Hader and Berg, as they usually do, back themselves into a corner, and Barry becomes unhinged in the process. Bill Hader brings his character to an even darker and scarier place than we have previously seen.
This recap of HBO’s Barry season 3, episode 2, contains spoilers.
Barry season 3, episode 2 recap
We see Barry waiting on a couple of meals at an LA restaurant, Monta Factory. He grabs his order and the change, then walks to the parking lot. Barry opens the trunk, and Gene pops out like a jack in the box. He begs if he can ride up front. Barry gives him his food, changes, and closes the trunk with Gene still inside. Strangely, no one sees the older man being held in the trunk.
The next scene has Sally debating with one of the writers on her new show. Barry comes in looking a little tweaked and energetic. Sally wonders if she asked him to come, but he says he came independently. Barry asks her to give Gene a part on the show. Sally told him she tried, but the producers and network refused. Barry assumes Sally can do whatever she wants, but he is also desperate because he has a plan to save Gene from himself. Unfortunately, as Sally found out, Gene has burned so many bridges in his life that no one wants to do anything with him.
In all the scenes of violence and murder in Barry, what happens next may be the scariest. Yes, he has murdered many, but those are criminals and deserve it. (Well, except for that very first scene of the series with the guy in the motel, we don’t know what he did). He becomes unhinged as if he was playing a scene from the Russell Crowe movie. You know, except without the murder. Hader plays Barry as scary, the way you may see an argument turn into a domestic violence situation.
Barry has serious rage issues. He demands Sally do what he says; she refuses. “We are not saying the same thing! If I don’t do this, I don’t live. I have to do this to f*****g live!” But you know what you don’t do with a psycho? You probably don’t laugh at him. Barry backs her up against a wall, punches it behind her head, and repeatedly screams at her to “Do it!” Now, everyone has cleared the room. Sally is frightened, staring at the ground, explaining she tried. Barry now realizes there is no chance but appears to have no clue of his rage and leaves the building.
Ironically, Sally is a formerly battered woman, and you would think she would know the situation she finds herself in. Instead of calling the police or leaving, she buys him a new video game controller and prepares a nice dinner. Meanwhile, her costar approaches the staff about reporting it but says there is nothing they can do about it. However, there is good news. Her show is being moved up to beat a rival show airing called PAM! So, Sally has to do a press junket the next day.
Meanwhile, No-Ho Hank is secretly involved with Cristobal. Hank takes secret phone calls, pretending it is a fellow crime peer. He takes clandestine meetings out of the office to meet him for some afternoon delight. When Hank is about to meet him, Cristobal’s father-in-law shows up. Yes, he has a wife and a couple of kids back home in the land of salt flats. Even if all the Bolivian henchmen he brought frolic in front of Cristobal, shirtless, I am guessing his father-in-law will not be as supportive as we hope since “Hankobal” is the greatest romance in the history of television. The plan is to take out the remaining Chechens, but Cristobal warns Hank and takes them on a Hollywood bus tour. Later, he also breaks up with him because the romance is over. Cristobal has to go back to his family.
The show ends with Barry desperately trying to find a part for Gene. He approaches the producers of Swim Instructors (Barry left the audition last year to save Gene’s life, and the role was given to someone else), and she has something for him. A part of the most popular television shows is Laws of Humanity. They want Barry, but the scene calls for an older man who doesn’t talk, and Gene could be that man. When Barry takes him to the middle of nowhere, his teacher tells him to let him go, and he won’t tell anyone. Barry responds, “You’re a bad actor, Mr. Couseneau.”
It is still unclear why Gene would not still run to the cops or take matters into his own hands even if he gets the part. Barry loves Gene, but as he listens to him make the case how he won’t tell anyone and forget the part, Barry replies, “It’s either this or I kill you.” Are Hader and Berg imagining a Swimming with the Sharks scenario, betting on Gene’s values getting back in the limelight more than his dead love? This is the only grey area I have with Barry in three seasons and is never fully explained since Gene has shown nothing but depression since he lost Janice.
The show ends with Barry nabbing the part on Laws of Humanity. Mainly, because he told the casting director his story of how he was a marine and Gene saved his life. He calls Sally and tells her the great news. She is impressed because it’s a real show, but you can tell she is jealous. Sally then wants to talk to him about him yelling at her, and she apologizes to him. How does Barry respond? He forgives her and doesn’t even offer her an apology for his actions. This mirrors the play Sally wrote they played on stage that ended the second season.
Barry then opens the trunk, and Gene is gone. We then see him jumping fences, being chased by a couple of dozen dogs (really). He asks for help from a young fast-food worker, but Gene comes across as crazy. When he tries to chase him down, Barry sees him and gets in a car accident. Gene makes it back home, thinking he can now call or ask for help, but Barry is there reading to his grandchild.
As Gene sits down next to Barry, he tells Gene that they both landed parts, and he will enjoy being given a second chance. Barry then resorts to threatening Gene.
“If you don’t, this one (meaning his grandson) and that one (meaning his son) go away.” Barry then tells him he loves him and forces him to return the favor. When he does, Barry ends the show with, “Can you repeat it?”
Like I said, unhinged.
What did you think of HBO’s Barry season 3, episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!