The following contains spoilers for Barry S3E4, “all the sauces” (written by Jason Kim and directed by Alec Berg)
Well, it looks like Fuches’s plan to get revenge on Barry does not involve a literal pack of panthers after all (sadly), but rather the more mundane scheme of insidiously working to get the loved ones of Barry’s victims to hunt him down. This seems likely to lead to more sadness, as Barry is very good at killing people, and it’s only when he’s hesitated that we’ve really seen him get in a jam (as in “ronny/lily”).
In other words I think it’s likely that Barry will end up killing these innocent people, and blaming their deaths on Fuches. Which…it would sort of be Fuches’s fault if you think about it, and the killing Barry has done in the past likewise in many cases insofar as Fuches arranged these hits. In general we might ponder to what degree an assassin for hire is morally culpable as opposed to the one who hires the assassin, but of course this wouldn’t let Barry off the hook for some other people he’s killed in the name of self-preservation, even if we did let him off the hook for the hitman work.
And we probably shouldn’t. Katie is right to point out to Sally that Barry is violent and abusive. And Sally is right to end the relationship. I don’t think there is any question about that.
As for Sally, she’s prepared a speech about the importance of Joplin and how she’s not in it for the glory, but then breaks down midway through giving said speech in reaction to the show’s high score on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s really kind of a sad commentary on everything about the entertainment industry in our world, but at the same time we have to see that Sally’s desire to succeed is genuine and tied up in her desire to freely be who she wants to be.
We see this theme at play with regard to Gene as well in S3E4, as he’s forgiven by Joe Mantegna and learns of a feature about him in Variety lauding him for helping a veteran find his way. Further, the showrunners on Laws of Humanity were impressed by his outburst on set and want to give him more lines now, because they didn’t understand what was going on at all and thought it was just good acting.
A lot of things in Barry play on that line, as indeed we might think back to how Gene himself thought that Barry was doing a monologue when he opened up to him about his life in Season 1. The whole series has explored this line between truth and fiction, or how the one can intersect with the other.
The present irony is that it seems as though Barry’s ridiculous plan to patch things up with Gene might actually work, even if they’ve gotten there in an unforeseeable way. Gene is simply relieved about not having to flee LA by the end of “all the sauces” and takes Barry’s word that his family is safe (along with Barry’s money).
So it’s reasonable to predict that it’ll be bygones at this point, practically speaking, and probably Gene will also go back to work on Laws of Humanity, getting the revival of his career that Barry hoped to give him.
Is this a happy ending?
The big running gag in Barry S3E4 involves Barry’s attempt to carry out the hit on the Bolivians at Noho Hank’s behest. This involves using a Detonate App for the bomb, which of course doesn’t work properly, leading Barry to call customer service and have an incredibly banal conversation with a rep that leads to him blowing up the house almost by accident.
It’s riotously funny, in part because of how realistic it all feels despite the inherent absurdity. Of course the app wants all kinds of data and Hank glibly grants it permission on all fronts, but I don’t really expect this to come back around on Barry or the Chechens so much as it serves the joke at hand in “all the sauces.”
The title of this episode comes from another hilarious moment, when Fernando reads the text exchange between Hank and Cristobal. It’s poignant that the latter chooses to be killed instead of killing his beloved, but thankfully this doesn’t happen since Barry finally got his detonation app to work.
I want this show to end with Noho Hank and Cristobal happily running a bed and breakfast together at this point, so I was glad to see it.
“all the sauces”
With the acting class no more and Sally’s breakup with Barry, I do wonder how Barry will keep the threads of its story tied together as Season 3 continues. Sally is part of the central cast in my mind, so I presume we’ll continue to follow her story even if Barry isn’t directly involved in what’s going on, but I fear that he will be in a way that puts even more pressure on our capacity to continue liking this guy.
This is part of what makes this show work, and has been since the very beginning—somehow Bill Hader’s portrayal of Barry makes him so eminently likable it’s hard to be broken away from that even as he does reprehensible things. I struggle to imagine it working with anyone else in the lead role.
See you next week.