Barry – Season 4 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained


Hank invites Fuches to his office with the tempting offer of handing over Barry to him. At first, Fuches is sceptical. He has no interest in ending the beef with Hank. But when he sees John, Fuches’ mind is turned. Sally looks expectedly at Hank asking him if John would be alright. “It’s not for me to decide,” Hank defeatedly says. And so Barry has a tryst with the fate gods once again. His response is what you’d expect of him and any bereaved father; load up on guns and ammunition!

Why does Fuches spare John’s life?

The brazenly naked and banal way he walks out of the “gun store” as if he has just bought toys is a slight of the greatest nature of the US administration and its frivolous gun laws. DA Buckner and Jim Moss have done a complete 180 on Janice’s murder, now implicating Gene as the mastermind. He watches on incredulously with his agent, Tom. One feels for Gene. The guy could never attain his acting potential; no one really ever liked him; and the one guy that did, killed the woman he loved. What did he do wrong?

Sally tells John the truth about herself and Barry. What a crude thing to say to a child about his father. But that is how the scales of morality level against an individual. She breaks down, recognizing she is responsible for putting John in this position and being a bad mother. John, though, relies on his instinct to console her and wrap himself in her arms. Such is the innocence and purity of a child!

Hank’s men steal her away from a crying John. Hank stands next to Cristobal’s statue in the middle of the entranceway lobby. Fuches demands that John be brought out with Sally, which is something Hank didn’t want. Reluctantly, Hank asks his men to bring him out when Fuches offers to simply walk away if he does that. He makes it even simpler for Hank. “Admit you killed Cristobal and John doesn’t have to come out at all.” Hank breaks down as he confesses his thorn of killing the man he loved.

Fuches’ clarity is shocking, comforting, and infectious. It is the truth of our universe. He speaks like a man who has been beaten to an inch of his death every day of his life for eight years. Hank admits his crime but as John is brought out, he turns and calls off the deal. Fuches shoots him and there is a shootout between the respective groups. Fuches protects John with his own body. Everyone else, excluding Sally, is dead. Hank has some life left. As he breathes his last, the horror of what he did flashes before his eyes. He holds Cristobal’s hand (the statute’s, of course) and his life force vanishes.

John runs out to a shocked Barry, who has just arrived. He hugs his son and then looks up to find the father figure – the mentor – who guided him once. They exchange a subtle head nod, almost as if the recognition of what they did for each other was never lost on them. Fuches runs back into the darkness and Barry takes Sally and John to safety. In the comfort of the hotel bed, John is soundly asleep, sandwiched in between his parents.

Why does Sally take John away from Barry after the shootout?

Sally pushes Barry to turn himself in as Gene’s news spreads across the internet. Surprisingly, Barry, who pleaded to God for mercy and “letting him sit in Heaven with Him where he rightly belongs” when he pulled into Hank’s office, feels his making it out alive was God’s way of redeeming him. The fact that he was spared means he should start a new chapter of his family life. Sally is disappointed and manifests her reservations with Barry’s theory by taking John the next morning.

Gene locks himself in with his gun as Tom, his agent, scampers to escape this mess. Barry shows up, looking for his family as a confused Tom lets him in. They discuss Barry doing the right thing and saving Gene as the realization dawns on Barry as well. The moment he is about to turn and call the cops, we hear a gunshot. Gene shoots Barry twice; once in his heart and once right in between his eyes. He sits with the satisfaction of having killed his lover’s killer since the world has already turned its face away from the truth of what happened.

Barry Ending Explained: What happens after the “time jump?”

The police are called by Tom and we have another time jump, although it is not nearly as jarring. Sally has taken Gene’s position at the theatre and teaches acting. Her stage adaptation of “Our Town” is a hit, drawing applause from crowds who regularly fill the small theatre. She is approached by a man outside and she wastes no breaths in rejecting him even before he can finish asking her out. The smile she has on her face vanishes as she drives home, alone, in her car.

John is now grown up and has got her permission to spend the night at his friend Eric’s house. His religious upbringing is clearly visible in his decision-making. He reluctantly sees the film The Mask Collector, the HBO biopic on Barry’s life. The truth is muddled with two-faced lies. Gene is indeed blamed for Janice’s death. The movie goes as far as showing he practically killed her. It shows Barry as a true hero who was a committed veteran and family man, misguided by an evil acting teacher who got jealous and killed his own lover.

Gene is also shown killing Barry, and the erstwhile serial killer being “laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full honours.” Gene spends the rest of his life in jail for the murders of Janice and Barry. The cinematic twist on the true story bemused John, who lets out a chuckle laced with a moral dilemma.

The Episode Review

For all the jarring changes in tone, colour, and genre, Barry remains true to the story it told. The season finale lives up to the billing, albeit slightly anticlimactic in how things manifest. Props to Bill Hader for satisfying an entire arc with a subtle head nod, arguably one of the most powerful yet simple tools in storytelling techniques. Barry’s season finale gallops along with its minimalism in conception and silences that feel like an eternity.

Sally’s character was finally redeemed. Her turnaround also confirmed that she never needed to go back to Barry in the first place. All she had to do was process her trauma and the gigantic unfairness that life threw at her. Sometimes, that is the most difficult thing to accept and we find comfort in our denial. Glad to see Sally escaping that, even though a part of her was lost forever.

Hank and Fuches had strong finishes too; each concluding their journeys fittingly. Barry Berkman’s death immortalized him in popular culture. We have seen numerous villains becoming heroes with artistic interventions on the screen. Gene indeed made him “human”; whether that was through his acting classes or murdering him in cold blood, no one can say definitively.

Goodbye, Barry.

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You can read our full season review for Barry season 4 here!

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