It’s serendipitous timing, as Cristobal’s wife Elena (spelling not immediately available to me at the time of posting, sorry!) arrives in the U.S. looking to avenge her father’s death. She immediately orders what’s left of the Bolivians to stage a raid on the Chechens, and they arrive at the Chechen base of operations at the same time as the police, just as one of Hank’s men is showing the elder Chechen mobsters the lay of the land via FaceTime. It’s a chaotic scene that’s cleverly shot from an overhead angle, giving the raid a sense of scale. Once again, it seems that the already dwindling numbers of the Chechens and Bolivians are shrinking further.
Meanwhile, Barry is feeling low again after his breakup with Sally. He turns to Hank and Cristobal for advice, which seems silly at first, but Hank has illuminating things to say. He rightly points out that Barry’s double life is leading him to become a pressure cooker waiting to explode. He suggests he try to show Sally his true self, or at least as much of it as he can. Since Barry has the emotional maturity of a school child, he decides to make a collage to represent his true self, including photos of Michael Jordan and Ohio. However, Sally is a little preoccupied with her own drama to process Barry’s attempt at opening up.
It turns out that Sally’s show, Joplin, has been cancelled. After appearing momentarily on the homepage of the fictional streaming service Banshee, Sally is called into a meeting where she learns that Joplin just isn’t hitting the right “taste clusters.” It’s another point-perfect send-up of Hollywood’s fickleness and how much creative decisions are determined by “the algorithm” these days. Though Natalie gives Sally a heartfelt speech about how meaningful it’s been to watch her creative process and work ethic, it’s not enough to keep Sally from feeling like the world is ending.
When she returns to her apartment to find Barry, she relays the news, and Barry tries offering some helpful words of his own. In a soft, unsettling tone, Barry suggests that he break in the Banshee executive’s home and take pictures of her sleeping or “change the furniture so she thinks she’s shrinking.” It’s another brilliant moment of black comedy, as Barry’s casual tone make his escalating threats all the funnier. Sally is horrified, as anyone would be, and demands that Barry leave. Though there have been other hints, this was the first time that Barry really lowered the veil to show his true self, and Sally recoiled in disgust. How he approaches her from here will be interesting.
Elsewhere, Gene finds himself slowly reveling in the second chance that Barry has afforded him. Whether it’s getting an expanded role and praise for his work on Laws of Humanity or being able to purchase his son a home to make amends, it appears that Gene is forgetting about what Barry has done and starting to focus on his redemption. He attends the party at Joe Mantegna’s house, and while he’s grateful for the kindness shown by his former peer, another party-goer is less willing to forgive. A woman named Annie, who used to be in a relationship with Gene and direct him in productions, claims that Gene blackballed her in NYC and LA after their relationship was over, ending her career as a director. It seems like Gene’s apology tour will continue, but when will he turn his focus back to Barry?
Finally, Fuches pops up again and visits the sister of Taylor, who died back in season 1 in the botched bum-rush on the Bolivian airfield. It seems like a whole army of disgruntled family members of Barry’s victims are being assembled, but Fuches had a role in all of this two, and it’s only a matter of time before that’s revealed. Julie and her son tried to take Barry out after his argument with Sally, but Julie ends up mistakenly shooting her son in the stomach instead, highlighting the reason why people hire professionals like Barry in the first place.