With a total of 17 Emmy nominations, Barry set a high mark for the second season of Bill Hader's HBO hit show. While the series was a strong performer throughout the entirety of this year's run, it was the episode "ronny/lily" that drew the most tremendous praise by the critics and earned Hader individual nominations for Directing and Writing.
Lea Palmieri at Decider had this to say: "This was the kind of episode that didn’t take long to feel special and significant, one that understood how to use action sequences to tells us what we need to know about these characters while still moving the story forward. It’s not just a standout for this show, but already one of this year’s most interesting and impressive episodes of TV."
Likewise, Daisy Franklin from Film Daily praised the lead's work: "Hader has time and time again shown us his love and respect for the craft of storytelling in Barry. Already an excellent writer and subtle performer, with this taut, action-packed episode we’re calling Bill Hader the newest auteur to watch out for. Long may he be funded to make such perfect television."
The crew at Inverse also praised the episode, decidedly stating that it delivered a more nuanced action sequence than Game of Thrones in that same night. The comparison was also present in Esquire's review by Dom Nero.
Enjoy Bill Hader's chat with The Ringer on his experience acting, writing and directing the episode.