Although HBO Barry named after the titular character played by co-creator Bill Hader’s titular character, an aspiring actor who moonlights as an assassin, his love interest, Sally (Sarah Goldberg), get as much screen time as him. Sally made Barry want to become an actor, and she has been his only love interest throughout the four seasons of the series. Portrayed as a more innocent character, Sally is still not without her faults. Over the course of the series, we see how he is a very inconsiderate and selfish person, which is mostly seen through his “friendship” with Natalie (D’Arcy Carden).
Sally Was Not Natalie’s Best Friend
From the start, Sally ignored Natalie’s feelings as an actress and as a person. Barry met the two at an acting class run by Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), where he becomes attracted to Sally and inserts himself into her crowd. This includes attending a party the whole class is in. Before the party, Natalie tells the whole acting class about her crush on another aspiring actor who is going to the party. However, when Sally turns Barry down at the party, he ends up going out with girlfriend Natalie, much to his annoyance.
No one ever called Sally out for this, and she continued to disrespect Natalie. Acting classes feature various performances such as Macbeth, and, usually, Sally would play Lady Macbeth. When Winkler’s character decides to go with Natalie, Sally goes as tough as she can and insists she do better. Eventually, Sally was re-cast as Lady Macbeth, and Natalie only got the role back when Sally decided to take Macbeth herself.
Taking Macbeth started his career, and following his decision to share his personal trauma through his acting made his character even more likable. He finally got his own titled show Joplin based on his own life and briefly rose to stardom. But with new fame, Sally retreats to her old ways. Natalie works as her assistant on the show and supports Sally enthusiastically in any way she can, and although Sally finds comfort in that, she still tries to shut her up. He even told Natalie to stop talking while working on the pilot episode.
Despite all of this, Natalie still stood by Sally’s side. To add salt to the wound Joplin is cancelled, Sally discovers that Natalie is working as showrunner on a series with a very similar premise. When she faced him, she screamed in her face using intense vulgarity. However, unbeknownst to her, Natalie records it and the video becomes public which destroys Sally’s career. Anyone would be disappointed by someone who stole ideas and earned fame from them, but Sally crossed the line with her rage. He leaned into Barry’s dark side and begged him to torture Natalie for him. In the same scene, someone tries to kill Barry, and he kills the intruder after breaking free from his grip. This suggests that Sally has always had a dark side to her, and it explains why she ran off with Barry after finding out his true identity.
Sally Has A Dark Side Like Barry
After a time jump, the audience learns that Natalie’s show, Dessert Only it has done very well and has caught the attention of the president. She wins an award for the show and during her acceptance speech, she gives a very similar speech to Sally’s Joplin premiered. Working as a waitress and living on the run, Sally is obsessed with Natalie stealing her shine, and she also leans more towards her dark side. After being an aspiring actress for so long and so close to success from it, it’s totally understandable that Sally would be depressed about the way her life has turned out. The problem is, however, that she is given a chance to improve her career shortly before agreeing to run away with Barry.
For some unknown reason, she instead fled with Barry into a life of anonymity and motherhood. But even before this, leaning into his anger led to the ruin of his career from the start. Natalie stole the idea for a series called Dessert Only poetic because Sally deserved this punishment. Yes, Natalie did steal her ideas and support her success from Sally, but Sally has also been guilty of stealing from Natalie time and time again. He stole his lover, his role, his attention, and his hard work, all for the pursuit of fame.
After the time jump, it looks like Sally has really taken up Barry’s dark side with his obsession and general unhappiness. While he was working as a waiter, Barry raised their son, John (Zachary Golinger), and his old anger issues are (apparently) gone. He was now filled with love and affection, and on the surface, seemed like a good father. It’s abundantly clear that John even prefers his father to Sally and is visibly distraught at the thought of being left alone with his mother who clearly hates him.
In forming a relationship and family with Sally, Barry gets what he wants and this makes him a loving and caring person. But Sally blew up her life down a path of anger and hatred, and she doesn’t seem to blame herself for this life. His obsession with Natalie’s success proves that he blames Natalie for ruining his career, and his hatred of Barry and their son suggests that he blames Barry for the life he now leads.
Barry filled with shady characters who are now getting their “dessert fair” and Sally is one of them. Barry may be a hitman, but he’s not the only person who has hurt others. Sally hurts Natalie repeatedly throughout the series so her role in Natalie’s success earns her a bit of revenge. If he had come to Natalie quietly, he might as well have done Sally a favor by involving her Dessert Onlyinstead he let his anger and selfishness control him.