“All the Sauces”
- Creator: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
- Starring: Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan
Let’s take a moment to give some praise to Sarah Goldberg for her work as Sally. She’s produced plenty of awards-worthy moments throughout her run in Barry – even receiving a Supporting Actress nomination at the Emmys after season 2 – but “all the sauces” contains one of her finest moments to date. She spends most of the episode fretting about her speech at the premiere of Joplin, worrying if she’ll come across as inauthentic and poring over every last detail. But when Natalie giddily drops the news that the show has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, she quickly drops her prepared remarks and vacillates between being too choked up to speak and trying to get the words out. She wants so badly to stay on topic and promote the show, but after everything she’s been through, professionally and personally, she can’t help but contain her excitement. It’s a remarkable moment, and Goldberg makes sure we feel every bit of it.
It’s also the moment right before things start to crumble for Sally. After hearing her praising Barry for being a loving, supportive boyfriend, Katie expresses her concerns, still reeling from Barry’s unexpected outburst in the writer’s room in “limonada.” Thankfully Sally realizes she’s strong enough to call it quits with him immediately after the premiere. It probably doesn’t help that he missed her big moment, but we’ll get to that in a second. Berg and Hader have always written Sally excellently, even when she makes questionable decisions, such as her folding after the aforementioned outburst. But here she’s taking herself back and – rightfully – breaking up with Barry after finally waking up to his bad behavior. I don’t know if I’ll root for them to get back together at this point, but I have no doubt that Sally’s arc throughout the rest of the season will be well worth the investment.
There’s a fantastic duality in this week’s episode that showcases the people Barry has killed, and the ripple effect he’s caused. Jason Kim, who wrote the fantastic season 2 episode “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday”, opens this installment with a seemingly unrelated phone call between a man and wife as he’s away on business. As soon as he lovingly says goodbye and hangs up the phone, he’s shot in the head, leaving her and their son to hold on to that grief forever. That is, until Fuches shows up – or, more accurately, Kenneth Goulet – with an answer to their prayers and a name to go with it. In fact, Fuches’ new mission now that he’s returned to LA seems to be to set as many people against Barry as possible, even the people who were affected by the killings that Fuches himself orchestrated.
Besides being a good shot, is Barry good at killing people? I realize that the series exists in its own satirically heightened universe, and the police are only a threat when the writers need them to be, but Barry has exhibited a strangely unprofessional lack of judgment when taking on an assignment. Maybe this speaks to his general malaise this season, but it seems like a surefire way to get arrested or killed. He’s agreed to kill the leaders of the Bolivians, and is given a bomb to place under their house – Hader’s physical comedy after picking up the bomb in the parking lot is top notch. But he arrives at the house, with the same girls from “limonada” still across the street, in broad daylight and without a disguise. He gives his phone to Hank to install a Detonator app (yet another great visual gag this year) where Hank allows it to access his location, his photos, etc. This isn’t a major complaint, as the sequence provides some nice comedy and suspense, as Cristobal arrives at the house just as Barry tries to blow it up.
This leads to another amazing bit of pitch-black comedy that doubles as drama. Just before Cristobal arrives home, his father confronts him about his double life as a straight man, giving him an ultimatum to either come out or have Hank killed. Cristobal chooses love, and in an incredibly poignant moment, Fernando accepts and embraces him. And then Barry blows him up. (Presumably. We never get confirmation, but given Cristobal’s weary expression, we can assume he is, in fact, dead.)
We see the immediate pain in Cristobal’s eyes, surely in shock of the unexpected violence, but what will linger the longest for him is the prospect he had at a new life, a life he could live without fear. But Barry took that away from him. Barry may think he’s righted all his wrongs by giving up on controlling Gene and giving him the reward money from the hit but, as the final scene proves, grudges can last a long time.
Barry will air new episodes on HBO Sundays at 10pm