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End game for Barry

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We've started in the season 3 threads to touch on Barry's irredeemability and his nature, whether he can or deserves to try to transition to a more normal life, as is his stated wish.

The general consensus seems to be that Barry's body count is too much to overlook, that he can't quit the life of violence even if he wants to, that he's a danger to people he professes to love.

First of all, I hope that Barry goes on for at least 2 more seasons, as long as Hader and Berg remained engaged, turn out great TV.

But at some point, they have to end it and determine the fate of Barry the character and to a certain extent, how Barry the show will be seen.

I don't think there's intense hate for the character yet, not the way there was hate for a character like Walter White towards the end of BB's run.  We're not seeing people post that Barry needs to die or get caught and put to death or life in prison without parole.

In general, not just on this forum but outside of it, there is a certain Puritanical impulse, to have people punished for their deeds.  So all these antihero characters on prestige TV the last couple of decades, we want them either dead or at least locked up forever.  A notably missing option is rehabilitation, whether monsters who kill many people are capable of being turned around or to continue with the religious overtones, be redeemed.

It's not surprising since this country was founded by Puritans or those with similar theology.  There are a lot of Catholics in this country but it's certainly not the predominant ethos, especially the Catholic allowance for literal deathbed conversions, to reform the souls even of the most wicked.  All they have to say is ask for forgiveness and accept God, as the Catholic Church defines Him, to save their souls.

So this notion of punishment informs our justice system and also seems to be ingrained enough that we apply it to fictitious characters.

A recent example would be:


The way Ozark just ended, with the Byrdes surviving and presumably ready to live the life that Wendy envisioned and pursued, leading them to commit all kinds of moral compromises, including murder or having people murdered.  Fairly early in that series, it stopped just being about survival and more about her aspirations, enabled by blood money.

As one might guess, the reactions were angry and strong, that they "got away with it" while Ruth, who was trying to lead a better life, doesn't survive.

The reactions seem more than simply taking offense at an ending they disagreed with.

Show runners must be under pressure to provide fan service which would depict bad people getting their just desserts, especially if at some point, characters become the object of hate for the misdeeds depicted on the shows.  

But is serving this impulse for justice necessarily good story telling?  


Would Ozark be a much better show overall if one or more of the Byrdes died or was put away?  Just to change a couple of scenes in the finale to show them being killed or being locked up?

Edited by aghst
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In shows with protagonists like this, I sometimes almost have the opposite impulse. That is, sometimes the demands that the character gets punished feel hypocritical to me after being entertained by their antics for however many seasons. It just sometimes feels like wanting to have your cake and eat it too. Not that I think that's always what people are doing--sometimes they do generally want to see bad things happen to the characters. But so far I don't feel that way about Barry. But I have no idea where the story can go for here for even one more season, much less 2!

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They're making Barry out to be this evil mastermind now, with this talk in in crazytimeshitshow episode about the psyops he'd do to mess with the woman who canceled Sally's show.

In the first two seasons, he was suppose to be this lost, aimless guy who became a trained killer in the military and whom Fuches molded into a killer.  Then it was revealed that he has anger issues when he would go on a rampage.

Now it's like he can premeditate and make people commit suicide?

So Barry's fate looks sealed.

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One more episode left in season 3 and now there are too many people who suspect Barry.

Gene is not going to implicate him because things are going well with his show and his ex gf.

But it sure looks like Albert knows.  Possibly Janice's father too

So either that leads to Barry being caught or both of these characters are also going to die if they plan to keep the show going for awhile.

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Barry's character has always had this if only someone decent had stepped into his life quality. I'm wondering if the changes (him saying he'd mess with that lady) are due to Gene giving him the ok in a way?  

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Obviously Fuches made Barry worse or as he says it, "harnessed" Barry's destructive abilities for profit.

So no he didn't have a good father figure molding him or pointing him in the right direction.

As we see, his desire for vengeance shows he's pretty sociopathic himself.  The first couple of season or at least through the first part of season 2, you saw him being a fumbling, comic figure, who just happened to be involved in this grim business.

He's still a figure for derision but he has to be pretty ruthless himself.

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If Barry had stuck to killing mobsters, gun runners, drug dealers, etc. there could have been a road to redemption. But after killing Janice & Chris, that road closed. The two of them weren't bad people & didn't deserve their fates. "Landing this airplane" is gonna be tricky. On the one hand Bill Hader has a charisma that just makes you like him but on the other hand Barry is a psycho. He is unhinged. He is unequivically not a good person. So if they kill him off in the end, it feels like a cop out. If he gets away with it, then it feels too cliched. I feel like the best ending is that he gets arrested & sent to prison ,but, his time is reduced because he outs all the criminals he's worked with or met along the way. It hits that middle line of not getting away with it but also righting Barry's moral compass a bit. 

In regards to an ending for Sally, they could kill her off & I would be perfectly fine. I have never liked her character. She's egotistical, snotty & is not super talented. In real life she would NEVER have made it. They would have laughed her out of the audition room/writing room. You can't get that far into the business without either having connections, money or a model body. The work she did with Gene was in no way brilliant & I just can't imagine a casting agent or a network being like "Yes! This is the girl! She's a star!" I can't decide wether she will get a happy ending or a sad one. I feel like she may end up back with Barry but it won't last or she will use it to give her career a boost. 

I think Gene is going to survive the series & just end up retiring quietly with his son and grandson. It's gonna be a rocky road(I think the $$ will come back to bite him in the ass), but he'll be o.k. If Fuches doesn't end up dead I am gonna be pissed. He deserves a miserable death. He was never a good person. I'm torn on whether the writes will kill off NoHo Hank or keep him alive. He's a very popular character & he is a big chunk of the comedy in the show. I could see them using him as their shocking death(if Barry survives). But I could also see them giving him an ending where he survives & flees to another country. 

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On 6/11/2022 at 1:49 AM, Dancingjaneway said:

In real life she would NEVER have made it. They would have laughed her out of the audition room/writing room. You can't get that far into the business without either having connections, money or a model body.

Jon Peters finagled some connections, but still, he has gone a lot further than any realistic combination of his personality, talent, connections, and looks could account for. Hollywood is not a meritocracy.

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21 hours ago, arc said:

Jon Peters finagled some connections, but still, he has gone a lot further than any realistic combination of his personality, talent, connections, and looks could account for. Hollywood is not a meritocracy.

He's also a white man. For a woman, Hollywood is VERY different. 

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