Sunday, April 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Barry' - Barry Gets His New Orders From Hank While Gene Reaches Out to His Family in 'The Power of No'

HBO's Barry - Episode 2.02 "The Power of No"

Facing pressure from Noho Hank, Barry struggles to pull off an important hit. After asking the class to mine their personal traumas for an original piece, Gene decides to confront his own past. A visit to her agents leaves Sally disappointed. Fuches tries to evade questions in Cleveland.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's Barry.

"The Power of No" was written by Taofik Kolade and directed by Hiro Murai

Barry continues to be surprised that people see him as an evil person. When he poses the question to Hank, he replies that Barry is more evil than any other person he has met. That's part of why Hank loves him so much. He also has the understanding that Barry will do anything for him because of the arrangement they had in the past. He knows that Barry will get the job done no matter what. Sure, it's a crazy suggestion for Hank to recommend killing Esther with a specific bullet and then send it back to the people in Chechnya who doubt his ability to lead this local mob. Barry notes just how complicated all of those logistics might be. Hank hasn't thought that through. Nor has he considered the consequences of taking out Cristobal's new criminal friend. That could sour their whole partnership if he learns Hank was behind the hit. Hank is just jealous. That's what is fueling his need to have Esther killed. For so long, Barry used to kill whomever he was told to kill. It was a simple job for him. He operated with the understanding that the people on the receiving end of the bullet deserved it. He didn't know what they did or why someone would want them dead. He just had complete faith in the orders being given to him. Now, he is starting to reckon with the fact that he is an evil person because he killed people just because they upset the wrong people. It's a very selfish profession. He can't ultimately go through with the hit on Esther. That too may only increase the tension of this criminal partnership. Hank spells out her operation and how genius it actually is. It is impressive even though Barry can walk through the front door and straight to Esther's office. She is vulnerable but he doesn't take the shot. He agonizes over it because this isn't the life that he wants for himself. He wants to be an actor. He wants to remain devoted to that class. But even that is forcing him to reckon with his past and the person he has always been. The premiere highlighted how Barry didn't have the expected and human reaction upon killing a person for the first time. The class figured that he would break down over the life he has just taken. He would mourn this loss of life and be depressed for ending it. Instead, he was celebrated as a hero by his fellow soldiers. That was the mentality that shaped him into the person he is today. It means he has turned against Fuches completely because he can't trust anything that he has to say. Fuches is only back in Los Angeles now because Loach has connected the dots of Barry's possible involvement in the disappearance of Detective Moss. The season still hasn't clarified what exactly happened to her. It's still leaving the possibility open that she is still alive somewhere. It would have been easy for Barry to kill her. That was the moment that cemented this as a legitimate option for him in order to keep his life sustainable for the foreseeable. But now, those actions are really starting to change him. Sally has a breakthrough in class talking about her past abusive relationship. She doesn't want to share that story as a part of Gene's idea to stage a play based on his students' past traumas. Barry doesn't want to continue talking about his past service either. He can get out of it by playing to Gene's ego. The class knows how to do that to avoid doing the hard work. It's only after an interaction with his son that Gene understands how selfish he has always been. And so, he is forcing his students to tell these brutal stories in the hopes of making some significant breakthroughs. That may have made him a better teacher here. But it also means that Barry walks away from a minor car crash after being unable to kill Esther only to return home to Fuches wearing a wire trying to record him confessing to a murder. So, Barry can't feel safe and secure about anything in his life.