DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Barry episode “crazytimeshitshow” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, hit people-turned-actors! Barry‘s fifth outing is true to its name — it’s a “crazytimeshitshow” in the best way. This episode is propulsive, never once letting its foot off the narrative gas. Barry digs deep to maintain audience interest with captivating performances, witty dialogue and delightful character beats, even in the quieter moments.
Ready to dig deep into “crazytimeshitshow”? Let’s get to it.
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We open with a flashback to Barry’s (Bill Hader) time in Afghanistan. He hunches over Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao), bleeding profusely from a cheek wound. Flash forward to the present, and we see Albert waltz into the police station to assist Detective Dunn (Sarah Burns) and her team with tracking Janice’s killer.
If you’ll recall, NoHo Hank framed Fuches for Janice’s murder, dubbing him “The Raven,” a fearsome Chechen serial killer. Albert addresses Barry’s presence when Janice’s body was found, but Dunn reveals that his alibi checks out.
Next, Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) wakes Sally (Sarah Goldberg) to show her BanShe’s homepage — Joplin sits front and center! Sally and Natalie sit in a coffee shop, soaking in their victory. Unfortunately, said victory is short-lived, as Natalie discovers that BanShe quickly removed Joplin from its lofty perch on the homepage. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, Barry moves back in with Jermaine (Darrell Britt-Gibson) and Nick (Rightor Doyle). The guys transformed Barry’s old room into an audition space/recording studio, much to our titular character’s dismay.
Gene (Henry Winkler) returns to the set of Laws of Humanity, this time with a significantly meatier scene. He apologizes to the man on whom he angrily doused with tea decades ago on Murder, She Wrote. Thankfully, bygones are bygones.
Later, Fuches (Stephen Root) approaches Taylor’s sister with a proposition: he can help her track down the man responsible for her brother’s death. Initially, she seems disinterested until he mentions a hot tub—hook, line and sinker.
Then, Sally, Natalie and Lindsay (Jessy Hodges) learn from Diane Villa (Elizabeth Perkins), the BanShe executive, that BanShe is canceling Joplin. Why? Because of the algorithm! Joplin underperformed according to the platform’s algorithm despite premiering 12 hours before this meeting. Sally, rightfully indignant, gives Diane a piece of her mind.
Gene buys Leo (Andrew Leeds) a house with the gobs of money Barry gave him. Leo seems hesitant to move in even though it’s a gorgeous home.
Natalie comforts Sally in the bathroom while Barry seeks out NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and Cristobal (Michael Irby) for advice. Barry discloses his breakup with Sally and how he wants to win her back. It’s abundantly clear that Hank and Cristobal are annoyed at Barry’s unexpected visit, but they bestow relationship advice nonetheless.
Elena (Krizia Bajos), Cristobal’s wife, lands in Los Angeles. She wants to find who’s responsible for murdering her father, Fernando. So, she orders her men to shoot up the Chechens’ base of operations, a.k.a. the plant shop.
Meanwhile, Albert sets the record straight at the police station. Dunn and her crew are preoccupied with designing a logo for The Raven taskforce, but Albert urges them to redirect their attention to NoHo Hank. Albert believes he’s lying (he is), so he orders the team to question the Chechens to see if their stories match.
Barry encounters Kyle (Alexander MacNicoll) after purchasing some groceries. Kyle reports to his mother, Julie (Annabeth Gish), regarding the encounter. They plan to hit Barry where it hurts as vengeance for him murdering the man from the pilot episode.
Batir (JB Blanc) gives the Chechen bosses a virtual tour of the plant shop. He climbs to an elevated spot to showcase the scope of their operations. While on high ground, he spots a slew of vehicles pulling in front of said shop. Suddenly, we hear gunfire, signifying Elena’s attack on the Chechens. The police arrive on the scene, but Elena’s team deftly takes them out. Batir flees.
Next, Gene attends Joe Mantegna‘s dinner party. He reunites with an old flame, Annie (Laura San Giacomo), who’s now an art teacher. You can cut the tension with a rusty butter knife.
Then, we see Hank and Cristobal enjoying a cozy night when Elena and her team descend upon the lovebirds. Hank hides in a closet while the men carry Cristobal out of the house. Elena barges inside, yelling in Spanish. When Hank believes she spots him, Elena reaches for a photo of Cristobal and Hank, which conceals a picture of Elena and Cristobal. She weeps and leaves.
Gene apologizes to Joe and Annie, whose promising theater career Gene drove mercilessly into the ground. He ensured Annie was blackballed by the industry, hence why she teaches art now. Annie storms out, unable to accept his apology.
Barry writes a note for Sally, but she arrives home before he departs. Barry sits with Sally while she sobs. She informs him about Joplin‘s unfair cancellation. Barry nonchalantly asks for Diane Villa’s address. Not to send angry correspondence but to infiltrate her home and make her think she’s losing her mind. Usual, everyday manipulative tactics, plucked straight from a horror movie. Sally orders Barry to leave. Admittedly, him describing this whole scenario cracked me up.
Later, Julie and Kyle wait outside Sally’s apartment for Barry to emerge. Kyle will approach Barry for directions and clear the scene before Julie pulls the trigger. Unfortunately, she inadvertently shoots Kyle in the stomach. Barry, standing in the street, hears the gunshot and watches in bewilderment while Julie speeds away to take her son to the hospital.
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“Crazytimeshitshow” presents significant challenges for our core cast, from Barry almost discovering Julie and Kyle’s scheme to kill him and Sally’s untimely show cancellation to Elena kidnapping Cristobal and shooting up the Chechen home base. We only have three episodes left in the season, and I do not doubt that Barry will continue to surprise us through its signature dark humor, sharp writing and grounded, nuanced performances.
Will Elena take Cristobal back to Bolivia? Will Batir tell Hank about the attack on the plant shop? How many folks will Fuches turn against Barry? Join me next week while I recap Barry, only on Geek Girl Authority.
Barry drops new episodes every Sunday at 10 pm on HBO and HBO Max.
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