‘Barry’ Season 3 Episode 5: Blame the Algorithm (Recap)

Barry Season 3 Episode 5, entitled “crazytimesh*tshow,” starts with a flashback to Afghanistan, when Barry’s (Bill Hader) friend Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao) was shot and just before Barry killed the wrong man in revenge. In the present, we discover Albert is now a federal agent assigned to help the local police figure out who killed Janice Moss (Paula Newsome). The cops explain to him that the “Raven” — the code name for Fuches (Stephen Root) — killed Janice, but Albert isn’t so convinced. He thinks Barry might have had something to do with it. Meanwhile, Fuches continues to try and find family members of Barry’s victims and disclose Barry’s involvement with the murders.

Sally’s (Sarah Goldberg) show Joplin gets a big boost in promotion from BanShe, the streaming service that hosts it. Unfortunately, that boost is short-lived. When the series is taken off the home page and replaced with a show called The New Medusas, Joplin isn’t easily searchable anymore. It turns out that this is by design: the service is canceling Sally’s show because the all-knowing algorithm decided Joplin would not be successful despite it only being online for one day.

Barry continues to navigate his post break-up life. He decides to move back into his old apartment, but his roommates have turned his old bedroom into a practice studio for their projects. He also meets up with Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and Cristobal (Michael Irby) to confide in them about the Sally splitting up with him. The latter is not exactly happy to see Barry, since he “killed all [Cristobal’s] buddies” in the monastery shooting back in Season 2. Hank says that the break-up and the shooting are all a part of the same problem: Barry’s penchant for bottling up his anger. And Hank is right to say it. He also says that he and Cristobal thrive on honesty, but of course, they don’t. Hank still doesn’t know about Cristobal’s wife. In the next scene, her private plane touches down on U.S. soil.

Elsewhere, Albert is putting together the pieces, realizing Hank is lying about the “Raven.” He wants to go after the Chechens again. The police execute a big raid, resulting in the Chechens setting off a suicide bomb. And Hank still can’t catch a break when Cristobal’s wife and a group of Bolivians interrupt a quiet night in, looking to kill him.

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

Cousineau (Henry Winkler) is still working to repair his life and reputation. He’s back on-set for Laws of Humanity with his newly-extended role. He seems like a changed man when he apologizes for throwing tea on someone years ago. He also reveals that he’s giving his son Leo (Andrew Leeds) a house, showing his continuing attempts to repair their fraught relationship.

Later, Cousineau goes to dinner with his friend Joe Mantegna (ably played by Joe Mantegna) and some of Joe’s friends. Cousineau explains how jealous of Joe he had been and how he’d lied about Joe because of it. But Cousineau appreciates Joe’s kindness in the present – and he apologizes, furthering the season’s interest in forgiveness. His attention pivots to Annie (Laura San Giacomo), another person attending dinner who Cousineau hurt when the two of them dated ages ago. This apology doesn’t go as well, to say the least: Annie rejects it, saying Cousineau doesn’t mean it and only offered it because he doesn’t want to feel bad anymore.

Barry goes to drop off the apartment keys at Sally’s now that he’s moved out, but she comes home crying while he’s there. She explains Joplin’s cancellation, and he offers to go to the head of BanShe’s house and “freak her out” by sending her a picture of herself sleeping. The schemes he offers become increasingly absurd until Sally demands he leave.

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Sarah Golberg as Sally and Bill Hader as Barry in Barry. (COURTESY: Merrick Morton/ HBO)

Oh – and the woman and son team who have been plotting Barry’s murder are lying in wait for him outside the apartment. The gun accidentally goes off, however, shooting the son while Barry walks away unscathed.

Barry Season 3 Episode 5 is another episode that focuses mostly on resolving past episodes’ tensions and setting up future ones. It’s a good episode, but there are no huge, explosive moments here. And that’s okay! Barry as a show does an excellent job of pacing itself, sprinkling quieter episodes in with the more intense ones. And Barry has always done well making smaller things seem big; they’re often impactful for its characters regardless of how major they may seem.

Rating: 8.5/10

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