Sunday, April 30, 2023

REVIEW: 'Barry' - Terror Looms Over Barry's Next Action While Hank Delivers a Personal Betrayal in 'It Takes a Psycho'

HBO's Barry - Episode 4.04 "It Takes a Psycho"


"It Takes a Psycho" was written by Taofik Kolade and directed by Bill Hader

Barry has pulled off many incredible feats over the course of the series. That has showcased his many skills as a hitman. Those come naturally to him in a way acting never did despite a successful career in both. It also revealed just how incompetent every law enforcement office is. Moreover, that profession is seen as the acceptable form of violence. The prison warden is so enraged by Barry's escape that he orders the guards to beat Fuches until he provides a satisfying answer. Fuches doesn't betray Barry. That earns respect and admiration amongst the fellow inmates. It's something that has to be acknowledged. Fuches holds the power. The people with authority are upset because they believe they inherently deserve it. The system shouldn't work that way. It does and Barry has been the beneficiary of it for a long time. He isn't the only one. The local police have an entire S.W.A.T. team stationed outside where they believe Hank and Cristobal's new criminal headquarters is. Instead, they raid a completely innocent Dave & Buster's. Yes, Hank and Cristobal had one meeting of their new criminal enterprise in that location. They proclaimed it as the "bestest place on Earth." However, their organization has shipped an entire silo of sand since then. It's enough for every criminal to prosper only for Hank to betray them. That's how far behind law enforcement is. Jim Moss was the exception to all of this. He was the only officer wise enough to trap Barry. He handed the criminal who killed his daughter over to the criminal justice system. He foolishly believed in the morals of this institution. Now, he too sees the error in his ways. He is changed upon witnessing the mistakes being made. No one knows where Barry will go. The federal agents organizing a deal knew that Sally was all that mattered to him. He was dreaming of a life with her. He was willing to escape to that fantasy. And then, his reality was shattered once more by the sinister truth of his lifestyle. People want to kill him for what he knows. That's unavoidable. People die in the process. That's not just true of Barry's life. He has been oblivious to the consequences for a long time. He too sees the error in believing the government could provide this guarantee of sanctuary to him and Sally. It was easy to break free of that confinement. He simply took advantage of a situation. He recognizes threats before anyone else. Sally is the only person he would go on the run with. Some could assume he's out for revenge. He could exact vengeance on those who orchestrated his arrest. Plenty are fearful of what he'll do. Sally's is the only destination where he could truly end up. That's the only thing that makes sense as he is focused solely on the potential of that relationship despite the truth being exposed.

Tension looms over the entire episode because of Barry's absence. People set out to understand his behavior. They must in order to predict where he'll be. No one carries that instinct except Sally. She's in the dark the longest. She spends her day trying to coach a great performance from Kristen on set. That's the role she has been reduced to. Even when she tries to step into the spotlight herself, it's no longer a viable option. She is in awe of director Sian Heder. That's not enough to form a connection that produces meaningful work. Sally could build a career out of this. An offer is even extended. That's when she hears about Barry's escape. She's not afraid like everyone else. She knows he'll be at her apartment. It's simply a stunning turn of events when she agrees to go with him. It seems insane. And yet, they build new identities for themselves elsewhere. They thrive as a new family unit. That's the tease provided. It's a form of escape that produces the happiness these characters want. It's not the conclusion of the story. As such, these won't be the fates that finish off the four season journey. It showcases a corruption of Sally's soul in a way that's different than Gene and Hank. With the latter two, it's all about the easy access to murder as a solution to their problems. Gene shoots his son because he fears Barry will come walking through the front door of this cabin. He's informed solely by that terror. He completely forgets about the lack of amenities that he proclaims he needs to survive. All of that goes away once he realizes the isolation could provide the perfect opportunity for Barry to strike. Jim and Tom believe this situation is reasonable to keep him quiet until the trial. The case is nowhere close to that execution of justice though. They were all hoping for the best. Yet they continue to underestimate Barry's reach. Meanwhile, Hank will do anything to avoid Cristobal suffering a gruesome fate. He has proven his own ferocity when it comes to fighting for this love. That ignited something new within him. He still proclaims needing protection from the Chechen mafia. That's the comfort and stability he has always known. He simply rejects everything new that has developed in service to that connection. It's absolutely devastating. Hank and Cristobal had fun with their venture into legitimate business. This organization afforded them a great deal of power and control. It wasn't good enough for Hank. He wanted to be revered as the head of organized crime in Los Angeles. Now, he has that. It simply came at the most devastating and personal cost. It's not something Cristobal can tolerate. This isn't the life he wanted. Hank can't protect him any longer. Instead, he wallows in that certainty. He can't stop Cristobal from leaving. That choice is made. Hank can't remove himself from the decision either. He doesn't pull the trigger. He's responsibility because his hunger for power was more powerful than the greatest love he has ever known. He couldn't sacrifice everything to make that last. Barry and Sally are ultimately lucky in that regard despite the terror that looms because of their freedom.