The Barry season 3 finale is here with a shocking turn of events that will place our protagonist in a very interesting position come next season.
Barry ‘s season 3 finale, “starting now,” takes us back to the eerie, limbo-like state Barry (Bill Hader) has imagined for himself after being poisoned in what seems to be his own personal hell. Surrounded by the people he’s killed in the past three seasons, with Sally (Sarah Goldberg) and Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) unexplainably being there despite still being alive, Barry finally snaps out of it and wakes up in a hospital. He leaves, presumably without being noticed, and goes to his temporary house where Sally is waiting for him. Consumed by her own darkness from last week’s episode, she’s there to ask Barry to do her the favor of intimidating Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) after she stole her show idea and humiliated her online by secretly recording Sally during an elevator argument. Barry begs her not to go down this route, but they’re interrupted when the last survivor of the bike gang breaks into the house and beats Barry unconscious. He proceeds to attack and almost choke Sally to death, but she’s able to break free and murder him with a knife to the eye/neck and with a metal bat. Barry gets back up on his two feet and pleads with Sally to leave and to blame him for what she did instead of blaming herself. Right off the bat, the finale establishes just how dark and intense it will be.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cousineau and Annie (Laura San Giacomo) are in the middle of a meeting regarding their next big project together. Instead of doing the producer’s confusing new idea, Gene proposes to do Annie’s play that she had written a while ago. A conversation sparks about her play, but Cousineau is distracted when he receives a call from Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom). He asks Gene to stop by at his house to talk about Janice’s (Paula Newsome) murder, and Mr. Cousineau reluctantly agrees. Once at his house, Gene is forced to sit down in an empty garage where Jim proceeds to interrogate him until he reveals Barry to be the real killer behind the case. Henry Winkler delivers one of the most emotionally draining moments of his career in the show that should earn him his second Emmy for Barry.
Fuches (Stephen Root), still at the police station under interrogation by Detective Mae (Sarah Burns), is finally identified by his real name and identification after further investigation from the cops and is sent to prison. Mae still questions why Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao) left so abruptly without answering his phone. This scene serves as foreshadowing for the final sequence of the season. Once in prison, though, Fuches embraces his nickname of “The Raven” with a sense of pride, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. This is where we leave Fuches on until next season, of course. Lots of questions emerge with this character progression.
Somewhere in Bolivia, NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) is confronted with having to stand up for himself after being taken prisoner by Cristobal’s (Michael Irby) wife Elena (Krizia Bajos). Hank’s men seem to have been murdered by some kind of beast on the room next to his, as screams of agony can be heard in the distance. While fighting tears and a panic attack, Hank breaks free from his handcuffs, having to fight a security guard on his way out. He uses the guard’s gun to manically fire the weapon into the next room, killing the beast in the process. Hank then walks around the house he’s been held hostage only to find Elena and a naked man taunting Cristobal about his sexuality and attempting to practice conversion therapy on him by electrifying him using shock waves. Hank proceeds to shoot both man and Elena to death, saving Cristobal in the process. What awaits them next? We’ll have to wait until season 4.
Back with Barry on the same desert season 3 opened at, he’s in the process of burying the dead biker’s body when Albert sneaks behind him to confront him about his profession as a hitman. He brings up Chris’ murder as a way to taunt Barry, explaining how he was an innocent man who used to look up to Barry before caughting himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This leads Barry to drop on the floor, begging for his life just like all the other people he’s killed. Albert realizes Barry isn’t as evil a man as he’s actually seen in the past, but rather he’s just a scared, broken boy. As a final goodbye, Albert begins talking about the most most precious thing in his life: his daughter, who wouldn’t be alive if Barry hadn’t saved Albert’s life during the war. He demands Barry to get his life back on track, no more killing starting now, and in exchange he will keep his mouth shut about Barry’s crimes.
Barry season 3 comes to a shocking end when we see our flawed protagonist driving back home in hopes to gather his things and leave California, maybe even the country, with Sally in an attempt to run away together. During a phone call with Sally, though, she seems reluctant about the idea, especially when Barry declares his still undying love for her. She doesn’t return the gesture and she hangs up the phone as we cut back to her in an airport ready to board a plane to Joplin, Missouri. Barry then gets another call, this time from Jim Moss asking him to go to his house to talk about Janice’s murder. Of course, Barry deflects the question and hangs up only to ring a desperate Mr. Cousineau who seems to be wanting to end his life after Jim threatened to ruin his career.
Barry drives to Jim’s home and spots Gene waiting outside with a gun in hand. He takes it away from him and goes inside the house to murder Jim despite promising he would stop killing people. It’s a trap, though, as just as Barry is about to pull the trigger cops surround him and demand him to drop the gun. He does so and he is finally arrested. The finale comes to a close with the police escorting Barry out of the house and, as they do so, he sees a smiling Gene, clearly playing a role in his arrest and happy that he will finally be out of his life for good. At least that’s what he, and the audience, thinks. This moment is especially rewarding when you remember that earlier this season Barry called Gene’s acting chops bad, and Cousineau’s acting chops are what tricked Barry into falling for the ingenious trap that got him arrested.
It is always bittersweet to have to say farewell to one of your favorite TV shows, but it is particularly true with HBO’s Barry on this occasion. Season 3 was such a uniquely different series from the past two, in an insanely dark and emotionally draining way. Everybody is given the promise of new beginnings, only to hit an all time low by the end of the season. Hank goes through literal hell, Gene is forced to lie about the woman she loves in order to protect his family from a man he used to trust, Sally discovers a darkness in her she didn’t know existed after being humiliated by the industry she longs to be a part of, and Barry is just being Barry trying to escape the inescapable.
Although I am excited to see where they can take the story from here with a fourth season, I am a bit worried it will be like they are trying to drag this show out for the long run as this finale didn’t just feel like a season finale, but a series finale as well. Barry and Fuches are behind bars for their crimes, Mr. Cousineau can now go on to live his life after bringing justice to Janice’s memory, and Sally far away safe from Barry’s chaos that almost got her killed. All that being said, though, I trust Bill Hader, Alec Berg and their creative team to inject a funny and meaningful continuation to such a delightfully dark show as Barry. Bring on season 4 because we cannot wait to see what kind of trouble everyone’s favorite hitman will get into next.
The Season 3 Finale of Barry is now available to watch on HBO Max.