Barry does more than just pay tribute to David Chase’s journeys into the subconscious by having a grieving father’s chance for revenge break up the whole sequence. George Krempf, the father of Ryan Madison, finds Barry wandering the streets wheezing, staggering, and slipping away a little bit. He decides to throw Barry in the back of his car. What comes next is a heartbreaking story about a peaceful man who is torn between wanting to get even and wanting to move on with his life. He talks about how much he loved his son and how empty he feels now.
The Krempf scenes stand out for how sincere they are, even though they are in the middle of a fast-paced and funny Barry episode. When Barry finally wakes up outside of a hospital, it looks like George killed himself instead of going against his nature and doing something violent to get justice. Barry survived yet another attempt on his life, but there are worse threats coming.
This writer always gets excited when there’s a dream sequence like in The Sopranos, but “Candy Asses” is good all the way through, especially when it’s about Albert. The writing team had a great idea to bring in Albert, who had been in a key flashback scene, as the only good cop in a sea of hilariously bad ones. Albert finally gets the whole picture when he is in the same room as Fuches, who was brought to the police by Janice’s father, SERE Specialist veteran Jim Moss. Fuchs tells Albert that Barry is a contract killer who is to blame for everything. He decides not to record Fuches’ confession, which is interesting. He probably did this because he wanted to treat his former soldier friend with something like mercy. Fuches’s inability to let go of his grudge against Barry was mildly amusing at first, but he finally shows up in a key and fittingly climactic scene.
Sally’s new job working for a childish and incompetent showrunner is hell, and it gets worse when she finds out that Natalie is having the time of her life starring in and running her own show. Natalie’s show is a watered-down, exact copy of Joplin, which makes it even more personal for Sally. Sally becomes a berserker and corners Natalie in an elevator. She then lets out a huge amount of anger and bitterness all at once. Sarah Goldberg gives another brilliant performance, which starts out funny and then gets really scary. Since it is 2022, Natalie films the whole thing without anyone knowing and puts it online. Then, Sally makes things worse by posting a damage-control video that is not an apology. Her agent tries to scold her for the move, but Sally breaks again, complaining about how self-serving her agent is and how crazy the show business is in general. Even though Sally’s rant makes sense, it still hurts her, so her agent quits on the spot.
Gene’s career is at least going well. This week, we watch as he gets excited about starting work on his Master’s Class. Henry Winkler’s bad impressions of famous characters are so funny, but Gene makes up for what he lacks in talent with his enthusiasm and positive energy. It would be good if it weren’t all because Gene didn’t say anything about Barry. It sounds like an example of how the desire to be in the spotlight can change even the most honest people. We also see how Hollywood lets people fake it until they make it and fail their way up. After 20 years of trying to direct, Annie is having almost constant anxiety attacks, but her instinctive work is already getting her more offers.
Jim Moss asking about Barry Berkman destroys Gene’s happy little path to redemption. In a bittersweet and complicated moment, Gene covers up for Barry completely. But Jim can’t stop thinking about Gene’s sweating. Maybe the master needs more lessons to learn how to beat Jim. How Jim acts from here on out and how his actions affect Albert’s plans will probably be the main focus of next week’s finale.
Hank finally goes to Bolivia to find Cristobal, but Elena’s men catch him almost right away. Some of the other Chechens, like Akhmal and Yandar, are in nearby cells and seem to be trying to get out. At this point, the series has moved a little past the Chechen-Bolivian war. This was even more clear when Goran and Ester showed up in Barry’s death fantasy sequence, along with all of Barry’s other victims. Still, Hank is such a popular character that his story with Cristobal should have a clear ending. As much as I love him, I hope the show either finds a way to put him back at the center of Barry’s story or ends his story in the season finale.
Barry has been moving at a breakneck speed, and all of its characters have been going into darker and slightly stranger places. The show has been giving us big moments every week, and with so many shocking endings in the past, next week’s episode has a lot to live up to. Luckily, Bill Hader and his team look like they can do it. A makeshift gravesite, like the one that started the season, was shown in the preview for next week. At that moment, forgiveness wasn’t given to Jeff. Will the same thing happen to Barry?
Fuches tells Albert all about his little operation and how he used the day Barry went crazy and killed the wrong people who were to blame for his scar to train a killer. And Fuches mentions Chris and how Barry hurt that family so much but still shows up every year to those charity runs. Albert leaves the station, but not before grabbing his gun. He looks upset.