As The Beef preps for another day’s service, Ebraheim reads aloud a review that heralds Sydney’s cola-braised short rib and risotto test dish that she handed out to a “random customer” — a kind gesture after Carmy says it needs further tightening. Carmy swears things are cool, and that Sydney shouldn’t worry. Sydney’s anxiousness subsides momentarily, Carmy attempts to be generous given the circumstances. This is just the beginning.
Tina enters The Beef late and with her son Louie, who’s been suspended from school. She asks if Louie can shadow throughout the day and be useful, adding another fold to an already doomed shift. Carmy says Sydney can help.
Richie and Sydney have a private conversation where Richie accuses Sydney of trying to take over The Beef with her risotto plot. Richie stands up for the “O.G.’s” Sydney is trying to drive away. The heat begins to increase inside The Beef.
Then, it happens. Carmy switches on their new to-go order system that Sydney helps implement, and tickets start printing with haste. They’re piling sky high. Carmy checks the platform and discovers Sydney never disabled the preorder option. They’ve barely prepped enough for the usual lunch rush, and now countless folks within Chicago ordering distance expect The Beef to prioritize their preorder upon opening.
It’s the fears of any kitchen coming to light as Carmy’s mental fortitude shatters, affecting those around him as they try to jam out 255 sandwiches, 38 salads, 78 pieces of cake, and so on. There’s no salvaging pleasantries when Carmy bites Sydney’s head off. Marcus isn’t shown compassion when he presents Carmy with a perfect donut that he smashes to the ground because his pastry chef isn’t helping their mess. Richie’s stab wound in the butt — purely accidental — defines the tsunami of uncontrolled madness that overtakes The Beef. It’s everything a chef can’t prepare for and nothing they can overcome, which is the scariest thing any professional can face — an unwinnable scenario.