Sunday, April 23, 2023

REVIEW: 'Barry' - Barry Recognizes Potential Assassins But Not Gene and Hank's Emotional Reactions in 'You're Charming'

HBO's Barry - Episode 4.03 "You're Charming"

What's wrong with you?

"You're Charming" was written by Emma Barrie and directed by Bill Hader

Barry grows enraged over the idea Hank and Gene would cater to their needs before making him feel comfortable. He has threatened and intimidated them countless times over the years. They've each prospered from this relationship. And yet, that doesn't produce inherent trust no matter what. Gene wasn't the driving force behind Barry's arrest. However, he went along with Jim's plan and sought fame in the aftermath. That has always been his motivation. He wants the story told in his personal words. That matters to him. He indulged in the theatrical experience. And then, he immediately regretted it upon being informed that Barry had agreed to a deal with federal agents. Barry was willing to confess everything he knew about the Chechen and Bolivian cartels. That conversation centers around Hank and Cristobal's relationship. They would possibly be better off if they left organized crime behind. That wasn't a possibility for them. They remain forever drawn to this business. They seek power in this very specific way. Hank has always been Barry's number one fan. That makes it such a visceral betrayal when he learns Barry is sharing information with the FBI. Barry believes he controls the situation. He is the protagonist who shapes how the world reacts. Life doesn't revolve around him thought. It's complicated because he's the titular character. So much of the storytelling is a result of the dysfunctional and narcissistic nature of these characters. It's endearing in some ways. It's absolutely abusive in others. That delicate balance has been struck. Only now is Barry starting to explode. He still maintains the skills to know when someone is out to kill him. Two assassins break into the jail to achieve that goal. They fail. Of course, they still kill several federal agents. Barry knew it was coming. In fact, this may have created the perfect situation for him to break free of this confinement. That seems impossible. And yet, the prison failed to responsible accordingly when Fuches announced a hit was ordered on Barry. He was trying to protect his friend even though he too felt the sting of betrayal. Fuches can never give up on Barry. Their interests rarely align anymore. Fuches offered Barry hope in prison. Barry immediately threw that away in pursuit of something else. He was inspired by Sally's devotion to him. He builds his new life entirely around that premise. He doesn't discuss it with Sally. She would have to leave her entire life in order to build something with Barry. He would be the only connection to her former life. She is struggling. And yet, she is still motivated by the appeal of acting. It's something she feels compelled to do even though she is often projecting her insecurities onto others. They don't appreciate that in the same way her former acting class revered Gene's methods. The industry doesn't have to work the way they were raised to believe. Those consequences are finally coming.

Gene truly believed Lon would release his story without verifying the facts from other sources. He hoped an entertainment journalist could be reliable in that way. That's not how Lon behaved. He may not be the best in his chosen profession. He still gives Barry and Jim a chance to respond to the story Gene has shared. He reveals specific details. Barry can't dispute any of the facts. That truly is how he behaved. He can't offer an explanation that justifies the threats and emotional torture. Barry is furious that Gene is talking. He now wants his beloved acting teacher dead. That's an extreme escalation. It's not something Hank is willing to do. Hank no longer has any good will towards his friend. Sure, he has doubts about whether two specific assassins who also have a podcast can get the job done. He trusts the other members of this organization. He has proven just how successful he can be. And yet, he's also delivered the ominous warning that the Chechen elders don't like how he has conducted himself in this new territory. Hank aspires to control organized crime in Los Angeles. He has done so by consolidating support from many different gangs behind one operation. They have already brought sand into the country. The resources are there. It's up and running already. Hank doesn't have to worry about anything. The threats are still prominent. Barry's is the most acute. Hank knows Barry is lying when he calls wanting to order a hit. Barry can't play it off as nonsense either. He doesn't have that particular skillset. He survives when the stakes are actually life-or-death. His social skills have a ton of room for improvement. Life is unfair. As such, he takes out his frustrations on the prison phones and in the courtyard. That's not very productive. That prompts his urge to escape. He does so possibly because he still sees a future with Sally. He doesn't have to resign himself to a fate behind bars. That's the punishment he deserves for the countless lives he has taken. He still finds a way to escape that certainty. Part of it comes from the incompetence of the people around him. Part of it is him simply being lucky. Jim is the only person who has ever bested him. That's because he wasn't blinded by ego. He still leads that way. He too has no qualms about throwing Gene into the back of a vehicle to keep him from talking. Gene escaped that fate from Barry. Jim has a different objective. He's so effective at torture in a short amount of time that he renders Lon to speaking only in German. It's so absurd. That's how this world functions. It's all a matter of intimidation. Barry tries his best to flex control. He only actually has it when it comes to killing. That's the sad truth of the matter. He aspires for more. He doesn't deserve it. Elsewhere, Sally only earns the admiration of one person when she makes the shift to teaching. She tries to imitate Gene. It doesn't work. She is capable of being just as cruel. She produces a result. The students are simply aware enough that they don't have to tolerate that behavior. That self-awareness is refreshing. It doesn't come from any of the core characters. They are still chaotic in so many ways. However, their aspirations for more are just as genuine.