What exactly is an anti-hero? Is it implied that he is an evil character who receives the most attention throughout the story? Or is he a hero driven to commit evil by circumstance? We’re all familiar with Joe Goldberg, the protagonist from “You.” Yes, he’s an anti-hero with a pure motivation to do evil things, while in the three-part HBO Max series “Barry,” we see Barry as a victim of manipulation by others rather than his own mind. His rational mind is always urging him to break out of the cycle of violence, but eventually, he comes to the realization that there is no such thing as free will in his life. By pursuing a career that requires him to carry out the commands of his superiors, he becomes a mere puppet who is forced to do whatever his handlers ask him to do, whether it is evil or good.
Caught between hurdles and his futile efforts at atonement, we watch Barry’s character go through various highs and lows; at times, we see him working hard on himself to forget his awful past, while at other times, we see him perpetrate the same crime by silencing people to avoid juridical punishment. Barry, a former marine who previously served as a sniper in Afghanistan, became a hitman after retiring from his military career. But as soon as he realizes that many of the individuals he is continuously sent to murder aren’t particularly bad guys, he begins to feel awful about it. As a backup plan, Barry decides to pursue an acting career as a day job and considers putting an end to his actual job as a contract killer, but fate always brings him back to square one. So, let’s get started revisiting the three seasons of “Barry” to explore the challenges he encountered and how, despite his best attempts to atone for his crimes, he remained a serial killer.
‘Barry’ Story So Far
Season 1 of “Barry” begins with Barry Berkman (Bill Hader), a retired marine officer who is now working as a contract killer for his handler, Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root). He instructed Barry to assassinate Ryan, a promising actor in Los Angeles. Ryan was having an affair with the wife of Goran, a Chechen criminal gangster who wanted Ryan dead. Barry went to assassinate Ryan, but before he could, he got caught up in Ryan’s acting class. The whole class, including the teacher, Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), mistook Barry for a new student. While trying something new, Barry became hooked on performing and fell in love with an aspiring actress named Sally (Sarah Goldberg).
Barry had completely forgotten about his task and was having a great time with Ryan, Sally, and other students. Since Barry realized Ryan wasn’t a horrible guy, he wanted to spare his life. Feeling conflicted with his situation, in which he was forced to kill Ryan even though he did not want to, he lost his cool and rushed to Gene to tell him about his unfortunate life. However, when Barry proceeded to reveal how he became a marine-turned-hitman, Gene mistook his confession for a monologue from a film, leading Gene to accept Barry as his student. However, the Chechens had already dispatched a group of hitmen who assassinated Ryan. When Barry noticed the hitmen, he opened fire on them, killing two of them and injuring the other. Fuches attempted to cover for Barry by persuading Goran to assign him additional assassinations. But, having been distracted by acting lessons and Sally, Barry got sidetracked multiple times. He and Sally grew closer, and Sally created a Facebook account for him. Barry encountered his former coworker and marine friend, Chris, on Facebook. Taylor, Chris’s companion, discovered through the paperwork in Barry’s car that Barry was a hitman and insisted on accompanying Barry on his next assignment, which was to attack a rival Bolivian drug house.
Meanwhile, Fuches didn’t appreciate Barry dragging Taylor along, so he ordered Barry to kill Taylor, which Barry couldn’t bring himself to do. He was compelled to let his pals accompany him on the assignment to murder the Bolivian drug lord, but a shootout took the lives of Taylor and his other friend. However, Barry and Chris escaped. Chris was traumatized after seeing Taylor’s death and opted to turn himself in. But Barry couldn’t let his friend’s impulsiveness wreck his entire career. As a result, Barry had no choice but to shoot Chris and make it look like a suicide. Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan) was a Chechen gangster who was Goran’s right-hand man and one of the assassins that murdered Ryan Madison. Barry resolved to assassinate Goran and the entire gang in his house after realizing that Goran was after his life. But he didn’t murder Hank, who rose to become a gang leader and made friends with Bolivian gang leader Cristobal (Michael Irby).
Barry resolved to put his horrible past behind him, focusing only on his acting career and girlfriend, Sally. Police have been investigating the case since the night Ryan Madison was slain, and two other bodies were discovered nearby. They even discovered camera footage from a dashcam, but the low quality prevented them from seeing the killer’s face. Janice Moss, the investigating officer, was also dating Gene, who, bringing Moss along, accompanied Barry to his country house to spend the holidays. However, on the holiday night, while the four of them were enjoying dinner, Gene mentioned Barry’s confession from the night before, which he mistook for a movie line. Janice Moss, the investigating officer, linked the dots and concluded that Barry was the murderer. Janice allegedly threatened Barry with arrest, but Barry, in order to eliminate any impediment to his journey to redemption, murdered Janice Moss and vanished her corpse. He returned to Sally that night and got drowned in guilt all over again.
How Did Barry Turn Into A Hitman From A Marine?
Gene was distraught and ended the acting class in season 2 as a result of Janice Moss’ sudden disappearance. Since acting courses were the only time Barry got to experience a life other than his own dark and terrifying reality, he didn’t like the idea of Gene shutting down the classes. He opted to persuade Gene to continue with the class. Gene, who was upset about losing the love of his life, asked Barry to start the class by sharing one of his own unfortunate events. Barry then reflected on his time as a Marine sniper in Afghanistan. He was a brilliant marksman who cold-bloodedly murdered all of his targets, and his fellow warriors admired him for it. Barry has since come to the realization that his sole skill is killing people. After Barry’s heartfelt storytelling style once again captured Gene’s attention, he decided to keep running the class. Sally penned a script for a play that was based on her own struggles with her ex-husband and how she ended the marriage, but her ex believed she was trying to denigrate him. Her ex-husband requested Barry halt the play, which irritated him.
Barry intended to shoot her ex-husband in the head, but he had to turn around after seeing Sally at his apartment. Detective Loach, who works with Moss, discovered Fuches and Barry’s involvement in the murder case where Ryan and the other assassins were killed. He contacted Fuches and put pressure on him to find out what had happened to Barry. Loach discovered Barry but did not arrest him because he wanted Barry to kill Ronnie, the man who was having an affair with his wife. Barry went to assassinate Ronnie, but Ronnie escaped. Later, discovering that Loach had dispatched the assassin to kill him, Ronnie murdered Loach in a supermarket. Barry couldn’t take his pain any longer. In an effort to become a decent individual with no ties to the criminal lifestyle, he continued to murder people in order to silence them, creating a cycle of violence for him that he couldn’t break out of. He went to Gene, the only man he trusted at the time and saw as a father figure. He told Gene about what had transpired in Afghanistan.
While serving as a Marine, one of his closest friends, Albert, was shot in the face by the enemy, which infuriated Barry and led him to seek vengeance for his friend’s murder. Barry shot an innocent guy out of rage and later recognized his mistake. As a result of making such an inexcusable error, Barry lost faith in himself. His self-esteem plummeted to the point that, after being discharged from the army, he resolved to have someone guide his actions. He was in a quandary, not knowing what to deem good or bad. During this period, his father’s friend, Fuches, supported him and gave him a contract-killing job. Fuches indoctrinated him into believing that the individuals he was supposed to kill were all evil, but after meeting and personally engaging with Ryan, Barry discovered that he couldn’t even believe Fuches anymore. Barry always wanted to rip his heart out and confess all of his faults to someone who could help him redeem himself, but he couldn’t. Even so, he only told Gene about the Afghanistan incident, not what he had become now. Gene, on the other hand, sympathized with Barry and saw his real plight. So he told Barry to keep quiet about it.
How Did Gene Know Barry Killed Moss?
Gene had no idea that the person he was sympathizing with had murdered the love of his life. Fuches decided to take advantage of this particular scenario. To have Barry arrested, he pretended to be a detective and directed Gene to a forest, where he found Moss’s car. Fuches showed him Moss’s car while he also called the police and escaped the scene before Barry could pursue and kill him. Despite the fact that the police had already imprisoned Gene and Barry after he arrived, Barry was able to plant evidence in Moss’s car that framed the Chechens to be responsible for Moss’ death. However, after getting cleared, Gene realized who had actually killed Moss. While Fuches was showing Moss’s car to Gene, he whispered in Gene’s ear that Barry Berkman had killed Moss. Though Gene overlooked the words at first, later, he blamed Barry for all the unfortunate things that happened in his life.
How Did Gene And Sally Grow Distant With Barry? Was Albert Alive?
By Season 3, “Barry” adopts a chaotic criminal thriller tone, with our protagonist, Barry, gradually becoming insane due to the ruthless breakdown in his mind. We watched him gradually recognize that he was an irredeemable person by the conclusion of season 2. He gradually fell into the shadows and understood there was no turning back. He kept working as a hitman despite the fact that he didn’t have a handler at the time. Meanwhile, police questioned Hank as Barry blamed the Chechens for Moss’s killing. As a result, Barry’s friendship with Hank and Fuches was now in jeopardy. He was no longer able to find work and consequently started working for some immature companies, which ruined his mental health. When he failed to kill the target, he occasionally murdered both the handler and the target, demonstrating that serious damage had been done to his mental condition. He approached Hank about hiring him, but Hank initially rejected him before eventually hiring him to look after the Bolivians.
Meanwhile, Hank was sleeping with Cristobal, but both were calling it a casual affair. However, Cristobal’s wife had returned, and she knew Barry was involved in Cristobal’s connection with the Chechens. She invited Barry to her home and poisoned him. Barry began to hallucinate while being poisoned. All the individuals he had slain kept appearing in his nightmare, where he stood tall in the midst of all his victims, sorrow stamped on his face. However, his expression indicated that he was the source of all his issues, as he was the one who consented to carry out these hunts in the first place.
Not only did Barry begin to traumatize himself, but he also began to traumatize his closest friends, Gene and Sally. Since Gene knew everything about Barry, he decided to abduct him and promise him a job in Hollywood to silence him. Meanwhile, Sally received her own show after a successful play, but she couldn’t cast Gene even though Barry wanted it. Barry aggressively responded to Sally for not casting Gene in front of her co-stars, leading Sally to feel she should end her relationship with him.
Barry’s efforts were useless when Gene chose to turn against him, prompting Barry to threaten him with the death of his family if he did so. Barry was gradually turning into a monster, or we might say he was allowing his inner demons to take control of his mind. Even Sally had to endure a traumatic experience just for him. When three assassins broke into Barry’s flat to assassinate him, they instead targeted Sally. Sally, on the other hand, managed to knife them to death. She was a regular person who had to overcome several challenges before landing a major break. She was also a damaged person who had seen the dark side of Hollywood, and now she was beginning to notice that her boyfriend had a dark side too. To protect Barry and herself, she had to commit murder, which she found difficult to swallow. With the shows canceled in the meantime, she couldn’t hold her cool and decided to leave Los Angeles. But, without telling Barry, she abandoned him and fled to Missouri under cover of stealth.
Barry, on the other hand, finally saw the person for whom he had entered this situation he could never escape. Albert, a fellow marine, met him. Albert had been shot in the face during his time in Afghanistan, yet he survived and went on to become a cop. Albert caught Barry red-handed when he was burying the assassin Sally had murdered. He had Barry at gunpoint but couldn’t shoot him, creating a thin line between the two separate mental states they had. Albert was not like him; therefore, he spared his life, giving him a second chance at life. But the worms in Barry’s head are devouring him from within. As a result, he did not back down from his next step. He received a phone call from Janice Moss’s father, who was plotting revenge on him. Following that, he received another contact from Gene, who, in a horrifying tone, informed Barry that he was waiting outside Moss’s father’s house with a revolver. Barry couldn’t stand by and see Gene take such a severe step as killing Moss’s father, so he dashed towards Gene and snatched the revolver from his grasp in order to kill Moss’s father all by himself. However, the instant he stepped foot in Moss’s father’s house, he was apprehended by the police. Barry learned the person he believed was his closest friend and father figure had set him up. The cops detained Barry while Gene stared at him with little remorse for setting him up.
From Gene’s perspective, it was natural for him to lose trust in Barry, and Barry should not be surprised to see Gene turn against him. He had every right to hand Barry over to the authorities because he killed Gene’s girlfriend, an innocent woman, for his own advantage and never once considered Gene.
What To Expect From Season 4 Of ‘Barry’?
The teaser for “Barry’s” upcoming final season, which premieres on April 16, shows a lot of things are happening. Starting with Barry’s being incarcerated, he didn’t appear to have fully wrapped his head around the incarceration, though. The man, who had always fled in order to avoid being imprisoned, has just lost his mind after going through the punishment. He is not accompanied by Hank, Cristobal, or Sally. Sally’s trust and affection for Barry inevitably diminished as she learned about his really evil activities. Given the way he is repeatedly talking about his redemption, he probably wants the authorities to know that his intentions were always good and that he is doing everything he can to make things right now. But everybody is aware that he cannot be changed. However, Hank and Cristobal are seen discussing preparations, most likely to get Barry out of jail, but we can only conjecture until the first episode of “Barry” season 4 premieres on HBO Max. Let’s see where “Barry”‘s fate will lead him in the final game. Will he rot in jail as an irredeemable person, or will he be given the opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to redemption? Let’s get the answers from the “Barry” season finale, only on HBO Max.