought us to the highly acclaimed episode 6 of The Bear, simply titled “Fishes”. This was a star-studded affair that featured Jamie Lee Curtis, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, and John Mulaney. However, this an excellent hour of television that not only advanced the plot of the series. But it also gave a strong dimension to Carmy, Richie, Natalie, and Mikey.
Jamie Lee Curtis Was Fantastic As Donna Berzatto In Episode 6 Of The Bear
If you weren’t convinced that the Oscar winner didn’t deserve her trophy for Everything Everywhere All At Once, then this performance will surely do the trick. Every moment that the actress is given, she shines. Whether it’s her flipping out as she’s making the family feast. The subtle moments make it clear that she’s not okay.
Carmy’s trauma comes from the result of his chaotic family. He didn’t say much in this episode, but his looks of concern and frustration helped paint the picture for audiences. The best moments with Curtis weren’t even her outburst or the insane decision to crash the car into the house! The shaking of her hands. The anger builds up throughout the night. The sadness and heartbreak during her conversation with Carmy.
Curtis’s best moments were when displayed the picture of a damaged soul who was at wit’s end. She wasn’t okay. That moment of her exploding out on Sugar and the family was brilliant. It was built up the moment the episode began with Mikey, Carmy, and Sugar waiting outside as an argument was happening inside. Jamie Lee Curtis was the star of this episode, and she deserves an Emmy for this incredible performance.
We Understand The Family Dynamic Better
Before “Fishes”, we understood that Carmy, Richie, and Sugar didn’t exactly grow up in a healthy environment. However, it was clear that the world that they lived in was this bad. Fisher accomplished the goal of telling everyone’s story in a span of 60 minutes. Some characters got more of the focus than others, but no moment was wasted throughout this episode.
Mikey’s breakdown in the bathroom helped lay the foundation for his eventual suicide. The moment between Richie and his wife subtly explained their fractured marriage. Surprisingly, Lee (Odenkirk) doesn’t get much time here until the very end. Still, his moments throughout the episode before the wild climax show how damaged this family is.
This was a masterclass in acting all around. The Bear didn’t have to tell us the issues going on with the Berzattos. It showed us. Every piece of the puzzle made sense here. It was a perfect and relatable episode because we understand that family isn’t perfect. And the nuances of each character and scene set the foundation for what’s to come.
It Helped Set Up The Future Episodes Of The Series
We finally got more in-depth with Cousin Richie and his then-wife Tiffany Jerimovich. It set the tone for his solo episode, “Forks” (another amazing entertainment piece). It also helped establish just how deeply in love Carmy is with Claire. That relationship plays a crucial role in the second season. There’s no telling whether we’re getting another flashback episode featuring Donna, Lee, Stevie, or Michelle. The series doesn’t need it. It gave us a glimpse of what’s to come for the remaining season, and did it organically.