The Bear’s Claire Problem: Why Is She So Hated, and What Might It Mean For Season 3?

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Every second counts!

So, let's get into it. Like any upscale restaurant that takes a simple dish and turns it on its head, The Bear is no different.

On paper, it's a pretty standard premise for a show.

The Bear Cast landscape

In this case, a deceased family member passes the business to Carmen, and the results are life-changing. We couldn't have a show otherwise.

The challenges are self-evident. Busted menu. Even more busted cookware. And a rag-tag team of OG employees who can't be told "nothing 'bout nothing."

Syd and Tina Hug -tall - The Bear

What sets The Bear apart from any other show is its uncanny ability to put the viewer right into the characters' shoes.

Each scene in Season 1 is palpable. The stress and anxiety are infused right into its core, giving the audience the sensation of being in the kitchen itself.

From the acting to the pace to the dialogue, every part works with the others to deliver an exquisite dish for the eyes and ears.

Season 1 brought a genuinely unexpected ending to the show's first season. It's the kind of finale usually reserved for a screwball comedy. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are hidden in tomato sauce cans.

An idea that walks the fine line between ingenious and ludicrous. Something that fits perfectly with who Carmen's brother, Michael, was.

Brothers Berzatto - tall - The Bear

How did they go the entirety of Season 1 without opening a single can of sauce?! Not one meatball sub was served in a sandwich shop?!

Thankfully, the surprise is so out of the blue it's hard to focus on anything other than the joy on the character's faces.

But, going into The Bear Season 2 Episode 1, there was a lightness that lasted mere seconds before the chaos ensued again.

The Bear can be praised for its unwavering realistic portrayal of the restaurant industry, if nothing else.

Baking with Luca - tall - The Bear

Still, the pace took an immense deceleration compared to the first season. No doubt audiences had mixed feelings about the slightly chiller atmosphere.

And if we're going to talk about season 2, then there is no getting around the ridiculously tantalizing cameos dropped in The Bear Season 2 Episode 6 "Fishes" and The Bear Season 2 Episode 7 "Forks."

Like a delightfully surprising "amuse bouche" from the chef, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Paulson, John Mulaney, and Olivia Coleman gave performances to be savored.

A pleasant present to the palette.

Donna Berzatto - tall - The Bear

But with the sweets comes the sour.

This leads us to the one aspect of Season 2 that all viewers unanimously hated. Claire.

Before you huff and puff, let me say that the feeling is understood, although not entirely shared. Trust the process. I promise to stay unbiased while dishing out the details of this dilemma.

First, romance was entirely vacant from the first season, as it should've been.

Carmy and Claire Bear -tall  - The Bear

The restaurant life is complex and demanding, especially when everything keeps catching fire. Literally.

So, in comes Claire. A nausea-inducing archetypal Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Sadly, no one has wanted or needed one since Natalie Portman perfected the trope in 2004's Garden State. The bar is now stratospheric.

Regardless of her trope status, there's a lot to like about Claire. She's witty, headstrong, knows what she wants, and she's a doctor, so intelligence is implied.

Much like the characters in the show, most viewers have adopted a familial adoration for Carmen.

And like a toxic family that is far too involved in each other's business, we, the audience, see Claire as nothing but a distraction to our boy achieving his dreams.

Carmy and Sugar -tall - The Bear

Hits a little too close to home, doesn't it?

What's very clear are the mixed signals Carmen is getting from every which way. There's his family telling him to go for it because they want him to have something beyond the restaurant.

Then there's Sydney, who has poured every ounce of effort she has into making the restaurant a success.

She's vocal about liking Claire but makes it abundantly clear that it's the wrong time for Carmen to be distracted.

The only thing that can be said at this point is "fridge." If you know, you know.

Opening Night -tall - The Bear

Allow me to shed a little reality on all of us. Carmen is a fully grown adult. Twenty-six years old, to be precise. His brain is all the way developed.

And, while it's true, he's not in a healthy state to start a committed relationship, that is hardly Claire's fault.

He and the writers will hopefully realize that a wholesale supply of therapy is needed now more than ever. At the very least, some family counseling. Seriously. No one wants to see Carmen end up like his brother.

The Bear Season 2 Episode 10 saw a dramatic ending that left a lot in the air, albeit not as light as Season 1.

There's no telling what could transpire now that the new and improved restaurant is up and running with an opening night in the books.

Partners in Cuisine -tall - The Bear

While we hope for the best, a show like The Bear isn't going to let its characters off that easily. It's a one-step forward and two-steps back kind of premise.

Since Season 2 spent so much time focusing on each character's arc, Season 3 may refocus on the daily kitchen struggles and take us back to the core of Season 1.

If that's the case, viewers might get what they want and see Claire put on the back burners while Carmen tries to keep the chaos at bay.

Whatever the case, we will all be front and center, ready to eat up all the drama when The Bear returns in June.

Where do you think Season 3 will take the story? Do you hope Claire will be an afterthought going forward? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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