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Barry Berkman 'Block' and Gene Cousineau - Pictured from left to right (L-R): Bill Hader and Henry Winkler - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO Barry Berkman 'Block' and Gene Cousineau - Pictured from left to right (L-R): Bill Hader and Henry Winkler - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

Barry

Barry season 2, episode 2 recap: Life reflects art on ‘The Power of No’

Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

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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.

Barry season 2 - Pictured: Bill Hader as Barry Berkman 'Block' - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

Barry season 2 – Pictured: Bill Hader as Barry Berkman ‘Block’ – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

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

Barry season 2 - Pictured: Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

Barry season 2 – Pictured: Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

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?”

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.

Nir Regev is the founder of The Natural Aristocrat. You can directly contact him at nir.regev@thenaturalaristocrat.com for coverage consideration, interview opportunties, or general comments.

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Barry

Barry season 2, episode 3 recap: Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday

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Barry Berkman and Sally Reed in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” - Pictured from left to right: Bill Hader and Sarah Goldberg - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO
Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry and Sally discovered life’s dark truth: There is no starting over from zero and hitting the reset button on life without baggage, no catharsis.

This recap contains spoilers for HBO’s Barry season 2, episode 3.

The past devoured Barry and Sally’s souls on tonight’s aptly titled episode “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” and salted old wounds back open. Pulling them away from the sun-kissed hopes of a better future back to the abyss they mistakenly believed they had escaped… But there is no cheating the past, no loophole to make history vanish into thin air. No eureka styled monologue to make it all better before the credits roll, accompanied by an uplifting tune. You just learn to live with it.

Sally’s recollection of how she left her ex-husband bravely with a strong, picturesque exit line is a great example of the way our own memories can lie to us. Despite the contrast to what really happened, as told gently to Sally by a witness of the time… Sally is unable to accept and come to terms with a version of history that challenges her own.

Each and everyone of us are prone to spin a memory into something we’d like to remember as witnesses to the reality fade away. Our own adaptation so-to-speak. It’s part of being human, a habit of unconscious design. As George Costanza once said on Seinfeld a decade prior, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Just as Barry had attempted to coverup the positive camaraderie and kinship he felt with his fellow marines after his first kill, so too did Sally cover her escape in the middle of the night. The quiet non-confrontational liberation that has haunted her all the way to the episode’s conclusion when ex Sam shows up.

Barry’s nightmare is bridging Berkman and Block’s lives together

Barry Berkman in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” - Pictured: Bill Hader -  Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry Berkman in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” – Pictured: Bill Hader – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

No matter how many attempts at typing the script of his story Barry attempted, each one hit the digital waste bin faster than the last. To put it simply, Barry does not want others to know the intricate specifics that made him who is today. At one point on tonight’s episode, he accidentally receives a text message meant for another classmate referencing him as Jarhead. You could see the quick shot of disappointment and pain in his eyes.

The acting class was meant to be a release from his other life, not act as a confession booth. As each session passes, he finds himself being strong-armed into revealing more about himself while being simultaneously sentenced to silence via social code. Barry cannot tell his truth, less he desires to be marked a pariah in his group, forever judged. Which is why every edition of his tour ended with Barry hitting the delete button halfway through.

Barry season 2 - Pictured: Stephen Root as Monroe Fuches - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry season 2 – Pictured: Stephen Root as Monroe Fuches – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

When Monroe Fuches arrived at Barry’s job, again trying to entrap him, Barry realized just how much he had missed him. It was then Monroe’s true self, wire or not, was revealed. Monroe genuinely consoled him, expressing sincere relief from the moment Barry told him he’s actually happy to see him. Meekly saying “Really?” and caught off guard.

The hitman turned acting student told Monroe how he’s the only one he can talk to about what happened. Monroe told his protégé to just give the class the Hollywood version, recalling the speech in Braveheart and how it never actually occurred. Barry would take the advice quite literally and be reprimanded by acting teacher Gene Cousineau in front of the class for it. In turn, Gene would make an abrupt decision to have him play Sally’s abusive ex-husband instead.

Sally would try to get Barry to act out a choke on her like her adaption of the story but he refused. In an effort to get a performance from him, she would push and hit him repeatedly to get a rise out of him. However, the move backfired as Barry stormed out of the class and Sally chased after him, saying she didn’t mean it. That she’d gone over the line.

Barry told her “He doesn’t want to hurt anybody,” a distinct theme throughout the episode. As he also offers to train NoHo Hank’s men so he doesn’t have to do the hit on Esther or anyone else anymore. When Sally’s ex Sam suddenly showed up on the scene, Barry gave him the same look he did before presumably going a rampage while on tour after his friend was shot.

Gene Cousineau proves first impressions lack the finer details of a personality

Gene Cousineau in HBO's Barry Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” - Pictured: Henry Winkler -  Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” – Pictured: Henry Winkler – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Gene offering to let his son work on his cabin without pay (so he doesn’t have to directly deal with where Janice disappeared) showed a whole other side of him. It was major, stunning character development. There’s more than meets the eye to Gene than the kind of altruistic authority figure/hopeless romantic he appears to be in season 1. The discovery viewers made last episode that he abandoned his son because he was ‘busy with roles’ was clearly just the beginning.

Gene’s son was right to reject his father’s so-called offer of “doing something together,” calling the ploy “sick.” In no uncertain terms, he wanted nothing to do with the cabin where Gene’s ‘girlfriend was murdered’ and requested his father just leave him alone. Despite what appeared to be a reawakening of ego self-awareness last episode, Gene’s actions effortlessly displayed people don’t change overnight.

Actor Spotlight: Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank

Anthony Carrigan’s NoHo Hank was on fire all episode, bringing the comedy in every scene he’s featured in with impeccable timing. From his surprise reaction Esther still being alive, to his botched hit on Barry in retaliation, to referring to Barry as the “Air Jordan” of hitmen/assassins. Even the finer minutiae like ignoring Barry telling him he could take out Cristobal Sifuentes too and have the whole business to himself and repeating “50% with Cristobal!” all bright eyed stood out. Carrigan adds this fun vibe to the show whenever he’s on, particularly when the show finds itself going thematically dark. Bringing an equilibrium to the series as half comedy, half introspectively serious.

Barry Berkman and NoHo Hank in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” - Pictured from left to right: Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry Berkman and NoHo Hank in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” – Pictured from left to right: Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan – Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry by the way, almost took NoHo Hank out after he attempted to have him vanquished in Sally’s own apartment via sniper fire… However, he again decided not to go through with it. NoHo Hank was impressed he shot his friend in the arm in the same spot, saying “Wow he’s good!” He’s thrilled to have Barry build him what he believes will be an army. Barry seems to not spot much talent yet but he has no choice but to train Hank’s group after the incident at the monastery.

Catch up on HBO’s Barry with a recap of last week’s episode, “The Power of No”. Speaking of which, Better Call Saul fans, read about Patrick Fabian’s surprise cameo on Barry during Sally Reed’s film reel last episode!

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Barry

Better Call Saul’s Patrick Fabian made a cameo on Barry in ‘Future Space’

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Better Call Saul's Patrick Fabian cameo on HBO's Barry during Sally Reed film, 'Future Space'
Screenshot Photo Credit: HBO / Barry

Better Call Saul star Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) made a surprise cameo on Barry episode “The Power of No” during Sally’s video reel film, Future Space.

Every once in a while a guest star from an alternate TV universe arrives out of nowhere, unadvertised, and puts a smile on your face. During an increasingly spoiler filled dystopian-like internet no less, where any secret is spoiled in a matter of seconds, no matter what it is. Kudos to HBO for keeping it under wraps and tightlipped, quick cameo or not. It all went down mid-episode tonight when Barry’s Sally Reed was reviewing her video reel of acting highlights. Running like a parody reel, the hilariously formulaic satires would be capped off with a sci-fi picture named Future Space

That’s when Captain Patrick Fabian would be revealed reassuring his son against the incoming evil horde! “We’ll just have to make a run for it!” Sally Reed (in full alien getup) would put her alien fin-hand on the son’s shoulder to reassure the boy, Captain Fabian was indeed correct. “Listen to your father Nathan.” The good captain replied “Thanks babe!” with that classic HHM charm and grin. Naturally, the ship would go Star Wars Death Star seconds later, being destroyed in the uncertainty of space!

Considering Better Call Saul fans are dismayed by the recent news of the show being delayed until 2020 according to a Vulture interview, seeing a Patrick Fabian cameo is a welcome surprise. It’s unknown if tonight’s Barry appearance was a one time thing for Fabian or if he might appear on a future episode. Maybe even interact with Barry ‘Block’ himself, NoHo Hank, Gene or Fuches but the door is now open.

The Better Call Saul star most recently starred in eye-opening film DriverX as well as providing the voice of Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw, in animated feature Reign of the Supermen. Patrick Fabian also played character ‘Mr. Wallace’ in U.K. released comedy thriller Extracurricular Activities, released on January 28, 2019.

He’ll be playing character Landon on an upcoming episode (“SorryNotSorry”) of show Doxxed releasing on June 9, 2019. Doxxed is currently in post-production. Keeping busy between seasons of Better Call Saul, Fabian will also play character Todd on TV comedy film El Asesino, releasing sometime in 2019.

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Check out The Natural Aristocrat’s live stream info for Barry’s season 2 premiere and sophomore episode. Barry airs on HBO every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

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