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The Ending Of HBO's Barry Explained

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Besides Fuches, Sally is the only other character who fully accepts herself as morally corrupt. The self-absorbed aspiring actress has come a long way since the pilot. 

“She is someone who’s experienced major trauma and has no language to deal with it,” Goldberg tells The Los Angeles Times. 

At first, Sally uses acting as an outlet, but after her show’s cancellation, her ruined reputation, and the near-death experience of killing someone in self-defense, Sally feels she has nowhere left to turn. When Barry comes to her after his prison escape, it’s Sally’s idea to run away with him. Her confession in “Bestest Place on Earth” (Season 4, Episode 2) explains why. “I feel safe with you,” she admits to Barry during her prison visit.

As it turns out, safety is not enough to prevent Sally from hating her new family life as an outlaw. She goes through the motions of her repetitive, isolating days, unable to connect to her partner or son. During her tearful confession to John in the finale, she makes some headway, and in the final time jump, Sally properly accepts her role as John’s mother. 

“She finally makes an unselfish choice, ” says Goldberg. “She chooses this child that she didn’t even want and walks away from Barry. She still needs the reassurance from her child the same way she needed it from Barry. That narcissism and insecurity is still there. However, she’s up there with the students getting real joy out of having made this show.”