Here will be a post with SPOILERS for Barry‘s season 3 finale. There is no way to avoid them.
First, praise for Bill Hader‘s precise direction in the best episodes of the series, including the penultimate – with the historic motorcycle chase – with the season finale. As the writer and star of the series, his views on the absurdities that surround and drive Barry as a person are translated with sequences full of surprises and yes humor, even in the midst of violence and drama. Whether it’s someone’s sudden entry, a curious angle, the audio suspension at the vital moment, in what we don’t see and only hear… Bill Hader played with our senses in every way in a single episode that puts him, if he deserves it, as one of the main Emmy nominees for director in 2022. He has already won as an actor, as a series, but he gave a great show behind the camera.
For those who follow the series, we saw Barry trying to “make up” for his crimes by helping the few people he has a sentimental connection. But intentions are no substitute for the pain he has inflicted on families and gangs.
First of all, although we’re rooting for Barry, he’s not a good guy. He is consciously sociopathic and uses his “ability” to kill people. Worse than him, in every way, is his surrogate father, Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) who had every opportunity to start his life over and let Barry live his, but refused. And since he never likes to get his hands dirty, what he did was open Pandora’s box and indicate to everyone who lost someone through Barry’s trigger, who was the author of the crimes (omitting his participation, of course). Thus, Barry unknowingly happened to have a group of avengers on his tail, professional or not. In his crooked luck, he got rid of each one in a surprising way.
Poisoned, he nearly dies (the beach scene is beautiful and poetic) but is saved by someone who has the pleasure of killing him, the father of another victim. But being an honest man, he takes Barry to the hospital and kills himself, providing the chance for the ex-marine to be saved. But he has one of the most efficient pursuers, Janice Moss’s (Paula Newsome) father, Jim Moss (Robert Ray Wisdom) hot on the track that could put him either dead or behind bars. And it is Gene Cousineau’s (Henry Winkler) betrayal that leaves him disarmed, as he has forgotten that his teacher is a good actor.
Cousineau has been dealing with uncovering the truth while feeling threatened by Barry. In this mindless yo-yo that the killer deals with his life, hours of being practical and erasing the footprints with more deaths or trying to “help”, as he did, recovering the professor’s career, it looked like Cousineau was going to play the game and save Barry. I was wrong.
Convinced by Jim, Cousineau brilliantly arranges for Barry to feel compelled to kill again, to protect him, thus being caught in the act by SWAT. That way, the sentimental relationship that Barry may have gone down the drain, and inadvertently, the professor can answer for the decision in the next season.
Barry’s arrest is last among the episode’s surprises. His friend from Afghanistan and FBI agent Albert Nguyen (James Hiroyuki Liao) is grateful for Barry. and teaches his friend a moral lesson, urging him to start a crime-free life again. If he had known what he was already trying and the panic he has to go to hell (that beach with all its victims), maybe Albert would have done him the favor of at least arresting him. Barry begs for his life and wins his chance.
What Albert also didn’t know is that Barry was there to help Sally (Sarah Goldberg), the ideal woman for him, without a doubt. A chronic narcissist to astronomical levels, the actress’ cruelty and sociopathy have now pushed her into the role of a killer, however much it was in self-defense. She was after Barry, to ask him to scare his disaffection and enemy, Natalie when they are surprised by a biker seeking revenge. He manages to knock out Barry, who was distracted by Sally, and by trying to kill her, he awakens the animal side of her, which has been revealing itself in the last few episodes. In love, Barry covers up and takes on the crime for her, thinking she would wait for him, but Sally is Sally, she already ran away without a second thought. “I love you,” he says. “Yes, you love me”, is the girlfriend’s romantic response. I don’t think she’s going to have the conscience drama of letting Barry take the blame for his mistakes and still get over it. I don’t like Sally.
The only one who genuinely likes Barry was also fighting for his life in Bolivia. Noho Rank (Anthony Carrigan) survived one of the most violent episodes of the series, one that we see almost nothing but the audio makes us have nightmares. If until then he was weak and without a talent for using weapons, Noho learned from Barry. He manages to save himself and save Cristobal, who was being tortured, but now they will have to escape from Cechenos, Bolivians, and the police. However, I still bet on a new “action hero” saving Barry before the story ends.
Tying together all of the characters’ deaths and questions of actions and consequences, Barry delivered a third season that was deep and innovative in its narrative. What’s more, literally reversing the chairs putting Cousineau through the exercise that changed Barry’s life in season one, as he was interrogated by Jim Moss. “Do you love Barry?” he can’t answer right away.
The interrogation was in fact for us as well, as we can easily forget that Barry is a villain because we are following his life from his sociopathic point of view. Cousineau both loves and hates Barry. He destroyed and rebuilt his life, opened his soul to the teacher, and blindly idolized him. Would it be enough to erase your mistakes? We know how the teacher concluded, even if under pressure, he did the right thing out of fear. And the question is pertinent: do you love Barry? God save my soul… I love it!