Sunday, June 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'Barry' - Pivotal Decisions Are Made About What Others Need to Avenge Their Murdered Loved Ones in 'Candy Asses'

HBO's Barry - Episode 3.07 "Candy Asses"

Let's split up.

"Candy Asses" was written by Liz Sarnoff and directed by Bill Hader

Everyone feels powerless. Of course, they aren't. They are still beholden to their past actions and the selfish intentions they apply in every situation. However, so much of that is a projection of them losing control. They are no longer deciding their own fates as well as the well-being of those around them. They have long operated with that power. It has always been a heinous quality because so few actually recognize the complexity of their actions. So often, they casually dismiss any concerns that would require any true soul-searching. It's still absolutely frustrating to see Barry survive his closest brush with death so far. Sharon poisoned him and left the house so he could suffer. She didn't want to experience every agonizing detail. She also wanted it to be impossible for anyone to offer any help. He still eventually ends up at the hospital. He is delivered to the place that can heal him. It's all about individual choice. Fuches told the loved ones of Barry's victims the truth about their deaths. He did so with the intention of them seeking out vengeance. He wanted Barry to suffer. This was the way he could exact revenge without having to do it himself. That's the pattern he has always embraced. He will manipulate others to do what he wants to be done. He will never change. He believes he understands the human condition well enough to exploit the situation. And yes, plenty of people have the natural first instinct to arm themselves and go after Barry. That hasn't worked out. Sharon chose a different option. It was brave of her to invite him into her home knowing his guard would be down. She struck. She wanted the same outcome as everyone else. That may only confirm the brutality and darkness of the world. So many people understand the impulse to kill. They must do so in order to be personally satisfied with the information they now possess. That won't return their loved ones to them. It may be nothing more than coincidental that Ryan's father finds Barry struggling to breathe on the street. Barry cannot engage in the situation whatsoever. Instead, he's hallucinating about being on a beach with all the people he has killed. Some are more personal than others. In death, they are only defined by their connection with him. That's how he sees the situation. Many of them don't even know that truth. Barry is just another guy in the crowd. He isn't special. People were simply manipulated to kill each other because of their own selfish desires. Everyone acts according to those impulses. As such, it's only fitting to always assume the worst in others. That's the characters projecting their understanding of the world onto everyone. That's not always the case. Ryan's father would rather commit suicide to reunite with his son than kill Barry. He agonizes over that decision. He commits to that path and Barry is given the ability to survive. Will he emerge a changed man? It seems unlikely despite how this season is forcing these characters to confront the true depravity of what they have always done.

Sally is praised when she speaks up in the writers' room about a concern everyone else has about the logistics of the show. She is a champion who can bring some common sense to the storytelling. All she cares about though is no longer being the showrunner. She no longer serves at the helm of the creative decisions. Instead, she's simply questioning the decisions of others. Her show died so that others could thrive. That's how she interpreted the conversation about the algorithm. It's then a massive betrayal to see Natalie given her own show. She is suddenly the new creator offering something exciting. Sally believes her former assistant should be grateful to her. She opened these doors. Everything she has now achieved is because of her. She wants that appreciation. It's not unlike what Fuches has always wanted from Barry. The two simply lash out in completely different ways. Again, it's convenient that Natalie happens to be recording the confrontation in the elevator. It's enough to show Sally's true nature to the rest of the world. She is the one who must always remain in control. No one else can offer a better opinion. No one can better understand what it means to be her. No one can relate to her struggle. She can't be the villain in any story. The worst she can be is misunderstood. That can be corrected with some simple explanation. Sally is a toxic person though. She can't be encouraged to grow further. She has to be stunted in her development to avoid even more entitlement from becoming dominant. That has already taken root though. Sally assumes Lindsay only cares about managing her image. That's why she offers help to her client. It's about maintaining her financial security. It's not about reaching out to a friend. Sally is consumed by the darkness of her apartment. The outside matches the inside. No one can behave in a truly considerate and genuine way. Everyone is simply throwing elbows to get to the top of this industry. It's absolutely brutal. Sally is hurt because she shared her truth with the world. And now, people are being rewarded simply because they offer an entertaining fantasy. That's strikingly different than the training she received. And yet, even Gene has adjusted his methods. While filming his MasterClass, he positions acting as collecting masks. Each role is a new persona the actor takes on. Before, it was all about his students using their learned experiences to connect with the material. That's still broadly true when he teaches. It's still fundamentally about him and whether he's offering enough contrition to be respected once more. Even then, he's still lying because he has found success again. That's still more important than ensuring Barry is punished for killing Janice.

Janice's father, Jim, doesn't have the luxury of making that same decision. He maintains close relationships with local police. He knows they are looking for Fuches because they believe he is a famed Chechen hitman. He is the guy they want to pin all of these murders on. That's not the true extent of the story. He plays a role within it. It's absolutely pivotal. So much of it is simply a performance. It's whatever he needs to do in order to survive. He has operated that way for a long time. Plenty of people can connect the dots. That's possible because Albert serves as the FBI liaison. He has a personal understanding of Barry. The simple nature of his job gives him the freedom to do whatever he wants in the interrogation room. The local police defer to the federal government. That's the way things are suppose to operate. It affords Albert so much latitude. He can then reveal himself to Fuches. He can state his own proximity to this story. He was once a prominent part of Barry's life. It was because he almost died that Barry broke and was ultimately discharged from the army. It's still a story of salvation because Albert lived. So many have died as a result of that action. Fuches harnessed that potential. Fuches also has the freedom of revealing his true self. The cameras have been turned off. Making this as personally devastating for Albert as possible is what Fuches needs to do to manipulate this situation to his benefit. He could be in so much trouble for coordinating these various hits. Barry pulled the trigger but Fuches pointed the weapon. He managed Barry when he was nothing more than a hitman. Barry started questioning his behavior. It hasn't gone far enough to promise any true enlightenment. He may never get that chance because so many people come after him carrying guns. Albert is the latest example. When he leaves the station, he has to arm himself. He knows that's expected of him given how lethal Barry has been. He has killed close friends simply because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. That's how Barry operates. He must always maintain his cover. More people see him as a killer. That has invaded his world. It's a key disruption that has taken over his personal agency. He can't move forward without atoning for the past. That's difficult given the stakes involved. Everyone needs something from Barry. Meanwhile, he is completely adrift not knowing what is going on at all. He's at the complete mercy of others even though it has been determined by the damage he has inflicted on so many across this world. That can never be forgotten even if Barry refuses to reckon with the root cause of this destruction.