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Barry's Bill Hader and Sarah Goldberg Break Down Sally's Game-Changing Premiere Confession

'It's a pretty twisted window into Sally's psyche'

Megan Vick

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 premiere of Barry. Read at your own risk!] 

Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) is down, but he's not out in the Barry Season 4 premiere. At the start of the HBO drama's final season, Barry is spiraling out in prison, convinced that everyone in his life has turned on him. To be fair, everyone in Barry's orbit has good reason to hate him — he's betrayed or lied to all of them in one form or another. However, when Barry seems to be at the end of his rope and ready to resign himself to a life with Fuches (Stephen Root), hope comes from the last person he expected: Sally (Sarah Goldberg). 

After killing a man in self-defense at the end of Season 3, Sally retreated home to Joplin to escape her guilt. At the beginning of Season 4, she finally finds out the truth of what happened back in the Season 1 finale — that Barry murdered Cousineau's (Henry Winkler) girlfriend and then got back into bed with her — when she learns that Barry has been arrested. When Barry reaches out to her at the beginning of the premiere, Sally is resolutely done with him. It seems like she might truly be ready to start fresh and build a new life for herself. But when she fails to get the support from her family that she needs, Sally shows up at the penitentiary to get some answers from Barry. Instead, she ends up giving him the motivation he needs to go on by confessing, "I feel safe with you." 

"It's a pretty twisted window into Sally's psyche," Goldberg explained to TV Guide. "I think, ultimately, she's been traumatized by what she did at the end of Season 3. She has surprised herself with the ability to kill someone, and Barry was the only person present. He witnessed her ugliest side and has chosen to love her anyway. Feeling safe with him has to do with [the fact that] this is a shared experience that she's desperate to rid her mind of, but she can't. The only way to feel safe within the horror is to be in proximity to the only person who was there." 

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If Sally surprises herself with the confession, she isn't the only one. Barry is also taken aback, but he immediately latches onto it and begins yelling for Sally to confirm the statement. 

"It really surprises him," Hader told TV Guide. "When she comes in there, he's looking at her like, 'This is the last time I am ever going to see her. I am going to be with Fuches. We're going to talk to this lawyer, and we're going to be fine.' When he sees her he says, 'I didn't lie to you. I just didn't tell you the thing that I didn't want to be true.' Which is not true — he lied to her."

Sally telling Barry she feels safe with him "is this kind of opening here where they can still make this work," said Hader. "That sends him off on this whole other journey. It surprised him, and I think that where she's at in her life… that's the thing that draws her to him." 

Sarah Goldberg, Barry

Sarah Goldberg, Barry


It remains to be seen exactly what Barry could do about the relationship given that he's in prison, but it's clear that the spark between Barry and Sally hasn't completely died out. The question is: Is the spark something either of them should be chasing, or is it toxic codependency? Hader and Goldberg agreed that whatever it is, it is definitely not love. 

"That's a very good question about both of them and whether they are actually capable of love. I think that she is not in a space where she can love someone else," Goldberg offered. "I think that her whole life is sort of unraveling, and she's confusing dependency and need with love. I don't think she loves him. I think she needs something from him, and I think he's the same. He thinks that he's madly in love with her, but he's never actually bothered to see who she is. He lives in a sort of fantasy version of who she is. In Season 1, there are all these fantasy versions of Sally. We made a choice that Sally always wears pink in those fantasies, but she never wears pink in real life. It's this idealized version of a girlfriend or a woman that his sort of teenage brain is obsessed with, but it doesn't represent the real woman." 

Hader seconded the notion that whoever Barry is in love with, it isn't the real Sally in front of him who's saying he makes her feel safe. He also teased that Barry's fixation won't lead to anywhere good for Barry, Sally, or fans watching at home. 

"In Season 1 he has a daydream, and it's not a daydream about her being an actress and him being proud of her. The daydream is about posing for a family picture, and they have a son," he said. "That has always been his dream — to just have a wife and a kid. He's not really interested in what she wants to do with her life, which leads us to some sad episodes." 

Barry Season 4 airs Sundays at 10/9c on HBO.