Season 3, Episode 7, “Candy Donkeys”

Bill Hader in Barry

Bill Hader in Barry
picture: Merrick Morton / HBO

Let’s get started before we get started. MV: Moderate violence flashes on the warning slide for HBO content. Nice? Sure, things got out of hand last week with a motocross rampage on the Los Angeles highway, passengers sweeping windshields, flipping cars, and psychotic Tracy driving over a building and shooting into a crowd before being shot by the heroic used car. Vendor. And of course, Barry (Bill Hader) is poisoned by Sharon (Karen David), the widow of Chris (Chris Marquette), the former Marine Barry who was killed in season one. “Die, you motherfucker!” Sharon hissed as Barry foamed at his mouth and flipped over. This was awesome guys! Don’t quit now.

Instead of horrific graphic violence (torturing Sharon Barry in her basement?), we get an episode that continues the super-quickly-packed plot, which we’ve come to expect throughout the season, plus some crazy setbacks, Terence dreaming about Mallick-y fever, and one of those great narrative ironies that makes From the series an engineering feat.

The final element comes late in “Candy Donkeys,” when Jane Cousino (Henry Winkler) finds himself face to face with the fearsome, no-nonsense Jim Moss (Robert Ray Wisdom), the father of his dead sweetheart Janis Moss. Cousin knows that Barry killed Janice. Through Barry, Cousineau’s career was revived. Fuches recently told Jim that Barry killed Janice, and that Cousineau knows Barry did. However, when he confronts Jim Cuzino, he assures Jim that Barry is not the killer. As Cuzino babbles, lying to hide Barry, wishing Barry had a gun there in the cabin so he could kill “those Russians,” the camera – by the way, the rumbling of this episode – drifts up to fix Cuzino’s sweaty scalp. He’s not a good enough actor to hide the sweat of guilt. Jim, a Vietnamese veterinarian trained in PSYOPS, notes.

Cousineau’s betrayal of the love of his life is perhaps the saddest sequence in an episode full of characters in desperation. Ryan’s father (Michael Beaucheffer) is stuck between ending the pain of his grief or getting revenge on Barry. Sally (Sarah Goldberg) attacks Natalie (Darcy Cardin) in the elevator, repeatedly yelling at Natalie an ugly phrase Sally was really throwing at herself. Sally’s sinister, disjointed scream, complete with hitting the wall next to Natalie’s face, is a perfect version of Sally’s Barry explosion in the second episode of this season. As with Cousineau, Barry poisoned those around him, showing their greed, violence, or ability to accept evil. It may be that those who have suffered the most from Barry’s actions – grief – have a greater capacity for good. Ryan’s father leaves a poisoned Barry and dies in the emergency room before killing himself. Jim Moss puts the pieces together and seems like a fair man more than just revenge.

Meanwhile, Hank puts himself in danger in Bolivia to find Cristobal, although there is no good reason to believe that the two lovers will reunite safely. As for Fuchs (Stephen Root), he seems to have come to the end of his path: He basically tells Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao) the truth about his working relationship with Barry. However, it would be foolish to expect any of these characters to disappear, like Barry Recreates the most accurate narrative themes.

As with last week, this was another episode that seems to be testing audiences’ patience with its wild events. For example, I totally believe that Sharon, who panicked after she poisoned Barry, will run away from home (will Albert find her there early next week?). And I buy that Barry will survive, stagger, and try to escape. But how did Ryan’s father find that Barry passed out in an alleyway? How NoHo Hank finds the only man in Bolivia who will take him to the Sifuentes crime family (after they knock him down with a blow arrow).

Sarah Goldberg in Barry

Sarah Goldberg in Barry
picture: Merrick Morton / HBO

How Albert finally linked Barry to Moss’ murder was clear enough: Jim Moss suspected that Fuchs, aka Kenneth Gullit, turned him over to the police. Chief Krause and Burns think they caught “The Raven,” but when Albert heard Moss say Fox had pointed the finger at Barry Berkman – as Cuzino had originally done – he went to interrogate Fox himself, with the cameras turned off. Albert reveals himself to Fuches as Barry’s wounded fellow Afghan vet, and Fuches spills the beans about the killer’s operation with Barry.

The episode begins in the church where worshipers sing a hymn. We see Ryan’s father frozen in grief in a chair. Albert ends up taking his gun and probably leaving his house. In between, we see Barry gasping, breathing hallucinating on the beach, surrounded by dozens of dead: Goran, Chris, Esther, Fernando, and tons of Chechens and Bolivians. In the ocean, we hear roaring sounds and noises from another world. Barry stands among these souls on the shore bound for the afterlife. It’s hard to imagine Barry not going to survive the end of the season. “Barry is a good man.” The line is spoken by Foch and Cousino. Whether or not God forgives Barry, or sends him to Hell, Albert is on his way.

stray notes

  • The Barry The opening slogan works without the usual wave of fanfare (“Change for the World” by Charles Bradley). Instead, we hear the stage director of Cousineau’s skit, followed by his cheesy introduction monologue. The last time Hader/Berg did this was the last episode of Season 2, “berkman > block.”
  • Just a few interesting story points from New MedusasWhiteboard: “Abby buys a hat to hide snakes,” “Abby and Calvin eat pizza WTF,” “A+C hook up disaster,” “Abby feels good about Cal Death”
  • Lol Hank Line: He politely waits for the Bolivian market man to assemble his blow gun and mark his neck before chirping, “Yeah. OK. That’s what I thought you were doing but I didn’t want to be rude, so” and collapses.
  • Cousineau’s agent, Tom Posorro (the invaluable Fred Melamed, who also represented Maria Bamford in Lady Dynamite) gets another part of the list, where he praises (not demonizes) his cousin. Under Annie’s supervision, Jane appears “manly, manly, solid, muscular, chivalrous, strong, with jaws, un homme pour tous saisons
  • There’s a special place in hell for anyone who wears Cousineau (that oddly patterned tie, that plaid shirt).
  • Now that Natalie has her own Natalie, she keeps it Busy. As they walk to the elevator, her assistant rushes to keep up: “Make an appointment at the acupuncturist where Chloe Grace Moretz ends their relationship, but make sure it’s with the tattoo guy and not the girl with the fangs because I didn’t like her.”
  • While she angrily burns bridges with Agent Lindsey (Jesse Hodges), she supports Sally in a dark, unlit room. The choreography echoes Barry’s transition into darkness at the end of the season 2. It is not that different, after all.
  • Stephen Root’s Crush Monologue is old news. However, when Fox said to Albert, “This Transformation Did you see it explode when Barry was avenging you? I used it in a very profitable business for him.” He opened his Pepsi on “Switch”. Chef’s Kiss.