Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 7 of Barry.With the final episode of HBO’s Bill Hader-helmed dramedy Barry right around the corner, there is no telling just how the series might end. Barry has acted as a vehicle for Hader to try his hand at writing and directing a series, something that is paying off as he is said to be in the pre-production stages of a horror movie as well. This last season of the show has seen all the featured characters transform in one way or another into different people, especially considering a big choice made in the plot.
Season 4 has had some big surprises, foremost of which has been a ten-year time jump midway through, seeing Barry Berkman (Hader) and Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) go on the run from L.A. and forge an isolated life together literally in the middle of nowhere (most likely middle America). However, another surprise that happens is the small elements of horror that seem to be injected into certain scenes involving Sally after this time jump. There has been much speculation about whether these scenes are real or not and even more as to what they mean, but here’s what they really point to.
The Masked Intruder Could Be a Product of Sally’s Mind
In Episode 6, titled “the wizard,” Barry goes to L.A. to find Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) in order to kill him and prevent the Barry Berkman movie from becoming a reality. While Barry is away, Sally stays at the house with their son John (Zachary Golinger), who Sally slips vodka to in order to get him to fall asleep. Not long after, a disembodied male voice can be heard telling Sally he’s coming for her. Then a figure in something like a black morph suit stalks her around the house before she inadvertently closes the bedroom door in his face, prompting him to give himself away when he starts yelling about something caught in his eye. A terrified Sally tries to shoot through the door, but the gun is empty; the intruder runs away, but shortly thereafter a pickup truck rams the house with enough force to tilt it off its foundations before driving away.
Although some have declared these events are happening in the real world, possibly orchestrated by the coworker Sally was responsible for getting fired an episode prior, there is more to suggest it is some sort of waking hallucination or dream, especially considering what happens in Episode 7. The intruder uses the same line that the motocross goon used when he attacked Sally back in Season 3. This could suggest that the stress of living secret isolated lives, especially one as controlling as Barry has made for them, combined with the trauma of that attack, has finally reached its breaking point for Sally. That ambiguous intruder was representative of that presence of ever-looming danger — in Sally’s case, both Barry and her traumatic past including the abusive boyfriends and that motocross goon.
The Police Officer’s Eye Could Be a Connection to Season 3
In Episode 7, Sally takes her son John to L.A. to try and find Barry, as he didn’t return as timely as he said he was going to. While she is waiting outside Gene Cousineau’s house for Barry, she is reminded unintentionally by John that her life will be the same once they are reunited with Barry. This gives Sally pause — and in a moment of clarity, she approaches a nearby police officer and begins to explain her situation when she notices blood trickling from the officer’s eye. This prevents Sally from pursuing her course of action any further.
Coincidentally, the police officer’s eye is the same one that was bleeding for the motocross goon back in Season 3. Since this is clearly something only Sally is seeing, it is intended to give a window into her experience. The realization that the life she built with Barry is something that has taken a big toll, topped with the unhealed wounds of trauma, is further exacerbated by Sally being reminded that her life over the last decade is partially a result of Barry being abusive in a hyper-controlling and potentially violent way. She is sandwiched between feeling secure with Barry and doing what is best for her and their son. Her hesitation and the feeling of constant threat from those she is supposed to be able to rely on, such as the police officer, is a product of her running from everything that happened to her ten years prior and essentially pretending it didn’t happen.
With the series finale of Barry right around the corner, the fate of most of the featured characters is still very much undecided. With Barry on the hunt for his now abducted family, NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) trying to preserve his autonomy in the empire he has created and Fuches (Stephen Root) coming into his own as The Raven, there is no telling how this will pan out. As far as Sally is concerned, the hope is that she gets some relief from the emotional and mental strain she has had to endure over everything she has been through.
The series finale of Barry premieres this Sunday on HBO and Max.