“Special Agent Albert Nguyen. I am here to help you catch whoever killed Detective Janice Moss”. What an entry that is to episode 5 of Barry Season 3. Nguyen is the guy whose life Barry saved in a flashback to their duty in Afghanistan when he was shot in the face. Sally tries her newfound fame in public in a coffee shop but she comes up just short. And right then, she notices that Joplin, her breakout hit, is taken off BanShe, the streaming website. Her worst fear hits her in the head: her show is canceled. Apparently, the AI on the platform didn’t find the “right taste clusters”.
Barry moves out and finds his old apartment turned into a studio. With Barry’s looming figure off his back, Gene is finally living the life he always dreamt of. His expanded role in the Laws of Humanity is going well. He has also been given the chance to become a better person and a better father – something he realizes he should have done long ago. People around him have started respecting him.
Nguyen expresses his frustration at the police department’s incompetent work on the case. He orders them to bring in the Chechens and cross-check their stories with Hank’s version, whom he suspects is lying. In typical ‘Barry’ fashion, Batir’s video call to the elders in Grozny goes haywire as carnage erupts when the police meet the Bolivians, who have come to destroy the Chechen operation at the behest of Cristobal’s wife, Elena, who just arrived in the country to take revenge for Fernando’s death.
Akumal is able to alert Hank to run before Elene gets to him. But it is too late. Her men take Cristobal into custody. Elena spots a picture of Hank and Cristobal together up on the wall. She realizes her husband’s sexuality and walks away in tears, forgetting to look for Hank in his house. Gene goes on his invitation to Joe’s house. The dinner party almost goes swimmingly before Gene starts apologizing to Joe and Gene’s former girlfriend, Annie, who is also present in the audience. Lo and behold, she walks out and says Gene is apologizing just to feel better about himself.
Sally reaches the apartment just as Barry is leaving the keys. He comforts her and things look like getting better, only for Barry to propose a “non-violent” way to spook Diane Villa, the executive who canceled Sally’s show. Sally is taken aback and asks her to leave instantly. Unknown to Barry, the widow and her son Kyle from the last episode are there to shoot him. Accidentally, she shoots Kyle and drives away in a hurry to the hospital.
The Episode Review
‘Barry’s upward trajectory continues with epis0de five. The projection of its themes and the comedy is getting stronger as Berg and Hader start to regain control of their little masterpiece. The duo’s laser-sharp focus has streamlined the plot better, which looked like going astray in between. The narrative seems much clearer in terms of where it is heading now, while also taking a meditative probe into larger threads about identity and the impact of choices we make in life.
Although the role that law enforcement has collectively played in the show has been negligible and ineffective – besides Detective Moss’ work – Nguyen’s arrival seems to have changed the dynamic. A Federal officer now taking charge of the case, and a former marine at that, has breathed new life into the possibility of a titanic clash between organized crime and them. If D’Arcy Carden had the funniest line in the last episode, she has the most profound, moving lines in this one. The actress shines in every scene that she is in. It is a pity there isn’t more of her.
The shocker with Sally was a bit unpleasant and I did not like one bit why the character’s happiness was sacrificed so easily and abruptly for the creators to make a comment about the increasingly penetrative and controlling role technology has taken in the business. I just hope someone in her condition is able to cope with everything that is happening in their lives. Another brilliant episode, overall.