After being positively showered with Emmys and Golden Globes, FX’s The Bear is back! Will our beloved characters continue to eviscerate one another’s self-esteem? Will Jeremy Allen White’s crystal-blue eyes finally merge with Lake Michigan? Will Ebon Moss-Bachrach make me cry to Taylor Swift again? Will this drama series commit category fraud once more next awards season? We hypothesize.

Where We Left Off

It’s been a year since we caught up with Carmy and crew, so here are the refresher headlines:

The revamped restaurant (now a fancy one) opened its doors to friends and family. While trapped in the walk-in freezer, Carmy (accidentally) breaks up with Claire, as he (feels he) can’t simultaneously be the best chef in the world and have nice things. Richie (a.k.a. Cousin) “wears suits now.” Something romantic seems to be brewing between Sydney and Marcus, which is major Sweetie4Sweetie hours. Oh, and Carmy and Sugar really, really need to get Uncle Jimmy his money in 18 months for tax- and/or real-estate-related reasons I didn’t quite understand.

The Filming Tea Leaves

Through social media (especially the X account @filming_chicago), we’ve gotten a glimpse into what’s next. For real: SPOILERS AHEAD.

We’ll hop in the Wayback Machine: The crew spent multiple days shooting at Mr. Beef, and considering that in real life it’s still an Italian beef joint — and that Jon Bernthal (who plays Carmy’s late brother) was spotted at the Orleans Street shoot — we can expect flashback scenes, if not a full flashback episode, as the show is wont to do.

Someone kicks it: Nearly the entire fictional staff was spotted in black attire on the steps of St. Mary Catholic Church in Evanston. Are they honoring Marcus’s mother, or will a more central character get the chop?

Another beefcake at the Beef: Wrestler-turned-actor-turned-naked-guy-at-the-Oscars John Cena visited Chicago in March. He posted a photo of the exterior of Mr. Beef, and Grant Achatz posted a photo of himself with Cena and Cena’s wife. Was he here to get bodybuilding tips from White, or will he appear on a show that can’t resist celebrity cameos?

Ayo Edebiri will direct: The show’s youngest lead will helm an upcoming episode, at creator Christopher Storer’s request, according to a Vogue profile. Edebiri (Sydney) was spotted directing Liza Colón-Zayas (sous chef Tina) outside a Pilsen storefront in April.

Food media enters the chat: A 53-second clip from season 3, leaked from a Walt Disney Company shareholder presentation, briefly made the rounds on social media before the Mouse shut it down. In it, the Fak brothers unveil a surprise for Carmy: 10 framed photos in the back office of “every major food critic” for easy spotting. The Faks have written some descriptors under each, including some unkind words for a critic who maaaay or may not be based on someone on this very magazine’s masthead.

A Double-Header Spring Production

In March, FX announced The Bear had already been renewed for season 4 and the two seasons would be filming back to back. Rumors have swirled that the fourth will be the show’s final season. Word is, production could wrap by early June, what with the suddenly hot cast in high demand. So keep your eyes peeled for clues to season 4. The Bear has used at least two aliases while shooting: Kubelik, presumably a nod to the midcentury Chicago Symphony Orchestra director, and Windy City Law, a show I, frankly, would inhale faster than a Mr. Beef hot and dipped.