Barry discovered why revealing truths, even half-truths about yourself can be used as ammunition against you on ‘The Power of No’ as regret consumed him.
The following recap contains spoilers for Barry season 2, episode 2 on HBO.
The aftermath of Barry’s unscheduled, impromptu hit on Detective Janice Moss on season 1’s finale forced him in a verbal ‘do or die’ situation last episode. In order to keep Gene Cousineau from retiring his acting class and ending Barry’s new lease on life, he played along with Gene’s game of chicken.
Barry pleaded with Gene in front of the class not to leave, that he could use the pain of Janice’s disappearance in the class and tell his story. Gene responded by requesting Barry do the same by revealing the details of his first kill on his military tour overseas. At first, Barry froze but when Gene said, “I didn’t think so and walked away” Barry had no choice. He partially told the story of his sniper shot, leaving behind the details of being cheered on as his classmates reenacted the grizzly affair.
On tonight’s episode, Barry understood why he had clutched even minor details of that truth close to his chest for so long. His audience’s memory did not end after the class, to be turned on or off at Barry’s will. No, it’s forever with unpredictable consequences. As Barry would learn when Gene decided he would share his tour story during upcoming live performance pieces. Only when Janice was going to tell the truth about Barry was he ever as distraught. His eyes looked like they could stare a million miles into the ocean.
Perception is to the eye of the beholder
To girlfriend Sally Reed, it was Barry’s biggest acting career breakthrough. He saved the class, showed a locked side of him to others, and has a spectacular one of a kind performance piece. Most importantly, in-turn, Sally feels closer to him than ever before, their relationship ties strengthened. On the exterior, it appeared Barry had it made to his classmates, who were filled with envy. In fact, they tried to apply their own life troubles into their pieces inspired by Barry with mixed results. Barry’s pain came from a place of true genuine darkness he didn’t even understand himself. Bleak abyss rising to the surface.
While others, including Sally were torn by relatively minor inconveniences in comparison… In Gene’s words, ‘So your pain is being able to get work?’ Sally discovering through Gene’s judging gaze that she plays weakness on-screen because of the failure of her previous marriage, then saying ‘She’ll never be with a violent man again’ said it all. Completely unaware and without the faintest clue about her own destiny. Falling to the same patterns and routines as if in a loop, akin to Westworld. Never being able to consciously exit her own attractions and habits.
Barry would attempt to convince Gene away from the class to let him do a different performance piece by playing to ego. The ploy worked effortlessly as Barry asked Gene to perform his first time meeting him rather than his overseas tour. Gene even wanted to supply tapes to further ‘enhance’ the reenactment.
Gene’s son sobers him up to the shrine he’s built to himself
Gene would visit his son for the first time this episode, and apparently they never held the closest bond. The acting veteran would put on a performance even at his son’s organic produce stand, pretending to be in the neighborhood, knocking down apples.
Cousineau’s son was wise to the act, telling his father he heard about Janice from his mother, and he’s fine not having a relationship. That everything ‘has always been about Gene, even his own acting class, just a shrine to himself filled with memorabilia.’ Including this very contrived moment to reconnect.
When Gene returned to his studio he witnessed Barry and a classmate retelling the story of their first meeting first hand… Now, newly juxtaposed against his son’s self-shrine assertion. Gene informed his protégé he’d be going back to the overseas tour story for the performance. Crushing Barry’s confidence instantly.
Game changing line of the episode: “Am I Evil?”
— Anthony Carrigan (@Anth_Carrigan) April 7, 2019
The show’s #1 hitman did not recover from Sally’s positive commentary about himself, and request to perform his tour tale, asking NoHo Hank, “Am I Evil?” point blank. Hoping to be reassured that he’s a good person, NoHo Hank surprised both Barry and the audience by not falling for typical television tropes and doing the opposite. Instead, NoHo Hank informed him, he’s ‘the most evil person that he knows,’ unknowingly throwing him rock bottom into despair.
In fact, when Barry later pointed his silenced pistol with a clean shot at Esther in the dead of night with no witnesses. He couldn’t do it. Visualizing the pain he’s caused, his tour mates cheering his first kill, and Sally’s smiling, receptive face toward him. Twice he attempted to pull the trigger but it was no to be.
Soon, while donning an all black hoodie, he’d wander into the ‘monastery’s’ living quarters with a seemingly limitless amount of witnesses. They’d spot his gun and he’d whisper an apology while slowly walking back to his car in a daze. The situation would continue into the streets as they shot at his car, landing Barry in an accident and abandoned evidence.
Friend turns foe? Monroe Fuches wearing a wire
Detective Loach’s snooping on social media while having Monroe Fuches in custody (and his missing tooth) led to some accurate hypotheses. Mainly that Fuches knows who the mysterious individual that took out his partner Janice Moss is, and his last name isn’t really Block but Berkman. Fuches denied until Loach made a not so subtle threat of the consequences if he figures out there’s any connection between Fuches and Block.
Fuches would surprise his reliable hitman, asking him directly if he made a hit on Moss. Even describing the trouble that will rain down on both of them if it’s true. The mild mannered Hitman paused for a second and told Fuches to leave and never ambush him like this ever again.
The camera would pan to Detective Loach listening with Fuches openly saying that he can get him next time, that he almost had him. The revelation to the audience being seemingly that Fuches has entirely turned on Barry, the man who saved his life… Or has he? Is he playing along until the right time comes or saving himself?
Read about Better Call Saul star Patrick Fabian’s surprise cameo on tonight’s Barry episode during Sally Reed’s film reel. New fans to the series should catch up on the first season over at HBO GO with the inaugural eight episodes.
HBO’s Barry Season 2 Finale ‘berkman > block’ stood out as the show’s most savagely brutal episode ever while spotlighting why lies win over truth.
The following recap contains spoilers for Barry Season 2 Episode 8.
Barry’s Season 2 Finale ended on a chilling bang as Berkman ‘stole the light’ from Block akin to James McAvoy’s range of identities in Split. Monroe Fuches’ early realization he couldn’t pull the trigger even once was eerily juxtaposed to Barry taking life after life without remorse. Barry went on a complete rampage this episode to avenge Gene’s arrest, headshot after headshot… To the point, where it changed how you viewed him as a character. No longer was he just the happy-go-lucky Barry Block trying to desperately shed his old life to start a new one, ‘The Beast’ emerged.
One victim stood out during the anarchy, Mayrbek, a sniper Barry had personally trained on NoHo Hank’s behalf. Mayrbek had a rifle pointed on the door Barry was trying to kick down during his hunt for Fuches. The talented sniper smiled when Barry walked in, pure admiration, and did not think to shoot at all… Only to be greeted with a vicious shot to the head with no hesitation on Barry’s part.
Fuches has spoken episodes prior about helping Barry’s emotional state after his discharge from the army. Now, old habits are bubbling back to surface with no cap. Leaving Block in the past. In fact, at one point in this episode during a phone call with Gene’s son, Leo, Barry asks to go by Berkman instead of Block.
Old habits die hard
The rage Barry exhibited back overseas when he murdered a man and his girlfriend over his friend being shot, never was fixed at all. It was always lingering, ready to reemerge should a similar situation occur. Gene simply took his military friend’s place.
Once again, Barry Berkman took an innocent life in the sniper (Mayrbek) after losing his composure. A man who looked up to him, who courageously rescued NoHo Hank and the rest of the team last episode… Gone in an instant without a thought. Barry’s adjustment to non-military, civilian life was clearly never a successful transition. Ironically without Fuches at his side, Barry’s empathy has entirely deteriorated.
— Barry HBO (@hbo_barry) May 20, 2019
Fuches whispers in Gene’s ear, doesn’t shoot
The Season 2 Finale began with Barry Berkman arriving in time to discover a traumatized Gene Cousineau hunched over. Staring into the trunk containing the body of his murdered life love, Janice Moss. Police sirens were heard closing in, as both would be taken into custody. It would be shown Fuches couldn’t go through with taking Gene’s life but whispered something into his ear. That something wouldn’t be revealed till the end of the episode for a big time cliffhanger going into season 3.
Gene was a broken man for most of the episode, barely speaking. Detective Mae tried to goad him into admitting ‘he murdered’ Janice, trying to play good cop by saying, “It’s okay. Did she say she was leaving you?” but Gene said nothing. His claim of a PI (in Fuches) fell on deaf ears, as the name he’d be given was a fake. Gene would tell the police “She was the love of my life” before being officially put in jail for the murder of Janice Moss. The department believed that was Gene’s voice on the call Fuches had made. Gene was in no state to fight the claim back.
Barry would be let go, the police feeling that Gene had called him to be there with him after he confessed. None the wiser to the reality that it was Barry who was actually responsible for what happened to Moss. Barry left a voicemail to Fuches that he was a deadman, leading Fuches to go to NoHo Hank for assistance. In a classic NoHo Hank line, he told Fuches, “You’re a day late and a Ruble short my friend.” NoHo Hank told Fuches what he and Barry were going through shouldn’t be a big deal, they’re made to be a team. But Fuches felt he’d gone past the point of no return.
Fuches told Barry over the phone there’s still a way out. “You could still turn yourself in for Gene… No? Not so altruistic now, huh? This left a serious impact on Barry who was in turbulence all episode if he should turn himself in… But in the end he didn’t. In fact, he was saved by NoHo Hank’s “The Debt has been paid” pin being found in the trunk of Janice’s car. Which lead police to believe it unrelated to Barry or Gene but who Janice was investigating at the time… NoHo Hank’s group.
Cristobal / NoHo Hank standoff ends
Fuches took a chance and went outside of NoHo Hank’s compound to speak to Cristobal one-on-one. Hoping for a truce. Fuches’ words about puzzle pieces fitting together even during times of strife, resonated with Cristobal. Of course, Fuches inspiration was really inspired by his own spiraling relationship with his protégé.
Much to Esther’s chagrin, Cristobal and NoHo Hank would make up. The stand off was over thanks to Fuches and the group mostly celebrated outside of Esther’s men… Having no idea of the brutality that awaited them during Barry Berkman’s rage-induced, straight-lined ambush.
— Barry HBO (@hbo_barry) May 20, 2019
Sally Reed’s Lie conquered her Truth
Sally Reed’s theatre opening night was descending into all-out disappointment by the audience. They were ambivalent at best to the class’s show of truth. Finally, when Sally and Barry arrived on stage for the main event… The scene received a completely unexpected makeover, unknown to Barry. Sally had just slapped him before going on stage to get him into the role. After Barry said the opening lines as Sam about her dancing with someone else, Sally flipped the table herself. She told ‘Sam’ off on stage, portraying the ‘scenario’ she wished was truth, losing all reality. Barry walked off stage without word.
— Barry HBO (@hbo_barry) May 20, 2019
Sally was seen leaving in tears, the same for her agent Natalie Greer who felt she pressured Sally into it. For the first time, Sally didn’t consider herself an artist… Yet, the reverse happened, the audience loved the lie. The high profile members of her agency loved the lie. Fuches earlier comments to Barry about people loving Braveheart, were recalled when an audience member referenced Sally’s speech being like Braveheart. The truth Sally had desperately clinged to as an artist, didn’t matter one bit. She was bewildered as audience members surrounded her, complimenting a scene she thought was the end of her career.
Fuches was right after all, people don’t want the truth. As Jack Nicholson once said in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!” They want Braveheart.
A grand lie will always conquer raw truth. The lie wins because it typically comforts. Exemplified by a woman who told Sally, she had a friend “who went through a similar situation but did not have the courage to do what you just did. Truly inspiring!” Even though it bent the truth it was what audience members wanted to see, how they’d like reality to be.
Gene remembers what Fuches whispered
HBO’s Barry Season 2 Finale would conclude with Gene remembering what his mystery PI had whispered before vanishing… “Barry Berkman did this.” In one sentence, Fuches did more damage to Barry ‘Block’ than taking out Gene ever could…
HBO’s Barry Berkman ‘Block’ himself, Bill Hader, will be a featured guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight (May 14, 2019).
Fans of HBO’s Barry have a reason to stay up late tonight, as series star Bill Hader will be the first guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Hader was last a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers back on March 19, 2018. Joining Hader will be actress Kathryn Newton [Big Little Lies] to promote Pokémon Detective Pikachu. The show will air on NBC at 12:35 a.m. ET (11:35 p.m. Central) and you can catch it online via NBC’s live stream or with a free seven-day trial at Fubo TV.
Bill Hader is making the late night rounds this week ahead of the season 2 finale in true Barry fashion. He was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday where did some celebrity impressions mid-interview. Fans who watched this week’s Barry episode still have that rendition of “You want some piiiieeeeee?” stuck in their heads!
Hader also appeared earlier that morning on Live with Kelly and Ryan and joked that ‘his daughter wasn’t a fan of his voice in Finding Dory.’ She literally stood up and left the theater according to Hader! “You didn’t tell me you were in this!”
The Barry lead star will also be a featured guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen this Thursday, May 16 along with Rachel Ray. Barry’s season 2 finale episode, aptly titled, “berkman/block” airs this Sunday, May 19 on HBO at 10 p.m. EST. The show has already been renewed for a season 3 by HBO.
Late Night with Seth Meyers featuring Bill Hader : Live Stream Details
— Late Night with Seth Meyers (@LateNightSeth) May 14, 2019
Date: Friday, May 14
Start Time: 12:35 a.m. ET / 11:35 p.m. Central
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: Watch live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial. You can also watch on FOX’s official live stream
Bill Hader’s breakout HBO series was recently invited by Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi to shoot an episode of Barry at their establishment. The invite, arriving in letter form, came as a response to a mention of ‘going for a Yoshinoya Beef Bowl’ by NoHo Hank during an early April episode.
Barry director Hiro Murai posted an Instagram story of a thank you letter he received from Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi inviting them to shoot there.
HBO Barry Director Hiro Murai received an intriguing offer from Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi, after the Japanese fast-food chain’s beef bowl was mentioned during an episode. Murai, who’s directed four episodes of the series, was thanked for the ‘stunning’ inclusion and invited to shoot an episode on-location at Yoshinoya.
The letter, dated April 10, 2019, also thanked Barry executive story editor / writer Taofik Kolade (6 episodes). Credit to Reddit user BROWN-52 for first spotting it and taking a screenshot of Hiro Murai’s Instagram story for fans at Barry’s official Reddit page.
Between the unintentional ‘Starbucks’ product placement on Game of Thrones and now Yoshinoya on Barry, franchises might not need to pay an advertising fee anymore! Joking aside, utilizing Yoshinoya in the series could be mutually beneficial to both parties ala Better Call Saul’s fictional Los Pollos Hermanos. Plus, the ‘set’ for Yoshinoya is already ready made, no need to even rent the place.
Letter to Barry’s Hiro Murai and Taofik Kolade Text:
Dear Misters Murai and Kolade,
We were recently stunned to hear that your most recent episode of Barry began with the suggestion of a trip to Yoshinoya for a Beef Bowl. While we don’t know which of you is directly responsible for this line, we’d nevertheless like to thank you both.
We’re not sure whether the show is what it is because of Bill Hader’s unique comedic talent, or the fact that the concept of an “emotionally conflicted assassin taking an acting class” is inherently funny, or both, but we want you to know that we are big fans of the show.
Please accept some gift certificates for free bowls at Yoshinoya and feel free to share them if you are so inclined. We would like to further offer up one of our stores as a location for a shoot for one of your upcoming episodes. I think shooting at Yoshinoya would be a hit.
Chief Executive Officer
– you know what i could really go for? Yoshinoya Beef Bowl. pic.twitter.com/NsfT0qG7jn
— Remy 🎈 (@real___remy) April 8, 2019
Be sure to read about Better Call Saul’s Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) making his first-ever Barry cameo recently on Sally Reed’s TV/Film reel!