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Barry season 4 episodes 1-2 recap – everybody hates Berkman

Our favourite hitman is back, and Barry season 4 episodes 1-2 strip back the comedy to lay the dramatic foundations for a big finale.

Barry season 4 episodes 1-2 review: Bill Hader as Barry Berkman

Our Verdict

Barry is dialling up the tension as we get stuck into the fourth and final season, and there's a lot of fun to be had with these first two episodes as things get wonderfully messy.

What a year this is shaping up to be for some of the best TV series, mainly from the treasure trove of HBO Max. Not only have we been treated to an epic first season of The Last of Us, and the imminent culmination of the Succession journey, but we also now have the Barry season 4 release date on the buffet table, too.

The fourth and final season of Barry has plenty of loose ends to tie up from the previous season of the action-packed comedy series. However, it’s abundantly clear from the first two episodes of this new chapter that the show is prepared to make even more of a mess before it cleans up the fallout.

The Barry season 3 finale saw the titular hitman cornered and finally facing some punishment for his many, many crimes. Gene Cousineau teamed up with Janice Moss’ father, Jim, and laid a trap for Barry Berkman which led to his arrest. How would Barry get out of this one? Warning, spoilers for the first two episodes of Barry season 4 coming up!

Well, let’s just say the only thing on Barry’s mind, at least in the first episode, is redemption and forgiveness. He uses his coveted phone call to contact Gene, who isn’t interested in Barry’s apologies and is ready to testify in court against his former acting apprentice.

Barry also desperately wants to speak to Sally, but she doesn’t want to hear it. The only person who is willing to speak to our hapless protagonist is Fuches, who happens to be an inmate at the same prison as Barry. The only problem is, Fuches is wearing a wire to try once more to incriminate his old pal.

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Meanwhile, Hank and Cristobal look to have it made over in Santa Fe, but an opportunity to dominate the sand market (yes, sand) comes up and the pair begin to dream big once again. The lovebirds head back to LA to drum up support for their new venture, leading to a hilarious business meeting in a sports bar as they enthusiastically pitch their idea to two rival gangs over jalapeño poppers.

Bill Hader is, as always, phenomenal in these first two episodes. Barry is truly losing his mind as he adjusts to prison life, and Hader showcases his incredible ability to go from pathetic to psychotic, as he threatens to kill a prison guard and his entire family, before being subjected to a heavy beating.

Barry season 4 episode 1-2 review: Bill Hader as Barry Berkman

Stephen Root, too, offers fantastic support in the Barry cast as Fuches. Despite his initial plan to ensnare Barry, he rushes to his friend’s aid and realises it’s more important to be there for Barry than to try and uphold his deal with the FBI. There’s also a brilliantly comical moment as Fuches attempts to assert his dominance over the other inmates with his penchant for creating criminal nicknames.

The humour is stripped back, by and large, however, as the more intense elements of the drama series come to the fore. Sally is at the heart of this; be it her fractured relationship with her mother, coping with the damage Barry has done to her career, or her fears over her own implication in his crimes.

Barry season 4 episode 1-2 recap: Sarah Goldberg as Sally Reed in Barry season 4

Arguably the best scene so far comes in episode 2, when Sally visits Barry in prison. Barry is a broken man, insisting he didn’t lie to her, he just “didn’t want it to be true” and recognised the fact she made him feel “human.” Sally is more concerned with the whereabouts of the man she killed in season 3, but does tell Barry she feels safe with him, offering him a glimmer of hope for their relationship.

Barry takes that glimmer and runs with it and we see just how deluded he actually is at this stage. The show is introducing more and more surrealism and style, as we see Barry’s memories and visions of the future blur within his twisted psyche.

Barry season 4 episode 1-2 recap: Anthony Carrigan as Hank in Barry season 4

Barry season 4 may have kicked off proceedings with a bigger focus on drama than comedy but the balance, as always, is perfect. Hader and the team are seemingly intent on rocking the boat as much as they can before the show faces its final curtain, but make no mistake, there’s method in all this madness.

While we wait for more from Barry, why not check out our list of all the new movies on the way this year, or our list of the very best movies of all time. You may also be keen to learn more about the House of the Dragon season 2 release date, or The Last of Us season 2 release date for more from HBO.