‘Barry’ Season 3, Episode 4: Berkman Goes Boom (Recap)

In this already-chaotic third season, things are blowing up for Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) in Barry Season 3 Episode 4. Literally.

The episode opens with a flashback to one of Barry’s earlier murders as a hitman. This time, we see and hear the phone conversation the man has with his wife (Annabeth Gish) before he dies. Flash-forward to the present day and Fuches (Stephen Root) finds the woman and seeks to reveal Barry’s identity to her, just as he did with Cousineau (Henry Winkler) regarding Janice (Paula Newsome). And later in the episode, he approaches the father of Ryan Madison (Tyler Jacob Moore), the young man who died in Season 1. So Fuches is still out for Barry’s blood.

Meanwhile, Cousineau’s in a panic over how he’s offended Barry. He’s frantic to leave L.A. after his meltdown on the gig Barry got him. As Cousineau’s trying to buy suitcases, his agent arrives to tell him that the creatives on Laws of Humanity saw his outburst and thought it was excellent acting. They want to extend his role. Later, at the store with his agent, Cousineau runs into an old colleague, Joe Mantegna – played, of course, by himself – who’s read a Variety piece about Cousineau helping Barry. Joe invites Cousineau to his house for dinner.

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Henry Winkler as Cousineau and Bill Hader as Barry in Barry. (COURTESY: Merrick Morton/HBO)

NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) is explaining his plan for taking out the Bolivians: Barry will blow up a bomb during the Bolivians’ mid-day meeting at Cristobal’s (Michael Irby) house. However, detonation requires “the Denotate App.” That’s right: Barry has to download an actual app and share his actual personal information under the actual username “BerkmanGoesBoom” in order to set off the bomb. The bomb itself is a weird little thing that repeats the same words over and over in a foreign language and beeps when you don’t want it to.

Elsewhere, Sally (Sarah Goldberg) is getting ready for her speech at Joplin’s premiere. She calls Barry and practices on the phone while Barry gets ready to plant the bomb. To get it just right, Barry has to crawl under Cristobal’s house with the talking bomb. He runs back across the street for the detonation…but the detonate phone app doesn’t work no matter how many times he presses it. Barry ends up having to literally call tech support.

Sally arrives at Joplin’s premiere to dazzling red carpet fanfare. Cameras flash as she walks in slow motion and meets with the press. This is everything she’s wanted through her years of hard work in L.A. – and she’s finally here. Finally, Sally is the star. Before she goes out to deliver her speech, her show’s critics’ reviews are announced: 98% on Rotten Tomatoes; a rave write-up from the New York Times. Onstage, Sally breaks down crying, euphoric over her success.

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Elsie Fisher as Katie and Sarah Goldberg as Sally in Barry. (COURTESY: Merrick Morton/HBO)

She’s so excited that she begins to seem out-of-control. Goldberg’s performance here is stellar, one of the best moments for her so far for Barry‘s entire run. It’s uncomfortable to watch Sally at a loss for words, but Goldberg somehow manages to keep her grounded and convincing.

While Barry grapples with failed technology, Cristobal’s father-in-law, Fernando (Miguel Sandoval), reveals he knows about Cristobal’s romantic relationship with Hank. He gives him two choices: either his father-in-law will kill Cristobal, or Cristobal can kill Hank. Cristobal tells his father-in-law to kill him, then runs out the front-door before anything can happen. And just as Cristobal clears the house, Barry manages to detonate the bomb.

Cousineau arrives home for his son and grandson and instead finds Barry in the living room. He’s got a huge duffel bag of money for Cousineau – to make peace. “So my family’s safe?” Cousineau asks. “Thanks for everything, Mr. Cousineau,” Barry replies. For now, Cousineau will stay in L.A.

Back at the premiere, Katie (Elsie Fisher) has a strong reaction to Sally thanking Barry onstage and confronts Sally, bringing up Barry’s actions from a few days before. After they talk, Sally meets up with Barry outside the premiere (which premiere he, of course, missed). Armed with the knowledge of Barry’s violent outburst, Sally breaks things off with him.

Finally, the wife from the beginning of the episode has bought a Glock. Because she and her son are going to kill Barry.

And that’s where the episode leaves us. This is another excellent one for the Barry team, with some great humorous moments and strong character work. It’s refreshing to see both Sarah Goldberg the actress and Sally in-universe get time to shine. Sally’s finally made the break from Barry that she’s needed for a long time. Everything came together and fell apart in Barry Season 3 Episode 4 episode in ways the series has fully earned. 

Rating: 9/10

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