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Barry Season 4 Review

Though season 4 of Barry is darker than ever, Berg and Hader’s arresting final act is an unflawed masterpiece, delivering a jaw-dropping, satisfying conclusion.

In my quest to find a binge-worthy television series last summer, I asked my friends for recommendations. That is when I discovered Barry, a joyful and satisfying surprise. As the series progressed, Barry quickly became one of my all-time favorite series. Over time, it transformed from a comedy into a dark drama that felt like a different show throughout the seasons. However, despite a significant tonal shift, the show’s quality remained untouched heading into season 4.

After the shocking season 3 finale that resulted in our titular character behind bars, I wondered where the story could take viewers next. And if you thought the series couldn’t get any darker, you’d be mistaken. During season 4, Hader leans into his best career performance as Barry’s true colors are exposed for all to see. The former hitman’s chance of redemption is a distant memory, yet he’s too delusional to accept the damage he has caused and take responsibility for his actions.

And that’s the power of Barry. Alec Berg and Bill Hader have created a masterpiece and perfected a blend of comedy and drama that aligns with each season as Barry (Hader) spirals further out of control. The former Marine has negatively impacted the lives of every person surrounding him, and once entangled in his life of crime and web of deceit, there’s no turning back.

A strong theme in season 4 is a lack of accountability, as Barry, Fuches (Stephen Root), Gene (Henry Winkler), NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan), and Sally (Sarah Goldberg) continue to make lousy decisions, even when the right choices are glaring them in the face. And though they possess undesirable character traits, you become completely engrossed in their storylines as each falls further down a rabbit hole due to their selfish needs, denial, and desire for self-preservation. 

loud and clear reviews barry season 4 bill hader
Bill Hader in Season 4 of Barry (Courtesy of HBO)

There are some gut-wrenching moments this season, particularly with NoHo Hank, but even when he makes terrible choices, you can’t help but root for him. The Chechen mobster is a product of circumstance instead of choice, and Carrigan flawlessly navigates both a comedic and emotional side in an Emmy-worthy performance.

Sally has always been self-centered, but we see a different side to her in Season 4. The former actress has a troubled conscience due to some of her life choices, but you sympathize with her as a previous victim of abuse that has led to trust issues and insecurities. Sally and Barry are two lost souls bound by comfort, and their scenes are as mentally draining as they are brilliant. Goldberg holds her own alongside Hader and is a solid female lead worthy of praise.

Fuches is up to his usual tricks. Still, regardless of his manipulative nature and codependency regarding Barry, Season 4 provides viewers with some great comedic moments as he embraces his fabricated identity. Gene has a drastic character arc that differs greatly from previous seasons and illustrates the dangers of abandoning morals and logic when receiving a taste of what you crave. 

Over Season 4 ’s eight episodes, Hader becomes more confident behind the camera, producing anxiety-inducing, haunting scenes, with each character becoming a ticking time bomb as the conclusion creeps up on you. Berg and Hader are a recipe for success, with pristine attention to detail and immaculate execution of each step to the finish line.

Season 4 of Barry proves the hit Max show will go down as one of the best dramedy television series of all time, with a bold yet gratifying conclusion.

Season 4 of Barry is now available to watch on Max.

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