What initially started as a road rage issue on a fine day turns into a blood feud that ruins multiple lives and results in the deaths of a few. This forms the basic plot of the newest Netflix series “Beef,” created by Lee Sung Jin, where the protagonists Danny Cho (Steven Yeun) and Amy Lau (Ali Wong) are two characters whose hatred for each other constantly grows until they actually attempt to kill each other. With their entire families getting dragged into this seemingly nonsensical feud, here’s how the “beef” comes to a close between these two angry people.
A Bad Day At Forsters
After being incessantly honked at and flipped off by some jerk in a white Benz outside a hardware store called Forsters, construction company owner Danny decides he’s had enough of the hurdles life is constantly throwing at him. He decides to chase “the guy,” and the Benz and Danny’s red truck are involved in a neck-and-neck pursuit until Danny gets stuck, and the other driver almost rams into his car but stops at the last minute. As this unknown foe drives away, Danny memorizes the license plate of the person who decided to ruin his day. As it turns out, the ‘foe’ is a woman named Amy Lau, the owner of an artistic plant store called Koyohaus. When Amy goes into her posh home in Calabasas with her stay-at-home husband George and little daughter June, one can think she’s just some wealthy and arrogant businesswoman who takes pleasure in making random blue-collar workers suffer. However, Amy actually comes from enormous poverty, is a totally self-made woman who single handedly made her business into what it is today and is suffering from tremendous anger and rage because she’s too busy providing for others. This is a feeling her husband George—who comes from a family of generationally wealthy sculptors like Haru Nakai—can’t understand, and when she tries opening up to him, he quickly shuts her down by asking her to maintain a journal.
The Tragic Life Of Danny Cho
Danny, on the other hand, is barely keeping his head above water as his construction company is suffering, but his brother Paul spends all day investing in crypto and playing video games. The older brother has a head full of dreams: he wants to buy a plot of land for his elderly Korean parents, make a life for himself, find a nice Korean girl, and settle down. However, he has several problems: the motel his parents used to run got shut down because Danny’s cousin Isaac was running a shady business selling counterfeit baby powder; he can’t get a loan from the bank because he doesn’t have enough money; and on top of that, he’s mad with rage because someone humiliated him on the road. Danny was actually at Forster’s trying to unsuccessfully return several hibachi grills because he’d decided against killing himself by smoke inhalation when the road rage happened, and after constant defeats in his life, he decides to find out who the foe in the white Benz was.
The Mistrial Of Amy Lau
Amy’s life hasn’t been going great either—her mother-in-law, Fumi, constantly gives her a hard time over Amy’s house design, her decision not to send June to a professional art teacher, and basically her nature. On top of it all, Amy has been struggling to get a deal from Jordan Forster, a severely obnoxious and arrogant billionaire who has promised to purchase Koyohaus but hasn’t offered a deal yet. What really pushes Amy over the edge is that a Korean handyman (Danny) comes over to her house when George isn’t around and urinates on her European hardwood floor as revenge when he learns that she was the one driving the car. Furious, she posts negative reviews about Danny on Yelp and later, at an exhibition, has a whispered argument with George where she blames him for being too vanilla in everything he does. Her frustration with him arises from his extremely positive outlook on life and the mantra that money isn’t everything. The only reason he feels this way is because of his generational wealth, and he can’t understand his wife’s struggles. Desperate to exact revenge on the man who humiliated her in her own house and fuming with rage, Amy paints slurs on his red truck while he is at a club. She also creates a fake ID using the name Kayla and her employee Mia’s pictures to ensnare Danny’s gullible brother Paul.
A Family Feud
Bent on revenge, Danny tries setting fire to Amy’s car but is shocked when he sees June inside. Overcome with enormous guilt; he joins the Orange County church for Koreans, where his old flame Veronica, now pregnant with her husband Edwin, sings on the Praise Team. Upon attending a concert hosted by Edwin and others, Danny breaks down and cries his eyes out as the pain and hurt push him to the ground. He decides to help renovate the church pro bono. On the other side of things, Paul finally comes to Koyohaus to meet Mia, where Amy confesses that she was catfishing him, and he ends up kissing her.
An Affair And A Robbery
Jordan offers Amy a deal to buy Koyohaus for $10 million, but Amy will have to stay on for five more years as the face of Koyohaus. As Amy goes to Vegas with Jordan for a conference, Paul follows Amy there, and the two have a very fun night in her hotel room while Danny and Isaac spend all night looking for him. The next morning, they find Paul, and Isaac beats him as Danny takes away the truck keys that Paul had taken to drive to Vegas. On their way out, Danny spots Amy giving a speech, and he tries exposing her as the vengeful woman who was involved in a road rage incident and then painted slurs on his truck later. Isaac and Danny are arrested, but only the former gets charged with jail time and is in need of money to stay out of jail. Thus, Isaac and his two cronies force their way into Danny’s construction business and are providing renovation services for the church but pocketing all the money the church received as a loan. In order to make money, Danny befriends George under the fake name Zane, with hopes of stealing his precious artworks, but upon hanging out with the guy, he realizes he’s a good man and shouldn’t be robbed. Danny tries canceling the plan, but Isaac’s underlings, Bobby and Michael, won’t quit.
Amy invites Paul over, and the two have an intense love-making episode while her husband is away at Ojai, arranging a staycation. Afterward, Paul asks for money, but an argument ensues, and she throws him out of her house and breaks down in regret. After Amy leaves, Fumi sneaks in to steal a treasured chair her husband had made because she’s suffering from financial trouble, but she’s not alone. Bobby and Michael have also snuck in to steal whatever they can find and are faced with Fumi, who shoots at them. As the robbers escape, Fumi trips and falls, and when the ambulance arrives, this is noticed by Jordan’s sister-in-law Naomi, who’s already gathering proof that Amy was the other person in the road rage.
Naomi comes to meet Fumi, who’s found asleep, so she ends up threatening Amy that she’ll be exposing Amy as the other road rage driver, plainly because of her jealousy that Jordan pays Amy more attention. Fumi had only pretended to be asleep and had overheard the entire conversation, so she tells Naomi that Amy wasn’t behind the wheel, but the self-righteous Naomi wants to bring Danny down all the same, so the panicked Danny throws Isaac under the bus. He anonymously snitches to Naomi’s neighborhood watch that Isaac was the one driving the red truck, and the parolee is thrown in jail with 5–10 years of prison time. While pretending to be completely clueless while talking to Isaac, he steals the stash of money his cousin has shown him out of trust. What’s more, Paul and Danny, brothers once more now that the younger brother has been jilted in love, dominate the church basketball match as Edwin throws a hissy fit in rage.
The Good Life
Eight months after Danny destroyed the competition on the basketball court, things are looking up for the Cho brothers, and his construction company has achieved enormous heights. With the stolen money, Danny has built a house for his parents, Paul has his own apartment, Danny is leading the Praise Team, and Veronica’s friend Esther is his girlfriend. As it seems, life can’t get any better for him at this point. He meets George in a café and is invited to an exhibition George is throwing, and he also offers Danny the chance to talk to his wife, who’s depressed, much like Danny. At the exhibition, Danny meets Amy, and she asks him to leave in hushed tones; he later notices a tattoo on her waist and realizes it’s the same tattoo that he’d seen on his brother’s phone. Danny calls out ‘Kayla’ and Amy immediately turns, but Danny is already leaving. When he’s in his car, Amy chases him, but he tells her she’s a disease and goes home to tell Paul that Amy pretended everything with Paul just to get back at Danny. At Amy’s home, she ponders whether she should confess her cheating to George but decides against it.
The next morning, Amy finds out through a phone notification of an arrival at her doorstep that Paul rang the bell and exposed to George that he slept with her. By the time Amy rushes back home, George is gone, and he’s taken June with him. When Danny takes his family to the new home for his parents, he sees it has burnt down and is devastated. Paul tells his brother that he’d exposed his affair with Amy to her husband, so it might’ve been her revenge, when he spots Edwin backing his car away. That night, Danny sneaks into Edwin’s home and attacks him, but the guy says he’d ordered magazines under Danny’s name only because he was jealous of how much his wife praised Danny. Realizing Edwin’s situation, Danny helps him up and foregoes his anger against him, but now his target was another.
The Villain’s Entry
In Amy’s mind, she went back to her traumatic childhood and the fights her parents used to have, resulting from poverty, and how their entire family kept secrets from each other because they never said the unhappy things out loud. Fumi had managed to bring George back and explained to Amy that she was to say she never had anything physical with Paul, but determined to break the toxic cycle of hiding things, Amy confessed all the horrible things she’d done right back to the road rage incident. Broken and in disbelief at what a stranger he had married, George asked for a divorce, but she pleaded with him not to take June away from her.
Danny found out that faulty electrical wiring had caused the fire, and it wasn’t arson, but he decided to tell Paul that it was indeed arson and blamed Amy. However, instead of going right to Amy’s home to exact vengeance, he chose to frame her. When Amy was at Jordan’s exquisite bungalow to discuss the bungalow, Danny showed up at Amy’s house with plans to plant evidence in her house. However, George, already aware of who Danny really was, didn’t want to let him in, but in the end, he changed his mind and allowed him to come in. After planting the evidence, Danny is about to step out when George points a gun at him and says the jig is up, and a scuffle ensues, where Danny ends up knocking out George. With police on the way, he’s fleeing in his truck when he notices June in the backseat. After he turns up at his apartment with June, Isaac and his cronies barge in later—because Amy had also informed the cops that Isaac wasn’t the one driving—and Amy gets a call that her daughter is safe, but Isaac needs $500,000 in cash. Amy asks him to come to Jordan’s home and steal everything she has instead, and the tied-up Danny and Paul are taken on a ride-along with Isaac, Michael, Bobby, and, of course, June.
Isaac and Michael break into Jordan’s place and start robbing, as Paul chokes out Bobby, and they place June in a different car before going into Jordan’s home. As the police arrive, Jordan and Naomi flee towards the panic room, but Naomi is the first to reach it, and she presses the door that slices Jordan in half. A shootout ensues, and Michael is killed while Isaac is arrested. Paul and Danny try escaping, but the elder brother can’t reach the fence, and he confesses to Paul how he’d thrown away Paul’s college applications so that they could be equal. Paul leaves, but two gunshots are heard, and Danny is terrified that his brother was killed. He escapes the bungalow and takes a car to flee.
Amy finds out she’s been served a notice not to contact either George or June until a court hearing, and she’s dealing with everything when Danny’s car arrives next to her. Yet another episode of road rage begins, and they run off the cliff and crash into the wilderness. Both are severely injured, and they eat some berries that turn out to be poisonous, causing them to throw up non-stop. While in their dazed and sickly states, Danny and Amy have a spiritual experience where they finally realize they’re very similar and understand each other’s pains in life. They forgive each other, and in the morning, they are making their way toward civilization when they briefly get a signal, and dozens of texts rush in. Danny is helping Amy through a tunnel when George arrives and, thinking Danny is hurting her, ends up shooting Danny.
‘Beef’ Ending Explained – What Happens To Danny?
We find Danny on a ventilator as Amy sits behind him. Slowly, she gets up on the bed and snuggles with him, and then, in a blink-and-you-miss moment, Danny puts his arm around her. This confirms that Danny is not only alive but also conscious and that he’s come to care for the woman he’s had this intense animosity with. The psychedelic trip caused by bad berries ends up revealing the two people’s real selves to each other, and they realize just how broken they both were and how they’d never been understood like this before they had this experience. They understand why both of them had been so furious with life up to that point and how life has been cruel to them, so they find each other in this mess and begin caring for each other, as the final moments show. If “Beef” Season 2 arrives, we might get to see the former enemies together.