July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Barry “The Power Of No”

Season Two, Episode Two

Barry really, really doesn’t want to think of himself as an evil man.  Maybe he shouldn’t ask NoHo Hank whether he’s evil or not.  Hank not only says that of course Barry is evil, he says it in a tone that suggests being evil is rather a cool thing to be.

Maybe don’t ask NoHo Hank for opinions.

However, this episode has Barry put in an another awkward position within the acting class.  He gave that monologue about his first kill, a sniper shot in Afghanistan, but he left out that the kill didn’t traumatize him so much as make him feel better when his buddies started celebrating his taking three or four guys at once.  Gene now has this idea to have the actors write sketches about whatever trauma made them what they are, and Barry would really rather do the moment when he told Gene about his past, a story that Gene initially likes because he’s full of himself, but he changes his mind and insists Barry do the Afghanistan story.

As I see it, it does make sense that Barry would choose meeting Gene as his formative moment.  There’s a good reason for that:  as far as Barry is concerned, that is the moment that made the him he wants to be, not the man he actually is.  Hank is making demands that Barry kill Esther with a very specific bullet (and then return the bullet to Hank because Hank doesn’t know how bullets work, but he does listen when Barry explains why that’s wrong).  Fuches is getting pinned by Loach, and he’ll end the episode trying to get a confession out of Barry for Loach because of course Fuches would wear a wire to save his own skin.

Is Barry evil?  I would say he is, but not the most dastardly bad guy out there.  He’s only really good at killing, and he may not enjoy it, but he keeps doing it.  He wants out, but he keeps getting dragged back in because the life he led, like the life anyone lives, isn’t just something you can walk away from.  If Barry is successful at killing Esther, he may be in the middle of a mob war between Hank and the remaining Burmese mob.

Oh, and now Barry can’t even kill without hearing voices from his memories, particularly Sally who says she’s with a good man now and won’t go back to a violent one.

I will say, Barry’s attempted hit that goes very wrong when he accidentally slips into the wrong room?  Great scene.  I loved it.

But man, Barry needs to learn how to face up to himself.  He’s not a good man, and he hasn’t reformed.  He’s just working in very deep denial.  I was actually rather impressed by Bill Hader’s performance in this episode.  He’s clearly the right guy for this role.  Probably a good thing he’s the creator.

By the by, Gene has an estranged son, and I somehow both surprised and not surprised.