After spending two seasons carefully straddling the line between being a mercenary-for-hire and an aspiring actor, Barry’s life completely unraveled in Season 3. He was suffering from depression, and his relationship with Sally was essentially abusive. But since his handler, Fuches, and his acting teacher, Cousineau, started to work with the police, it became too hard for him to maintain his dual identity. Additionally, since the family members of those he had killed got up to take revenge against him, Barry’s options became limited because he could neither carry on being an actor nor could he keep piling on the dead bodies. All this pressure eventually blindsided him as he tried to kill Jim Moss, i.e., Janice’s father. However, Cousineau and Jim trapped Barry and got him arrested. “Barry” Season 4 commences with the titular character going to jail.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Barry Reconciles With Fuches
After entering jail, the first person that Barry calls is Cousineau, and he nervously asks him about working with the police and whether or not Cousineau knows that he loves him and that everything that he is doing is his way of protecting him. But Cousineau coldly responds that he has sent him to the place he deserves to be after everything he has done. While going back to Joplin, Sally has a nightmare on the plane where she sees the motocross gang member that tried to kill her and then got killed by her. As soon as she lands, she gets a call from Lindsay, who tells her that Barry has been arrested. Since Barry told her that he was going to take the fall for the death of the motocross gang member, Sally assumes that that’s what he has been arrested for, and hence, she denies that she was with him. It eventually becomes clear that Barry has been arrested for killing Janice, and as the realization sets in that Barry killed Janice and lived with Sally as if nothing had happened, Sally experiences a panic attack.
Fuches realizes that he is in the same jail as Barry, and he goes to the FBI. He brokers a deal where, if the FBI can ensure that nothing is going to happen to Fuches in jail, and when he goes out, he will record his conversations with Barry and get him to admit that he has done more than killing Janice. Buckner, who seems to be some kind of public prosecutor working against Berkman and is a friend of Jim’s, asks Cousineau if he’s willing to testify against Barry. And Cousineau agrees to do so. But I guess Cousineau thinks that Barry is just some marine-turned-murderer and is unaware of the people who are either after Barry or behind Barry. So, admitting that he was close to Barry can get Cousineau in a world of trouble.
Anyway, the narrative shifts to Santa Fe to show that NoHo Hank and Cristobal are living in a house temporarily. While Cristobal appears to be somewhat fine, Hank is clearly shaken, as he tenses up when he hears something unexpectedly loud. Sally returns home to find out that her room has been turned into a museum for taxidermied animals by her father. When Barry uses his daily call to contact Sally, she tells him never to get in touch with her. Back in prison, Barry has a vision of his first day outside Cousineau’s acting class, and the illusion is broken by Fuches. He tries to get Barry to talk about someone he has killed. However, Barry apologizes to Fuches for not taking his advice regarding living two lives, which causes Fuches to break down in tears.
NoHo Hank Finds Out That Barry Is In Jail
Cousineau resumes his acting masterclass, where he is applauded like a hero. When Jim meets him in his dressing room, they agree not to turn this investigation and Janice’s death into a media circus. But you have to remember that even though Cousineau looks like a reasonable guy and is probably the victim here, he isn’t immune to the allure of showbiz. Cristobal proposes an idea to Hank. He says that since Santa Fe is in dire need of sand that can be used for construction, they should enter the business and rebuild their empire around this particular business. Sally’s father, Joe, sees her cowering under her desk and calls her to come to watch “Joplin,” the show that Sally had made, with him and her mother, Claudia. That goes expectedly bad because Claudia keeps commenting on the discrepancies in the story and the fact that Sally used Sam’s (Sally’s abusive ex) actual name in the show, despite claiming that it’s not about her.
When Claudia says that she sees Sam’s mother every day in church and that she has to talk to her about what Sally has done to Sam’s image in the show, the issue becomes clear. Claudia is a typical, conservative mother who never helped Sally during her time of distress. When she didn’t try to calm Sally down at the airport, as she was having a full-blown panic attack, it was kind of clear. However, in this particular moment, Claudia proves that she has a direct hand in Sally’s suffering. That said, Joe does try his best to help Sally by telling her to come to work for him because, like every other dad in the world, he thinks that keeping your mind busy on a job will help you get through your troubles. The narrative shifts to Hank, who is having a nightmare where he’s still stuck in Cristobal’s wife’s “jail,” along with Barry. That seems like a premonition because, after waking up, he finds out that not only does someone else (probably an FBI agent) have Barry’s phone, but also that Barry is in jail.
Season 4, Episode 1: Ending Explained: Why Did Cousineau Decide To Give An Interview To Vanity Fair?
Barry harms himself in jail for every wrong decision that he has taken that has led him to this place. A prison guard named Birdwell tries to calm him down by saying that since Barry used to be a marine, he can’t be all bad, and he needs to find the goodness that’s buried inside him. Overwhelmed by the need to be bashed to death because of his transgressions, Barry irks Birdwell by saying that he’s a “cop killer,” and if given a chance, he would kill Birdwell and his entire family. Barry gets what he wants, i.e., a brutal beating. But instead of explicitly showing that Hader (who’s in the director’s chair) decides to momentarily flashback to Barry’s childhood to make it seem that that’s what Barry is relying on to tolerate the blows from the prison guards. It also shows us a time when Barry’s life had endless possibilities, which contrasts harshly with Barry’s present, where he’s lying on the floor of a prison bathroom with blood trickling down his face. That’s when Fuches enters the scene, discards his wire, and apologizes for outing Barry. The two hug it out, seemingly bringing their feud to an end.
At the end of “Barry” Season 4, Episode 1, we see Cousineau calling up a journalist who has been trying to interview him for Vanity Fair and telling him that he’s going to give him the story of sending Berkman to prison. And at this moment, Cousineau reveals what he truly is: a slimy, opportunistic, soulless “entertainer” who’ll do anything to control the narrative. This moment essentially recontextualizes everything that he has been feeling after finding out about Janice’s death. I am sure that at some point in his relationship with Janice, he did love her. However, in all the scenes where he was disassociating with reality because it was too hard to handle, I think he was searching for a way to turn all of this into a story with him as the protagonist. Although Cousineau is from a different era, this decision speaks to the current trend of turning everything, especially if it’s traumatic, into content that’ll highlight the storyteller. Why do it, though? Well, for attention and sympathy, for starters. Does this make Cousineau something worse than Barry? I am willing to say, yes, this makes Cousineau worse than whatever Barry was or will end up being.