Can every day be like Dave & Buster’s? Cristobal thought so, may he rest in peace. The third to last episode of Bill Hader and Alec Berg’s ground breaking series, Barry, was perhaps the most tense episode in series history, all while managing to work in some genuine laughs, David Lynch-like surrealism and yes, you guessed it, one more Dave & Buster’s joke for the road. We’re about to get into heavy spoiler territory so if you haven’t seen Barry S4E6, you’ve been warned.
Mr. Fortune 500
Barry S4E6, titled “The Wizard,” does continue on with our eight year time jump. We’re here to stay, but this time, we’re picking back up with additional familiar faces. Hank has gone legit, like Cristobal told them they could. He has a huge office, is said to be hanging out with the mayor and celebrities, and is also said to be in the Fortune 500. Cristobal’s vision has in part come true and Hank has named the company NoHoBal, with a giant golden statue of his deceased partner in the lobby of the building, complete with their story being told in displays. Every day can be like Dave & Buster’s.
Enter “Prison Boss” Fuches, who is finally leaving prison, now covered in tattoos, donning nail polish and complete with a bosses’ swagger. Fuches is picked up by his men and in a laugh out loud moment, goes for coffee, winks at the lady at the register who looks like your average mother in her late 50s, early 60s, and swoops her away for a life of adventure. All it took was a wink.
Fuches and his men are set to be the bodyguards for Hank’s property and are set up in a beautiful mansion and are being paid well. The honeymoon doesn’t last long, though, after a drunken Fuches accuses Hank of killing Cristobal. Hank promptly fires Fuches and his men.
This did not feel like an ending at all to any of their stories but what else can happen with only two episodes remaining? Hank has some semblance of a happy ending, but does he now have a Fuches problem on his hands? Curious to see if the now legit Hank has to resort to street level violence to fend off Fuches, who also wants to kill Barry still. Barry is pretty removed from Hank and Fuches narratively speaking but a confrontation between the three in the final two episodes doesn’t seem unlikely.
Give Your Mother the Strength
Sally is an alcoholic. She is incapable of showing any affection or emotion to her son John. John cries at the thought of being alone with her. They have no bond. John is completely reliant on Barry, who is living in a fantasy land where religion can solve his problems. When Barry tells John that he’s going to LA for work, John melts down. You can see eight years worth of dynamic here.
Barry isn’t a good person. Let’s be clear about that. He’s wrestled with his humanity throughout the series but time and again, he’s acted selfishly, hurt people and refused to see what people need from him—namely Sally. I won’t go as far as to say that Sally and John have no relationship because of Barry’s overbearing presence in John’s life because we don’t have that narrative proof, and Sally is also broken. But the end result is the same—John is totally reliant on his father.
Barry sets off to kill Gene to start the episode and watching Sally sit with John is painful. He doesn’t want to talk to her. She can barely take care of him. She eventually pours vodka in a cup and calls it “his juice” to get him to pass out. This is where Barry S4E6 gets weird.
Sally lays down for a nap with her son passed out drunk on the couch. She hears a noise that wakes her and she goes to investigate. She’s walking around the house surrounded by this silent figure who is covered from head to toe. The figure eventually locks Sally in her room. She begins to hear taunting from the other side of the door and weird conversations—a man asking “what did you do to my eye?!” and saying, “wake up kid.” Sally struggles to get out of her room but then a truck starts ramming into the side of her house. She finally gets out and sees her living room has been turned upside down.
There’s a lot to dive into here. It would be easy to assume that it was the guy from the diner last week that she choked. The threatening language would indicate that. But if it was him, why would he lock her in a room and then turn the house upside down? Why would he be asking the kid to wake up? Him hitting the house with his truck would make sense, though.
Another option is that it was someone looking for Barry. They wouldn’t want to harm Sally, so locking her in her room would make sense. The living room being destroyed would also make sense, if they were looking for information on Barry, including his whereabouts. But the ramming of the truck and threatening language wouldn’t really make sense in this scenario.
Option 3 is the only one that makes sense to me and that’s multiple intruders. Sally heard the man she choked coming to get her. But someone looking for Barry was also there. That’s who locked her in the room. The two intruders met and something happened to the hillbilly’s eye. The person looking for Barry didn’t want to be seen. The hillbilly from the diner called out to John, asking the kid if he was going to wake up after his eye was injured. The intruder looking for Barry destroyed the living room looking for clues and then left. The man Sally attacked last week ran out to his truck, rammed it into the house a few times and left, frustrated that his plans for revenge were disrupted.
That’s a lot, I know. After watching the scene several times, it’s the only thing that makes sense to me though. It also plays well with both John and Sally asking in Barry S4E6 if they would have to move again. With multiple intruders trying to break into their house now, they probably will be on the run again. Perhaps without Barry this time, though.
Justifying Our Behavior
Barry’s arc in “The Wizard” focuses on him trying to justify the fact that he wants to kill Gene. He listens to these podcasts from preachers, wanting someone to co-sign his desire to kill. Barry has convinced himself that religion is the key to being a good person and if he can find justification in a religious context, he will kill Gene.
Gene has returned home from Israel and is reconnecting with everyone. He speaks with his son. He speaks to the DA. He meets with a studio executive and lets her know that he doesn’t want the film made about Barry. All this time, he’s being stalked by Barry.
Barry finds the flimsiest justification finally and that’s all he needed. He’s convinced that killing Gene is God’s will. In what reeks of a setup, Gene leaves his door open and as Barry starts to walk in to kill him, he’s abducted by Jim Moss.
The End is Near
With Barry being abducted with just two episodes to go, it brings about some interesting narrative questions. Will Sally be forced to flea with John, without Barry? I tend to think yes. And as someone who has loved the character of Sally, I want her to take John and run. I think it’s possible for her to find some fight within herself and actually establish a connection with her child, but Barry has to be out of the picture.
Will Barry die at Jim’s hands? Probably not. The series has done an amazing job making Janice Moss’ death in the Season 1 finale carry a lot of importance. But this isn’t how Barry is going out. My expectation is that Barry kills Jim in the penultimate episode before moving into the final conflict with Gene, Hank, Fuches and Sally.
With only two episodes left, there’s not much time left, but a lot still feels possible. One thing is for sure: The final season of Barry is television at its best.
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
I didn’t realize until I saw someone saying it on Twitter that the “what did you do to my eye?” stuff was a replay of audio from the Season 3 finale. Though there is actually more here than there is there. I went back and rewatched that scene.
Wish we’d caught this as something to think about sooner, as it’s really interesting to think about. (To the room, I was Andrew’s editor here, and I also wrote on Season 3 of this show). But, I don’t know, maybe people will want to talk about it here in the comments while we wait for next week.
Yeah, there was nobody in the house. She was imagining that part. That was the Shane guys voice that she stabbed in the eye last season. That was her past or her shadow or her insecurity at being a terrible person/mom stalking behind her.. not a real person
And then it was the guy she choked from the diner in the truck that somehow smashed a single tire through the wall and rammed the house?
I don’t know if it means there was no one actually there. Could be, as your interpretation suggests, but I’m not sure I agree. It could be that this threat triggers in her a flashback to that traumatic event. She’s freaking out. I guess one question is whether she also hallucinates the lines about the kid not waking up. Maybe the plan was to trap both Sally and John in a room and then ram the house? Or Andrew’s thought that it was two separate parties could still hold. Or it could have all been a hallucination.
I think the indeterminacy ramps up the terror of it, as well as infusing the scene with humor. It’s really great. I almost hope we don’t find out, but I guess whether their house is trashed will be a pretty big indication of whether that part happened, at least.
Shoddy house with no secure foundation. Is this plausible? I’d be curious to read about construction in the plains along these lines. Regardless, we can take it as symbolic of the life they’ve built for themselves