Richard ‘Richie’ Jerimovich, aka Cousin to Carmy and Natalie, has been a part of their lives for a long time, as implied in the story of the show. Richie’s arc in the first season, had him working at Mikey’s restaurant, which was passed over to Carmy. Richie was a little upset with his move in the first season because he felt he was the one running the show in Chicago while Carmy was working at a fancy New York restaurant. Richie, in the second season as well, began his work on helping renovate and build The Bear from scratch.
Richie was moody and angry from the start, trying to find a purpose and be the leader of the group. Even though it was Natalie who was appointed the project manager by Sydney, Richie had hoped to gain some role in this project. Richie was at this stage right now where he thought he was being phased out, and nobody around him would trust him to do any work or finish a job. This is because Richie had done plenty of work with Mikey, but with the change of order and his divorce, he feels he is not in control of his life anymore. This could be deemed a midlife crisis because the man is in his forties and does not have a stable job. He has a daughter, and he had hoped by now he would achieve something that would make him feel proud of himself.
His constant bickering with Natalie and Fak might be for comedic purposes, but it is easy to understand Richie’s mindset at this point. With every mistake that is pointed out about the restaurant, he feels he let the team down by not taking care of it. His oversight is leading to the renovation work going over budget. Richie tries to justify this because it is human nature to defend ourselves. He had a lot of trouble letting go of the power he thought he had when Mikey was running the place. He tries to be the supervisor even though he was not assigned a job as such.
Richie still has a love-hate relationship with Carmy and Natalie because he feels that as the brotherly figure in their lives after Mikey, he should be treated with some respect. It is just his ego taking precedence over his love for them because he refuses to see that Carmy does take his words seriously, and he is letting him work around the renovation because Carmy has a plan for the man. He never disrespected anyone in the core team, and Richie, as close as he is to Carmy, should have guessed that.
Just as Carmy made sure Marcus, Tina, and Ebraheim went through training to work at a fine dining restaurant, Richie was sent to train at Eleven Madison Avenue. Richie still does not understand the purpose of this shift because he is still thinking of himself and is unable to come out of the rut he is in. His initial days at the restaurant in New York, they had him clean the forks. This is symbolic because he feels he has been thrown into the deep end, and it is only he who will have to figure out if he wants to sink or swim against the tide. He is still under the impression that Carmy sent him here as a punishment. He believes his resentment towards the work assigned is justified because he feels all of this is beneath him. Now that he is out of his comfort zone and no one will tolerate his tantrums, he is confronted by another colleague who makes him understand that everyone here at this job is here because of some obligation, and he is not a special case here.
It was very selfish of him to think the world revolves around him and to not contribute the work assigned to him by Carmy. This time around, it was only he who could save himself, and he did that by finally taking his assignment seriously. Richie prospers because he finally takes it upon himself to swim toward his goal and realizes he has a knack for being a concierge. A few days before he departed from New York, his conversation with Chef Terry had a profound impact on him. She walks him through her failures and struggles, and she resumed her career at this age only because she knew she had it in her to make it a success. He glances at the board that says, ‘Every second counts’. This is when it hits Richie that the life he is leading right now counts, and his contribution to making it better counts. He needs to live every second on his terms instead of going into a slump.
This was the kind of pep talk he needed because, so far, he had been on the lookout for the push he needed. Terry’s words were enough for Richie to define a purpose in his life, and he succeeded in doing so by taking the job assigned to him at The Bear seriously. He apologized to Natalie for being difficult. His words come across as genuine because he knows saying sorry to the people he cares for is the only way to move forward towards a purpose he has now latched onto. His help on opening night was enough to prove that Richie had finally become a better person. Richie’s work with Carmy is far from over, for he keeps pushing him to pursue Claire because he understands how much time it takes to build a relationship. Despite everything, Richie will be Mikey’s figure because Carmy always seeks Richie’s guidance despite the arguments they get into. Richie is right now on cloud nine because saving The Bear from collapsing has made him feel ecstatic. This collective feeling of joy will be carried forward in the next season, and hopefully, we will get to see a finer version of him. Richie’s arc in the show was the best because the man went from being aimless to finally finding an intent to make his life worth something, and he feels great to have finally had a breakthrough.