Barry season 3, episode 7 sees our main players hit rock bottom as we get close to the season finale in what might be one of the darkest episodes in the series.
The penultimate episode, “candy asses,” opens with George Krempf (Michael Bofshever), Ryan’s (Tyler Jacob Moore) father, in a church acting oddly strange compared to the rest of the people present in the ceremony. This is a nice setup to foreshadow just how dark episode 7 will be from here on now. We then cut to Barry (Bill Hader) still convulsing on the floor as we left off last week. Sharon (Karen David) grabs a coat and covers his face as he is choking because of the poison he accidentally took. She runs to the front door and leaves him to his own luck.
Cameras are rolling on Gene Cousineau’s (Henry Winkler) brand new master class streaming series, where he will teach aspiring actors everything they need to know about performing. Despite everything he’s gone through regarding Janice’s (Paula Newsome) death and Barry seemingly trying to murder him, Mr. Cousineau finally looks happy doing what he loves for a living while giving Annie Esner (Laura San Giacomo) an opportunity to direct and get her career back on track. She still seems a bit resentful towards him, but that’s understandable after what he did and having to remain professional while on set.
Meanwhile with Sally (Sarah Goldberg), she is struggling in what looks to be her first day in the writers room she was assigned to work in by BanShe, her bosses. To say she is not having a good day would be to put things lightly. The showrunner of the series she’s now a part of doesn’t seem to have a clue of how to treat female characters, as she gets into an argument with him, and, to make matters worse, she spots Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) in the middle of a meeting on her way out of the building where she seems to be pitching a show for the network that sounds oddly familiar to Sally’s “Joplin.” Sally confronts her in the elevator and rather than having a civil discussion with her she completely erupts and starts yelling at her with all kinds of insults. Goldberg unleashes a side of Sally in episode 7 that we haven’t really seen before. We’ve always seen her character fighting to achieve her dream, sometimes even as a victim of toxic relationships. So, seeing her like this, reaching a Barry-like level of madness against a former friend is kind of shocking coming from the very person that was trying to support women with her own art.
NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan), on the other hand, treats us to some of the few moments of levity in the episode, as it seems he traveled all the way to Bolivia to find and confront Cristobal (Michael Irby) regarding their relationship status. He quickly gets in trouble, though, when he caughts the attention of a vendor at a local street market. This mysterious man pulls a sleeping dart that he uses on Hank to kidnap him. Once he wakes up, he does so in a dark room where he can hear his fellow men were taken hostage as well and are being held next door to him. His men are trying to come up with a plan to escape, but so far things aren’t looking promising for Hank.
Back with Barry, by some sort of weird miracle, he seems to still be alive as he walks out of Sharon’s house and into the street. It is here where we start noticing something isn’t right. Not only is Barry at the verge of death, but he seems to be hallucinating as ocean waves are reaching his feet and suddenly he finds himself in an isolated beach with a mysterious group of people gathered at the edge of the beach. A car pulls over to where he’s at and we’re taken back to reality to see Barry isn’t at a beach, but instead in a neighborhood alley. The man who pulled over in the car is none other than George Krempf from the opening scene.
Elsewhere with Fuches (Stephen Root), he finally has the guts to meet with Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom), Janice’s father. Jim proceeds to ask Fuches to join him for a ride on his truck around town while they discuss what happened to Janice. Fuches sticks to his gun, exposing Barry for what he did, but the conversation shifts to when Jim was a fighting pilot. He retells the story of the time he was shot down, captured, and taken into questioning. In a bizarre series of events, Jim says he was able to get into his interrogator’s head and convince him to commit suicide in order to give him the chance to escape from captibity. Fuches seems to be confused and slightly terrified by this, but he decides to play it cool and go with the flow. Unfortunately for him, this isn’t enough as we see it was all a trick and Jim was just buying time to take Fuches to the police. Once inside the station, the cops along with Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao) proceed to explain the situation and how they believe Fuches to be “The Raven,” the one who killed Janice. Detective Mae (Sarah Burns) slips out how Barry used to be a suspect, which only raises suspicion in Jim and even more so in Albert.
Mr. Cousineau isn’t the only one who is having inner struggles on set, but Annie does as well, as she confesses to a crew member that she doesn’t have any idea what she is doing as she hasn’t directed anything in 20 years. She admits she’s been having to hide a full-on panic attack this entire time while filming. Even then, though, it doesn’t really seem to matter as she’s been naturally doing a great job, to which Gene pushes a producer on the show to notice her and offer her more work in the future during an afterparty gathering of the cast and crew. Perhaps Annie might not appreciate Mr. Cousineau, and rightfully so, but little by little his efforts seem to be paying off as she keeps getting the spotlight on her own work just as much as him. During this afterparty, Jim pays Gene a visit to interrogate him about Barry. Cousineau tries to keep it cool, but Jim is way too smart for his own good and notices right away that he is lying.
We make our way back to Sally’s storyline as she receives a call from her manager Lindsay (Jesse Hodges) letting her know that Natalie was recording her the whole time Sally was going off on her and that she posted the video online to embarrass her. Her career almost immediately takes a toll as she is fired from her new job in the writers room. Sally proceeds to post an apology as a response to Natalie’s video, but it only ends up backfiring as her apology seems more like damage control. In a clever use of lighting and camera work, Sally stands up to defend herself from Lindsay’s criticisms and is progressively consumed by darkness as she backs out of her kitchen and into a dark room, demonstrating she is losing her own way. Lindsay, as a result of Sally’s behavior, gives her the news that she can no longer represent Sally, leaving her with nobody to look after her.
As the episode nears its end, we’re taken back to see what’s going on with Barry. He is in George’s backseat of the car, lying down paralyzed. George decides to open up to Barry about how he used to be a cold man that didn’t care about anything until his son Ryan was born. He tells Barry just how good of a father-son relationship they used to have and how by losing him he lost the will to live or care about anything else. As George is reflecting on this, Barry is still hallucinating about the beach from earlier. This time around he has the courage to walk among the crowd of people he saw near the edge of the beach.
Slowly, he realizes he’s surrounded by all the people he’s killed throughout the years, innocent or otherwise. This sequence gives us the sense that Barry is in some kind of state of limbo between life and death as he’s back in reality being taken into an emergency room with George dead in his car after committing suicide in order to be reunited with his son. Episode 7 comes to an end with Fuches finally admitting to Albert that he’s the one who pushed Barry into the life of a hitman. This news confirms Albert’s suspicions and he’s seen rushing out of the police station, gun in hand, in what seems to be ready to confront Barry once and for all.
This week’s Barry is a phenomenal work of writing that demonstrates how to perfectly challenge our characters in an emotional way. On one hand, you have Sally, who seems to have lost more than her show, but her career all together. You have Gene having to lie about the murder of the woman he used to love because he knows if he says anything not only would he put himself and his family in danger, but he would lose his entire career as well that he just got back after years of being a failure. Barry, as usual, is the one who seems to have it the worst. Of course, he put himself in that position by the decisions he’s made so far in the game, but it’s still hard to see him hit rock bottom like that. After all, you’re still sort of rooting for him even if you shouldn’t. Even Fuches says it himself at the end of the episode, Barry’s a good guy whose life was ruined by mistakes of the past. How will Barry season 3 end? Will Barry go to prison for his crimes at the hands of the man he saved during his time in the marines? Or will he make matters worse? We’re only one episode away from finding out.
Season 3 Episode 7 of Barry is now available to watch on HBO Max.