This review contains spoilers for Barry.
I’m going to try and make this easy for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Emmy voters. Give Bill Hader all the awards. Give Sarah Goldberg all the awards. Give Stephen Root all the awards. Give Henry Winkler all the awards. Give Anthony Carrigan all the awards. Give MIchael Irby all the awards. Give Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, and everyone on the writing staff all the awards. Give Barry all the awards.
The critically acclaimed third season of HBO’s Barry ended Sunday night and like most viewers, I was left speechless. The show has always walked a fine line between comedy and drama but during the course of the third season, the show began to heavily favor drama. I mentioned in the review for episodes 1-4 that the show has always had a dark element, but it never quite felt like this. In the four episodes since that review, the show has shifted even further.
We’re seeing Barry deal with the guilt of the lives he has destroyed while those directly affected seek to get revenge. We also see those close to Barry begin to go down their own descent into chaos. This season really handled the other characters to perfection. At this point, I would watch an entire show just called Sally. Her storyline this season saw her rise up into fame and then lose it all in an instant. Not only that, but she is essentially canceled after blowing up on her friend, and former acting classmate, Natalie.
Speaking of Sally: wow. Seeing her almost die at the hands of one of the bikers was hard to watch. To see someone who had faced domestic abuse be tossed around and then strangled, almost to death, was rough. The entire scene was gut wrenching. I expected her to die there, another tragic death. I’m not sure what Sally’s future holds, but she is on her way to Joplin, Missouri. It is possible we have seen the last of her, but I doubt it.
The Barry and Gene dynamic has been interesting. We knew from the start that Gene hated Barry but it kind of felt like things shifted. Barry did kill the love of his life, but then Barry basically restarted Gene’s career and gave him the money from the payout for killing some of the Bolivians. It felt like they turned the page, especially when Gene denied Barry’s involvement in killing Janice Moss to her father. It truly felt like Gene was ready to put that behind him and go on living his life with his newfound success.
Barry tells us in the season premiere that “you can’t forgive Jeff”. it turns out you can’t forgive Barry either as we see Gene give the performance of a lifetime when he sets up Barry to kill Janice’s father, only for it to be a sting operation to take Barry down.
Where do we go from here? Fuches is in jail taking credit as “The Raven”, Barry will be joining him soon. Sally is in Joplin after killing a man in self-defense. NoHo Hank is in Bolivia after rescuing Cristobal. Our characters are all over the place and none of them feel safe.