Barry S3E7 Summary: Forecast is doom with a small chance of change

Sarah Goldberg as Sally Merrick Morton/HBO

Last week, barry let’s finally come upstairs to catch some air, take a deep breath and have a good laugh. Now we plunge headlong back into its dramatic depths, as the season’s penultimate episode forces the protagonist to face his misdeeds in both the physical and metaphysical realms. With almost certain doom on his horizon, could Barry finally be on the cusp of real change?

When we last left Barry Burkman (Bill Hader), he’s just been poisoned by Sharon (Karen David), the widow of an army buddy whose suicide he killed to protect his secrets. Unable to watch Barry foam at the mouth, Sharon flees the crime scene and, left alone, Barry seems to recover and wanders outside to a nearby beach. If this seems too good to be true, it probably is. The idyllic ocean we return to several times during the episode is either a dream or a liminal space between life and death. Barry joins a group of people gathered along the coast, and as the wordless sequence progresses, our suspicions about the nature of this gathering are gradually confirmed. The first faces we see are only vaguely familiar, but a still image and a look at the credits confirm that we have indeed seen them before. The figures gradually become more recognizable. There’s Goran, the Chechen boss from season 1; Sharon’s husband, Chris; the Burmese gang leader, Esther; the motorcyclists from last week’s chase. Barry stands among a crowd of people he has killed over the course of the series.

Not everybody however, he was murdered. Bringing back every notable character Barry killed for a brief, silent cameo would be difficult under any circumstances, but especially given the COVID precautions. Noticeably absent from the crowd is Detective Janice Moss, possibly because of actor Paula Newsome’s dedication to… CSI: Vegas† Still, this is a crucial and effective sequence in which writer Liz Sarnoff and director Bill Hader don’t overplay their hand. Barry meeting the ghosts of the people he killed can easily become a faint of reckoning, but instead the council doesn’t recognize him at all. Instead, they patiently wait for the arrival of an invisible ship from the ocean, creating a more obscure and dreamy atmosphere.

In reality, Barry has stumbled out of Sharon’s house and was found by another of the people Fuches sent after him: George Krempf (Michael Bofshever), father of Barry’s victim and acting classmate Ryan Madison. George suffers a crisis of conscience, consumed with grief over his son’s death and grappling with the urge to exact revenge. Through tears, George explains his predicament and his pain to a barely conscious Barry in a hospital parking lot, but ultimately chooses to take his own life instead of Barry’s. George’s shot draws the attention of hospital staff and assures that Barry will be treated and survive his poisoning. It is unclear to what extent Barry is aware of what is happening around him as he jumps back and forth between the worlds of the living and the dead. Will the two revelations (one about the anguish of his victims’ loved ones, one about the extent of the damage he’s done) be enough to inspire Barry to really turn a new page? Will his next attempt to change his life come not from a desire to escape responsibility, but to really accept it?

Henry Winkler as Gene Merrick Morton/HBO

After weeks of musing on the difficulty of forgiveness, barry has finally offered meager hope that some degree of improvement might be possible. Last week, Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) got the chance to shoot an acting masterclass for a streaming service, and in turn invited his ex, Annie Eisner (Laura San Giacomo) to direct it. Gene scuppered Annie’s career decades ago after their romantic relationship ended, and he’s now desperate to fix it for her. And while the past certainly isn’t the past, it seems to be working, as Gene devotes the entire project (and his entire salary) to advancing her career rather than his own. Annie is no fool and acknowledges that this is about making Gene feel better than about improving her life, but she accepts the help anyway, because she deserves the second chance. Is it true justice? Not exactly. Gene still maintains his newfound reputation as a really good guy, while the industry in general still doesn’t know what he did to her, and nothing can give Annie back those stolen years. But at least it’s a start, as far as Annie decides it is. If this were the end of their story, it would be about as uplifting as this series gets.

Mercy, however, is not contagious to barrywhile Sally (Sarah Goldberg) discovers that her former assistant Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) is now running her own comedy series on BanShe that looks suspiciously like Sally’s canceled drama. Sally corners Natalie in an elevator and yells at her, which on a superficial level is about as nasty as Barry who exploded on Sally earlier in the season. We know the context is a little different; This is an isolated incident for Sally rather than a pattern of behavior (and Sally hasn’t killed dozens of people yet), but it makes little difference to Natalie, who sends a video of Sally’s outburst to a Hollywood gossip site. Against the advice of her agent, Lindsay (Jessy Hodges), Sally responds with a video of her own that is no apology and digs herself a deeper hole. Her parentage is visually represented in the scene where she verbally unleashes on Lindsay as she gradually steps back into a pitch-dark background. It’s not the most subtle directorial decision, but Sarah Goldberg sells it hard with her performance. Sally generally doesn’t treat people very well, but she’s also not wrong about being used and betrayed by pretty much everyone she’s met in the industry, and having to wear a smile everywhere she goes. Here, at the end of her tightrope, she has found a darkness that could destroy her career and potentially lead her to rebuild her toxic relationship with Barry.

Of course, a hefty chunk of candy ass is being spent setting up a huge highlight for next week’s season finale. While in police custody, Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) manages to point two very dangerous and highly motivated men in Barry’s direction. FBI Special Agent Albert Nguyen (James Hiroyuki Liao) and Det. Moss’ father Jim (Robert Ray Wisdom) now both know that Barry killed someone close to them. Albert has the authority of the law behind him, Jim has uncanny mental strength, and Barry is recovering from near-fatal poisoning. His only ally, Noho Hank, is currently in Bolivia, captured by Cristobal’s enemies. And since this entire season has focused on the inevitable consequences of selfish or cruel behavior, the question for next week isn’t necessarily, “How did Barry get out of here?” but “Shall Barry get out of here?’

Barry S3E7 Summary: Forecast is doom with a small chance of change

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