After wrapping up an impressive third season earlier this year, Barry just picked up several more Emmy victories on September 4th. There is another highly anticipated season of the HBO comedy-drama on the horizon as well, meaning even more major accolades could be in its future.
The show has worked so well because it blends hilariously awkward situations with the thrills of a story about a hitman. The best episodes in series history are boosted by fantastic acting, some great efforts by the directors (including star Bill Hader), and strong writing, all combining to make one of the most unique shows on TV.
10 All The Sauces – 8.7
Season 3, Episode 4
By this point in the series, Barry’s worlds had come crashing together more than ever before, leading to an apex in terms of drama. As Barry attempted to juggle his personal life, with Sally breaking up with him here, and his budding career, he had the unlikable Fuches send relatives of his past victims after him.
That led to an episode filled with the kind of dark humor the show excels at. No scene better showcased that than Barry’s phone call with customer service to try and get a bomb designed to kill dozens to work. It’s not something everyone notices but this episode was also nominated for a sound mixing Emmy.
9 Limonada – 8.7
Season 3, Episode 2
As soon as season 2 ended, everyone knew that a confrontation was coming between Gene and Barry since the former learned that the latter killed his girlfriend. Gene’s failed attempt to execute him ended up giving this episode its premise as Barry held Gene captive while trying to make amends.
That set up a lot for the future including Barry lashing out at Sally and being seen as abusive by her co-worker. Every interaction between Gene and Barry is both funny and pretty terrifying as Barry is at his most unhinged. Forcing Gene to tell him that he loves him made for a wild ending.
8 Know Your Truth – 8.9
Season 1, Episode 8
The conclusion of season 1 was a bit of a head-scratcher due to a late time jump. Audiences were unsure if this was a fantasy in Barry’s mind or if it was really happening. The fact that Barry had found success in acting, was a stable boyfriend to Sally, and made friends with Janice seemed too good to be true.
It ultimately was, which made the tense ending mean even more as Janice figured out who Barry was and he killed her to keep her quiet. It worked as a satisfying way to wrap up the story while also setting things up for future installments.
7 The Audition – 9.0
Season 2, Episode 7
The performance of Sarah Goldberg is always one of the highlights of this series but “The Audition” was her finest hour. The talented actress received an Emmy nomination for her work in this episode thanks in large part to a stunning monologue as her character has a breakdown filled with mixed emotions.
Beyond her outstanding performance, this installment featured one of the show’s best cliffhangers. Fuches took Gene to see Janice’s body, indicating that Barry killed her. He also pointed a gun at Gene’s head and planned to set up a murder/suicide just as credits rolled.
6 What?! – 9.1
Season 2, Episode 4
This show doesn’t shy away from touchy subjects including domestic abuse. Sally’s abusive ex-boyfriend Sam returned to the mix, leading to an awkward dinner that left fans wondering if Barry was going to snap and try to kill him at any moment.
Barry went on an emotional journey in this half-hour, nearly shooting Sally by mistake, opening up to Gene about killing someone, and getting coerced into confessing to Moss’s murder by Loach. To top it off, there was a great twist ending where Loach blackmailed Barry and set the stage for an epic follow-up episode.
5 Loud, Fast, And Keep Going – 9.2
Season 1, Episode 7
Bill Hader does so many great things for this show including writing and directing but he most often stands out as the star. Hader earned himself an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy Award for his work in “Loud, Fast, and Keep Going,” which included one of his most emotional scenes.
After an exciting botched attack to start the episode, Barry ended up brutally murdering his friend Chris. To this point, fans liked Barry as killing people was simply a job but this was him killing an innocent man for selfish reasons and raised the stakes of morality going forward.
4 Berkman > Block – 9.3
Season 2, Episode 8
Despite being a comedy series, Barry has had some action-packed moments, with this episode likely topping them all. Barry went on a rage-filled spree to find Fuches, gunning down dozens of gangsters in the process and even nearly killing NoHo Hank at one point.
Fuches ultimately got away (with Stephen Root nabbing an Emmy nomination) and Gene figured out that Barry was behind Janice’s killing. This was also a cathartic episode for Sally, who went off-script in her scene with Barry and got out years of emotions that were designed for Sam.
3 710N – 9.4
Season 3, Episode 6
As noted, Bill Hader has done some incredible work behind the camera for this show and that was clear in season 3’s “710N.” There is a chase scene during this episode that is among the best you’ll see anywhere as it features pulse-pounding close calls and masterful sound mixing.
It earned Hader an Emmy nomination as a director. The story was also impressive as Barry survived the chase to make it to the home of Sharon, the widow of his friend Chris who he killed. Fuches had gotten to her and Sharon poisoned dinner, leaving Barry’s fate up in the air as things concluded.
2 Starting Now – 9.5
Season 3, Episode 8
Each season of Barry has ended with a bang and produced some of the best episodes, with season 3 being no different. Barry was attacked by a member of the Taylor gang who then attempted to murder Sally in the most intense case of Barry’s worlds colliding yet.
Sally was on the verge of being strangled to death before she turned it around and beat him to death with a bat, changing everything going forward. This incredible episode also saw Gene set Barry up to get arrested, setting up a potentially different show whenever season 4 arrives.
1 Ronny/Lily – 9.8
Season 2, Episode 5
Loach blackmailed Barry into killing his ex-wife’s new lover. Barry decided against it once he met Ronny only to get beat up by the Taekwondo instructor in one of the show’s best fight scenes. Things got taken to the next level when Ronny’s daughter Lily showed up and proved to be a vicious fighter in her own right.
This episode was heavily praised for the action sequences and the surreal tone. It felt different from the rest of the series in the best possible way, taking twists and turns that nobody expected. The whole thing led to nominations at the Emmys for both writing and directing.
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