July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Barry “Past = Present X Future Over Yesterday”

Season Two, Episode Three

One of the ongoing themes for Barry is the idea that people tell themselves lies to be, well, who they think themselves to be.  For Barry, it’s obvious:  he thinks he’s a good person despite the many times he’s killed people.

Episodes like this one are basically there to remind people that they aren’t.

To be clear, much of this episode covers Barry’s own attempts to hide his actual, real life first experience killing someone as a Marine and instead tell a different story, the first time he saved a life.  The story just never comes out quite right, to the point where he starts plagiarizing Braveheart, a move Gene points out in the scene that may or may not have happened (I wasn’t sure) but does have Gene point out that it’s a little difficult for him as a Jewish man to step in on behalf of Mel Gibson.

But here’s the thing:  multiple characters here are basically living a life that isn’t, well, real.  Barry just the most obvious example.  This episode actually opens with NoHo Hank fantasizing about telling off economist Thomas Friedman on a TV talk show for smart people.  That’s before he learns Esther is still alive because Barry froze and before he realized his own guys kinda suck at the more violent aspects of their jobs.  Barry is just smart enough to offer training, but Hank is neither smart nor nice nor cool, and he doesn’t seem to know that.

Likewise, Gene thinks he can just rebuild his relationship with his estranged son, something the young man clearly does not want on any level.  Gene can be charismatic when he wants to be, but this might be too much for the guy considering he was no part of his son’s life for years, and his son actually prefers it that way.

And then there’s Sally, working on a scene where she left her abusive husband.  This facet of her past is established backstory.  There’s just one small problem:  this episode suggests it may not be true, not exactly.  Her call to ask a friend about her life before seems to suggest Sally remembers things very differently, and he estranged husband’s popping up at the episode’s end might further that storyline.  Maybe he was abusive.  Maybe he wasn’t, and she just left because she felt he was holding her back or something.  It’s a point I’ll find out soon, but I somehow doubt he is as bad as she said he was.  What little I saw showed an amiable enough man.

I hope Barry doesn’t kill the guy based on Sally’s faulty memory or made-up stories about him.

What does it say for a show like this where the character who is perhaps most honest with himself is Fuches, and he lies to pretty much everyone else?  It’s the sort of comedy that is both dark and intriguing at the same time.

This show is so much the anti-Ted Lasso.