HBO’s Emmy-winning “Barry” kicks off Season 3 on April 24, and it’s clear from the teaser trailer that Barry has found himself in an even deeper mess than before. The Chechen mob is after him while the Los Angeles police department closes in thanks to former boss Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) tipping off Barry’s acting teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) about the murder of his cop girlfriend Detective Janice Moss (Paula Newsome). And Barry is still trying to make a relationship work with fellow actor Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg).
Our heads are spinning more than after reciting a Shakespearian monologue. Keep scrolling to see where Barry Blockman (er, Berkman) left off in Season 2, plus get all the details about Season 3 before its premiere.
1. Who Is Barry Running From?
Merrick Morton / HBO
Ah, the age-old question: Which villain is chasing our hero now? We certainly can’t trust Fuches, who betrayed Barry and started working with the cops to get Barry to confess to killing Detective Moss on record. Don’t forget that Fuches’ plan has been thwarted a few times; after Barry did admit to murdering Moss to cover his own hitman tracks, Moss’ partner Detective Loach (John Pirruccello) offered to look the other way if Barry killed his ex-wife’s new partner. The comedy of errors continues!
Eventually, Fuches frames Gene for murdering his own girlfriend by calling in a tip. Barry puts a Chechen pin next to Moss’ body in the trunk of her car to steer officers away from suspecting Gene, who is later released…but remembers that Fuches told him Barry was really the one to kill Moss. So, will Gene tell the police that Barry is the one to blame?
Meanwhile, NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) will be grappling with an obliterated gang after the Burmese and Bolivian team up has fatal consequences. Hank and Fuches’ team-up proved to have disastrous consequences after Barry crashes their monastery hideout and kills almost everyone there.
2. Where Do Things Stand With Sally?
Sally is still struggling with being typecast, and so her big performance as part of her acting class showcase is both an emotional catharsis to her past abusive relationship and a way to prove to her agent that she can take on meatier roles. But Barry is once again left in the dust as Sally goes off script and also lies about what really happened with her ex. Yet Sally’s switch-up pays off as her career hits new highs in Season 3, leaving Barry feeling left behind.
3. Season 3 Promises a Second Chance for Barry’s Happiness Amid Chaos
“Barry” returns April 24 and the teaser trailer captured Barry’s struggle to find contentment. The official season description reads: “While Barry has eliminated many of the external factors that pushed him towards violence, he soon discovers they weren’t the only forces at play. What is it about his own psyche that led him to become a killer in the first place? Season 3 finds Barry and the other characters trying to make the right choice.”
The eight-episode third season will pick up six months after the events of Season 2, with Sally now starring in her own show and Barry being unemployed (besides contract killing). Audiences will also gain new insights into Gene’s Hollywood past and Hank’s gang partner Cristobal (Michael Irby) will land a meatier role.
Lead star, writer, and director Hader previously revealed during the Television Critics Association’s virtual press tour that Season 3 will “more than anything show the ramifications of [Barry’s violence],” per a recap of the event by The Hollywood Reporter.
Co-creator Alec Berg added, “All of the wreckage of Seasons 1 and 2 that Barry had to do to keep the plates spinning, all goes back to his decision to become an actor. I really enjoy the fact that everything that happens in the show is a consequence of Barry wanting a better life, and every bit of that better life he’s trying to achieve has led to all this chaos.”
4. Will Barry Keep Killing?
Hader told Vanity Fair that the final scene in Season 2 with Barry slaughtering dozens of gang members is akin to an alcoholic taking a drink after being sober.
“The last scene of Season 2 is him going on a bender after watching him not have a drink all season,” Hader said. “In Season 3, he’s very much kind of at a loss. We find him at the beginning very much at a loss. Kind of in the pilot, he is always trying to find a purpose and he doesn’t really have a purpose. I think he still hasn’t really recovered.”
5. Henry Winkler Had to be Convinced to Go “Darker”
Henry Winkler won an Emmy for playing acting coach Gene Cousineau, and Season 3 will allow Winkler to explore a darker side of his character. Gene’s Hollywood history will be revealed, and per an interview with Vanity Fair, Hader said that Gene is loathed in the industry for a very specific reason.
“It’s not his character at all,” Hader said. “As a person, he is just very loving. There’s some scenes, especially later in the season, they’re really emotional and pretty brutal. Those were tough for him. I really respected him for going there and really committing to it.”
In fact, the whole season was “always going to be darker” than the first two, for all its characters.
“I think, by the virtue of, each season, the kind of noose is tightening around Barry and the pressures is on him,” Hader continued. “And so I think in doing that and just kind of writing it, just going step by step, it just started to go that way.”
6. Season 3 Will Not Include the Pandemic
Hader noted that while Season 3 had COVID-19 related production delays, the new season will not incorporate the pandemic into the storyline. “We had a talk with HBO and I just was like, ‘The last thing I want to see right now is people in masks and stuff like that and then it becomes like a whole other thing,'” Hader said. “So I think on some level I was hoping that, ‘Oh, if we have masks then people will know it was during the pandemic.’ I think it was my own hoping that this thing would end and be a thing in history.”
7. Fans Won’t Have to Wait Long for Season 4
Following the pandemic lockdowns, Hader and the “Barry” team focused on writing both Seasons 3 and 4. Hader confirmed that Season 3 “sets up” a lot of Season 4 since they were being written simultaneously.
While HBO has yet to confirm a Season 4, it’s clear “Barry” is back in a big way.
“Barry” Season 3 premieres April 24 on HBO.