In the season finale, Carmy gives a moving and emotional monologue detailing trauma from her past, including the death of her brother, Mikey. He also recounts his brother’s addiction while seemingly revealing his own. Carmy explains how, after being rejected from the family restaurant by Mikey, he dove deep into the world of culinary excellence to forge his own path – out of spite.
Carmy was brought in to cook in “real restaurants” and explicitly relives the hard work he endured in those kitchens. He reveals himself to the audience when he says the experience was “everything” and confesses that for the first time in his life he felt fulfilled and confident. However, this addictive and damaging pursuit of perfection led to intense competition with his fellow chefs which replaced the feelings of worthlessness he felt from his brother.
Now that Mikey is gone, he and Carmy will never be able to reconcile their estrangement. Will Carmy return to these distracting and destructive habits in Season 2? Under the stress of a new restaurant and financial responsibilities, it is possible, but we sincerely hope not.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).