Okay – the trifecta of episodes leading up to the Barry Season 3 finale is good, but look: Barry Season 3 Episode 6 (“710N”) is real good. Fuches (Stephen Root) is still relentless in exposing Barry’s (Bill Hader) identity to the families of those whom Barry has killed. It backfires this time, when he does it to a gang of bikers who shoot Fuches out in the desert. He’s rescued by a group of kindly Mexican folks who nurse him back to health. And it turns out that Fuches reached out to Janice Moss’s (Paula Newsome) father Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom) to reveal Barry’s identity to him. Moss wants to meet to discuss it. Fuches, an ungrateful jerk, steals a car from the generous people taking care of him and takes off for LA.
Meanwhile, Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao) is on the hunt for information that will incriminate Barry. Sharon (Karen David) – the wife of Chris (Chris Marquette), the friend Barry killed in Season 1 – invites him over for a dinner with other vets. Elsewhere, we get a delightful appearance from Vanessa Bayer, playing a woman from BanShe who offers Sally (Sarah Goldberg) a job on The New Medusas. In case you’d forgotten, it’s the show that replaced Sally’s original series, Joplin.
Like in so many excellent episodes of Barry, our titular murderer straight up does not have a good time. Barry tries to send Sally an apology text, but he does it via text-to-talk while shopping, drawing disturbed attention from the other shoppers. Later, he goes for a drive after picking up some beignets, but the biker gang attacks. After one of them slams through Barry’s windshield, Barry steals the guy’s bike to make a quick getaway. This leads to an awesome chase sequence where Barry and the other bikers steer their way in between cars on the interstate. It’s a well-shot scene that builds tension and stress while still feeling clean and polished. And it makes room for some dark comedic moments as well.
Barry makes it to the dinner with Chris’s wife – but there are no other veterans in sight. He takes a bite of food (always a questionable decision on television) which leads to him frothing at the mouth from poisoned sauce while Chris’s wife stands over him. It looks like Fuches won the long-game. For now.
Barry Season 3 Episode 6 Rating: 9/10
I know the ratings make this kind of redundant, but Barry Season 3 Episode 7 (“candy asses”) is really good, too. We pick back up with Barry poisoned and convulsing on the floor. But Barry, like Fuches in Episode 6, just won’t die. He comes to alone in the house and makes his escape, gagging as he heads down the street toward a mysterious ocean whose waves wash onto the concrete. The neighborhood disappears; the beach takes over. On it, Barry sees what’s presumably every person he’s killed, including ones we’ve seen in previous episodes.
However, in reality, Barry is actually resting against a dumpster in an alley, still poisoned and now hallucinating. He’s picked up by George Krempf (Michael Bofshever), the father of Ryan (Tyler Jacob Moore), another man Barry killed in Season 1. George kills himself, and Barry ends up in the hospital.
In Episode 6, Cousineau (Henry Winkler) received the opportunity to host a masterclass; Barry Season 3 Episode 7 gives us a glimpse of its filming.
Meanwhile, Sally is working as a writer for The New Medusas. She spots Natalie (D’Arcy Carden, of A League of Their Own fame) in another room, leading her own writer’s room. It turns out Natalie stole Sally’s show idea. Sally explodes at Natalie in the elevator with a stream of expletives and slurs – which, unfortunately for Sally, Natalie captures on her cellphone. She shares the video, ruining Sally’s name in the process. Sally also burns a bridge with her agent, who drops her. These are additional incredible moments for Goldberg, and I can’t help but feel that she really deserved an Emmy nod for this season, especially considering that the men of Barry were well-recognized.
Fuches finds Jim Moss, who takes him for a drive to discuss Barry’s involvement with Janice’s death. Things don’t go well for Fuches, though; he ends up back at the police precinct for further questioning. And while there, Fuches gives Albert information about Barry.
Barry Season 3 Episode 7 Rating: 8.5/10
But Season 3 Episode 8 – the Barry Season 3 finale? This one’s the best.
Barry awakens in a hospital room and goes home to find Sally waiting for him. She wants him to break into Natalie’s house to get revenge for stealing Sally’s idea. Running to Barry and embracing revenge is multiple steps backward for Sally, and, although we’ve seen her empowerment, it doesn’t seem out-of-character for Barry to have her sink into a dark place after losing it all.
Barry turns her down: he says knows where he’s going when he dies and he doesn’t want her going to the same place. Suddenly, a man enters, knocking Barry out and throwing Sally around. He almost chokes Sally to death, but she stabs him in the face before taking a baseball bat to him. Barry wakes up in horror to see Sally killing the man. “I did this,” he tells her, trying to take the blame when the police arrive.
Cousineau meets up with Jim Moss, who stages a disturbing interrogation, asking him repeatedly if he really loved Janice and if he loves Barry. The former? Yes. The latter? Not so much. Barry didn’t love Janice, so Jim asks why Cousineau is protecting Barry.
Meanwhile, Hank (Anthony Carrigan) was captured by the Bolivians last episode and taken to a cell where he’s forced to listen to some kind of big cat rip apart the prisoners next door. Hank manages to break free, steal a gun from a guard, and kill whatever was in the next cell. (Poor kitty.) Hank works his way through the house, finding Cristobal’s wife (Krizia Bajos) putting Cristobal (Michael Irby) through a gay conversion attempt. Hank shoots her and he and Cristobal embrace.
Barry is out in the desert burying the man Sally killed when Albert finds him. He questions Barry about why he killed Chris. Barry turns into a screaming mess as Albert points a gun at him. But Albert refuses to kill Barry, instead telling him that while Barry is not evil, he has to quit the way he’s living his life.
Barry calls Sally, but she’s at the airport, heading home to Joplin, Missouri. Then, Barry gets a call from Jim Moss, but hangs up and calls Cousineau, who says he’s about to kill Moss. Barry rushes to Moss’ house to stop Cousineau and shoot Moss himself…and just as he’s about to, the police rush in. The whole thing was a set-up between Cousineau and Moss – Cousineau’s early pleas for Barry to leave with him may have been the best performance of the acting teacher’s life, since his hand in the raid feels surprising to say the least.
Overall, Barry‘s third season is stellar. There have been outstanding dramatic and comedic moments; the season’s character development is unflinchingly sharp and compelling. I had no idea how the show would recover from Cousineau finding out the identity of Janice’s killer at the end of Season 2, and I now have no idea how there will be a story next season thanks to the Barry Season 3 finale concluding with Barry in police custody. But I trust the showrunners to find a way to weave another great season and somehow keep us hooked on lerning an anti-villain’s story.
Barry Season 3 Finale Rating: 9.5/10