'Barry' sequence finale goes out with a significantly bleak bang

Succession‘s sequence finale is not the one current HBO ending that can go away you feeling empty inside. No, that title additionally belongs to Barry, which closed out its fourth and remaining season with “wow,” an episode that belongs within the dictionary subsequent to the phrase “bleak.”

Bleakness is to be anticipated given the setup going into “wow.” NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) has kidnapped Sally (Sarah Goldberg), in addition to her and Barry’s (Invoice Hader) son John (Zachary Golinger). In the meantime, Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) has been accused of murdering Janice Moss (Paula Newsome) as a result of a significant police mix-up.


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Whereas these plot setups might tease explosive showdowns and main revelations, “wow” usually undercuts its personal prospects, leading to stunning narrative decisions that burst shortly onto the scene earlier than flaring out. The outline “anticlimactic” involves thoughts, but the dearth of 1 particular, show-stopping climax speaks to how Barry has been dismantling characters’ fantasies this season — a theme that takes a pointy flip within the finale’s third act.

So how does Barry Berkman’s story finish? Let’s have a look.

A showdown between NoHo Hank, Fuches, and Barry goes horribly awry.

NoHo Hank, wearing a white suit, stands with his hands on his hips in front of a gold statue of Cristobal.

Anthony Carrigan in “Barry.”
Credit score: Courtesy of HBO

In his try to take down Barry, Hank calls in Fuches (Stephen Root) as backup. There’s nonetheless quite a lot of unhealthy blood between them, however they’re keen to name a brief truce for Barry’s sake. (Or at the very least, for the sake of his loss of life.) With Fuches and Hank’s males mixed, there isn’t any means Barry’s making it out of this one, proper?

Mistaken! Earlier than Fuches and Hank can obtain their mutual purpose of killing Barry, they get in one another’s means. Fuches forces Hank to confess he killed Cristobal, throughout which Hank lastly drops the lie that he had nothing to do with the homicide of the love of his life. Naturally, Hank would not like doing this, so he declares that the cope with Fuches is off. A shootout ensues, lasting for a couple of transient, fiery seconds earlier than everybody however Fuches is down.

In the meantime, Barry races throughout city with a bunch of weapons, ready to do battle. (Some traditional Barry humor sees him have a tough time getting in his automobile with the weapons strapped to his again.) When he arrives at Hank’s headquarters, he finds John ready for him, delivered to security by Fuches. Neither man makes a transfer to kill the opposite, and Fuches disappears into the darkness.

Sally, reunited with Barry and John, tells Barry about Cousineau’s arrest, and that he ought to flip himself in. However Barry’s not having it. He was totally ready to die that evening and tried to make his peace with God. In line with him, the truth that he is nonetheless alive is an indication that he is been redeemed — a brand new fantasy to exchange the older ones that helped him justify his killing. Sally, rightfully frightened by this, takes John and leaves.

Barry will get a stunning shock from Gene.

Gene Cousineau sits on a couch, while the corpse of Barry Berkman with a bullet through his head lies on a nearby chair.

Henry Winkler and Invoice Hader in “Barry.”
Credit score: Courtesy of HBO

Gene continues to be coping with being accused for Janice’s homicide, however he quickly has a extra urgent drawback: Barry bursting into his home in search of Sally and John. This second is the primary time in virtually a decade that Gene and Barry have seen one another. What sort of stand-off will they’ve?

None, as a matter of truth. Gene shoots Barry within the chest, incomes a mildly astonished, “Oh wow” from Barry. He follows it up with a headshot, and identical to that (and with a fast minimize to black) Barry Berkman is not any extra.


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This is one other second the place we see the fantasy fall away: Barry tells Gene’s agent Tom (Fred Melamed) to name the police as a result of he’ll flip himself in. With out Henry and Sally, he really has nothing left however this one last-ditch shot at redemption. Funnily sufficient, Barry’s redemption is straight tied to Gene’s, as solely with Barry’s confession can Gene stroll free. In killing Barry so rapidly, Gene seals his destiny — and Barry seals its ending.

Barry ends with one final time leap — and a stunning film.

Sally Reed and Barry Berkman lie on a bed facing each other with their son John between them.

Sarah Goldberg, Zachary Golinger, and Invoice Hader in “Barry.”
Credit score: Courtesy of HBO

Barry pulls yet another shock time leap out of its sleeve for its remaining act. John is a excessive schooler (now performed by Jaeden Martell, who shared a personality with Hader within the IT movies), and Sally, who now not has to make use of an alias, is a theater trainer. There are nonetheless many indicators of her shallowness and want for validation: When John says he loves her, she merely asks if her play was good.

However John’s acquired one thing else on his thoughts. His buddy has invited him over to look at one thing that Sally has forbade him from watching. It is a movie known as The Masks Collector, and it is a fairly mid-tier thriller that additionally occurs to retell Barry, Sally, and Gene’s story.

In The Masks Collector, Barry is a good-looking younger veteran who has accomplished completely nothing fallacious, whereas Gene is a conniving, murderous mastermind (additionally, British for some purpose) — mainly, it is the horrendous glorification of Barry that Gene feared would occur when he found a film was being made about his life. Nonetheless, John watches on, tearing up at this portrayal of his father.

Earlier within the episode, Sally does admit to a younger John that his father was a assassin. However how a lot does he bear in mind of that? And did Sally later feed him the narrative that Gene was the true mastermind? Primarily based on John’s mournful response, it looks as if he buys what The Masks Collector is promoting, which suggests he’ll develop up idolizing his father, presumably alongside the remainder of the movie’s viewers.

John’s notion of his father is one other dream so as to add to Barry‘s assortment, and it is a haunting solution to shut out the present. Sally could possibly use her actual id, however she’s nonetheless residing a lie. So is her son, though he might not utterly realize it. As Barry has proven us all through its 4 seasons, residing a fantasy and trying to take care of it by means of evil acts is a slippery slope, one that can nonetheless in the end go away you empty.

Ending Barry on somebody watching a film that creates a Barry-related fantasy can also be a particularly meta transfer, because it forces us as viewers members to take a seat with our reactions to Barry as a personality — particularly within the present’s early levels. Did we sympathize with him? Did we glorify a monster? These questions will go away you staring blankly on the display screen because the credit roll, questioning how you possibly can have watched one thing so gripping, so darkly humorous, and so alienating suddenly. The reply, in fact, is that you just simply watched (nicely, completed) Barry.

All episodes of Barry at the moment are streaming on Max.(opens in a brand new tab)