DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Barry penultimate episode, “candy asses,” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, hit people-turned-actors! Barry returns with one of its best episodes yet, which is not hyperbole. The cinematography and brilliant performances elevate “candy asses” to another level. Sarah Goldberg is a tour de force, delivering raw, visceral, piss-and-vinegar work. If she doesn’t win an Emmy, there’s no justice.
This outing isn’t particularly humorous, although NoHo Hank provides a few moments of levity amid the pervasive, unrelenting darkness. We see these characters at their lowest, namely our titular lead, Sally and Fuches. Meanwhile, Gene rides the high of his professional comeback.
Ready to dig deep into “candy asses”? Let’s get to it.
We open with George Krempf (Michael Bofshever) singing in church. While the congregation sits, George continues to stand. Meanwhile, Sharon Lucado (Karen David) tosses a blanket over Barry’s (Bill Hader) face as he froths at the mouth on the floor. She flees the scene.
Then, we see Gene (Henry Winkler) reciting the monologue serving as the opening for his new show. Annie (Laura San Giacomo) calls cut and gives notes to the students in the audience before commencing another take.
Later, Barry wakes the following morning on the floor of Sharon’s home. Barry wanders outside in a seemingly empty residential LA neighborhood (as someone who lived in LA for over a decade, “empty” is not a word describing any part of the city). He notices the street flooding with ocean water from the beach, and we seamlessly transition to Barry meandering down the shore. He spots a cluster of people on the other side.
Next, Sally (Goldberg) questions the main character’s motives in the show new show for which she’s writing. No one else in the writers’ room speaks up, but it’s vital to Sally that audiences know why said character is biting off a dick if she’s horny. Once an actor, always an actor.
Afterward, Sally waltzes past another room wherein Natalie (D’Arcy Carden) leads a writers session. She eavesdrops on the meeting, observing that quite a few plot points for Natalie’s new series seem familiar.
So, Sally confronts Natalie in the elevator. She accuses Natalie of stealing the narrative for Joplin and reminds the latter that she wouldn’t be anywhere without Sally. Sally has a full-on, unadulterated meltdown, and it is glorious. Goldberg is a force of nature.
Then, we catch up with NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) in Bolivia. He calls out for Cristobal as if one person in a bustling city street might heed the said call. He approaches one vendor, who claims he doesn’t speak English. Hank asks about the Sifuentes family, which garners a dart to the neck courtesy of Vendor Man. Carrigan proves he’s a comedic god with this scene alone.
Meanwhile, Barry sits on the beach, savoring the sights and sounds of Mother Nature. I’m starting to think that this is an afterlife of sorts. A car inexplicably pulls up in the sand, and George Krempf emerges.
In real life, George stands before an unresponsive and strung-out Barry, who sits with his back against a dumpster.
After Gene engages the students in an acting exercise for his show, Annie confesses to one of the crew members that she has no idea what she’s doing. She’s been out of the game for two decades!
Fuches (Stephen Root) meets with Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom), Janice’s father. They take a car ride and shoot the sh*t. However, we see Jim park beside the police station, with a group of officers waiting outside for Fuches. Uh oh. While Fuches sits in detainment, Mae Dunn (Sarah Burns) and Albert Nguyen (James Hiroyuki Liao) chat with Jim regarding Fuches’ hand in Janice’s murder. Hank referred to Fuches as “The Raven,” a deadly Chechen assassin.
Jim tells Albert that Fuches pinned Janice’s murder on Barry. Since Gene also named Barry the killer, Albert decides to interrogate Fuches. Jim questions whether he should’ve brought Fuches to the station in the first place.
Later, George drives Barry to the hospital, pulling into the parking lot with the latter in the backseat. George procures a gun. Will he use it on Barry to avenge his son’s murder?
Next, Hank wakes in a dank, dimly lit room chained to a radiator. He hears the voice of Akhmal (Turhan Troy Caylak), who reveals that Elena and her men torture them daily for information regarding Hank and Cristobal and Fernando’s death. Yandar (Nick Gracer) is also present and tells Hank he’s trying to remove his handcuffs.
Sally watches footage of herself chewing out Natalie on the Hollywood Drama Report site. It turns out Natalie was recording her. Lindsay (Jessy Hodges) calls, urging Sally not to release an apology and wait for her arrival. Lindsay also reveals the Medusa show fired her.
After Gene’s taping, Jim approaches Gene and reveals that Fuches was arrested. He also mentions Barry being Janice’s killer, but Gene attempts to throw Jim off the scent. The camera zooms in on the sweat beading on Gene’s forehead. Methinks Jim won’t fall for this.
Sally forgoes Lindsay’s advice and posts a video apology. Lindsay notes that it reeks of insincerity. Sally erupts on Lindsay too, and we see her back into the darkness looming behind her. The cinematography in this outing is on another level. Lindsay declares she’s going to drop Sally as a client.
Meanwhile, Barry is still in the backseat of George’s car. George monologues about how much he loves and misses Ryan and his predicament. Should he kill Barry? Bofshever delivers in this scene, his performance dripping with gut-wrenching vulnerability.
But Barry’s standing on the beach in his mind. He reaches the crowd, wending his way through the throng of people—fun fact: they’re all the folks who died by Barry’s hand. We see familiar faces among the dead, from Chris Lucado, who doesn’t recognize Barry, to Goran Pazar and Esther.
Suddenly, back in reality, we see doctors wheeling Barry into the hospital. We learn George shot himself in the head. How heartbreaking.
Later, Albert questions Fuches about Janice’s murder. Fuches connects the dots regarding Albert’s identity and his thread to Barry. Fuches explains how he harnessed Barry’s adeptness at killing and morphed it into a lucrative career. Without explicitly naming Barry as Chris’s killer, Fuches muses aloud why someone like Chris, who never saw combat, would have PTSD. He ends his monologue by lauding Barry for being a “good guy.”
Albert has a eureka moment as he realizes Barry is the murderer. He grabs his gun and flees the station.
Sally’s trajectory this season is intriguing to me. Even though BanShe pulls the Joplin rug out from under her, she becomes a victim of her hubris. She flew too close to the sun. We seldom see a character triumph and fail so spectacularly in one season, but Barry accomplishes this with flying colors.
I love the idea of the beach symbolizing Barry’s remorse for the lives he took, as something residing on the fringes of his subconscious. I believe there’s a shred of decency buried inside him, and Season 3 seems hellbent on the sins of Barry’s past catching up with him. I’m here for this poignant, darkly funny and profound ride.
Do you think Albert will arrest Barry? Will Sally rise like a phoenix from the ashes? Join me next week while I recap Barry, only on Geek Girl Authority.
Barry drops its Season 3 finale on Sunday, June 12, at 10 pm on HBO and HBO Max.