‘Barry’ Season 4 ending explained: One last-ditch attempt at redemption

The series finale of ‘Barry’ season 4 is a bleak episode that cautions against living a fantasy and attempting to maintain it through evil acts. The episode is filled with surprising narrative choices that burst quickly onto the screen before flaring out, resulting in a lack of one definite, show-stopping climax. The episode opens with NoHo Hank kidnapping Sally and Barry’s son John, while Gene Cousineau has been accused of murdering Janice Moss due to a major police mix-up. In his attempt to take down Barry, Hank calls in Fuches as backup, but before they can achieve their mutual goal of killing Barry, they get in each other’s way, and a shootout ensues, lasting for a few brief moments before everyone but Fuches is down. Sally reunites with Barry and John, but instead of turning himself in, Barry believes that his survival is a sign that he has been redeemed, a new fantasy to replace the older ones that helped him justify his killing. The episode ends with one last time jump, where John is a high schooler, and Sally is a theater teacher. John watches a film called ‘The Mask Collector,’ which also happens to retell Barry, Sally, and Gene’s story, and is a pretty mid-tier thriller that glorifies Barry as a handsome young veteran who has done absolutely nothing wrong, while Gene is a conniving, murderous mastermind. The episode is a haunting ending to the show, cautioning against living a fantasy, and ends on a meta note that forces the audience members to sit with their reactions to Barry as a character.

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