Barry and Sally look at each other in Barry season 3.

I’m Still Mad at This ‘Barry’ Character, But Happy They’re Getting a Second Chance in Season 4

The trailer for Barry season 4 has dropped! Premiering on April 16, Barry season 4 will pick up after Barry (Bill Hader)’s arrest at the end of season 3.

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The trailer obviously focuses on Barry himself, as he finds out that Fuches (Stephen Root) is a fellow inmate, and mourns the life he lost as an aspiring actor. There’s one quick shot that piqued my interest, though: Sally (Sarah Goldberg) stepping onto a film set.

Sally’s season 3 downfall

In season 3, Sally has one of the most spectacular self-destruction arcs in the series—which is impressive, considering that the main character is a volatile, traumatized hit man.

In season 3, Sally’s dreams seem to come true. She’s handed complete creative control over her own TV series, Joplin. She gets to bask in the attention of the media at her red carpet premiere. To top it off, Joplin gets a jaw-dropping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sally accomplishes what almost no aspiring actors do: she makes it.

Then it all comes crashing down the day after the premiere, when an algorithm decides no one is going to watch the show, and it gets canceled. The streaming platform even hides the existing episodes so that no one can find them. It’s a heartbreaking moment, made all the more frustrating because the satire isn’t far off from reality.

Things only get worse from there. While working as a writer on another show, Sally finds out that her classmate-turned-assistant Natalie (D’arcy Carden) now has her own series. Sally corners Natalie in an elevator, screaming at her and calling her an “entitled cunt.” Natalie films the encounter and posts it online, leading Sally to double down in a public non-apology that prompts her agent to drop her as a client. Sally, defeated, ends up going home to Joplin, MI. What Sally does to Natalie is awful, and it’s made all the worse because Natalie has spent the entire season quietly enduring Sally’s steadily inflating ego.

It’s a tragic story arc, made all the sadder because it shows how much Sally has internalized the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of others. She engages in the exact kind of behavior that she escaped in real life and criticized on her show. At the end, she doesn’t even seem to understand what she did wrong. The series may focus on Barry’s inner darkness, but Sally has a formidable dark side of her own.

Season 3 leads us to believe that Sally will fade into obscurity, her acting career just a blip. Now, though, it seems like she’ll get a second chance—and despite how frustrated I am with her character, I’m excited to see where her story is going. It’s a testament to how well Barry is written that no matter how badly its characters behave, you still root for them.

Now, here’s hoping that Sally can find the humility to actually apologize to Natalie, and turn her keen critical eye on herself.

(featured image: HBO Max)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>