Beef. Steven Yeun as Danny in episode 101 of Beef. Cr. Andrew Cooper/Netflix © 2023

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation
Art Direction
Reader Rating0 Votes

Detailed Netflix Beef walkthrough explanation. I want to posit something outlandish to you today. I am going to say, without a doubt, that Beef will be hailed as the best show of 2023. Why? Well, for me, it taps all the boxes because of the brilliant writing, the great cast, the fantastic journey. But it will be seen as the best show of the year solely because of the last ten frames of the ten episodes of the series. Wait, WHAT? The last ten frames? Yes. It’s how the show hits a three-point shot from the other side of the court, with nothing but net. And it does it with panache and with a real flair and confidence that is rarely seen.

Alright – look. I rarely enjoy reviewing and discussing 8 hours of content in a single go. But if I create it into 10 posts, I promise you it’ll never finish, I’ll rabbit trail on episode 4 and you’ll lose me to a commune in Montana, as I attempt to hug my neighbor the bobcat, and rescue services hunt for my deteriorating body. Or something. So, I’m going to give you 1 paragraph… only one… for each episode. They might be long paragraphs, but I REFUSE to hit enter, or the sky will come falling down.

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation:

Episode 1: “The Birds Don’t Sing, They Screech in Pain”

As the show opens, we meet Danny (Steven Yeun – Nope, I Origins), who, in a word… is struggling (we even learn later that he has planned his suicide and aborted three different times before the show’s opening). In the parking lot of Forsters, he almost backs into Amy (Ali Wong, Birds of Prey, which I would have bet I had done a review of… but alas.) Amy, is simultaneously attempting to close a deal with Forsters, and is stressed, to put it. lightly. When the parking lot encounter happens, it sends them both over the precipice. Chaos chaos chaos, Danny gets Amy’s address from her license plate number, and visits her house, and pees all over her bathroom, then flees the scene. As he drives away, she gets his license number… and the rest is, as they say, history.

Episode 2: “The Rapture of Being Alive”

Amy begins hate spamming Danny’s business on Yelp, and so he starts a new business under his brother Paul’s name. We begin learning that Danny’s past clients basically disdained his work and refused to forward leads his way. Paul has been resentful of his brother and the way he refuses to take him seriously. Speaking of which, Amy catfishes Paul on Instagram as a woman that works for her (epically dumb move, but I digress) and the two immediately hit it off. She also has a major disagreement with her husband George (who is the son of a famous sculptor, and EXTRAORDINARILY out of touch with his wife.) Amy hunts Danny’s car down and defaces it… which causes him to have a mental breakdown of sorts. And, in an effort to make George think they are fine, she is fine, she agrees to attending couples therapy in an effort to throw him off her scent.

Episode 3: “I Am Inhabited by a Cry”

While Amy is blowing smoke at her husband and counselor… “yes, life long trauma… yes, a commitment to inner renewal” blah blah… Danny is outside dousing her car with gas. But at the last second, he notices their daughter in the car. (WHICH WOULD GET THEM A ONE WAY TICKET TO PRISON IN CALIFORNIA, whatever.) So Danny goes to Edwin’s church and literally has a come to Jesus experience and begins doing work around the church. Amy and Paul’s relationship continues to evolve. When Danny is rejected for a loan on a property he wants to purchase for his parents he flips out. Amy is finally given the terms sheet for her agreement with Forsters, but it requires her to stay on for five years. And when Paul shows up at Amy’s shop, she admits to catfishing him, and he kisses her.

Episode 4: “Just Not All at the Same Time”

Amy tells Paul that she is married, and is headed to Vegas for a business trip. Danny has gotten a business loan for $120k of materials, which he intends to use for the purchase of the land. Paul though, is determined to join Amy in Vegas, so he gets Danny and Isaac drunk and steals the van. When they wake up, they realize what has happened, and so they head to Vegas to find the van and Paul. Simultaneously, Paul meets up with Amy, and she tells him that they cannot get physical… but they have to eat and have fun regardless. As they leave the hotel, Danny sees Amy, and yells at her about the road rage incident, which has now been referenced by half of California, it’s become an enormous deal. After another car chase, Danny and Isaac get caught by the police as Amy giddily watches on.

Episode 5: “Such Inward Secret Creatures”

After Isaac and Danny’s arrest, Isaac who had spent time in jail recently, is now under house arrest. While there, Danny visits and tells him that he has managed to make friends with Amy’s husband, George, under another name. Yes, Danny is pulling an Amy now… catfishing might be a better title for this show. Regardless, Danny is thinking about stealing a valuable sculpture that’s in Amy’s house. But Isaac is MAD about everything that happened and led to his house arrest. Regardless, the heist continues as planned until George confides in him about his loneliness. Meanwhile, we learn that George’s mother is having financial issues, and needs a loan from Amy. Amy bags out on a vacation with George, and has sex with Paul. But she throws Paul out after he tells her he could have what she has if he had a little startup capital. Two individuals that were working with Danny to pull off the heist break into Amy’s house, and Fumi scares them with George/Amy’s gun… but she trips and falls down the stairs.

Episode 6: “We Draw a Magic Circle”

Isaac signs up himself, Danny, Paul, Michael and Bobby as a team in a church basketball tournament after he took over the church renovations. Paul and Danny reconnect while messing around in the apartment. But when Danny tries to get Paul to talk about his breakup with Amy he shuts down. Meanwhile, Naomi, suspicious of Amy and her involvement in the now infamous road rage incident is curious about the attempted robbery of her home… there has to be some connection there. But Amy thwarts Naomi’s questions by giving Fumi enough pain meds to drop a horse. When Naomi gets too close, Amy attempts to get Danny to identify someone else as being a part of the road rage encounter. But when Fumi doesn’t make any connection, Danny desperately decides to ID Isaac as the driver of his truck instead. And that is how you get someone arrested.

Episode 7: “I Am a Cage”

Jump forward eight months. Amy and George have purchased a vacation home after finalizing the Forsters’ purchase, and they have even hired a nanny for caring for their daughter June. Alternatively, Danny is now a worship leader at the church, and he’s purchased the land and built a home for his parents. Nirvana! Bliss! In counseling, George admits his being enamored with Mia… and Amy admits to their counselor she has her doubts about the marriage. After being invited to an art party by George, Danny recognizes Amy as “Kayla” and they have an argument about Paul. Amy asks George to move out and Paul becomes suspicious of Danny’s activity. But Danny tells Paul that Amy used him to get to her feud with Danny. And Paul shares with George that he had an affair with Amy. George runs home only to find that she has left. And Danny picks up his parents from the airport, and takes them to their new home, only to find that it has burnt down. Apropos of nothing, the verse about the years that the locust have eaten keeps reverberating in my head.

Episode 8: “The Drama of Original Choice”

We see Amy having a one night stand as she envisions herself as a white skinned individual. Amy, visiting her parents whom she hasn’t seen in forever, she admits the road rage incident, and her affair with Paul. And George decides he wants a divorce. Danny obviously knows that it had to have been Amy who burnt down his home. Eventually he figures out that the wiring in the house was bad, but he lies to Paul, and tells him that it definitely was arson. Danny, going to George’s place, attempts to make it look like it was him that caused the fire. And in the ensuing fight, he knocks George out. Danny, bolting in George’s car, realizes too late that June and the dog are in the backseat.

Episode 9: “The Great Fabricator”

The episode opens with Isaac being released from prison. Amy is called by George letting her know that Danny has kidnapped June. Isaac finds Danny and is demanding his money back or the mafia will kill him. So, when Isaac realizes that Danny has abducted a child, he demands $500,000 from Amy for June’s return. Amy says that instead of $500k, they could rob Jordan’s house instead. (??) Naomi and Jordan break for the panic room, but Jordan is killed accidentally in the door. Danny tells Paul to leave him behind and run for it. Michael is killed, Isaac is captured, and Paul is possibly killed? Danny doesn’t know. After the police arrived all bets were off. Amy learns that George has been granted emergency custody of June (because, of course, he has been.) Danny escapes, and ends up driving on the road next to Amy.. chaos chaos, Danny flips off Amy, and off the cliff goes Danny and Amy.

Episode 10: “Figures of Light”

After both of their near death descents down the mountain side, they begin attacking each other. But ultimately, after Amy loses the gun and they are both thoroughly injured, they realize they are going to have to rely on one another. Especially since they don’t have cell service and they are decidedly lost. Thirsty and hungry, Amy forced Danny to find her food. Thinking they were eating elderberry, they both get very, very sick. Hallucinating, in a truly mind-altering switch, they both think that they are the other person. They confide about their deepest fears and their saddest failings. A day later, they are well enough to stagger out of the hills, and towards a road. And as they are almost out, George appears, thinking that he was hurting Amy, he shoots Danny. In the hospital, Amy sits and watches over a critically injured Danny and she thinks back over the course of what brought them here to this point. She crawls up on the bed with Danny, and just as we roll credits, Danny pulls his arm up around her.

Let’s Talk Beef Titles – What’s Going on Here?

First – Beef? Why is the show called Beef? In the first what, 2 minutes? The parking lot road rage that kicks off the show goes down. And yeah, that’s your beef that the show is titled upon. But the trickier question? What are the show titles about? I got curious myself and quickly realized that each one is named very specifically in relation to what is going on in each episode, but they are based on key literary references.

For example, episode 1 is in reference to Werner Herzog’s quote, “The trees are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing. They just screech in pain… Taking a close look at what’s around us, there is some sort of harmony: It’s the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder.” Which is alluding to his documentary Burden of Dreams. The quote is pointing out that while these two characters look normal, they are actually harboring extreme pain and acute subterranean issues. Episode 2 is a Joseph Campbell quote, etc., etc. You get the idea. If you’d like a deeper dive on the title meanings, check this interesting read out over here on Netflix.

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation

But What the HECK is BEEF About?

For the first 9 episodes, the show is single-mindedly focused on these two lead characters absolutely destroying each other. Nothing else. Sure, they are also navigating their own chaos ridden landscapes. But ultimate, as least in the back of their minds, they are always trying to figure out how to end each other. And while, hopefully, a bit of an extreme, we too can find ourselves in these situations. Maybe it’s not induced by road rage. Maybe it’s a family argument, or a character at work that you suddenly find yourself at odds with. But this situation is not foreign to any of us. (Actually, if you have zero identification with this sort of encounter, I’d like to hire you as my life coach, because… you are obviously doing something right that I am not doing.)

But then comes episode 10. And the episode opens with two crows having a full-on conversation about these two people. Why crows? Well, Lee Sung Jin, the show’s writer and creator, is on record as saying that while it is true that crows are harbinger’s of death, they are also harbingers of change and transformation. But they are, more importantly, ubiquitous… at least in Los Angeles anyway they are. And it’s this message of universality and change that he was ultimately attempting to communicate here as the show starts coming to a conclusion.

It’s the quietness of the 10th episode actually that is still resonating for me. The two nemeses (nemesii?) basically end up drugging each other and they have this out of body epiphanic journey together. They have this critical body swap trip where they can feel how alone the other person was, and just how much they are desperate for love, affirmation, and connection. And it is in that highly fictional berry-trip experience that we have our ‘ah hah!’ moment. You should already get it… and it should be clear now, if it wasn’t. But if it STILL isn’t clear, let’s walk through a scenario.

You are heading to the checkout counter at the grocery store. It’s the ’10 items or less’ checkout, and the woman in front of you has a crying baby, and a shopping cart with 200 things. You instantly hate this woman and begin designing plans to pop her tires, and eventually burn her house down. Or, empathetically, you realize that this woman’s father could have just died… she’s purchasing things for a last minute get together she doesn’t want to throw… and she’d much rather just be alone and cry. She is not mentally here… she isn’t aware she is breaking the 10 item limit rule… and she doesn’t even care if she is because – her best friend just died. It’s called benefit of the doubt… if you can see life through another person’s trauma and strain, you’ll do much better personally, and will also connect with others at a deeper level.

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation

Detailed Netflix Beef Walkthrough and Explanation

Look, I don’t have this figured out. I’ve had a number of hot parking lot, driving, grocery store encounters… and I’m embarrassed about all of them. The thing that has blown my mind about Beef is that very viable options surround both the characters throughout the movie. The church experiences are very, very, authentic… and don’t seem to be a punchline. The counseling environments seem very authentic and heartfelt. Meditation. Art. Support groups. Etc., etc. There are a million ways that the two of these horrible people could have reached out to for support and encouragement in a way that would bring them back from the edge. But they cannot even see these options. They are means to an end from a manipulation standpoint. Convince the spouse we are fine, when we are not, by using the counselor by saying the things she thinks she supposed to say. Abuse the initially very real relationship with the church in order to get the loan that you think you need in order to solve the generational expectations of your parents. Etc., etc. You get the idea.

But the absolute best moment of the show… without a doubt, is the last 10 frames of the last episode. Danny’s arm movement… slight as it is… says absolutely everything we need to have said. And it’s with that one very slight movement that we know that the two hell spawns have grown, have learned from their trauma, have really evolved. And that is where all the past chaos is solved. We should live in a land of understanding and forgiveness. We never know where another human being is coming from. But giving others grace? Forgiveness for their 10 item insanity… that is where real peace is. I need me some of that I think. But that sort of a world is internal to each of us. It’s impossible otherwise.

An Aside – Shows Like Beef

As extra credit – are there other shows out there that are similar to Beef? My mind goes to Falling Down obviously. But what about shows like Windfall maybe? Maybe Green Room? Or Blue Ruin? Shelby on the Discord mentioned Changing Lanes, which is probably the best modern day equivalent. Are there others? I’d love to do a post of movies in the same lane as Beef. They could be about extreme anger. Or extreme reconciliation? I don’t know. But there have to be more similar films out there because I want to watch all of them right now.

Edited by: CY