Nobody puts Barry in the corner

Nobody puts Barry in the Corner.

The famous line from Dirty Dancing fits perfectly with what they should have thought in Barry‘s penultimate episode as driving him to the edge is dangerous.

All Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) asked for four years (on the show, it’s been like 12 in their timeline) is to be allowed to start his life over “starting now”. He doesn’t want to kill, he doesn’t want to be involved in crime anymore, he just wants to move on. But he can’t and, in general, because the psychotics and psychopaths who don’t have his killer “talent” won’t let him. With that, we follow a complex, innovative, and extremely intelligent spiral that the Barry series brought to HBO, saying goodbye at the end of May. It’s been a great trip here.

Like its next-door neighbor in HBO’s grid, Succession, it was time to finish off Barry. The plot is shallow and if it weren’t for Bill Hader‘s increasingly impressive talent as a director and screenwriter, he would have “died” a long time ago. The fact that with few characters or situations, the game turns (always unexpected) and catches us with our mouths open is something to always highlight. Barry was and still is some of the smartest and most original content in years. It deserves the awards the show won and it will be missed.

If Noho Hank, Fuches, and Cousineau weren’t so narcissistic, their lives would take a different path. But it’s like the general theme of Barry, people can even want to change, but the true nature of each one prevents it. In Berkman’s case, his unique ability to decimate people ends up being useful to Fuches and Hank, so they don’t let him “change”. Cousineau was deaf to his real person for years, and afterward, wanted to steal his protagonism.

Not even love helped either Hank or Fuches, the two who put the shooter in the trap he is in, to change their lives. Noho Hank had Cristobal killed, Fuches can have any woman anywhere in the world, but his obsession with “possessing” Barry defies any attempt at justification or explanation. Barry could have easily eliminated both of them at various times, but they are also his only social connection and were ‘spared’, now they will have the final duel. It will be bloody. Cousineau, on the other hand, is complex but paradoxically simple: his vanity always prevents him from making the best choice. This fatal triangle, when combined, is lethal.

Luck is always on Barry’s side, deviously. Captured by a vengeful Jim Moss, it would be impossible to get out of the garage alive or unchanged because if there’s one thing Jim can’t be beaten, it’s conducting the “interrogation” process. And he discovers a few things he didn’t expect, which causes him to pause and somehow facilitate Barry’s escape. When Jim learns that the shooter gave Cousineau $250,000 so he could run away and start over, Jim questions the teacher’s motivation and version of the whole tragedy. After all, they arrested Barry, but Gene Cousineau never mentioned the money, which he has used quietly ever since. Jim now suspects – wrongly – that Janice was the victim of a greater plan by her boyfriend, who, in his eyes, was the biggest beneficiary of all.

It’s an unexpected turn, tragic and funny at the same time. We know Cousineau is a victim of Barry and Janice’s death had nothing to do with him, but, as he is not a good person, he makes mistakes that lead him into a narrative that he will hardly be able to reverse. It doesn’t help that he reappeared to stop the Barry movie from being made, but he immediately changes his mind when he believes Daniel Day-Lewis wants to come out of retirement to play him. He ignores the ultra suspicious contact of the agent of the star already imagining the glory and fame, again wanting to take the lead of everything from Barry. If Cousineau had been realistic and humble that he was a supporting actor, and not the main one, he would not have created the doubt that he will now have problems eliminating. This is because the contact was a trap by the FBI and Jim, who believe in the conspiracy between teacher and student, with Cousineau manipulating Barry to keep the money and eliminate witnesses. The actor wanted the main role so much that even if now admits his lie, he is still in bad shape.

Fuches meanwhile, emerges as the most dangerous of Barry’s antagonists. Armed with an army of mercenaries, he manages to kill the elite team sent by Noho Hank with ease and equally leaves the Chechen with no alternative when he tries to take matters into his own hands. For Noho Hank there is only one chance to get rid (for now) of Fuches: give him Barry. The mobster may even have delayed getting involved again in the drama between the two, but he doesn’t even blink when he understands what he’s up against.

Hank’s “luck” is Sally’s bad luck. After escaping an attack on her desert home, she returns to Los Angeles after Barry, bringing John with her. By asking Cousineau for help, she practically hands herself over to her husband’s enemies on a platter. Kidnapped by Hank, Sally and her son are bait for Barry to be handed over to Fuches. Sally barely shivers at this thought, so aware of her husband’s abilities. John’s look is sort of scary too.

Lastly, we see Barry – from the back – getting into the murderous vibe that decimated a town in Afghanistan, and when he actually found out how great of a killer he was. What’s more, no one suspects Sally’s skill (she herself killed a hitman in a rage) and, with it, the very John that Barry has been striving to indoctrinate for good, but has violently reacted before, suggesting a potential murderous DNA too. A family of assassins pitted against life and death leaves them no choice. I almost feel sorry for your antagonists. Just not really…


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