In episode 5 of Barry ‘s season 3, everybody’s hopes and dreams seem to backfire as things don’t go as planned.
Right off the bat, episode 5, “crazytimesh*tshow,” does not waste a single second of screentime to introduce even more chaos to Barry ‘s season 3 when we see Albert Nguyen (James Hiroyuki Liao), a Marine who used to serve with Barry (Bill Hader) but was let go after being shot in the head while in patrol, re-enter the picture. Not only is he a veteran and has a clear history with Barry after saving his life, but he’s now a special agent for the FBI and he’s been assigned to investigate the case of detective Janice Moss (Paula Newsome). For obvious reasons, this turns the plot of season 3 on its head yet again. I feel like I’ve said that a lot this season, but in this case it is true. Seeing somebody close to Barry, a man from his past that has shared personal trauma with him, being put in a position where he might expose Barry for who he is, it’s definitely a fascinating thought. What makes it even more interesting is that Albert immediately identifies the story about “The Raven” that NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) sold to the police as completely made-up. He goes as far as to humiliate the investigative team for even thinking they had solved the case.
Meanwhile with Sally (Sarah Goldberg), after receiving rave reviews about her series “Joplin,” she wakes up to Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) showing her the homepage of the website “BenShe,” in which Sally’s show was meant to stream. Her life’s work is front and center and that causes for celebration in the most Sally way possible, go to a cafe shop and wait until people start to recognize her. Her wishes do not become a reality, though, as Natalie notices “Joplin” has been taken down from the homepage, thus decreasing the chances of people watching the show. This leads into a hilarious, yet saddening meeting between Sally’s agent and BanShe’s representatives where it is revealed to both Sally and the audience that her project was canceled despite the great reviews.
Why so? Because the algorithm of the company determined nobody was or will be watching her show, since it isn’t appealing enough. Obviously, this is a clear piece of criticism towards streaming services and their business models. Netflix being the biggest offender where they have canceled excellent shows in the past, but keep greenlighting crappy teenage rom-coms because they do numbers. This situation is a great way to sympathize with Sally, even more so as Sarah Goldberg’s capabilities to capture her character’s rage and frustration is extremely relatable and human. We’ve all been there where we work so hard on something we are passionate about, only to be told it isn’t good enough. At the very least, this treats us with a very touching scene between Sally and Natalie in which their friendship really shines as they comfort one another for their lost time making the show.
Like last week, Fuches (Stephen Root) continues on his path of revenge against Barry by visiting family members of past targets he’s killed. Who does he attempt to persuade in episode 5? The sister of Taylor (Dale Pavinski), the man who Barry was aligned with for some time in season 1 and was killed in a raid against the Bolivians. She doesn’t really seem to care about her now dead brother, which makes Fuches kind of paranoid since he wants as many people as possible after Barry to have a better chance at somebody murdering him. It’s not until Fuches mentions that Barry owed her brother some money that she seems to suddenly care. How will this play out? We will have to tune in the coming episodes.
Shifting focus to Barry, he is seen struggling to move on from his breakup with Sally while looking for a place to sleep in after being kicked out from his apartment he had with Sally. Eventually, he pays Hank and Cristobal (Michael Irby) a visit, seeking for relationship advice. At first this seems like an odd idea since Barry killed a great number of Cristobal’s men, but I guess after he saved his life in episode 4 they are square now. Hank proceeds to tell Barry that perhaps if he wants to gain Sally’s trust and heart again, then he has to be honest with her and with himself since he’s been trying to hide his real self behind this invisible mask that could fool anyone into thinking he’s a pure guy. No more living a double life and time to confront the truth. Of course, Barry being Barry decides the best way to be honest with Sally is by making her a collage of things he thinks represents who he is, rather than owning up to his mistakes.
Speaking of Hank and Cristobal, things go sideways after Elena (Krizia Bajos), Cristobal’s wife, arrives in town ready to hold those responsible for her father’s death. She starts out by ordering an attack on Chechen operations, almost completely destroying their safehouse while cops get involved. Elena then proceeds to kidnap her own husband and attempt to find his “mistress,” only to find a photo of Cristobal hugging Hank. This happens as Hank is hiding in one of Cristobal’s closets. What awaits our two favorite lovers? Only time will tell.
What’s going on with Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler)? He seems to be doing the same that Barry tried to do with him, redeeming himself by attempting to right the wrongs of the past, starting out by offering to buy his son Leo (Andrew Leeds) a new house for him and his son with the money Barry gave Gene. Leo seems reluctant about where the money came from, but Cousineau assures him everything will be okay. On the set of “Laws of Humanity,” Gene approaches the showrunner of the series to personally apologize to him for his past behavior, which seems to work and gives Mr. Cousineau confidence his plan will work. As the episode progresses, Gene decides to attend the actor Joe Mantegna’s dinner party where he plans to apologize to everyone in the room, but his plan backfires when ex-girlfriend of Cousineau’s exposes him for blackballed her in New York and Los Angeles, ruining her career as a director, after she broke up with him. It seems to me like Gene is now in a similar spot as Barry, though less extreme. Which is ironic because we began the season with Gene running away from everything that Barry stands for.
Finally, episode 5 closes with a very interesting series of events. Barry returns to his old apartment to leave his pair of keys behind along with the collage he had made. On his way out, he encounters Sally coming in, sobbing uncontrollably. She explains to him the situation regarding the cancellation of her show, which Barry takes as an opportunity to be honest with her in the worst way possible. He suggests he can break into the home of the executive of BanShe in an attempt to slowly drive her crazy as some form of sick revenge for double-crossing Sally. She, of course, is horrified by what he just said and demands for him to leave. He does and once in the streets he notices a red van moving. Inside it is Julie (Annabeth Gish) and Kyle (Alex MacNicoll), who followed Barry up to Sally’s apartment in order to execute their plan to murder him. Their plan doesn’t go well, as Julie accidentally shoots her son inside the vehicle, making Barry suspicious, and driving away.
Personally, Barry season 3, episode 5 so far has been one of the weakest of the season so far. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad episode by any means. It just feels very rushed and like a lot of things are happening at once. One episode we have Gene running for his life, the next he almost seems to forget about his vendetta against Barry all together. Sally’s storyline will be a fun one to follow as of right now I have no real idea where it is going. I could guess, but my previous guesses have been wrong so far. As to Fuches, although not having much screen time this season, his subplot has potential to become the main one as he (and now Albert) seems to present the most problems for Barry. How will Barry keep getting away from his enemies, loved ones, and himself? We will stay tune to discover those answers.
Season 3 Episode 3 of Barry is now available to watch on HBO Max.