Barry season 3, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

By Marc Miller
Published: April 25, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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HBO Barry season 3, episode 1


Barry is back for its third season, and the manic comedy remains the best show on television.

This recap of HBO’s Barry season 3, episode 1, contains spoilers.

Access the archive of news, recaps, and reviews for Barry

Barry season 3, episode 1 recap

Oh, Barry (Bill Hader). He misses true professionals. He saved Gene (Henry Winkler) last season, but he finally found his killer rage that had remained untapped for an entire season. Barry went after Fuches and killed most of No-Ho Hank’s team of accordion-dancing loveable thugs, effectively killing his two primary sources of income. So now he is taking payments for his Berkman hitman services over to Craigslist. It’s not going well. When an angry husband is about to peel a man’s eyelids who screwed his wife, he forgives him. No problem, let’s call it off, right? No big deal. Wrong.

Barry then shoots both because they have seen his face.

The show also looks in on the main characters and sees where they are in their lives. For instance, Gene now knows Barry killed the love of his life, Janice. (If you remember, Fuches whispered this information into his ear at the end of the seventh episode). He is brought to the police station and tells the detectives Berkman is the killer. However, they insist it was the Chechens because of the bullet Barry left in the trunk. 

No-Ho Hank (Anthony Carrigan) is now running a nursery in a parking lot as a cover for heroin sales. After Barry’s massacre in that monastery (including Akhmal!), it turns out No-Ho is living his best life. Besides his impeccable fashion sense, he is having a secret affair with the eye of his affection, Cristobal. Yes, the longing and that awkward hug they had at the end of season two is now in full bloom. 

Hank is taken in by the police to be shaken for more information. He plans to use Fuches (Stephen Root, stapler free) as a pawn with the police. And he does, telling them Fuches is an assassin called “The Raven.” So, where is he? Hank has him overseas, where he has found love and purpose on a goat farm. This being Hollywood, the city of angels, the chief of police eats that story up.  So much so, they begin to work on logos for the raven for the press release and social media posts.

Then there is Sally (Sara Goldberg). She now is writing, directing, and starring in a streaming series called Joplin, about a mother and daughter (played by Eighth Grade’s Elsie Fisher), a dramedy where they live through male toxicity. The episode has a jaw-dropping tracking shot of Goldberg’s Sally walking through the floor as she finishes scenes, giving directions, orders, and multiple sets. Sally has finally hit her stride and is at a professional career peak.

Barry, though, is experiencing depression. He is isolating himself, stopped acting, and is detached. All he does is play video games and perform Sally’s tasks for him. (She tells him to bring her flowers on set, and when she asks if he has time for lunch, to pass on the invite and go home). When he leaves, he tracks down Hank and asks for a job outside his home with Cristobal inside. Hank promptly shoots him down and tells him never to contact him again.

Hank isn’t the only one fed up with Barry. Gene has decided to take matters into his own hands. He pulls out a box with a handgun. Inside is a card that says, “Couscous, Try not to shoot your dick off with this, Rip.” Yes, RIP is the initials of Rip Torn. Gene texts Barry to meet him at his closed-down actors’ studio that night. The following day, Gene says goodbye to his son and grandson. A goodbye that suggests he will not see them again.

The ending

When Barry gets there, they exchange pleasantries. Gene, though, cuts to the chase. He talks about Fuches popping the trunk in the woods and seeing Janice. and him whispering in his ear, “Barry Berkman did this.” Gene ominously tells Barry he knows he killed Janice. Gene then slowly reaches for RIP’s gun. He tells Barry he now has two choices. One, go with him to the station and turn himself in. Or two, he can “f*****g die!”

When you hear Gene pull back the hammer, the wheel falls out along with the bullets that hit the floor.

The mood has changed, as also have the expressions. Gene looks frightened. Barry looks angry and shocked. Berkman says, “Mr. Couseneau?” “Huh?” replies Gene. “I’m sorry,” says Barry. He then leaps from his chair toward his mentor, and the screen fades to black.

What did you think of HBO’s Barry season 3, episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!

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