Barry Season 1 Recap: Revisiting Barry’s darkly psychotic coming-of-age tale

Barry Season 1 Recap

Barry’s Season Three is now out. Bill Hader returns as the cold-hearted serial killer. The comedy-drama is one of the most innovative shows out there, seamlessly blending compelling themes and making the experience an enjoyable one. It has the ability to be graphically brutal and playfully funny in equal parts. At times, in the same instance!

It is a refreshing take on a genre that sometimes feels outdated. If you’re looking to jump in, we’ve got handy recaps for both season 1 and season 3 to help refresh your memory!

So before you start the third, here is the recap for the first season of ‘Barry’. Happy reading!

A Serial Killer in an Acting Class: Cue Barry Berkman

Barry Berkman is an assassin. Having army-like discipline because of his marine training, he has a new spark of life when he follows a target (Ryan Madison) to an acting class.

His performance does not inspire confidence in Gene Cousineau, the instructor of the class, but he still becomes a part of their group. He is struck by Sally Reed, a fellow classmate, and proceeds to pursue her romantically.

Barry’s inability to kill Ryan causes the Chechen to react violently. The mob attempts to kill Ryan and Barry both, successfully killing the former. The latter though is tactful enough to kill them instead.

Fuches, Barry’s handler, is kidnapped by the Chechen. NoHo Hank, a high-ranking and affable Chechen boss, demands Barry to carry out a hit on a target, Paco. Ryan’s news becomes a talking point in class. They honor his memory through an uncomfortable performance on stage.

Barry’s first nervous breakdown comes courtesy of attending Ryan’s memorial, being shaken by the significant grief on his victim’s families.

The Chechens Get Involved

The LAPD start probing into the murders. They discover Pazar’s (the Chechen Boss, whose wife Ryan slept with) connection and suspect his involvement. Barry is conflicted between work and his personal life.

Sally and Barry finally hook up. The Chechens invite Stovka, a legendary assassin from their hometown, to deal with Fuches and Barry once the latter is done with Paco. Instead, in a bizarre turn of events, Stovka commits suicide, with the blame going on the innocent Fuches.

The Police, An Actress, and a Bolivian Stash House

One of the detectives on the Ryan murder, Detective Moss, catches Gene’s fancy. He takes her out on a date to exchange information on the case. Sally’s professional career takes a turn South. Her agent leaves her for rejecting his advances. Her actress friend, who started out with her, is now a successful television star.

Meanwhile, her relationship with Barry worsens as he starts asserting himself more. Barry has troubles of his own. He rejected Fuches’ offer to carry out a raid at a Bolivian stash house but his former marine friends, Chris, Vaughn, and Taylor, catch wind of it. They demand to be a part of the raid.

Reluctantly, Barry becomes a part of the team to raid the stash house. Taylor and he are successful in their attempts but Fuches told Barry earlier to kill Taylor after the operation is over.

Sally and Barry have distanced themselves for the time being. Barry’s supposed moral awakening through literature and drama provokes him to speak the truth about his life as an assassin to the acting class, who misconstrue it as his PTSD from his life as a marine.

War on All Fronts

Moss and Gene sleep together. The former is reluctant to take it forward. Chris, Barry, and the marines wait for Cristobal, a Bolivian drug lord, at an airstrip. Despite the plan being to stay hidden and ambush Cristobal’s party, the marines soldier on and attack from the front.

Without doing any damage, they’re shot dead by the Bolivians. Vacha, a member of the Chechen gang, has been secretly following and photographing Barry. He wants revenge on Barry, who killed his brother.

While following Barry to his class one day, he stumbles upon Moss and runs. Moss gives the chase and eventually kills him in a shootout. She also finds the cash bag that Barry left in the theater’s toilet.

The string of misconceptions continues as Cristobal now feels the Chechens attempted to kill him. He vows to take revenge. On the other hand, the Chechens are furious with Fuches. They now want him dead.

Barry has to kill Chris after he reveals to Barry that he is going to the police. Moss, after finding the dead Marines at the airstrip, zeroes in on Barry as the primary suspect in the case. Barry wipes out Pazar and his gang after NoHo Hank warns him about the plans to kill Fuches.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

Barry tells him he is done for good. Moss knows that Barry is the culprit for all the deaths but the Department blames the Bolivians for the same. Sally and Barry start dating again. Gene and Moss invite them over for dinner at their lakehouse.

Despite being careful, Barry gives Moss enough clues for her to conclude that he is indeed the hitman, having killed multiple men. She confronts him with the truth, alone, at night, and despite his pleadings not to pursue things further, she goes on to alert the department.

Shots are then heard as Barry returns to bed, indicating that Barry has killed Moss for self-preservation.


So that’s the entire story of Barry Season 1 up to the very end in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here, but that should be enough to get you ready for season 2!

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