Three things about Sian Heder‘s CODA: (a) It’s an audience-charming confection that dealt sincere cards with a little too much heart sauce, (b) it was obviously more likable than Jane Campion‘s doleful Power of the Dog so I understood why Academy members gave it the Best Picture Oscar, and (c) it wasn’t saved by the Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winning Troy Kotsur but by Eugenio Derbez, who played the Latino singing teacher.

In short I’ve respected Heder’s work as far as it goes, but I never thought of her as being all that hip or edgy. Until last night, that is, when I caught her cameo in episode 4 of Barry (“it takes a psycho“). Now I really respect her. Because the scene she’s in satirizes the syndrome of indie-level directors taking paycheck gigs on superhero movies. (Chloé Zhao directing the much-maligned Eternals, Ryan Coogler helming Black Panther, etc.)

Playing herself, Heder appears in a Hollywood sound-stage scene, directing a Wonder Woman-ish fantasy flick called Mega Girl. Sarah Goldberg‘s “Sally Reed” is helping Ellyn Jameson‘s “Kristen” prepare for a big monologue scene, and she spots Heder almost immediately.

Sally: Hi…hi, you’re Sian Heder.
Heder: Hi.
Reed: I’m Kristen’s acting coach.
Heder: Great.
Reed: CODA is a masterpiece.
Heder: Thanks.
Sally: It’s incredible. I mean I could cry just thinking about it.
Heder: I’m clearly switching gears on this one. On CODA I worked with committed actors to tell a deeply personal story, and now I’m working with models in Halloween costumes fighting over a blue glowy thing.
Sally: Well, that’s exciting.
Heder: Yeah, it’s gonna be a good movie…I think. I think when people see Mega Girl, they’re gonna think ‘whoever made that, made CODA.”